Puddlejumper Robes

The month before winter sets in is the busiest time of year for any tailor. Everybody starts coming in for their adjustments; getting pants loosened to adjust for weight gains, getting cloaks refit or filled with extra padding and buying up our stock of Puddlejumpers.   Of course, we spend all year working on our Puddlejumper supply. Especially tailors like myself, close enough to Toft that I have to stock the Yellows, and far enough away that the Iceguts still rely on us for their basics inlays to cover with their own special additions. Those additions are also why no self-respecting tailor accepts Puddlejumper returns. Iceguts toss all sorts of horrifying things on theirs, and anybody else just didn't plan ahead for their use of the product.   Watching those jumpers come splashing through town all clad in their yellows and browns really does make it all worth it.
— Notes of a Renan Tailor

Puddlejumper Robes

  Puddlejumper Robes, known colloquially as Puddlejumpers, are sets of high durability winter clothes made to hold up to the abuses of childish play and adventure in the frozen wilds. The eponymous activity is the most common cultural depiction of the outfit and what the outfits are designed to most withstand.   These outfits are the first real set of winter clothes provided to those children for the winter before their eighth birthday. In Renai, the eighth birthday is culturally recognized as the time in which a child should have gained enough maturity to be allowed to leave their home on their own. The giving of a set of puddlejumpers almost always precedes the celebration of The First Snow giving children a mandate to go out and find the patches of solid snow that would prove that the weather has finally turned and winter is approaching.   It's a rare child that doesn't receive a set of Puddlejumpers. Even those whose families can't provide the specific styles are often given a set by the Standards they attend or passed-down by other members of the community. This widespread adoption by Renan Halflings and Humans have kept the tradition as a cultural mainstay for hundreds of years.   Skilled artisans across the country maintain the standards that define the basics of what a Puddlejumper is. Warmth is always an emphasis, but so is the ability to deflect water and keep their wearer dry in the face of dealing with heavy snow and rain. This has resulted in various styles becoming common across the classes of Renai.  

Styles

Rural Robes

Urban Robes

Royal Robes

 
Puddlejumpers
Puddlejumper Robes by Selīna Lindberga
In the depths of the Frost Shield, the more rural reaches of The Coast of Lights and the barren craigs of the Draconic Range, puddlejumpers are typically fashioned from excess skins of slain animals. Rarely, they will be interwoven with the preternaturally hot scales of dead Frost Wyrms. These are typically fashioned by close family or skilled members of the small communities that make up the outskirts of Renan society.   In these areas, the puddlejumper is ubiquitous. Every child receives one and the quality is held as a matter of life and death, making the puddlejumper a common item to be passed through many generations.    
In urban centers like Toft, Moldatun and Eske, the puddlejumper has become a mass-manufactured item. An industry has surrounded the production chain by creating easier and cheaper versions of the robes that bear a distinctive yellow color and are extremely efficient at deflecting water and cold.   However, these robes are not high quality and often a child will go through four to five in a winter. However, due to a functional monopoly on the production and design of the items, the supply is never made to the demand that urban cities and people need. This defines the robes as a direct status symbol for those that make up the urban middle class.    
The higher class members of Renai; such as those that occupy positions in the Renai Revenge Court, the Polar Court, or just higher positions in the Beauracracy find the mass-market appeal of the yellow middle class puddlejumpers to be detestable. Instead, they fall back on rural ideals while emphasizing their wealth in their designs. This has resulted in a class of high quality craftsmen dedicated to fashioning Puddlejumpers from rare materials like Bulette hide, Dragon scales and other items.   The quality and rarity of these designs and materials affirm the superiority of the higher classes over the masses while still showing the unique ways that a Royal can be distinguished in contrast to their peers.    
 

Emblem of Maturity

Many children view the receiving of their Puddlejumpers and their first active participation in the First Snow as the first major threshold on their journey to adulthood. This is reflected in local societal expectations with a child wearing Puddlejumpers rarely being accosted outside of their home and generally blending into the background of the late fall and winter populace. As a child wearing their puddlejumper is expected to have the maturity and the knowledge to manage the basics of their own survival.

Where are these quotes from?

  Notes of a Renan Tailor is a collection of notes published by a tailor based just outside of Toft.


