Outlander Costume Recap & Podcast: Season 2, Episode 5


We’ll be recapping every episode of Outlander this season, both in blog post AND podcast. Kendra and Sarah will be focusing mostly on the costumes — designed by Terry Dresbach — in our blog posts, but probably tackling both the costumes and the story itself in our podcasts. You can find the podcast at the bottom of this post, or on iTunes!

For those who aren’t regular Frock Flicks readers: this blog and podcast is all about costumes in historical movies and TV shows, and we approach things from the angle of history. So, expect us to be talking about the costumes primarily from the point of view of comparison with the real history of the 1740s. We’ll also talk about costume in terms of story, and the deviations that come with this one having the fantasy element of time travel. But, know that when we talk about that dreaded phrase “historical accuracy,” we’re not doing it to be mean or judgy. It’s just one lens through which to watch this fabulous show.

Claire (and Fergus) have waited up all night for Jamie to return from the Bastille prison, where he was sent after the dinner party brawl the night before.

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Jamie is still in his black satin jacket and embroidered waistcoat from the party. — Kendra
Definitely thinking of his black satin jacket as “Jamie’s Leather Jacket” now. — Sarah

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I loved this fabric. Very appropriate for the 18th century. — Sarah
What Sarah said! Claire clearly got a new shipment of dressing gowns! — Kendra

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We never see the back on screen, but this promo still gives us a peek. — Kendra

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Aw. Tragic Jamie Hair is tragic. — Sarah
Jamie: “Sigh.” — Kendra

The next day…

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I randomly really liked this extra (the fancy one in the middle), even though you can’t really see her clearly. — Kendra

Jamie is at work at the wine shop. Murtagh feels terrible about being overpowered during Claire & Mary’s attack. He vows to find the person responsible.

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Jesus, would you look at those cheek bones??? Also, nice lacing in the back of his weskit. Love. — Sarah

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-_- — Sarah
Murtagh’s suit is perfectly appropriate to his class station, and those flat brass buttons are totally right for this era. — Kendra

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Jamie is wearing a kilt and sporran (the belted pouch) at work — his preferred outfit. — Kendra

Claire goes to visit Mary Hawkins. She comforts Mary, assures her that it wasn’t her fault and that she probably isn’t pregnant, and learns that Mary won’t be marrying the French guy and has planned to marry Alexander Randall.

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Prim little cap! Very 18th century appropriate but also kinda butterchurny. — Sarah

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Waiting for the crocheted shawl pattern to drop on Ravelry in 3…2…1… — Sarah
Waiting for the analysis to drop on Ravelry’s Historical Knitters group (is there one for Historical Crocheters?) in 3…2…1… — Kendra

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Claire visits in what I originally thought was a new riding habit, but Sarah reminded me that this is the one she wears in episode 3, just with different accessories. — Kendra

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This hat is SO 1740s, but it’s also SO 1940s-50s. Note the shimmery feathers around the crown of the hat, which matches the feather spray pinned to her breast. — Kendra

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Mary gives Claire a note exonerating Alexander from her attack (Alexander is currently in prison). Claire debates whether or not to burn the note. She’s worried that since Jack Randall and Mary are supposed to have a child that will be an ancestor of Frank, if she encourages Mary and Alexander’s marriage then Frank won’t be born. She finally decides against burning the note.Outlander s02e05

Back at the wine shop, Bonnie Prince Chuckie turns up. His English financial backers have fallen through, but he has an elaborate plan that involves selling a shipment of wine with the Comte Saint Germain. With those profits, he feels he can definitely get the French to support his cause.

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I love this wig. Cannot get enough of it. — Sarah

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Chuckie’s wig style, with the unstructured side curls, would have been very fashionable in the 1730s. It’s absolutely still a style that would be worn in the 1740s. — Kendra

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This just screams of HoYay. — Sarah
I just hear Mr. Bennet saying, “No lace, Mrs. Bennet. No lace!” — Kendra

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Love BPC’s finely turned calves. Also, mmmm pockets. — Sarah
Chuckie is Team Fancy Outfits! — Kendra

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Check out how they applied the gold braid to the pleats and vents in the jacket’s skirtings. SO lovely. — Kendra

Claire and Alexander Randall have a chat. Claire tells him that Mary would be miserable following him from city to city as he looks for work. Alexander vows to give up Mary.

