Why repurposing costumes on Outlander is perfect for the series

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

There have been many items of clothing worn more than once on Outlander and Jamie’s waistcoat that will be in Season 4 is just one of them. Repurposing outfits is perfect for the series.

When a show is based on history, getting costumes and lifestyle just right is essential. You want to feel like you’re part of the world and locked in time with them. We don’t just want to see beautiful costumes on Outlander but realistic ones. Terry Dresbach and her team get that just right when they repurpose and reuse older costumes.

Outlander Season 4 will see Jamie wear his waistcoat again from previous seasons. Claire wore her yellow dress from Paris when in Jamaica. Marsali and Fergus even wore outfits that Claire and Jamie had once worn. The idea of wearing clothes for long periods of time may seem odd to us, but it was the done thing back then. In fact, it wasn’t until recent decades that items of clothing would be thrown out when damaged instead of being repaired.

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Clothing was a luxury, especially the beautiful dresses and other items. Even everyday clothing was a luxury and it wasn’t as easy as just throwing items in the wash after one use. It wasn’t easy to just go to the local clothing store and buy a new dress. Outlander has got this idea just right. Claire wouldn’t have bought a new dress for Lord John Grey’s ball when she had one from Paris (fortunately it still fit after 20 years) and there was no need to buy items for Fergus and Marsali when they could wear hand-me-downs.

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It’s good to see the show sticking with repurposing and reusing costumes. This tells me there’s still a focus on bringing small details of the realities of the past in the series.

Next: Diana Gabaldon reveals what she wanted on the show that didn't make the cut

What do you think about the reusing and repurposing of costumes? Are you happy to see it happens or did you get fed up of seeing the same outfits throughout the previous seasons? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 4 will premiere in fall 2018. Like Claire and Jamie on Twitter for more updates straight to your feed.