From Pillbox Hats to Go-Go Boots: Flight Attendant Style Through the Years
In the 1940s, flight attendant outfits were quite uniformed—every woman wore skirts that hit just below the knee along with matching hats and shoes.
The post-war uniform was still very much military inspired, with form fitting blazers, button up shirts, and even ties—as seen on these two BOAC flight attendants.
Hemlines shortened significantly in the 1960s along with the rise of the go-go boot and bold belt to accentuate a smaller waist, which translated into these Southwest Airlines stewardess uniforms.
By the 1970s, fashion designers were the go-to for creating fun and innovative attire for the world’s leading flight attendants. Pictured are a group of well-dressed Court Line Aviation stewardesses in their new uniforms designed by Mary Quant, who heavily influenced the mod movement in the decade prior.
With the 1980s came the need for more accessible and comfortable clothing options. The vest became a popular choice for in-air service uniform, thanks to its versatility and style.
Uniforms became looser and less form-fitting in the 1990s, making the outfits less restricting and easier to manage (not to mention more breathable for long haul flights).
Goodbye vests, hello blazers! In the 2000s the flight attendant uniform took on a more masculine look, but kept things interesting with subtle details such as cuff stripes and collar intrigue.
Today, flight attendant uniforms are brought back to the styles of the past. Airlines favor a mix of vintage-inspired attire such as silk neck scarves and pillbox hats that were popular in the '60s.