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Matching purse, so 1940s! My grandmother still matches her purse to every outfit she wears. — Sarah
Sarah and I debated on the podcast whether this is a blue wool dress with matching capelet and mulberry mitts, or the mulberry riding habit from the earlier scene with a full blue wool cloak over it. — Kendra

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The bow is a nice feminine touch that avoids any uncharacteristic-for-Claire froof. — Kendra

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:| — Sarah
I’m happy to see a tricorn, or “cocked hat” as it was called in the period (at least in England)! — Kendra

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Speckled wool jacket. Nice. — Sarah

Over at Maison Elise, Jamie meets with the Comte Saint Germain about BPC’s wine plan. He basically tells the Comte that whenever he finds Claire’s/Mary’s attacker, he will kill them.

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Brocade jacket + silk skirt… Is it period? Not sure. But reenactors do it all the time. — Sarah
At the highest class, it would be more typical to have the whole ensemble made from the same fabric, particularly in France. However, clearly this is an efficient use of limited budget/yardage — use the fancier fabric for the top garment, and a matching solid for the petticoat. — Kendra

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We decided on the podcast that this is the same dress worn in episode 2 with a different stomacher & petticoat. Love the silver embroidery/woven pattern! — Kendra

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Something about the Comte de Saint Germain isn’t working for me here and I think it’s his eyebrows. — Sarah
Nooo! The eyebrows are a huge part of his charm! (Also, the embroidery on this jacket is very similar to that on his blue jacket in episode 3). — Kendra

Back at home, Jamie updates Claire.

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ANOTHER new dressing gown for Claire! This one looks like a black satin with a woven sprig floral pattern. — Kendra

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Now that I know knee high leather boots with buckles are period, I WANT EVERY MAN TO WEAR THEM ALL THE TIME. — Sarah
You can read all about these boots on Terry Dresbach’s blog. I REALLY need to see the satin version, because, ROWR. I’m not so convinced by the leather motorcycle boots. — Kendra

The next day, we’re off to Versailles. Jamie is supposed to help the Duke of Sandringham buy a horse.

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Garden porn! — Kendra

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The Duke’s waistcoat isn’t at all the same, but it’s a pattern that reminds me of the famous Scalamandre strawberry fabric. Note more trapunto on the vent in Jamie’s coat. — Kendra

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Jamie’s sand colored trapunto suit. OMFG. WANT. — Sarah
Claire’s brown 1950s floral dress — yea or nay? For me, I think it’s aesthetically gorgeous, especially with the yellow petticoat and yellow leather gloves. However… there’s NO WAY that floral design would exist in the 1740s. — Kendra

Here are images Kendra posted in our Outlander Season 2 Preview post — first, real 18th century florals:

18th century floral dresses

A selection of real 18th-century floral dresses.

Next up, mid-20th century florals:

1940s-70s floral dresses

1940s-70s dresses with large scale floral prints.

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Side lacing vents on Claire’s dress to allow for pregnancy expansion. You definitely see that in the period. — Kendra

For comparison, here’s an example of a real 18th century maternity ensemble:

Maternity Ensemble, 1780-1795, Britain, Colonial Williamsburg

Maternity Ensemble, 1780-1795, Britain, Colonial Williamsburg

Claire runs into Annalise, Jamie’s flame from his teen years. The two go for a walk and both try to pee on Jamie.

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I’m not sure I like this outfit, but I know that it is straight up Trystan’s alley. — Sarah
LOVE the silver lace! Love the color of the jacket! Dislike that it’s dupioni, a slubbed (ie rough) silk, which would never have been used in this era (or any era, really, before the 1940s at the earliest). — Kendra

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The cut and styling of Annalise’s jacket, however, is right out of the 1740s. And, I love the colors! — Kendra

Kendra will bet you a million dollars that they based it on this real 1730s jacket at the Musée Galliera in Paris:

Casaquin, c. 1730-40. Musée Galliera

Casaquin, c. 1730-40. Musée Galliera

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And her cute little tricorn! — Kendra

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Another hat on Claire that manages to be both 1740s and 1950s at the same time. — Kendra

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Still not really a fan of this dress. You will all tell me I’m wrong, of course. — Sarah
The horizontal bust darts are 100% accurate for a high-necked bodice. — Kendra

Claire sees Jack Randall and is justifiably upset. He’s in Paris looking after his brother. He’s way too excited to see Claire.

