Outlander Costumes, Mid-Season 1 Recap and Preview

Are you withering away waiting for new episodes of Outlander? Rejoice, this Starz TV series returns April 5, 2015. We’re about to get the second half of season 1 in this series, which tells the tale of a 1940s nurse who time-travels to 18th-century Scotland. Get ready for more tartans, danger, and shagging in the heather!

Special note for UK viewers, you’re finally going to get this series on Amazon Prime!


Outlander Costumes, Season 1, So Far

What happened, costume-wise, in the first half of series one? What do we have to look forward to this spring?

So far, the series has flashed between Claire’s life in the 1940s with her husband Frank, and the new life she has been forging in the 18th century with Jamie.

In the 1940s, Claire and Frank primarily wore suits:


This was the flashback to Frank & Claire’s wedding, in the late 1930s.


Once she’s in the 18th century, Claire started with basics — jackets and petticoats in brown wools, with knitted shawls and accessories:

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Out on the road with the boys, collecting rents, she got a slightly nicer dress in dark green plaid wool:


Claire also got a very snappy fur-trimmed traveling outfit:

Claire heads out on the road in a very fetching fur-trimmed jacket | Terrydresbach.com

She got to dress up for the Gathering, a formal event in which Clan MacKenzie came together:


The more I look at this, the less I like it. That floral just strikes me as “wrong” for the period, and I hate it paired with the plaid. Also, why the silk taffeta sleeve ruffles (which would have been white linen or cotton)?

And, of course, Clarie got married in a huge silver gown:

Claire's stays | people.com

Claire’s stays, worn under her wedding dress.

Outlander 2014

The Wedding Dress


Jamie has been in kilts, either rough-and-tumble for work, or dressed up spiffy for the Gathering and the Wedding:


Workin’ for the weekend


Or maybe, workin’ for the sassenach?

Outlander 2014

Dressed up all FIIIINE


Dougal has had a similar trajectory to Jamie, although he’s less down and dirty (being in charge and all):

Dougal MacKenzie


Geillis got increasingly weird:


Why no straps on your bodice, Geillis?


Apparently no one notices if you go all Midsummer Night’s Dream during the Gathering.


The backwards, monkey fur jacket. How many monkeys did she kill?


And Black Jack Randall went all uniforms, all the time:



What’s Next in Outlander Costumes?

Well, a lot of the same! Without giving away to many spoilers, Claire and Jamie are going to spend a lot more time on the road and in peril. They will have a brief idyll, but it’s not a fancy one. We’re going to be primarily (or only?) in the 18th century, so little/no sign of Frank or the 1940s.


More of the same, costume-wise. This is the new, season 1 part 2, poster.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 12.20.00 PM

From the part 2 trailer. Back to laced on, renfaire sleeves.


Geillis is going to get a fancy new dress:


I could analyze this, but it’s Geillis, she apparently doesn’t give a crap about blending in. Although where she gets her design sense, I don’t know. Stevie Nicks?


And we’re going to meet new characters Jenny and Ian:


Jenny (left) and Ian (right). Another shot from the trailer.

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Cream wool jacket with criss-cross lacing — very 1740s.


Jenny and Claire, hanging. Both are fans of the laced-on sleeve.


Want more info on the costumes we’ve seen so far? Check out our podcast and our posts, and watch this quick feature on the costumes:


Can’t Wait Till Outlander’s Premiere?

Here are a few things to tide you over. First, this deleted scene further elaborates Jamie and Claire’s wedding night:

And check out these behind-the-scenes clips (the recently released Blu-Ray has more):



And, of course, the Outlander part 2 trailer!

Will you be watching the second half? What do you think of the Outlander costumes?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.