Australian airline Qantas announced today that it will scrap its gender-based uniforms, allowing male cabin crew to wear make-up and female staff to stop wearing high heels.

Qantas said the new “style and hygiene guidelines” would replace the old categories of uniforms that distinguished between “men’s” and “women’s”.

Now, cabin crew can choose to wear makeup or not, wear flat shoes and have long hair as long as it’s in a ponytail or chignon.

Qantas said it had revised its regulations to better reflect modern expectations and make uniforms more comfortable for its staff from “different cultural backgrounds”.

The company has previously been criticized for its inflexible dress code, which banned pilots from having moustaches, limited the length of crew sideburns and defined ideal shades for eye make-up.

The new guidelines follow demands from unions, which urged Qantas to remove the requirement for female staff to wear make-up.

“Fashion evolves and so do our (staff) style guidelines over the years,” the airline said in a statement.

“Our uniform standards have always reflected the times,” it added.