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Everybody’s talking ’bout a sharp dressed man. — Sarah
I do love a man in uniform, even if I HATE Jack Randall. — Kendra

The king turns up, and basically cuts Jack Randall right and left.

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Hi. Yes, please. — Sarah
Thank you, Louis XV, for making Jack Randall feel like a worm. — Kendra

Jamie comes over to collect Claire, and sees Jack. The couple walk away, then Jamie heads back to talk to Jack — he has arranged a duel.

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THIS. YES. — Sarah
These unsaturated colors go together really beautifully. — Kendra

Jamie and Murtagh are making plans for the duel, when Claire turns up. She begs Jamie to not kill Jack for a year, so that Frank can be born. Jamie is very upset, as to be expected. Claire finally gets Jamie to agree only by saying that he owes her a life, as she’s saved his twice.

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We want to thank Outlander-Online.com for their awesome screenshots!

Okay kids. What’s your vote on the brown & yellow dress? What did you think of all the other costumes?

Outlander Season Two, Episode Five, Podcast Recap

Listen to our podcast recap of the episode here or on iTunes!


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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

59 Responses

  1. Martina

    Love, love the mocha flower dress. It feels like the Bar dress…a perfect blending of the 1740s and the 1940s. I didn’t like Annalise’s dress, but seeing the inspiration for it makes it bearable. Everything Jamie wears is so good, and so character specific. Terry and her team are really knocking it out of the park, costume-wise.

    • K

      I agree; Claire is set apart beautifully in the way her costuming references her both as a woman of the 1940s, and as a no-frills, let’s get to work, strong-willed woman. If she was dressed in period perfect clothing you would lose the “outlander” visual marker that’s a key component of telling the story.

  2. Broughps

    Claire hasn’t been raped up to this point. Nor was she tortured for her to empathize with Jamie.

    No the deserter didn’t rape Claire. Even Ron has said no rape.

    DG adds rape (and there is a rape in at least 5 out of 8 books) in to deconstruct her characters to see how they’ll recover and grow.

    • Sarah Lorraine

      I stand corrected!

      However, I still say sexual assault has happened NUMEROUS times to Claire and, having had to watch the entirety of Season 1 in basically one go to catch up, made me feel like *I* was having PTSD for her because she was all “Whatevs, it’s just a typical Tuesday in 18th c. Scotland.”

      As a modern woman, I wouldn’t last for 2 seconds in that environment.

      • Broughps

        That could be why it hit you harder than maybe others, having watched it all in one shot.

  3. Susan Pola

    I loved Louis’ military uniform. He can lead me anytime *fans self*. But seriously hasn’t Claire wondered how Jack Randall would father a child? He hates women.

    With regards to the garden party dress of Claire’s, I’ve seen a green one that is printed similarly. I loved the brown garden party dress, but liked Annalise’s dress, too.

    I’m wondering if they’ll include Claire’s having sex with Louis.

    I’m still not seeing the charismatic leader Charles Edward Stuart was, but maybe that will be later. In these episodes, we see BPC the Fashion Icon.

    • Broughps

      Where have you read or seen that BJR hates women? It never says that in either the book or show.

      • Susan Pola

        No, the books don’t say it but I feel it is implied by his actions.

        • Broughps

          He doesn’t. Hopefully they’ll show some of that in later eps.

      • Kesari

        yes, I agree. I don’t think he hates women. I think he loves a challenge. He enjoys pushing people to their limits, is fascinated by where those limits are and is intrigued by Jamie and Claire. He is also a sadist and kind of F*ck&d up..

  4. Charity

    I almost think it would be worth having no Frank exist, if it meant avoiding sweet little Mary falling into his bed.* Egads. Loved his scene with them all, though. Great tension. Terrific menace. The actor is just — superb.

    Correct or not, the costumes this season make me drool.

