Terry Dresbach is retiring and I have thoughts. And love. But mostly thanks.

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Outlander has changed our lives for the better, encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones, make new friends and expand our horizons, but for me, the best part of my Outlander journey has been Terry Dresbach.  She is a champion for the weak and oppressed, a world-class costume designer and a courageous, leather-jacket wearing badass modern woman.

Outlander began as a book then became a mini-series, but then it grew into so much more.  We’ve met so many people, made so many on-line friends who have become real-life friends, traveled and had amazing experiences.  Personally, I had the pleasure of co-coordinating the first (I think) fundraiser for Sam Heughan and then auctioning his costumes on eBay.  Others have raised hundreds of thousands for charities all over the world or started businesses.  It’s a movement and it positively changes lives.

But by far, the biggest joy for me has been Terry Dresbach.  For those who don’t know who she is, Terry is the Emmy Award Winning Costume Designer who came out of retirement (originally for a couple of months) but went on to design the costumes for the first four seasons of Outlander.  This week, Terry announced Season Four will be her final season.  She has chosen someone to shepherd our story who will continue in the tradition and style we’ve come to know and love.  Whomever that person is, I welcome her/him and wish them much luck going forward.

Many of you have said that following Terry’s Twitter feed is like taking a Master Class in costume design and I agree. Terry has taught us ALL how important costumes are in telling the story.  I no longer watch any show without noticing and thinking about the costumes. Both for the viewer and the performer, the costume can be as important as the words we say, the songs we sing, the actions we take.  Terry’s imagination and creativity in designing is non paralleled.  I may never get over how she sewed mica (MICA!) into Claire’s wedding dress or the embroidery on Master Raymond’s coat or Geillis Duncan’s raven dress or fur jacket!  How does one person embody such talent and imagination?

Everything Terry designs is a visual feast.  There is not a single costume on Outlander that is not well thought out.  From the gorgeous, immensely opulent gowns in France to the purposely crooked seems in the raincoat dress #Batsuit Claire sews to go back in time, there is a reason behind every single thing she does.

Most of all, Terry is a caring and passionate person.  She has shared parts of her life with us. We’ve all seen the amazing food she cooks, the desserts she bakes, the love she has for her pets (Cuillean, how could you knock your mama down!), the fierce way she fights for society’s underdog and and the love she has for her friends and family.  She is a rare woman and we are so lucky to have gotten to know her through the world of Outlander.

Terry just received her second Emmy nomination for Outlander.  Whether or not she receives the award, is still to be decided.  Outlander is a smaller show than GOT and voters tend to keep repeatedly voting for the same shows.  This year, I hope they take the time to notice the genius of Terry Dresbach and reward her. I know if those of us who know her work could reward her, we would personally place it in her hands.

We were so lucky to have you for four seasons Terry. I hope you do stay on social media and continue to share your life and encourage us in ours.  Sending a huge thank you for all you do for all of us.

With respect & love,



  • Merry Miller Moon
    Posted 0Likes

    Ditto all of this! I had the pleasure of meeting her at Thru the Stones in IA. She rode the elevator up with us and discussed the costume that I was wearing, in which I had made. She is such a wonderful woman, and so down to earth. I wish her only the best that life has to offer. Thanks as always for the great review, Melissa!

    • MelissasObservations
      Posted 0Likes

      I wish I could’ve gone last year, I’m hoping to make it this time! Thanks for writing Merry!

  • Deb McNaughton
    Posted 0Likes

    When I was growing up the only costume designer I was aware of was Edith Head. It seemed like she designed costumes for every movie made at the time (or she had a great publicist – not sure). So Terry is only the second designer I’ve ever followed. Her work on Outlander has been absolutely impeccable. She’s put so much thought into every single design. The wedding dress was so glorious it should have had much more air time as we didn’t get to see enough of it. All the French costumes were stunning and memorable – burned into my eyeballs. The plaids are perhaps the best of all with their amazing earthiness (I have my own tartan all over my home now). Claire’s bat suit was so imaginative and her white shirt and blue skirt combo in the Caribbean almost made me wish women still wore long skirts (though I recovered when the temp hit 90 this week). You can tell that Terry loves these characters as much as we all do. Another reason to jump on the Terry bandwagon is because she is the reason why we have this show and these wonderful characters thanks to her relentless hounding of hubby Ron Moore. Good tribute, Melissa. I look forward to your future posts.

    • MelissasObservations
      Posted 0Likes

      Thanks Deb! I agree with every word you said. I wish I could’ve seen the costumes when they traveled to NYC and LA. Maybe sometime, they’ll hop on a plane to the middle of the country and I’ll get the chance. And I’ll try to resist flinging myself on what’s left of the bat suit! 😉

  • Connie
    Posted 0Likes

    Well said, lass!

  • Blacklanderz™
    Posted 0Likes

    Well said and expressed. I feel the same way and hope the best for her. – Vida

  • Lynn S.
    Posted 0Likes

    I have been following Terry and Outlander Costume on Twitter, and yes, she is an amazing woman. This is a wonderful tribute to her and her genius. I will never forget that she is the one who suggested to her husband that he make her favorite book into a TV series.

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