The Costumes Are as Authentic as Possible—Including What’s Underneath!
No Velcro, no zippers, not a lot of shoes, and kilts are worn as kilts are supposed to be worn – with absolutely nothing underneath. These are true Scots! What’s not authentic are the effects of war and journeying through the highlands. To achieve the look of well-worn clothing, the costumes are attacked with cheese graters, burned with blow torches, and aged by tying them up with string and baking them.
Every Single Kilt Is Worn Differently.
“All of our actors wear their kilts just a bit differently from each other,” Outlander’s costumer Terry Dresbach tells us. “They personalize them and make them very much their own. We are talking about 12 yards of fabric that has to be belted and tucked by each actor, and they have developed their own ways of wearing them that belongs very much to them. It is incredibly important that they FEEL like their
character, and helping them to find that place is an essential part of our job.”
Sam (Jamie) Finds His Kilt “Liberating.”
“Sam/Jamie wears his with almost a long skirt hanging down the back that swings beautifully when he moves,” Outlander costumer Terry Dresbach says. Sam himself told us that he hates wearing trousers and finds kilts “liberating” and “freeing”…Especially while riding a horse.
While Scottish dialect has had sort of a revival from being thought of as slang, Scottish Gaelic of the 1700s is very different from anything anyone speaks today. It was not easy for the actors to learn, especially since they had to get used to a whole new set of sounds and had to learn to loosen their throats. One Gaelic word you’ll hear a lot on the show is “Sassenach,” which means “outlander.” It’s supposed to be a slightly offensive term for someone out of place, but it also becomes Jamie’s affectionate nickname for Claire.
The show is almost entirely shot on location all over Scotland, with very little green screen. “I think when people watch the show, they’ll fall in love with Scotland,” native Scotsman Sam Heughan tells us. “You’ll be amazed.” Caitriona Balfe agrees, saying, “There’s such a harsh climate there, and I think that really affects how people are and the realness and rawness of the story, so I think it was very important to everybody that we have that as an element in our show as well.”
Things Get DISTURBING.
Violence, torture, rape. Outlander will venture into true Games of Thrones-esque territory (and then some!) before season one is over. The greatest offender, of course, is Black Jack (Tobias Menzies), the ancestor of Claire’s husband Frank. And anyone who has read the books will tell you that what he does to Claire and Jamie won’t be easily erased from your mind. “That character, I would argue, is a study of sadism,” Menzies says of Black Jack. “He’s interested in people’s boundaries, their pain thresholds, what they can handle. It’s a rather sickening investigation.” Bring your Tums. And a shot of Scotch.