    * Of course, then Claire would never have come to Scotland with Frank and fallen back in time, so…

    • Broughps

      You’re assuming history/the future wouldn’t self correct. If Claire is meant to go to the past she could easily have married someone else if Frank didn’t exist, still end up in Scotland and go through the stones.

      • Charity

        This is one of those timey-wimey Doctor Who moments — if the past has already happened, then the experiences Claire had in the “present” were set in motion by the past — meaning that whatever decision she makes in the past leads to the future she experienced in the present, because she was always IN the past already.

        • Broughps

          Doesn’t mean history/the future can’t self correct. If Claire was always meant to be in the 1700s then history would get her there by Frank or some other means.

          Just like BJR being Frank’s ancestor (I’m going strictly by what we’ve seen on the show for those that haven’t read the books) can be changed to some other man so Frank can still be born.

  5. Carin

    Slightly off-topic question for Kendra: in the “real 18th century florals” photo collage, what is that short-sleeved yellow dress that’s half cut off at the far right of the middle row?

  6. SarahV

    Man I love this site. I think Claire’s brown floral dress is gorgeous, but once again, even though it is supposed to symbolize for us, the audience, that this is a woman out of time with her contemporaries, “in universe” it is so funky and unusual that I just feel that other characters would have to react to it in some way. However, I want it, I want to wear it, and I want to wear it the office TOMORROW.

    Meanwhile, because I am a juvenile and childish person:

    “Claire runs into Annalise, Jamie’s flame from his teen years. The two go for a walk and both try to pee on Jamie.”

    This is the best typo!

    • Kendra

      What typo? I really meant that they were both trying to mark their territory! Literal urine!

  7. Kesari

    are you sure Mary falls into BJR’s bed? just sayin’. BUT.. are you sure that jacket of Jamie’s is leather? those creases don’t look like how leather creases to me..more like lined silk? but seriously I am no expert..it may be silk! Love the brown dress, don’t like the boob darts.. loving the boots because I am human..

    • Broughps

      They didn’t say the jacket was leather. They said it was his “leather” jacket, meaning Jamie’s coat, because he wears it so much, is the equivalent of a guy wearing his leather jacket everywhere today.

      • Sarah Lorraine

        Yep, this. It’s pretty clearly not leather (my hunch is silk satin, and we’ve said it a few times before and Terry Dresbach hasn’t corrected us, sooo…) but the more he wore it, the more I started to think of it like it was the equivalent of a leather jacket.

  8. Connie Sandlin (@Yr_Obt_Svt)

    I really wasn’t in love with the brown “Dressage” dress until I saw it in the episode and saw how it moved. I was bowled over when I saw it in its proper context in the episode, just as Terry keeps telling us! Stunning work, and not right for the time on purpose, because Claire is out of “her” time.

  9. Miri

    That brown dress. I’m so torn. On the one hand, the fabric, I just can’t like it. On the other hand, the whole picture together, the way it’s tailored, the shape of the skirt, the way it moves, the accessories, THE HAT, unf. It does fit the scene and what they’re doing with Claire on the show, I guess.

  10. Susan Pola

    Just finished listening to the podcast. May I also join the tour of Outlander’s costume workshop?
    I agree with Ms Dresbach’s previous post that the costumes must be seen in CONTEXT (emphasis not screaming) of the episode. When pictures of the Garden Party Dress hit months ago, I didn’t like it. But when Claire appeared in it in the episode, I got a bad case of ‘Dress Lust’. I just love it. I really missed Louise in the episode, Annalise seems less formed as a character, but the girl knows what rocks clotheswise for her.
    I also wish Claire would show some stress at having been sexually assaulted at least four times in season one. Uts not something one can shrug off. I hope Mary will be convinced that it wasn’t her fault. But having read the books, I have a feeling she will and sex with Alex is going to be fondly thought about.

  11. Suzie Day

    Missing Outlander to go off to SCA-land? I get it. I really do. It is a toughie.

    Actually, the same this will probably happen to me in June, when I am off to the Inter-College War here in Lochac…I can always leave site for an hour or so and use the local library’s internet.

    Tough choices.

  12. terrydresbach

    Progress!!!!! You liked this one.