Cover image: Puddlejumper Robes by Selīna Lindberga

Comments

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6 May, 2021 08:45

Nice article, this is a nice tradition and I like the idea of special clothes going with it. :D   Are the rural robes of a specific colour too?   I like the class distinction and the way the nobles are attempting to go back to rural tradition. Since they make/choose the design of the clothes themselves, I imagine that everyone is looking at one everyone else if doing and judging them. Do they have specific criteria to judge their clothes compared to other nobles? Is it just a matter of taste?   You say that the children are expected to be mature enough to manage their own survival, but that it's also their first outings alone. Do anyone still keep an eye on them? Things could get dangerous quickly if they get lost or blocked outside in the cold.

Sage Dejers
Dejers Garth
7 May, 2021 01:45

Many thanks for reading!   Rural robes don't care much for the color of the robes, generally it's an item of necessity over anything else!   Nobles are constantly bickering and trying out radically different designs. I imagine those designs and standards change frequently enough that trying to define them would be a sisyphean effort.   While children are expected to be mature enough, and most are, it's still a very dangerous time for them. Generally in urban environments the local Caelfoc will help keep them coralled, but generally several children will die over a winter.   Again, many thanks for the comment and thoughts! <3

Grandmaster KajetanWrites
Kajetan Krakowiak-Świątnicki
6 May, 2021 11:25

Interesting article. I would like to know why it is called "Puddlejumper"

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Sage Dejers
Dejers Garth
7 May, 2021 01:41

I updated the beginning of the article to help clarify that! Generally it's because kids wearing them go out during the First Snow to find solid patches of snow, which results in a lot of falling into piles of slush and puddles instead.

6 May, 2021 12:38

What a fun read.

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Sage Dejers
Dejers Garth
7 May, 2021 01:40

Many thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it!

8 May, 2021 15:54

Such a cute and fun concept! I love how clean your styling and layout is, very well-presented :D

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11 May, 2021 20:39

This was a fun read! I like how there are differences on how they look based on class and location. Nice how the higher classes just want to use the rarerst materials they can find in their puddlejumpers just to show off :p   I wonder though if they puddlejumpers are necessary in the cities as not everyone can get them?

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19 May, 2021 08:53

Commenting again just to say lovely new image ^^

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20 May, 2021 20:20

I love the illustration at the beginning, it's so cute.

22 May, 2021 10:35

What an absolutely lovely article! And you have managed to include so much worldbuilding in there. The illustration also helped a lot to bring the article together. The name is also top-notch: puddlejumper immediately evokes children running about in a rainy autumn day.   I do have a question: is there any age when someone will stop wearing puddlejumpers?

Master TimeBender
Unknown User
25 May, 2021 18:58

I love this! The art is so cute, and the idea of the puddlejumper robes is awesome as well. It's also very cool that you chose to explain where the quotes came from! Great job. :)

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Eclipsion Royal Armor
Item | May 28, 2021
26 May, 2021 14:02

Oh wow this is such an neat and wholesome item! I love the art so much, and the tradition that accompanies it is just really heart-warming. Makes me want to go jump in a puddle myself :')

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse
27 May, 2021 02:30

Fun article! I especially like how the outfits have different make and meaning depending on status and where the kid is from. It makes it feel really distinct.

30 May, 2021 15:27

This is a great original idea, keep up the good work! I love the idea that even though a household is poor, they most likely have their children with these puddle jumpers. I also love how you went into detail on how it effects the industry and economy.

1 Jun, 2021 23:11

Not gonna lie, this tradition sounds adorable!

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4 Jun, 2021 20:57

This is so fun! I love the differences between rural, urban and royal puddlejumpers. :D I like that the royal ones are inspired by the rural but with much better materials. Such great, cute art too! :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
7 Jun, 2021 09:15

I really enjoyed this article. The tradition behind the robes is interesting. I also like that the quality of the robes increases as your level in society increases. I do wonder whether those who are rural might not have some of better quality since they are likely to deal with the more exotic creatures only due to possibly having to deal with the threat of them on a more consistent basis.

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
12 Jun, 2021 16:36

This is so right up my alley. I love that you've taken something from my real world childhood and brought it so successfully into your fantasy world.

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