Your Guide to Dressing Like an Outlander Character

If you've been watching Outlander, you've probably found yourself thinking: Goddamn, I could use some knitwear. And a tweed skirt. And a plaid sweater. And maybe some really sturdy leather shoes? And so I have assembled this shopping guide, as a public service.

A useful resource in our search is the blog of Terry Dresbach, who's the costume designer for the show. Start by bookmarking that shit.


If you want knitwear, great news: The Internet is bursting at the seams with projects inspired by the show. If you are crafty, you can start with one of the umpteen zillion patterns on Ravelry. Here's Claire's cowl. (Here's a YouTube tutorial, if you need more help.) Here are Mrs. Fitz's mitts. If, like myself, you are crafts-blind, there is always Etsy. There are so many items on Etsy! They've got umpteen million versions of Claire's cowl, plenty of gloves, shrugs, and even some capelets. This shop has cowls and mitts and knitted pumpkins! (You can also purchase patterns, like this shrug.)

If you are crushing on Claire's furs, Nordstrom has some really ridiculous faux offerings that should fit the bill. Just be careful or you'll look like you went shopping at Limited Too while soused on rhenish, but hey, fortune favors the bold. There are several places on the Internet to purchase authentic tartan wraps (most of look like they haven't been updated since 2002). But they all cost a fortune, and only you can decide whether you really need a $180 woolen wrap in your great great great grandfather's plaid.

Looking for something a little less... on point? Fret not: You've still got options. Cole Haan's Fall 2014 ad campaign was shot in Wyoming somewhere, but I can't be the only person who saw one of the ads and thought Scotland. If you have rather more expensive tastes, you could pluck from this Vivienne Westwood collection. Sure, it was actually inspired by Scotland's independence referendum, but it certainly looks like it was designed while binge-watching Outlander. On acid.


Keep your eyes peeled for earth-tones, tweeds—you get the gist. It's probably a good time for an Aran Isle sweater which is of course Irish not Scottish but this ain't Gaelic 101. Just allow yourself a moment of pause before purchasing an $80 Eddie Bauer tweed skirt that'll you pull out of the closet in 2015 and ask yourself in the hell you were thinking. But Harper's Bazaar does say we'll be "mad for plaid" this fall, so you can get pretty hog wild without looking like you're cosplaying at work.

Also, every woman who loves historical clothing should own a plain cotton nightgown. I recommend Eileen West, which you can purchase from the Vermont Country Store! Stock up on vibrators while you're over there. (They also have old-fashioned hair clips. Really they've got everything.)


If you're in a generally 18th century mood, there's not that much I can do for you — panniers are just not coming back anytime soon. But Dior did do a "Trianon" collection this spring, which ought to help sate your passion for fashions from the 1700s (give or take 30 years). Maybe try this Chanel Couture show? If you can find a way to rock a fichu, please do let me know.

Have you spotted that chic white dress Claire wore in the premiere (subsequently shredded and assumed by everyone she met to be skivvies)? Do you have a great source for vintage Scottish pearls? Please do share with the class.

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