It’s National Fashion Day, so we have a story about how some things never change… like teenagers nagging their parents for a fancier set of clothes.

This is a letter from about 3,800 years ago; the king of Babylon at the time was Hammurabi, who is known today for his code of laws.

This letter isn’t about the code or about the king who instituted it; the focus here is on fashion.

It was written by Iddin-Zin; his dad worked for Hammurabi, and he was off at boarding school training in cuneiform writing and other skills so that he might be a VIP himself one day.

He wrote the letter to his mother, Zinu, in the city of Larsa.

She made his clothes by hand, and that’s what he wanted to write home about.

After a standard greeting, he gets to the point: each year, he says, the standard of clothing among the rest of the students is going up.

But, he writes, “you decrease my clothing from year to year. You have become rich by decreasing and skimping on my clothing.”

So he’s accusing his mom of whipping up some cheap clothes and pocketing the rest of the wool money for her own purposes!

But Iddin-Zin isn’t done.

He writes about another boy at the school who has two new garments.

That kid, Iddin-Zin says, is the son of a man who works for his dad.

An employee’s son has nicer clothes than the boss’s son!

There’s only one conclusion Iddin-Zin can draw to his mother about this other kid and his extensive wardrobe.

“Though his mother loved him, you do not love me.”

Iddin-Zin was certainly not the last child who complained to a parent that they obviously didn’t love their offspring because they wouldn’t give them something they wanted.

But he’s probably the earliest one on record to do so.

Zinu’s reply, if she sent one, is lost to history.

Did she get right to work on a new outfit for her son, the dedicated follower of fashion?

Or did she roll her eyes and sigh?

An artist in Japan known as bokunou has just designed a pair of jeans that look like they’re hanging out unzipped!

Which I guess is a thing someone might want?

For reasons?

Reading Ancient Mail (JSTOR) 

Jeans designed to look like your fly is down (Boing Boing)

Backing our show on Patreon is always in fashion

Image by Georges Dossin – CDLI, Public Domain, via Wikicommons