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What's black, white and red all over? New Virgin America uniforms

July 17, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Virgin America's new uniform look, courtesy of Banana Republic.
Virgin America's new uniform look, courtesy of Banana Republic. (Virgin America )

Starting next month, Virgin America's in-flight crew members will sport a new look.

The airline, which turns 5 on Aug. 8, plans to roll out new uniforms designed by Banana Republic, with creative input gleaned from a design competition and suggestions from flight crew members too. The buzzwords designers use in describing the wardrobe change: "utility chic." (Here's a photo gallery of the new look.)

The new uniforms are combinations of red, white and black. For women, that means replacing the current black skirts or trousers and white shirts. Women have 13 styles to choose from, including a black shirt dress, black pencil skirt, red trench coat or leather jacket. Men have nine options.

Flight crews had a say in the new look too. Among the recommendations were adding Spandex to material for comfort and more fitted shirts for a better look.

Why all the style fuss? "Since the golden age of jet-setting in the 1960s, in-flight fashion has often been elusive in the U.S., but we hope to bring a little of it back ot the skies with these new designs," Luanne Calvert, vice president of marketing at the airline, said in a statement.

Airline uniforms in past decades have had plenty of big-name flair -- with designers such as Halston, Oleg Cassini and Giorgio Armani -- and even a little weirdness. Emilio Pucci designed groovy uniforms in 1965 for Braniff Airlines that came with plastic space-like helmets to protect hairdos from the weather.

But back to Virgin America. Along with the makeover comes a few things from Banana Republic that passengers will be able to buy in the sky, including the belted trenchcoats for men and women and leather bags.

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