As a woman that has worked on a farm, I know the importance of having movement and the women in Outlander are no different. The toil on the farm required one not to be bound by their clothes. Yes, I know there is the corset issue but that was the 1740s solution to breast support. The skirt design of the time period was full enough to allow a woman to ride a horse without clothing restrictions. On the other hand though, the jacket that was commonly worn over the corset could be tight and I am speaking from experience. This snugness was a necessity due to the fact that typically the only closure was a lacing up the front, which made the jacket adjustable to many different sizes along with holding the stomacher in place. While not much could be done about this restrictive nature of the jacket around the corset, the sleeves were another matter.
Would I go? Would I intentionally step through the stones? And if I did, among other major considerations, what would I wear?
Admittedly Claire Randall’s first time-traveling portal jump back to the 18th Century was a total accident so she had no time for introspection or suitcase packing. Having fallen through time wearing a knee length dress and brogues Claire was spectacularly under-dressed and under-prepared for everything about the strange world she found herself in.
While Claire in her 1940s life used laundry soap and a basic washing machine, her time traveling life did not have such a luxury. Instead, wash day consisted of lots of drinks, hand washing, and urine production.
One of the great pleasures of watching Outlander includes admiring all of the gorgeous costumes and accessories that adorn all of the characters. The knitted wool items have featured heavily, and have definitely caught my eye. As I am devoid of the skill of knitting, I have a great admiration for the talent. I seem to recall hearing once, on a tour of a croft house in the Scottish Highlands, that traditionally all family members in the household would have learned to knit. Because they did not have the luxury of idle time, knitting was a task that was accomplished during times of limiting physical circumstances, i.e. winter, while shepherding, or by those who were infirm. It has caused me to wonder recently; could Jamie have knit Claire’s cowl?
In Outlander, season 1, episode 1 “Sassenach”, we see an apparition of a Highlander who is looking intently at Claire through the window of Mrs. Baird’s Bed & Breakfast in Inverness while she is brushing her hair.
Frank comes upon the scene and notices the Highlander watching Claire. As Frank approaches the Highlander to ask if he can help him with something, the Highlander brushes past him and vanishes into thin air. We later surmise that this was an apparition of Jamie who was staring at Claire, but how, or why, did he come to be there?