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Glamour in the Sky: Vintage photos show how Flight Attendants used to wear the coolest uniforms EVER …

Ian Smith

The stewardesses’ outfit in the modern era is utterly formal and kind of dull. But not in the past, the air hostess  in the 60’s and 70’s wore groovy and cool uniforms, but we guess in that time everything was  groovy and cool.

The first flight attendant uniforms were designed to be durable, practical, and inspire confidence in passengers. In the 1930s, the first female flight attendants dressed in uniforms resembling nurses’ outfits. The first female flight attendants for United Airlines wore green berets, green capes and nurse’s shoes. Other airlines, such as Eastern Air Lines, actually dressed female flight attendants in nurses’ uniforms. Both male and female flight attendants for Hawaiian Airlines wore aloha shirts as their uniform.

 

Take a look at the below gallery of the stewardess’s uniforms from the past.

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Pan-am air hostess smoking cigarette

 

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines

 

Braniff Airlines air hostesses

Braniff Airlines air hostesses

 

Early 1970s Braniff International Airways photo

Early 1970s Braniff International Airways photo

 

 

 

Gulf Air, 1970s

Gulf Air, the 1970s

Hughes Airways, 1972

Hughes Airways, 1972

 

Perhaps reflecting the military aviation background of many commercial aviation pioneers, many early uniforms had a strongly military appearance; hats, jackets, and skirts showed simple straight lines and military details like epaulettes and brass buttons. Many uniforms had a summer and winter version, differentiated by colours and fabrics appropriate to the season: navy blue for winter, for example, khaki for summer. But as the role of women in the air grew, and airline companies began to realise the publicity value of their female flight attendants, more feminine lines and colours began to appear in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Some airlines began to commission designs from high-end department stores and still others called in noted designers or even milliners to create distinctive and attractive apparel.

 

Lufthansa, 1970s

Lufthansa, the 1970s

 

Monarch air, 1960s

Monarch air, the 1960s

 

Pacific Southwest Airline uniform in 1973

Pacific Southwest Airline uniform in 1973

 

Pacific Southwest Airline uniform

Pacific Southwest Airline uniform

 

 

 

Pakistan International Airlines, 1960s

Pakistan International Airlines, the 1960s

In several airlines in the Islamic World, such as Egypt Air, Iran Air and Saudia, female flight attendants’ uniforms have added a hijab to conform to the Islamic customs.

Pan Am Italy, 1960sM

Pan Am Italy, 1960sM

Since the 1980s to present, Asian airlines, especially national flag carrier ones, usually feature the traditional dress and fabrics of their respective country in their female flight attendants’ uniform. It was meant as a marketing strategy to showcase their national culture as well as to convey the welcoming warmth and hospitality. For example, Thai Airways flight attendants are required to change from their corporate purple suits into traditional Thai costume prior to passengers boarding. While the uniform of Garuda Indonesia female flight attendants is a modified kebaya, inspired by the traditional batik motif of Parang Gondosuli, the motif is called Lereng Garuda Indonesia. Malaysian andSingapore Airlines flight attendants wear batik prints in their uniform. Vietnam Airlines flight attendants wear red áo dài and Air India flight attendants wear a Sari on all passenger flights.

Flight attendants are generally expected to show a high level of personal grooming such as appropriate use of cosmetics and thorough personal hygiene, tattoos are strictly forbidden, especiallyThese requirements are designed to give the airlines a positive presentation.

 

Southwest Airlines, 1970s

Southwest Airlines, the 1970s

 

Delta, 1969

Delta, 1969

 

United Airlines stewardess, 1969

United Airlines stewardess, 1969

 

United Airlines, 1970s

United Airlines, the 1970s

 

1973 Southwest Airlines

1973 Southwest Airlines

 

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines