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As a young professional in the workforce, I know that I am in the minority when I say that casual attire has no place in a professional environment. After college, I job-hopped for a while before finally landing a promising position with a leading insurance company. The job required extremely infrequent face-to-face interaction with customers, so the dress code was business casual. I understood and appreciated this requirement. However, when the powers that be inexplicably abolished our dress code, I was shocked. The resulting change that I’ve seen in many of my colleagues has definitely been for the worse. On the most basic level, attire has transitioned to completely casual. Most employees wear jeans, and I’ve seen the occasional pair that looks more like it belongs in the trash can than at the office. Summer blouses have become more revealing. Footwear has become more beach-like. Questionable graphics, slogans, and political agendas are also in full display. In possibly the most disturbing fallout, when dressing up was thrown to the wayside, so, unfortunately, was a few people’s hygiene. The effect of the obvious change in attire is the resulting impact to one’s image. While the dress code alone might not be a problem, it is somewhat startling in light of the fact that the small amount of customer contact has remained unchanged. Not to mention, people dine out for lunch wearing their badges, and all of their neighbors know who they are. What kind of message does that send? Also, I can’t help but notice the disapproving looks from the locals.