Doublet, Arming, 15th c.

Research for our arming doublet started more than 10 years ago, at the Royal Armouries jousting tournament at Leeds. Everyone had their own ideas about what a proper arming doublet should look like, and how it should work.

The wheels started turning; we made up prototype garments and put them into use in multiple disciplines with reenactors, WMA practitioners, museum interpreters and jousters worldwide.  As comments and reviews came back, the pattern evolved thru 3 years worth of revisions, refinements and improvements.

View photos of the arming doublet from all angles here: Arming doublet by Black Swan Designs

There are now several hundred Black Swan Design arming doublets in use around the world in a host of disciplines. and all users report excellent to outstanding results. Feedback has been so uniformly positive that we are confident in saying that this is the finest garment of its kind on the market.

See the 'Arming Doublet Hall of Fame' to see photos of just some of the modern knights using our doublet in pursuit of their chosen martial activity.

As suggested by the Hastings Manuscript, our arming doublet is "strongeli boude" (strongly built) of stout fabrics, reinforced in key stress points and lined in linen. The pattern is derived from the illumination of a man being armed which accompanies the text in the Hastings Manuscript, the donor portrait of Don Inigo de Mendoza by Jorge Ingles, c1450 in which he wears an arming doublet, which mirrors civilian styles of the period. 

One of the key features of the design is the armhole and sleeve head, which are based on the 'grand assiette' tailoring first seen in the late 14th C. This cut moves the seam toward the center of the body, freeing the shoulder and isolating the motion of the arm from the body. Once you try it we are sure that the completely unencumbered range of motion will astonish you. The sleeve tapers close to the arm as it descends, providing a trim fit under your arm harness.

The doublet closes in the center front and at the wrist with points. Spiral lacing at the center front and center back allow for a completely custom fit on the body. A matrix of 18 eyelets over each hip and near the side allow for custom placement of the leg harness. 6 eyelets on the outside of each upper arm allow for custom placement of the arm harness. The arming doublet is reinforced in the peplum, collar, shoulder and upper arm area. Thread eyelets are worked through all layers to prevent tear-throughs. (Please note that the hose point configuration shown in the detail shot are not standard. If you would like the doublet to point to your hose this way, please let us know when you place your order)

Cotton shoelaces are supplied with the garment so it is ready to wear on delivery. We recommend replacing the shoelaces with handmade points; if this is not possible,  the plastic shoelace ends can be covered with metal chapes.  The shoelaces will not support the weight of armour, and none are supplied for that purpose.  

Arming Doublet Info - 1
Arming Doublet Info - 2

A good fit is essential for this garment to function properly. Please be sure to take your chest and waist measurements with a tape before placing your order. Order the size closest to your measurements, and include your actual measurements in the Comments section of the order form. Custom tailoring is included in the price, as each garment is made to order. We regret that this garment will not work for you if your waist measurent exceeds your chest measurement, and we cannot accept an order if they do. 

PLEASE NOTE:  BE SURE TO TAKE YOUR BODY MEASUREMENTS WITH A TAPE MEASURE! Each garment is custom made when ordered. Please measure and order carefully as this garment is not returnable.

Outer fabric options listed in the drop down menu below. Lined in our signature "oatmeal" linen. Click here to see a discussion of Historical Colour and Fabric Choices. Please note: This garment is reinforced in high stress/wear areas but is NOT padded.

Arming Point Eyelets
[The following are standard and are included at no additional charge]
Pauldrons- a pair of eyelets on each shoulder.
Arm Harness- three pairs of eyelets near the top of each sleeve.
Cuisses- a grid of 18 eyelets on each hip.

Custom placed eyelets- $1 each. Please call or email for details.

Please allow at least 8 weeks for production.

Voider eyelets
A series of thread eyelets through all layers of the garment which allow mail voiders to be laced on. Lacing is easier than stitching and facilitates removal of the voiders for cleaning the garment and repair of the mail. Please note that the eyelets are located in the optimal position for voider coverage, and that your voiders may need to be trimmed to fit the coverage pattern. Please allow an additional week for production when selecting this option.

SPECIAL OFFER: Order an arming doublet and receive an unpadded linen arming coif absolutely free! Please specify Medium or Large when placing your order.

PLEASE NOTE: Each garment is custom made to your measurements. Please measure and order carefully as this garment is not returnable. 


Historical Accuracy Rating

Starting at: $274.95

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  • Model: BSD-AG01
  • Shipping Weight: 4lbs

Current Reviews: 5

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 15 January, 2009.