So what is a doublet? Hopefully if you are reading this Blog then you already have some idea as to what you refer to as a doublet. Janet Arnold was a leading researcher in the area of historical clothing, and I lean heavily on her research in defining these terms. Just so that we are all speaking the same language I will define my terms as follows;
Doublet - a tight fitted upper garment derived from the aketon and pourepoint
· As the name suggests, the garment is always lined, doubling the layers.
· The bottom edge is Pointed in front and flat across the back
· It has tabs or skirting around the bottom, often with epaulets or rolls at shoulders
· High waisted, sits at the natural waist, not where jeans sit closer to the belly button.
· Pants can be tied in showing its evolution from the Pourepoint and Aketon in previous period. (Suspenders are not period)
· Upper classes are well tailored, lower classes have less tailoring but still tight fit.
· They are often padded (sometimes quilted) throughout especially in the belly region, called a peasecod.
· Sleeves are Attached, I now think permanently except in women’s and children’s doublets. They are also made of the same fabric as the doublet.
· Generally made of the same fabric on both sleeves and doublet body, and only one fabric, with the exception of trim. (The mixing of multiple fabrics is a modern convention)
Jerkin - over coat- short, no sleeves
· Usually worn over the doublet for the upper classes, but can be worn alone by the lower classes.
· Looser fitting than a doublet, usually worn open at the bottom, closed toward the top by upper classes
· Sometimes made of leather, but are generally made from other hardy fabrics
· Can also be a working garment.
· Is not necessarily lined, often not in lower classes.
· Epaulets and skirting like the doublet
Please don’t just trust me, see period sources below and at http://www.elizabethan-portraits.com/
Here are some examples of Doublets
And here are a few Doublets with Jerkins
There are other more draping garments which I hope to cover at a later time