Campaign forces uniform change for flight attendants

Japan Airlines to no longer require women to wear skirts and heels

After a long social media campaign (#Kutsu), the flagship carrier JAL announced as of April 1 that it would no longer dictate uniforms for its female workers. Trousers will now be optional and women will no longer be required to wear heels.

I have an opinion on this. Having flown several times in Asian countries I have taken an interest in the uniforms worn by flight attendants. I can see that trousers might be more comfortable for cabin crew, particularly on long hall flights, but the image won’t be the same. There is a kind of timeless elegance to the traditional flight attendant uniform. Yes, its true that many airlines have already allowed female staff to wear trousers. Yet, most women will probably carry on wearing skirts, makeup and heels, no matter the result of the ruling, especially as this is the style most passengers prefer.

It’s a job that puts women (and men) in the public eye. I’m sure most female flight attendants are well aware of this.

Some flight attendants who don’t seem too concerned to wear their uniforms. If one of them was wearing trousers, this wouldn’t look quite the same.

Since the fashion photography of Norman Parkinson, we have been aware of the connection between aviation and glamour and it would be a shame if this were to change. Whilst it’s probably inevitable that other airlines such as Cathay Pacific will follow the path set by JAL, there is still time to enjoy the glamour of beautiful flight attendants wearing heels, stockings, and a skirt.

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