Sinlung /
06 June 2014

Evolution of the Flight Attendant Uniform

By Laura Carroll

Hats, gloves, an ever-changing hemline: The flight attendant getup has always been as much about fashion as it is function. With both Delta and Jet Blue debuting new duds for their cabin crews, we can't help but look through the archives of history's most fashionable staff. Behold, the evolution of the flight attendant uniform.


Archive Photos / Stringer / Getty Images



1940


Most early flight attendant uniforms were sophisticated and sweet, with long sleeves, swinging skirts, and—of course—the stewardess cap.



1944


Some airlines, however, left slightly less to the imagination.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item2.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniforms-6.jpg

1956


In the ’50s, flight attendants donned crisp collars and white gloves, with perfect coifs under their caps.
http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item3.rendition.slideshowWideVertical.flight-attendant-uniforms-5.jpg

1963


Sadly, these terrific toppers were often removed before takeoff.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item4.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniforms-8.jpg

1969



When mod was mode, flight attendants took to wearing stand-up collars and shift dresses (and flats).
http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item5.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniforms-2.jpg

1972

Sky-high hemlines were complemented by fantastic head scarves in the early ’70s—a nod to the decade's departure from structured style.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item7.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniforms-1.jpg

1985


The ’80s, meanwhile, apparently left many flight attendants clad in plaid.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item8.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniforms-7.jpg

1990


Even at high altitudes, one could not escape the shoulder pads and boxy blazers that were popular in the early ’90s.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item9.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniforms-10.jpg

1999


As the century came to a close, flight attendant uniforms (like all fashion) became considerably more relaxed.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item10.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniform-11.jpg

2004


These chambray shirts, fitted vests, and floppy bow ties are far more comfortable than the uniforms of yesteryear.
 
http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item11.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.flight-attendant-uniform-12.jpg

2008


And this nod to the mod era? We dig it.

http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/06/flight-attendant-uniforms-through-the-ages/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/par-main/cn_colctrl/par-col2/cn_slideshow/item12.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.jetblue-new-uniforms-2.jpg

2014

Jet Blue's new uniforms are simple and sleek—a winning combination of modern elements, as well as those of flight attendant uniforms past. Some things really do get better with age.

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