Big hair don’t care – Qantas cabin crew 80s style

Published on 24th July 2017 at 14:44

She’s got the look: This was the manual for the 80s, telling crew how to keep one’s perm in top condition as well as to avoid garlic or other pungent foods.

We were going through our archives lately and stumbled upon the Qantas Cabin Crew Style Guide.

From 1986.

Things were different, then. Qantas only flew internationally (a merger with TAA, which would create the national carrier as we know it today, didn’t happen until 1993). We had one type of aircraft, an earlier version of the the 747, in our fleet. And it was the year we launched a new uniform by Yves Saint Laurent, inspired by the bold colours and patterns that defined the 1980s.

Subtlety was out; bright was in. And according to the style guide, we had very strong feelings about shoulder pads and perms.

Today, Qantas uniforms have a lot more in common with the classic lines from the early days of aviation than the era of fluro leg warmers and blue eye shadow. Thankfully.

But spend a moment flicking through the pages of Qantas crew style guide from 1986 modelling approved hairstyles and uniforms and you’ll swear you can hear Johnny Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” playing in the background.



Electric Blue: Female crew were advised not to wear fuschia coloured eye make up as it would um, “clash” with the uniform.

The flying roo and royal blue: Crew ready for the runway.

No sideburns for you: Back in the 80s we had a very firm position on sidies – don’t have any!


What a difference 30 years can make: Our Qantas crew today – see more of our current look here.