Pearly white and semitransparent, Nick was dressed tonight in his usual doublet, but with a particularly large ruff, which served the dual purpose of looking extra-festive, and insuring that his head didn’t wobble too much on his partially severed neck. (GF12)
A fitted garment for a man, covering the upper body and worn over a shirt. A doublet has a very short stiffened little “skirt” that is meant to conceal the “points” at the waistline where the wearer’s trousers are laced on (something like the eyes of a modern shoe, where the laces were part of the trousers). A doublet buttons up the front, but is sometimes tailored so that the buttons are not easily visible; the buttons might be made of anything from wood to jewels, depending on how much money the wearer is willing to spend. If a doublet has sleeves, they would be padded; the later in the sixteenth century the doublet, the more elaborate the padding.
[Elizabeth’s London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London by Liza Picard, © 2003]