    Jamie’s coat. In truth you have probably seen three coats. A black, a dark grey and a medium grey. But it is all about lighting. If we took those three coats into daylight, they would be wildly different. But not under the lights. You can do all the tests you want, but you really never know how something will be lit. It is a big challenge.

    Florals. I also posted some floral prints on my blog. Much, much closer to Claire’s gown, but still not exact. As we all know, we are TRYING to make her out of place, but sometimes, you can, and should, make a calculated choice that might push the boundaries even further, because it just works.

    Annalise. You are spot on. We tried to get as close to possible to that casaquin. It is a perfect example of mid 18th century colour, and it is so very French. A perfect backdrop for Claire. What is supposed to look like, next to what it is not supposed to look like.

    • Kendra

      Yay, I win my million dollar bet! Now to find someone to bet against me….

      Interesting about how the lighting changing things! We’ve definitely seen outfits that changed shade when shot indoors vs outdoors.

    • Charlotte Johnson

      OMG, I just had a thought.
      You should do one set of costumes / episode with input from the Frock Flick’s gang. I can’t think of anybody who would be better consultants. <3


  13. Ellira

    Loved the costuming in this episode! I can’t get on the side of the brown dress, though. It’s gorgeous, the cut is fabulous, but how would you even acquire fabric like that in period? I can definitely see Claire having a hand in the design of the clothing, but I really can’t see her bobbing off to wherever they weave it and instructing them too …

    The hats though! THAT’S what I’m looking for in a period crossover. It hits both centuries right on the nose and puts Claire firmly in both.

    If we see more of Claire in the 1940s, I’d love to see her fashion choices reflects the fashions of the 1740s too … although knowing Claire, she’ll just throw on whatever fits!

  14. Susan Pola

    Especially *Spoiler* going to med school with a baby at home.

  15. funnybunnyhelena

    I really love the brown floral gown! It is my favorite so far out of the “1740-1940(1950) Claire” blends. Amazing. I love the fabric to be honest.

    It might not have existed at that time as dress fabric. But what about curtain/interior deco fabrics? I confess it is not my field at all, but maybe? Or it could be commissioned painted fabric of favorite flowers? Or maybe some eccentric artist fabric Claire saw and bought lol. But I love it!!!

    • Sarah Lorraine

      Nope, the fabric is totally modern, though it does have a very 1950s vibe to it. I also think it’s hideous, but I’m apparently in the minority because everyone is coming out of the woodwork now to say how much they love it! Variety is the spice of life!

      • funnybunnyhelena

        What’s funny is that if the fabric has been presented to me by itself I would probably not care about it, and go on. I need to think in broader context because as that gown it looks lovely. I need to think in that context when I browse fabrics because I would love similar fabrics for 50’s style dresses.

        Not in Sweden, the fabric stores here are hopeless either fugly dull fabrics or costing 80+ usd (equivalent) but definitely on trips!

        Again as you say, we are different and that’s good or all the good fabrics/clothes go gone? :D (well it already do that anyway lol)

  16. AshleyOlivia

    Could someone explain the difference between a “weskit” and a “waistcoat”? I would be so grateful…

    • Kendra

      My understanding is that it’s a 19th c. British pronunciation of “waistcoat”! So, just a pronunciation difference.

      • AshleyOlivia

        Thank you! I had a hunch that was it, but wasn’t sure. Listening to the podcasts has helped my pronunciation a lot. You don’t want to know how I was pronouncing “panniers” before listening ;-)

  17. chelseasolan

    While I understand your being upset that Claire hasn’t properly worked through her many sexual attacks over the past two seasons, I think that what happened to Jamie was only remotely relatable.

    Maybe Claire could have sympathized with him for having both been victims of sexual abuse, but Claire being groped in an alley seems to me to be so not at the same level of what Capt. Randall did to Jamie. You have to remember that Capt. Randall had offered Jamie the chance to be freed from prison in exchange for sex before, but Jamie refused. Only this time, Jamie was doing it to save Claire and he had to do whatever Randall wanted without argue. Along with the physical torture (his hand, etc.), and being forced to perform sexual acts on Randall while imitating he was speaking to Claire (for Randall’s pleasure), he also was branded by Randall and made to believe he would never see Claire again. I think that part was well done in the show, but in the book I think it went even further into emphasizing how what happened was NOT simply rape. It was full-out torture. I found it extremely difficult to read at times.

