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Virgin Atlantic Will No Longer Require Makeup Or Skirts For Women Flight Attendants

The change will offer employees "more choice on how they want to express themselves at work," the company said.

Posted on March 6, 2019, at 1:09 p.m. ET

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Virgin Atlantic is relaxing its strict dress code for women flight attendants, and will now allow them to wear pants and forgo makeup, the company announced Wednesday.

The airline's women crew members are well-known for their uniform of red skirt suits, red pumps, and red lipstick.

In a statement from the company, Executive Vice President of Customer Mark Anderson said the new changes "offer an increased level of comfort" and "also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work."

"We want our uniform to truly reflect who we are as individuals while maintaining that famous Virgin Atlantic style," Anderson said.

Flight attendants will no longer be required to wear makeup, but are still "welcome to wear any of our existing palette of make-up."

Pants, which were previously only available upon special request, will now be given to all women crew members as a standard uniform option.

The company called these moves "a significant change for the aviation industry."

Flight attendants across the industry often face strict dress codes. In 2015, flight attendants on Israeli airline El Al protested against the company's high heels requirement. In January, Pakistan International Airlines directed its "overweight" employees to slim down.

An Emirates flight attendant told Town & Country their nail, lip, and eye shadow colors are heavily regulated, as are their hairstyles and jewelry.

United Airlines does not allow its women flight attendants to wear "extreme" hairstyles, manicures, or makeup looks. Skirts "may not exceed one inch above or one inch below the crease of the back of the knee."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.