Fashionable Flight Attendent Uniforms Throughout History

Laura Lee
Feb 04, 2020

Working as a flight attendant is considered by many to be one of the most glamorous and desirable professions. While perhaps the life of a stewardess is sometimes over-romanticized, it’s clear from a quick look back in history that one element might have contributed a great deal to this fascination: the flight attendant uniform. Though it has changed over the years, it is consistently stylish and super flattering. Here are some photos which show the evolution of one of the most famous uniforms in the world.

Service With A Smile

flight attendants

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Unfortunately for travelers who want to book a flight with Trans World Airlines, it no longer exists. However, we can still look back and admire the dainty and demure uniforms of its flight attendants back in the airline’s heyday. While flight attendants didn’t have many dress code restrictions, airlines did have certain rules regarding physical appearance. For instance, flight attendants had to be a minimum 5″2 and no more than 5″9, with a weight between 105-135 lbs, in proportion to height.

Flying In Style

flight attendant

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This is stewardess Susan Curtis, modeling a new “tropical” dress for airline hostesses on British Airways. It’s hard to tell from the black and white photo, but the uniform’s colors are pink and blue. The new dress was the airline’s first major uniform styling change in twenty-five years. It’s unlikely that this look will make a comeback anytime soon, but it certainly made its mark back in the day.

Complimentary Coffee?

two flight attendants

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Isn’t it the best feeling when your flight attendant comes up to you just after you’ve woken up from a nap and whispers in your ear, “complimentary drink?” Okay, obviously not all flight experiences are so great. But as mass travel only became popular during the late 1950s, flying was still quite a special experience, and service was on a whole other level. These friendly flight attendants in their fashionable uniforms are reason enough to book a flight.

Ready For Takeoff

flight attendants

Getty Images News/Vittorio Zunino Celotto

Pictured above are members of Finnair’s cabin crew on September 16, 2008. They were attending the airline’s 85th-anniversary celebration at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy. The uniforms they’re wearing are in the classic, old-school style with a couple of modern touches. Above all, they exude professionalism and poise.

It’s All Gravy In Navy

flight attendants

Getty Images/Suzi Pratt WireImage

This photo of two Alaska Airlines flight attendants perfectly showcases the modern-day flight attendant uniform. Of course, each airline differs in terms of color and cut, and some airline’s uniforms are more extravagant than others. However, the fitted style, sensible pumps, and loosely tied scarf are pretty common features across all airlines in the 21st century. In the photo, these two flight attendants are walking in Seattle’s Seafair Torchlight Parade on July 30, 2016.