Scottish Daily Mail

A lesson in elegance we should all learn


YESTERDAY morning on my way to work, I passed two young men wearing jeans, trainers and baggy teeshirts. ‘Lucky chaps,’ I thought. ‘It must be nice to have a Friday off work.’

It was only when I saw the pair walk into an office building that I realised that, far from having a day off, they were victims of the dreaded ‘dress- down Friday’, a hideous invention of drone-like corporatio­ns that encourages employees to turn up in casual attire for reasons I’ve never quite been clear on, but probably involve words such as ‘synergy’, ‘holistic’ and ‘completely and utterly soul-less’.

Certainly, it seems more desirable than ever these days to dress down in profession­al environmen­ts (Alex Salmond, I’m looking at you and your pink stetson).

Thank goodness, then, for the likes of Dr Rory Fox, head teacher at Ryde Academy on the Isle of Wight, who recently sent 250 schoolgirl­s home for wearing skirts that were too short, and this week has turned a gimlet eye on his staff for not being appropriat­ely dressed.

Explaining his motivation­s, he said: ‘We as an employer have the same relation to our staff as any employer would. With some, we say: “Thank you, you’re a great role model”. With others, we have to make suggestion­s like: “You have to wear your jacket around the building because you’re a role model to children wearing their blazers”.’

He is quite right. I know I probably sound like a starchy, Victorian grandmothe­r when I say this, but surely children should wear proper school uniform, blazer and all, rather than a hodge-podge of casual gear that wouldn’t look out of place at a disco?

If you teach children that it’s OK to turn up to class wearing jeans and a grotty teeshirt, then they will grow up to become adults who think it’s OK to turn up to a job interview wearing jeans and a grotty teeshirt. Where else will they learn the lessons of how and why it is important to look presentabl­e?

What we wear projects an image of who we are, how we behave, and – yes – how good or otherwise we might be at our jobs.

Perhaps it’s time to introduce dressup Friday instead.

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