Florida’s Story
 . . . The Conquistadors

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Cultural Expressions



(Jubón) from the Arabic yabba or waistcoat (Chupa)

The doublet was a vest-like garment which came in a variety of styles. In some cases the hose could be laced to the bottom of the garment but for our purposes, we use an alternative method (See Martingale).

The doublet is well-fitted, usually padded, buttoned or laced down the front. The doublet that Hermann is wearing (above and right) has the parti-color sleeves of the German Landsknecht. Soldiers dressed in the "bravado style" in order to show that they were not only extraordinarily brave but that they had the means to be ransomed rather than killed when captured.

As in all trades, standards of fit and finish were high. Doublet makers made a special branch of the tailoring trade. An aspiring doublet maker had to spend two years as an apprenticeship and two as a workman before he could take his exams. He would spend two or three days answering questions and doing demonstrations before he was granted guild membership.

Doublets along with their sleeves came in a wonderful variety of styles. For women like Diana at the left, posing as men, we recommend the padded front to help conceal the bust.

Sleeves can be full, narrow, slashed, puffed. No two pairs need look alike.

Please try to stay away from the "uniform look."

Materials were silks, wools, and linens. Brocades were cut lengthwise of the fabric with the design right side up. Expensive fabrics required three linings, one of linen the same color as the brocade, one of coarse canvas, and a third of white linen. Cotton was used for padding, not wool or horsehair. The client who preferred fewer layers of linen and less padding was to be humored. Doublets of minor silks received only two linings, the canvas and one linen in the body and the white linen and the fabric colored one in the sleeves.

Fustian doublets were made for the ready to wear trade. There rules for the reinforcement of the canvas in the areas where eyelets were to be made. Lighter weight doublets made of linen were available for warm weather.

Second hand garments had to be hung at the shop entrance for three days in case they were stolen. The tailor had to declare how he had obtained them and wait eight days before he could remake them for a new customer.


The knee-length jerkin was worn over the doublet, and at times, even armor. A jerkin had a snug-fitting top with sleeves and a gored skirt. The jerkin skirt is lined with a heavy linen canvas which helps to set the pleats. The pleats are held in place with two strong, narrow tapes, sewed horizontally at 1/3 and 2/3 the length of the skirt on the inside.

The most popular style of sleeve for the jerkin was a full or puffed sleeve that ended at the elbow. Jerkins were made of fine brocades, silks, velvets, and wool.

Johnny Shaffer is wearing his jerkin without a doublet in these photos.

men of the Spanish Main

Men's Clothing - Part II

Ever the fashion plate, Henry V of England sports his jerkin over a slashed doublet. It meets in front so that his codpiece can peek through, which was supposed to be a verification of his virility.