Guide to Renaissance Swag, Men’s Edition

Quick – Get Me Some Fashion, on the Doublet!

 O’ Doublet, mine Doublet, how ornamental and tight-fitted thou art!

I am not sure if I love thee or if thou simply chokest my heart…

We began with the Camicia – bottom layer of the Renaissance man’s rather complex wardrobe. You may be thinking, “Great, so I’ve got my camicia on. I’m no longer bare-chested. That’s really all society can ask of me.” Incorrect. Remember, you are a Renaissance man (at least for the extent of the Ren Faire). You are part of a great rebirth of art and culture in the ancient world. And that includes the realm of fashion.

Take a gander at piece #2 in the list of male wardrobe essentials:

The Doublet

The doublet was a close-fitted, buttoned jacket that may have had cap sleeves or wings. This garment topped the camicia. In the early Renaissance, the look of the day was to wear padded clothing that changed the shape of the body. Thus, when they first came into style, doublets were made to give the wearer a puffed-up “pigeon-breasted” outline. The saying is true: Birds of a fancy feather flock to the runway together.

Renaissance Doublet

Spanish Doublet

The Spanish Doublet

However, the Tudor period ushered in a trend of tight-fitting clothing for men. Doublets became snug at the chest and arms with a deep V-waistline. Doublets were also no longer hip-length – instead, they ended in long “skirts.” The rich began to wear elaborately decorated doublets, featuring embroidery, braids, and slashes (to show the fabric underneath). To take it a step further, the fabric transitioned from plain-Jane threads to contrasting colors, quilted textiles, and ornate brocade patterns. An appropriate compliment might include, “Bro, diggin’ the ‘cade on your doublet!”

Royal Court Doublet

The Royal Court Doublet

When good ole Louis XIV and Charless II rolled onto their thrones in the mid-17th century, they ushered in a more “suit-like” wave of apparel, and the doublet was retired to its place in history.

If thou desirest to be the fanciest pants in the court

Stay tuned, and we’ll escort you to breeches of the finest sort!

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