Virgin America’s new uniforms…deeper meaning?

First off, I’m loving the new Virgin America uniforms and glad to see they added a dress option. It’s sooooo much more convenient to travel with a dress than to have to iron shirts every day of the trip. Plus, in a world that is so casual, I always enjoyed having an excuse to wear a dress to work as I did at United. At Virgin, I wore the skirt/shirt/sweater combo, which wasn’t bad (apart from the quality of the sweater, which got ratty after a few months), but the shirt always pulled up after reaching into overhead bins, so I was always tucking. I also missed the formality of a scarf. So cool that they’re getting one of those too. And we all envied Virgin Atlantic with their sharp red coats. Yay for adding  those! Best of all is that after five years, they’ll finally have more to choose from than skirt or pants. The new women’s uniforms have thirteen mix-and-match pieces.

I’m not sure about those buttons, though. Do they look like nipples, or is it just me?

Considering the Virgin brand’s history, I imagine that is intentional, a little nod to the Golden Age of aviation when good “service” meant more than a cup of soda.

As for the guys, I’m trying to find out if pilots and flight attendants wear the same thing. When I started at Virgin in ’07, they wore the same thing, but that wasn’t working for the pilots. They lobbied for, and eventually got, striped epaulettes that would show their rank and their status as cockpit crew. I’ve always wondered why that mattered so much to them. Did they want women to know they made more money than a flight attendant? That they were straight? Did captains want to lord their command over FOs?

I’ll see if I can get some answers on that.

UPDATE: They are the same uniforms, but again the pilots get epaulettes that show their rank. Top reasons for requesting this designation include – tradition, or not wanting to look too trendy ie. not serious and in control;  having worked excruciatingly hard to earn a rank they’re proud of; signaling to passengers and others that the buck-stops-here when a decision is made.

I can buy that.