We may live in a more relaxed society than we once were, but don't fool yourselves that appearance is no longer important. How we present ourselves is just as important as ever, and first impressions are still hard to overcome. If you present yourself as a disheveled disaster, that's the idea people are going to get about you. And as relaxed as our society is, I still don't see a time when a big cobra tattoo on your neck isn't going to hold you back in the business world.
Having a good appearance not only helps to make a first impression, but it makes us feel good about ourselves. It makes us feel more confident. It tells our co-workers and our employers that we take our work seriously. As a wise manager once told me, "you don't dress for the job you have, you dress for the job you want."