    That being said… you’re right, Claire probably should be trying to relate to the other abuse victims around her and could use a little empathy when speaking with Mary especially, but I think we also have to take Jamie’s situation in a completely different light.

  18. A.

    I know this is an older post, but I didn’t get around to listening to the podcasts until now! I just wanted to say I completely agree with Sarah about the rape issue. I mean, yes, obviously Jamie’s experience was wrapped up in a lot of psychosexual torture that makes recovery very complicated… but I’m tired of seeing people say things along the lines of “oh Claire wasn’t really raped though”. That level of repetitious attempts at sexual assault is so over the top ridiculous and would probably do a number on most people. Randall almost rapes Claire in the first episode, her rescuers seem interested in assaulting her until Dougal says no, some more Scots want to rape her until Dougal stops them, but then Dougal tries to do the same thing himself in exchange for saving her, Jamie sleeps outside her door to stop people from trying to rape her in the night, Claire then experiences something that looks pretty much like rape with the deserter even if there apparently was no penetration (which frankly is not really the key element of rape), and then she’s almost raped by Randall again until Jamie shows up. It’s borderline comical when you list it all out.

    Anyway, clothes – I was so looking forward to seeing Louis’ outfit after first seeing the brief flash in the opening credits. Not disappointed, at all. Those gorgeous colors! That blue is so nice. And kilts will never lose my appreciation – something about the swish and the hint of bare legs, I don’t know, just does it for me. Claire’s brown dress made a gorgeous outfit all put together.

    Also, I always like Jamie’s hair, but I have curly hair and live in a humid climate, so I understand that it just looks different and does weird things all the time.

    • Holly

      I literally just posted the same thing about curly hair below then read your comment. Straight haired folks never quite get the unpredictable whims of natural curls :(

  19. Hillary

    The mocha/yellow dress is very, very pretty, but the moment I saw the huge floral pattern I thought “Wait a minute…” It’s a gorgeous ensemble, but out of place for the period. Still, it could have been worse I suppose!

    • Kesari

      you are absolutely right, it is close to the period, but not quite, which of course how it was intended. Claire is a woman of a another time – she is supposed to be a bit different, a bit out of place. This is where i think the genius lies – costuming for the characters, to make the characters and to tell a story, rather than to simply reflect fashion. it’s all so interesting

  20. cm houghton

    Personally, I hated a couple of Claire’s looks in this episode. I detested the purple outfit, it was far too severe looking, but I completely loathed the brown dress. It wasn’t so bad without the gloves, which looked like latex dishwashing gloves, but the fabric is just TOO modern looking. I didn’t buy it. It pulled me out of the scene entirely and the peeing contest about Jamie between Annalise and Claire (funny you call it that ?) did was just plain stupid. I didn’t see the point, mainly because I didn’t buy Claire putting up with Annalise’s crap. She isn’t shy about saying what she means, or fighting for what is hers… I love the commentary, not sure why I’d not seen this before. I will look for these again next season.

  21. Holly

    Ok, just got to say about Jamie’s hair. This is what life with curly hair is actually like…days where it looks flipping amazing and so flattering and you’re the hottest thing ever and days where you actually look tragic. Its totally unpredictable. And you can do one style really really well but try mixing it up, changing the parting or tying it back or whatever and poof…tragic hair again :( I feel Jamie’s hair pain.

  22. saffireblu

    I have issues with that mocha flower dress- not the dress as a whole, definitely not- it’s lovely in cut & styling, & I want that hat- but the pairing it with banana yellow…?
    If the yellow was softer, or perhaps even darker, like mustard or old gold, I could have lived with it, but my eyes were offended that moment I saw that shade, & I am so not a fan of those gloves- they could have done a silky knit for them- finer than the chunky-looking Scottish knits, so it would have made a nice contrast (I have a baby suit made of silk wool, so I know it looks nice), & I might have forgiven it- I get that there was a ‘translation’ thing they were doing, 1740’s> 1940’s, & the red dress, & the Dior black & white ones worked, but this one didn’t for me- it felt like a bridge too far.