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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: the fashion industry

There was a time when you could wear your tweed jacket with pride, when your cords were your comfort blanket and your elbow patches were your shields against the slings and arrows of outrageous classroom fortune.

Yes, geography teachers rocked a style that said: "Don't mess with me, I'm wearing my casuals and I'm ready for a country stroll." But at least it was their own. Now, however, they can no longer claim it for themselves. According to the fashion industry, the "geography teacher" look is the trend of the season.

"Sit up at the back and pay attention - geography teacher chic seems to be the main driving force for sales over the past few months," said Lizzie Singleton, spokeswoman for Debenhams. "After decades of being regarded as the epitome of frump, this unique dress sense has suddenly shot to the top of the class."

The epitome of frump? How very dare she! And Ms Singleton didn't end there.

"Seeing the dress styles favoured by your old geography teacher suddenly being paraded along the latest catwalks has created a grade 10 earthquake in the fashion world," she added.

Now, clearly Ms Singleton is trying to get a bit of free press coverage for Debenhams and as far as that goes we are playing her game.

But for thinking that it can steal the long-loved look of the staffroom for its own ends, we send the fashion industry to the naughty step to come up with some designs of its own.

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