This started a fashion for close-fitting clothes which revolutionized fashion, both male and female. So doublets, originally a military garment, became generally fashionable. Among their particular military features were the use of laces for fastening (have you tried wearing buttons under armour?), the padding of upper body and, especially, 'puff' shoulders (which help to spread the weight of body and shoulder armour and still allow free movement), short standing collars (because who wants armour digging into the neck?) and eyelets around the bottom for lacing joined hose to (I'll come onto hose in more detail in the next posting). Doublets have to be tailor-made (anything advertised as a ready-to-wear doublet is guaranteed to be an ill-fitting 'Hollywood horror'). There are almost no straight lines in a doublet pattern, btw - *every* piece has to curve to allow for a proper fit. Compared to modern clothes, they are cut incredibly high under the arms (again, because a plate-armour cuirass is useless unless it protects the armpit, a favourite 'soft target' area, especially for poll weapons (which confusingly are mounted on poles; 'poll' refers to the head of such a weapon, but I digress...).
|Man being stripped of his gown by robbers, showing the doublet beneath. An Italian illustration of the 1430s, compare the length of the doublet with the later Memling painting above.|