Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

Men’s Silk Doublet from 1620


Doublet from 1620

This man’s doublet is from the 1620s and is made of luxurious silk embellished with pinking and decorative slits. A doublet was a man’s snug-fitting jacket that is shaped and fitted to the man’s body.

Pinking was the intentional slashing of fabric and was used as a decorative technique to show colorful linings and shirts. The doublet had a long history of over 300 years with a variety of styles and cuts.

The doublet was usually worn under another layer of clothing such as a gown when in public. Initially, it was just stitched and quilted lining, which was worn under a piece of armor consisting of breastplate and backplate and used to prevent bruising and chafing.

Later it became elaborated enough to be seen on its own. Throughout its long history, the doublet served to give an elegant shape and padding to the body.

Doublets of the 14th and 15th centuries were generally hip-length, sometimes shorter, worn over the shirt. From the late 14th century, doublets were cut and padded to give the wearer a pigeon-breasted silhouette, a fashion that gradually died out in favor of a flatter natural fit.

Through the Tudor period, fashionable doublets remained close-fitting with baggy sleeves, and elaborate surface decoration such as pinks, slashes, embroidery, and applied braid.

In the early Elizabethan period, doublets were padded over the belly with sleeve attachments at the shoulder. By the 17th century, doublets were short-waisted. A typical sleeve of this period was full and slashed to show the shirt beneath.

Decorative ribbon points were pulled through eyelets on the breeches and the waist of the doublet to keep the breeches in place and were tied in elaborate bows.

The doublet fell out of fashion in the mid-17th century when Louis XIV of France and Charles II of England established a court costume for men consisting of a long coat, a waistcoat, a cravat, and breaches. The ancestor of the modern suit.


  • Title:              Doublet
  • Date:              Early 1620s
  • Geography:   French
  • Materials:      Silk
  • Museum:       Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

The Art of Power Dressing in the 16th Century


Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art

MET European Paintings Collection

MET Modern and Contemporary Art Collection

MET Greek and Roman Art Collection

MET Egyptian Art Collection

MET Asian Art Collection

MET Ancient Near Eastern Art Collection

MET American Wing Collection

MET Islamic Art Collection

MET Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Collection

MET European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Collection

MET Medieval Art Collection

MET Drawings and Prints Collection

MET Costume Institute Collection

MET Arms and Armor Collection

MET Photograph Collection

MET Musical Instrument Collection

Explore the MET

Why I dress as a gentleman… everyday of my life 

Joined Hose and Doublet

Getting Dressed in the 18th Century – Men


“The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.”

– Coco Chanel


Photo Credit: 1) Metropolitan Museum of Art [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Popular this Week

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites - Virtual Tours
Japanese Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Greek Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Russian Proverbs and Quotes
Indian Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Korean Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Turkish Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Philippines Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Ancient Egyptian Art and Artifacts - Virtual Tour
Complaint Tablet To Ea-Nasir - World's Oldest Complaint Letter