The Jacket Problem

I have been looking at jackets lately.  I have also been looking at doublets, but I’ve decided, I want to make a jacket; the main difference being (as far as I can tell) is that the jacket is much less structured, with less interfacing than a doublet, no buttons up the front and certainly not so much in the way of slashes, poofs, pinking, and fancy construction.  And while the general look of the jacket’s top half might look similar to a doublet, anything past the hips is quite different.  A doublet tends to end right at the true waist, often in a point at the front, with some sort of skirting/tabs attached after that.  The Tailor is a very good example of what I think of when I think ‘doublet’ : http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/moroni/tailor.html.  The belt kind of covers the area where the main body of the doublet connects to the skirting (wtf do you call those anyways?), but you get the idea.  Do a Google image search to see plenty of other paintings and recreations of doublets.

A doublet is not what I want to make.

 I want to make a lower/middle class simple wool jacket to wear with my various working-class late period dresses.  I kinda have several thoughts on this, and am trying to make sense of it all.  I’m asking your opinion on what might be feasible based on some images I have.

http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/53171
So here is a simple-ish jacket, that is basicly the style I want to make, minus all of the fancy embroidery.  It has a little collar, epaulets/shoulder bits, and triangle shaped gores for the hips.  I think that this would look lovely as a wool working class jacket.

http://www.kipar.org/baroque-costumes/photos/embroidery/maidstone_jacket.jpg
Here is another even simpler jacket, again, try to ignore all the embroidery.  Attack Laurel made an embroidered version of this jacket, and wrote about the process here http://www.extremecostuming.com/reproductions/themaidstonejacket.html.

Her jacket is lovely, and very documentable: just take a look at Larsdatter’s page on these jackets to see many examples of similar styles http://www.larsdatter.com/jackets.htm.

Now, these late period jackets are all well, good, and fine, but they are not quite what I want.  They are too fancy. Too time consuming.  And as far as I can tell, a little too upper class in appearence for what I want.  So my next mission was to try and find images of working class versions of these jackets.

Flemish jackets

Here, in paintings by Aertsen and Beuckelaer(above) are most of the available images of this type of jacket being worn by Flemish women.  It definately does not look like a doublet, I cant really see any sort of waist seam like a doublet would have, but I also don’t see any gores in the hip area like I was hoping for.  That doesn’t mean that these jackets didn’t have any gores, just that I cant really see any.  I feel pretty confident that these garments could be convincingly made with the Maidstone jacket pattern.

And below are images from another Flemish painter, Bruegel.   All of three of these artists painted around the same time, 1560ish, but in different cities.  The ‘jackets’ below most likely have waist seams, which was not what I wanted to find.  Boo.  And even though the two sets of images above and below are clearly not quite the same style of dress, I hesitate to think that the ‘jackets’ above might be any different from those below.  The men in the bottom right are obviously not women, but I think that they help show what the female garments might be like, since they are not as clearly shown.
Bruegel Jackets
Also, look at this detail of a 1608 painting by one of Bruegel’s children: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pieter_Bruegel_d._J._001_detail.jpg 
The bottom part is of course covered by her skirt, but nifty image anyways.

So, going back to the Larsdatter page, this jacket style extends into the early 17th century.  While I wanted to try to stick to pre-1600 for SCA purposes, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to specificly search for Jacobean peasant fashion.

On that note, look at this sexiness: http://americanduchess.blogspot.com/2010/08/costuming-of-mary-spencer-empty-nesting.html.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t provide any references, not that I could find anyways, but this is very similar to what I would like to make.  Maybe not with the buttons, but close enough.

More post period links, mostly about 1650: http://freespace.virgin.net/f.lea/jacketnotes.html She made a lovely jacket, and while the sleeves are really not what I am looking for, the body of the jacket looks about right for what I want.  Here are a bunch of paintings from 1650ish showing working class women http://www.kipar.org/baroque-costumes/costumes_female_working.html.  A few details aren’t quite right for pre-1600’s, but they is surprisingly close to clothing from 100 years prior.

Reconstructing History has a version of this jacket http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/products/rh201-english-jacket-and-petticote-1 but doesn’t have any links to references, so I don’t know if it is really only geared toward the embroidered style of jacket.

And while I have your attention, take a quick look at some of the Campi Italian working class dresses: http://www.festiveattyre.com/research/wkclass/portfolio.html.  None of them is wearing any kind of coat, jacket, or doublet.  They are all wearing the sort of clothing that I would imagine is for warm weather.  Would you want to be wearing that on a cold Estrella night?  I didn’t think so.  So what did they put on when it got cold?  A few of the pictures show a square of linen pinned around their shoulders, acting like a partlet, presumably to keep the chill off of the exposed upper torso if a lady is wearing a low necked shift under her dress.  But what sort of coat like object would they wear?  Just a little bit eastward, in Venice, the ladies appeared to have worn a loose, fur-lined dress over top their usual dress, or a long blanket/veil bit of fabric over their heads.  The fabric might have been light, and only intended as a head-covering veil, but if it were of a heavier material, I could easily see that being a cold weather garment for peasant women.  But what if the poor women of Cremona didn’t wear the same outer wear as the rich ladies of Venice?  Their dresses, while both being laced up the front, and of similar neckline, are quite different.  I wonder if I could get away with a simple jacket for the Campi dresses….

So…. I guess what I am saying is this:  I really want to make a plain colored, non embroidered, wool version of either this http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/53171  or this
http://www.kipar.org/baroque-costumes/photos/embroidery/maidstone_jacket.jpg

Could I conceivably wear it with a Flemish, English, or Italian working class dress, and not have it look odd?  With the bodice part covered, all of these styles of dress essentially look the same, since really a skirt is just a skirt.  What might make them look distinctly Flemish vs. Italian would be the accessories and hairstyles I use.

Posted in Clothes, Pre-1600's

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