I think that our state treasurer’s office has to be the last or among the last offices in the state which still has a dress code.

Oh, I must admit that I folded regarding something called “Casual Friday,” but we have an ongoing dress code for the rest of the week. There is no question that people have the right to dress as they will, but as long as they are in a public business office, they are expected to show that respect by dressing accordingly.

So far, no one has objected because I am not seeking anything special-just good, solid business clothes like suits and ties, dresses or pantsuits, and no denim or baggy pants or provocative clothing, as none of that will pass muster. I think that when people dress of an occasion, they live up to it, act differently, act with more self esteem and confidence.

I also encourage our staff to wear comfortable shoes, even sneakers if they are clean and appropriate. As I have “sick feet,” I can appreciate that there are others out there who need a bit of slack when it comes to shoes. I also encourage women to either wear comfortable shoes or have a pair nearby in case we have to evacuate the building.

In this day and age when there is always concern after the likes of 9/11, it is imperative that women be able to walk down long flights of stairs. Taking off high heels and walking in one’s bare or stockinged feet or trying to wobble down stairs in high heels just won’t work in times of emergency.

There is nothing nicer than getting attention for service in a store by someone who radiates competence. Most of what we feel toward that person will be generated by that first look we give them and the judgment we make. It may be an unfair judgment, to be sure, but there will be a judgment. Someone whose clothing is put together appropriately for the job at hand is automatically thought to give better advise or information. When one looks messy, one feels messy, and the mind and actions get messy as well.

Although young people always feel that they must rebel against their parents’ way of dressing to assure their independence, clean and nice is always acceptable. One can be clean and nice and still be rebellious!

In our office, periodically, an e-mail reminder will be issues to remind our personnel of the dress code. We point out that our clothes don’t have to make a statement-we do.