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British Airways told female flight attendants to wear white bras at work because their new uniforms are nearly see-through

British Airways cabin crew and flight crew colleagues wearing navy uniforms
British Airways staff wearing the new uniforms.Courtesy of British Airways
  • British Airways introduced its new uniform in late September.

  • White blouses worn by female staff are semi-translucent, and the airline issued guidance on what bras staff should wear.

  • The recommendation was removed after the flight attendants' union complained.

British Airways told female cabin crew what bras to wear as its new uniform turned out to have a nearly see-through blouse, The Sun first reported.

The newspaper reported that some British Airways crew members had felt humiliated after being asked questions about their bras by passengers.

"Undergarments should be plain white or nude, with no lace, patterns or writing," the official guidance previously said, per The Sun.

That has now been removed after a backlash from the flight attendants' union.

"We've removed a recommendation from our uniform guidelines and will continue to listen to our colleagues about what works best for them," a BA spokesperson told Business Insider.

The airline said it doesn't tell crew what underwear to wear, and the guidance was designed to evolve with feedback.

According to Paddle Your Own Kanoo, the British Airways Stewards and Stewardess' Union told members: "Incredible that we found ourselves in the awkward position of having to discuss what underwear our female members were 'allowed' to wear in 2023."

"It could be argued that we wouldn't have even been in this position if the blouse wasn't transparent in the first place," it added.

British Airways first announced its new uniform in January. Designed by Ozwald Boateng, it was the UK flag carrier's first revamp in nearly two decades.

The new pilot and flight attendant uniforms were officially rolled out in late September.

Back in 2019, British Airways faced similar complaints, according to PYOK.

The then-assistant general secretary of the Unite union said the old white shirt was too transparent, and said there was a "sexualization of the uniform," per the outlet.

"In the 21st century, it is clearly neither appropriate nor acceptable that women should be put in a situation at work where they can be demeaned for their choice of undergarments," she added.

Are you a cabin crew member who has been given similar uniform guidance? Get in touch with this reporter by emailing psyme@businessinsider.com

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