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Worn by men between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was usually fastened up the centre front, most often by a row of buttons. The garment derived from the gambeson, which was a padded thick cloth or leather tunic worn by soldiers under body armour or shirt of mail from the early Middle Ages. In the fourteenth century the garment passed into civilian wear for men. The doublet varied in style from age to age and different names were given to the garment at different dates and in various countries. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the words gipon (jupon), paltock and pourpoint were used. These referred to the high-necked, hip-length tunic of the fourteenth century and, more especially, to the shorter, waist-length version of the later fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries. From about 1490-1530, the pourpoint or doublet had a square neckline and was worn with a knee-length skirt and held in place by a sash or waist-belt. In appropriate periods the garment was slashed and/or padded and puffed. In the second half of the sixteenth century this skirt became shorter so that in the Spanish modes of 1560-1600 it was merely a row of tabs at the waistline which then dipped low in the centre front. The neckline was very high to support the ruff. Early seventeenth-century doublets were concave in form over the torso (a line enforced by whalebone in the seams) in contrast to the protuberant stornachs of the 1580s (see Peasecod-belly). A natural line, with higher waistline, returned by 1630 and the doublet skirt was visible once more in the form of large tassets decorated by ribbon points. The doublet was replaced by jackets and coats in the second half of the seventeenth century. Doublets in all periods could be either sleeved or sleeveless. The sleeveless types ended at the shoulder and the full shirt sleeves were then visible. In the second half of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries a garment called a jerkin, of almost identical cut and design to the doublet, was worn on top. This was generally finished at the shoulder by a padded roll or tabs (see Piccadilly) and the doublet long sleeve showed below. Although the two garments were so similar, one was generally of a fabric and colour which contrasted with the other.
|A Few Pictures|
| © Ragnar Torfason|
2006 March 28