Description of the Doublet
Description and Definition of the doublet: The doublet was a
tight-fitting buttoned jacket that was worn during medieval and Tudor
times. It was originally a quilted lining, a"doubling" stuffed with
cotton, which was worn under a hauberk to prevent bruising (A hauberk
was a knee-length shirt made of chainmail).
Types of Doublet
The style of the doublet was designed for the emphasis to be on the
shoulders and hips. Doublets were fastened at the front. The sleeves
were a separate item and were often
worn in different colors, materials and patterns. Sleeve attachments at
the shoulder were disguised by decorative wings. The length of the
doublet changed with the fashion of the day from waist length to mid
thigh length. The doublet had a
wide variety of styles including the heavily padded, Peascod
Short, skirt-like, additions were added, called the Peplum
doublet which covered the waist of the
hose or breeches. The trim on doublets were designed and
positioned to enhance the geometric, triangular, shape of broad
shoulders and a slim waist.
Tudor Geometric Doublet
The Upper Class fashions worn by the nobility during the
Tudor era were influenced by geometric shapes
rather than the natural shape of the body. To achieve these
shapes padding (bombast) and
quilting, together with the use of whalebone or buckram for
stiffening purposes, were used to gain the geometric shape of
the doublet. Men would sometimes wear girdles, the equivalent of the
female corset, to obtain the wasp-waisted look. The Tudor doublet was extremely uncomfortable and hot to wear.
for formal occasions and courtly attire. More comfortable loose garments,
similar to housecoats, were worn when the nobility were not on show.
The Doublet was
also worn by women
Doublets were first worn by men and then this fashion was
occasionally emulated by women, with a few minor alterations.
The women's doublet was often designed to be left open from the bustline up. The style of the
women's doublet were tight and emphasised the waist.
Materials and Fabrics used to
make the Doublet
and fabrics that were used to make the doublet for royalty
and the nobility were very expensive and included silk, satin, velvet, taffeta, and sarcenet
(Sarcenet was a
delicate silk fabric). Many of these sumptuous materials and
the dyes to produce their rich colors were imported from the continent
which made them so expensive. The fabrics were further embellished with fine
needlework and embroidery and decorated with jewels, spangles and pearls.
Grograine ( A costly, fine ribbed material), Chamlet ( A costly,
fine woollen cloth), Cloth of silver, silk, or cloth which
was mixed or embroidered with
gold were often worn. Tinselled satin was also used which was a
fabric that had a metallic sheen but was less expensive than
gold or silver.
The Tudor Fashion of
the Slashed Doublet
The limitations of
and clothing due to the strict Sumptuary Laws led to a new fashion being created
in relation to the doublet. Both men and women began
to slash, or cut, their clothes. The slash or cut was made on the outer surfaces of
clothes exposing the contrasting color of the linings
beneath. The linings would be pulled through the slash in the doublet and puffed out to
further emphasize the contrast of colors, fabrics and materials. An
alternative to the 'slashed' garment was to 'pink' the material. Pinking
was cutting a specific shape, commonly a diamond shape, from the garment
to allow the fabric beneath to be pulled through - a more delicate form of
slashing a doublet.
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