Fashion in the Age of Datini


A complicated topic which I want to write more about! In a fourteenth-century context, I understand a doublet as a garment for the upper body which:

Very similar garments can be called coats, jupons, aketons, gambesons, or pourpoints. I agree with Robert MacPherson that its wise to think about function, and that the tight fit of a doublet in the sleeves and belly suit it to particular functions which not all coats, aketons, etc. could fill. I am told that Italians tended to use either farsetto (Crabb, Merchant of Prato's Wife) or words in the jupe or chope family such as zuparello for these garments (Mazzaoui, p. 99), but have not had the opportunity to explore clothing in texts from Italy as much as I would like to.

The most fashionable shape of doublet from 1360-1410 is usually described as globulose-breasted, with a high narrow waist, rounded back and deep, wide chest. If you stare at artwork and focus on the transition between chest and belly, the presence or absence of a collar, and the length of the doublet you will notice a variety of subtypes.

Detail from a fresco in the Dominikanerkirche, Bolzen/Bolzano. Note the long doublet with a buttoned front and 'bell-mouthed' sleeves hanging over his hands, not to mention his fashionable open-topped shoes. I would guestimate the clothing in the rest of the fresco as from circa 1380-1400.

More pictures to follow!

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