British Airways is the national flag carrier of the United Kingdom based on fleet size. The uniform is one of the most iconic parts of the brand, but what does it consist of and what does it mean?
In 2001, British fashion designer Julien McDonald – who was thrilled to design the new uniform – was awarded the contract to design the current British Airways uniform. The uniform currently has several variations for crew based abroad in South Asia and a modesty uniform.
He involved BA staff in the design process as he wanted to create a ‘practical and wearable design that is confident, stylish and glamorous’. The uniform signifies the airlines proud heritage and values, within the quality and attention to detail of the uniform.
The Main Uniform Items:
When on duty, crew must always have their jacket which is to be worn fully buttoned at all times in public and in customer facing areas. The jacket is navy with pinstripe to add extra detail and has three buttons to fasten at the front with the iconic speedmarque. It has red lining that has the BA crest embroidered in the fabric. The classic pinstripe adds to the class and luxury of the airline and adds to the brand.
Alongside the jacket, they can wear either a skirt or trousers. On mixed fleet, female crew usually wear skirts compared to the other fleets. The skirt and trousers are navy with pinstripe and are to be worn with the belt; the belts are to be worn with the speedmarque buckle centrally.
The skirt is to be worn just above the knee and the red flash of lining should be visible on the left side of the wearer. For the trousers, they are to be worn well pressed and the hemline to sit below the ankle and not to touch the floor.
A blouse is worn in either a short sleeve or long sleeve style, but when wearing the long sleeved style crew are to not roll up the sleeves and the wrists buttons are to be fastened. The blouse is also to be worn fully tucked into the skirt or trousers.
When in-flight, crew are to wear their gilet from take-off till the 10/20-minute landing call. When worn it is to be fully fastened and again is navy pinstripe similar to the rest of the suit design. Having said this though, the gilet is not to be worn under the jacket as it was not designed as a three-piece suit.
To finish of the suit, female crew wear the customer contact cravat. The cravat is made of blue, red and white colours similar to the tailfin design of the aircraft and the UK flag. It can be worn in three ways but the preferred style is tucked into the shirt and secured around the neck.
Close-up: uniform label on inside of jacket [left], uniform button [right].
Staying Stylish and Warm:
In colder weather crew can stay stylish and warm by wearing a uniform issue coat. The coat is navy/black and has a belt that is to be worn if the coat is fastened up or can be worn undone without the belt.
Alongside the coat, crew can wear the outdoor scarf that is made of wool to provide extra warmth, or if without the coat with the jacket. To correctly wear the scarf, crew must wear it with the speedmarque over the right shoulder and scarf wrapped around the upper body, over the left shoulder.
To store their key personal items such as: passports, I.D, lipstick, mirrors, torches and other items; crew have a uniform handbag. The handbag is black leather and has the speedmarque logo on the flap.
Knitwear can also be worn outside of meal/bar and duty free services on Band 4 and above flights but mustn’t be worn under the gilet and it must be replaced by the gilet for meal/bar and duty free services. It can be used to add extra warmth in the colder months by being worn under the uniform jacket.
Fabulous Faces and Hair:
Cabin Crew are the face of the airline and are expected to look immaculate.
As a minimum crew should wear lipstick/gloss and blusher. Lipstick can be pink or red shades that complement the uniform.
For hair, crew should have their hair tied back and any loose strands of hair are to be secured for health and safety reasons. Hairstyles must be neat and not exceed the length of the blouse collar; most crew at BA wear a doughnut/bun.
The Finishing Touches:
When cabin crew complete their training, they receive wings, at BA they are silver and the wing part looks like a bird feathered wing. The circle at the front of the wing has the airlines logo and above that the ‘astral crown’, which signifies royal authority; made of stars and wings.
Cabin Crew wear a hat that completes the look, designed by Stephen Jones and made of navy pinstripe fabric with red lining and an elastic strap to hold it in place, the hat looks fabulous and makes sure you can spot BA crew when they walk through the terminal. The silver speedmarque is on the left side of the hat and is to be worn with the speedmarque over the right and is ‘upper most’.
British Airways, is a fantastic airline to work for and if you want to take-to-the-skies look no further and start a career with a premium airline and travel the world. To find out what the airline is like to work for check out the post ‘How can I get a job as British Airways Cabin Crew?‘
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Post written by Freya Cushman |http://cabincrewcrazy.blogspot.com/