Last time, I was musing over trim styles on doublets, but towards the end of that post I realized that perhaps the design I had in mind was a “fair-ism,” something that didn’t actually exist (or that we have record of) in the period.
This Costume Chimera is the doublet + sleeves + single closed skirt, none of those pieces matching the others.
When I searched, I found plenty of doublets + matching, open overskirts; doublet + matching sleeves, worn under a loose gown; doublet + matching overskirt + separate sleeves…
… but I really had to dig for any evidence at all of what I wanted. I did find some possible references, but with caveats. Here they are:
|Countess of Nottingham, Catherine Carey, attr. to John de Critz the Elder, 1600-1605. It’s definitely a non-matching doublet, but the hanging sleeves appear to match the skirt. Also, the sleeves match the doublet, so it’s not *really* what I’m looking for.|
|1575 – German? or possibly French? – the woman is wearing a loose open jacket, but underneath, she has on a doublet. The skirt is a single, closed petticoat. We can’t tell if any of the colors match or not, so, again, this isn’t definitive evidence.|
|Herzogin Dorothea ur, 1577 – this is not a doublet, BUT it exhibits sleeves, bodice, and single petticoat that do not match. It’s a supposition to think that if it was done with bodices of this type it was surely done with doublets….but….again….it’s not proof.|
|The Village Feast (detail), Hans Bol – the woman on the right could be wearing a doublet, or she could be wearing a waistcoat. The women in the center are wearing doublets and single skirts, with open gowns over the top.|
|Habitus Variarum Orbis Gentium, Jean Jacques Boissard, 1581 – this series of French drawings is the closest I have to proof, but again there is a caveat – the coloration on these plates was done separately (we don’t know when or by whom) and may not reflect what was reality. So the doublets shown may or may not match the skirts paired with them.|
|Habitus Variarum Orbis Gentium, Jean Jacques Boissard, 1581 – again, the lady on the right wears a single petticoat, but the sleeves are set into the doublet and match, if the colors can be believed (which they can’t)|
|Habitus Variarum Orbis Gentium, Jean Jacques Boissard, 1581 – the woman at center definitely exhibits the three pieces – doublet, sleeves, and single petticoat. This is the best evidence I have so far.|
|People Dancing on the River Bank, Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1616 – the woman in the foreground, with the yellow skirt, is wearing a single petticoat and a non-matching bodice, but it’s unclear whether that’s a waistcoat, which would be common at this time, or a doublet. Many of the other women in the image are clearly wearing waistcoats.|
|Lady at the virginals, from the Stammbuch of Anton Weihenmayer (plate from Pattern of Fashion by Janet Arnold) – She wears a black doublet with a pink single petticoat, but she’s in linen shirtsleeves – would she have had sleeves to tie on? would they have matched the doublet?|
So as you can see, I don’t have any “yes, definitely” evidence! I also don’t have any yardage for making matching sleeves, a matching overskirt, or…any of that. So I suppose the question to myself, then, is, “is this evidence enough?”
I believe in the common-sense approach to costuming: we know that men mis-matched their doublets and slops all the time, so why wouldn’t women, especially middling class and lower, do the same thing?
We know that people were pragmatic, so is it too much to assume that a Bourgeois woman going about her daily business would pair her clothing to compliment, but not necessarily to match?
We know that clothing was discarded by the upper classes and sold again and again down the social order, so wouldn’t it make sense that a doublet from this vendor, and a petticoat from that one might be paired together?
I think so!