Ask a flight attendant: what do cabin crews really think about their uniforms?

As you sit back, relax and enjoy your flight, you might not realize that flight attendants have a fairly physically demanding job. They are expected to be on their feet for most of the trip, helping passengers with their seats, bags, meals and carry-on luggage. They get on all fours to access hard-to-reach drawers, lift ice packs and food and drink containers, and carry bulky items throughout the cabin. In addition, they were even forced to defend themselves against aggressive passengers.

What crew members wear when working on board is therefore important. Flight attendants want to look good at work, but most of all, they want to be comfortable. And while airlines have come a long way from the revealing hot pants and go-go dresses flight attendants sported in the 1970s, most flight attendants agree that today’s uniforms are not. still not where they belong. Here’s why. (Note: All of the flight attendants in this story spoke to us on condition of anonymity.)

Flight attendant uniforms are not the most practical

Flight attendant uniforms need to be flame retardant, which limits fabric options, but crew members we spoke to agreed that almost all fabric is stiff, uncomfortable, and traps heat. Not exactly what you want when you’re standing and lifting, leaning, or reaching out, sometimes in bumpy turbulence.

“It’s restrictive for employees full of numbers. It’s my fate, “said an air hostess working for a major US airline of the material in her uniform.” I just have to watch how I bend or squat in the dress and skirt, ” she also added too much attention to her hips and butt.

Some uniforms are also known to shatter and break: Another flight attendant says she tore three dresses while performing basic in-flight tasks. Uniforms don’t work, she said, so she got used to taking her dresses apart and stitching them up.

Many flight attendants say that one of the main issues with their uniforms is that they don’t fit a variety of body shapes and sizes. “We have flight attendants between the ages of 18 and 70 and a wide variety of body types. in the airline industry for almost 30 years. Throughout her career, this flight attendant says she’s gone through a few different uniforms: a double-breasted suit with a bow scarf, a pencil skirt with a tapestry waistcoat, another three-piece suit with a blazer and a belt. were uncomfortable to work.

Today, all members of his airline, regardless of age, figure, height, gender, must wear the same three-piece suit. Men are given a tie and women now have the option of wearing a scarf or a dress. Going in that direction was certainly necessary, she said, thinking back to the days when flight attendants of all races were regulated down to their bras and underwear, which all had to be the same color. nude. But sometimes she says she feels like the airlines have overcorrected.

Another problem? The material of most uniforms is notoriously stuffy. The Toronto flight attendant says her current uniform is made of a lightweight wool with a polyester lining. “It doesn’t stay cool at all,” she said.

Airlines quibble over the smallest details

You might not suspect that airlines have rules regarding the lips, hair, legs or feet of flight attendants, but there are some pretty strict rules regarding the shade of lipstick they can wear. , how they can style their hair, what type of earrings they can wear (studs only!) and what types of shoes are allowed. And nylons are essential: if they tear, you better have a replacement pair.

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