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Air Canada Rouge: a lipstick trick

May 29, 2013
Air Canada's discount airline, Air Canada Rouge, introduces a new outfit

Air Canada’s discount airline, Air Canada Rouge, introduces a new uniform to match its new concept. Criticism by Toronto-based folks has been surrounding the similarity to the city’s dated public transit uniforms. I just wish the gals had the option to wear a skirt!

What’s up with the new uniforms – and the new airline?

In case this is breaking news to you, Air Canada is launching Air Canada Rouge on Canada Day, a discount airline going between Canada, Europe and the Caribbean with fewer frills than you can imagine in these frill-free air times. I read that the staff will have to pay for their own job training, as if it wasn’t enough that their salary falls below other flight attendants working on Air Canada flights. This is some major cost management, and so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see that the uniforms designed for our new airline crew will see the focus of fanciness on the footwear. The rest is fairly middle-of-the-ground, which is what you can expect for a look that is meant to keep everybody buckled up.

A sample TTC uniform

A sample winter look of the Toronto Transit Commission uniform: blah, but this man has a wonderful smile

Air Canada Rouge looks good from this angle

Air Canada Rouge looks good from this angle

I love a pin

I love a pin, and a pin with wings- ah!

So let’s talk about those shoes.

Grey and red John Fluevog shoes will be snazziest touch on what is otherwise a trousers-and-sweaters look. I’m excited that these will be going up and down that centre aisle:

These John Fluevog brogues are actually very nice and fun

These John Fluevog brogues are very nice and fun, and ring in at about $300. Image by Darren Calabrese, National Post

Her shoes by John Fluevog- designed to be hip and comfortable

Her shoes by John Fluevog- designed to be hip and comfortable. Image by Darren Calabrese, National Post

Like the Vancouver-designed shoes, most of the pieces in the Rouge array hail from Canadian designers. The overcoats and grey pants are from Montreal-based Nicci Uniform and manufactured domestically, while the knit tops are from Cobmex Appeal in Markham, Ont., and made in Mexico.

I can’t help comparing Rouge’s rouge to the chic Porter Airline uniform: the pill box hat, pencil skirts, neck scarves and retro feminine details which are Rouged as casual and relaxed for a younger employee (corporate-does-hipster?) and sheer comfort.

Porter Airline's crew garb is way more my style- just look at those babes

Porter Airline’s crew garb is way more my style- just look at those babes

But I must say that in addition to the fab shoes, I approve of the Rouge’s striped ties on the men and the hat is fun. The red colour is a brighter burgundy that isn’t drab and probably works for most people. My biggest beef is that I would love to see the option of a skirt- the uniform is all trousers all the time, and frankly speaking, that’s not necessarily the best look and most comfortable for all women. I love a skirt and I’m comfortable in one- more so than pants. Rouge’s decision seems to be misguided but here’s hoping we’ll see a skirt later in the year.

Bon voyage, Rougians! All aboard for July 1st.

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