The backlash against ‘Dress down Fridays#; is gaining momentum in the US and Canada where a new initiative aims to raise the standards of clothing worn at work.

The ‘Dress Up Thursdays#; campaign hopes to restore the art of dressing to corporate America, calling on the old skill of on-the-job training which helped individuals to develop their own unique sense of style in the last century. Significant in this learning process was the input and tutorial advice offered by experts at America#;s speciality men#;s stores - and it is by offering a similar service that the new crusade hopes to transform attitudes to workplace style.

Dress Up Thursdays (DUT) has edited and endorsed the ‘Guide for Dressing with Professional Style#; written by Judith Rasband, director of the Conselle Institute of Image Management. It will also co-ordinate a programme aimed at partnering image consultants across the country with business organisations and local retailers.

Many high profile names within the manufacturing and retailing sectors have already lent their support, including Derril Osborn of Neiman Marcus in the US, and Saul Korman (Korry#;s Clothiers), Warwick Jones (Coppley Apparel) and Peter Tsillias (Dion Neckwear) in Canada.

Explains Vince Rua, president of Christopher#;s Men#;s Stores and chairman of the Tailored Men#;s Clothing Industry#;s special taskforce known as ‘Let#;s Get Back To Business which is behind Dress Up Thursdays: “Casual dressing results in a workplace environment which does not promote or encourage more productivity. Casual dressing has not been implemented as originally intended. It has been allowed in too many office settings to degenerate into ‘sloppy casual#; or ‘weekend casual#;, including sweatshirts, torn jeans, and T-shirts.”