Can you be a professional and still ‘dress like a kid’?

The chances are pretty good that you know someone in your workplace who dresses like the guy in the right seat in this CNN video grab.


From all accounts Mitchell Casado can fly an airplane. He’s also pretty good at explaining how airplanes fly, seeing as how he’s been CNN’s go-to explainer since the Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared last month.

There’s just this one problem that got him fired from his job: He dresses like a slob, his former employer says.

“Even though I let him be on TV he shamed us Canadians and shamed my company with the way he was dressing like he was 15 years old,” Claudio Texeira, the owner of a flight simulator company said. “People were complaining that it wasn’t professional at all … If you go to any plane you don’t see them in shorts and sandals.”

That should get the office talking, eh?

What is considered “professional” in 2014? Companies have relaxed dress codes in recognition of the fact that the only thing that matters is whether you can do the job.

Can you be a professional if you don’t look like a professional?

Texeira isn’t much interested in your answer. “I am the boss. I am the owner. I put in the money. It has to be my rules. If you don’t agree with them you have to find another job,” he said.

An “old guy” on the CTV website disagrees.

I am old school – aged 67 and wore a suit and tie most of my working life. It often felt like prison garb. It did not help me do a better job. When I have cancer treatments or other medical procedures, I don’t care how the professional is dressed. The employer could have worked with this person to obtain a better result all round. Clothes do not make the person.

“Fired for a dress code violation?” Another writes. “That does embarrass Canadians.”