This style of gambeson was popular in the late 15th century and into the 1500's. The shoulder padding was thought to be more of a fashion statement than an armour reinforcement, although the extra padding on those strategic areas is undeniably useful. The design works well (and looks great) with a steel breastplate but it does not permit the use of spalders. This style of gambeson is commonly seen on tapestries and in period illustrations. In the Middle Ages, black was an expensive dye, so a black gambeson (or any black cloth garments) would have singled out an individual as being a man of noble birth, an officer or a man of means.