The secrets behind the Outlander costume of one Jamie Fraser!
The costumes featured in Outlander have been admired since the hit series was first screened in 2014, leading to a revival in tartan and 18th century style across the world.
In fact, some fans are so obsessed with the costumes in Outlander than many source realistic replicas online, with some going to greater lengths and making the costumes by hand!
Here we catch up with textiles expert Rachel Chisholm, curator at Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, to bring you this a step-by-step guide to the historic outfit worn by star Jamie Fraser, from top to toe.
1 – Undergarments
Jamie is wearing a linen cravat at the neck and would also have a linen shirt underneath this waistcoat.
2 – Belt
The buckled leather belt holds his scabbards for his sword and dirk (a small knife or dagger).
3 – Jacket
Jamie wears a short woollen jacket, also known as a doublet jacket, which is shaped, fitted and has buttons running the full length and on the gauntlet-style turned up cuffs.
4 – Waistcoat
This brown linen waistcoat was handmade and features 11-hand-sewn long buttonholes. The back of the garment (which cannot be seen) also has hand-sewn holes, and would be laced up.
5 – The belted plaid
This is a large piece of material worn by men. It can be folded down and gathered across the chest and tucked into the belt, or hitched over the shoulder and attached with a brooch – as Jamie wears it here. This allows freedom of action to use the musket, sword or dirk. The belted plaid can also be pulled over the head to keep warm.
Jamie’s plaid is Fraser tartan worn by members of Clan Fraser – you will notice that this tartan has quite muted colours, like browns and greens, and this is from natural dyes in the vicinity of where the Fraser family originated. Here Jamie wears the Fraser Weathered Hunting tartan (there are many variations of the Fraser tartan, including Ancient Hunting, Modern Hunting, Modern Old, Weathered Red etc.). Of the plaid, costume designer Terry Dresbach says on her blog: “You can wear it however you want. Each man does it to his own need or taste.”
6 – Kilt
As it’s his Clan tartan, Jamie wears the Fraser Weathered Hunting tartan kilt, which matches his plaid.
7 – Boots
The leather boots were worn to the knee and were flat with a thin sole. They could be folded down or up when horse riding. This is just one example of the type of footwear worn in the 1700s. They also wore stockings which were tied at the knee with a garter. Poorer people wore shoes called rivilins, which were leather handmade shoes.
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