Southwest Airlines

Southwest Updates Uniforms for Flight Attendants, Agents and Ramp Workers

Pilots uniforms also being updated with subtle changes

Khaki and navy uniforms will soon be out at Southwest Airlines, replaced by outfits in Bold Blue, Warm Red, and Summit Silver.

More than 42,000 flight attendants, gate agents and ramp workers will begin wearing the new uniforms June 18, the first redesign in two decades.

"1996 is when we introduced the khaki and navy look, ,and very casual," said Sony Lacore, vice president of Inflight Operations. "So two decades later, it was time for us to update to a bolder look."

The new clothing collection includes 75 separate pieces, allowing employees to mix and match them.

"It's about time and we are really excited that the employees were the ones that were able to design the new uniform," said Tracye Tipps, one of 43 employees chosen to be part of the Employee Design team, which started working on the new uniforms in 2014.

More than 120 employees across the country tested the pieces for six months.

"We did a lot of wear-testing to make sure that they were comfortable, that they were functionable, and we did it throughout the entire workgroup," said Tipps, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant for more than 25 years.

Manufactured by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corporation using factories in Asia, Southwest Airlines took steps to make sure the new uniforms would be safe to wear.

"We have gone over personally," said Lacore. "So in addition to our vendor, we have put a team together to go over and verify the fabrics."

"There are just some people who are allergic to some fabrics, and we've insured that if that is the case with an employee, then we have an option for them to wear 100 percent cotton," said Lacore.

Southwest is spending $25 million on the new design, which reflects the airline's new Heart logo.

With a separate program and vendor, pilots' uniforms are also being updated with a subtle change from navy to black.

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