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Style in the Aisle: Flight-Attendant Fashion Over The Years

The Museum of Flight, located a little south of Seattle, owns one of the most extensive collections of historic flight attendant uniforms of US-based airlines, stretching from the 1930s to the 1980s. These vintage uniform and memorabilia is on display at the “Style in the Aisle” exhibit at the Seattle Museum of Flight until May 30, 2011.


Hughes Airways stewardesses

The exhibit features a dozen complete uniforms, dating from the 1930s to the 1980s and representing several different airlines. The progression from conservative uniforms to colorful and flamboyant fashions and back to conservative mirrors the public image of the flight attendant’s role over the 80-year history. The exhibit also features a variety of artifacts including flight bags, accessories, and memorabilia that help tell the story of the flight attendant alongside glamorous photographs.

The Museum of Flight’s extensive flight attendant uniform collection made its first public appearance in a temporary exhibition in 2008. The exhibit became so popular that the museum has brought it back the second time with many new uniforms added to the exhibit.


In 1935 and 1936 flight attendants wore bandages on his left shoulder in honor of the birth of "United Air Lines".  This photo is among those that are presented at the exhibition in the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, which will be held until May 30


Dress of Delta Airlines stewardesses in summer (left) and in winter, circa 1940-42. 


Group of flight attendants demonstrating the winter dresses of Delta Airlines from 1965 to 1968


Flight attendant uniform for “Air West” designed by Oleg Cassini worn from 1968 to 1971


A Seventies publicity image for United Airlines show the first class service passengers would receive. The style of uniform indicates that it was a flight to a tropical destination such as Hawaii


Stewardesses of “Qantas Airways” in uniform created by Emilio Pucci, which they wore from 1974 to 1985. 


Airline stewardess of “Delta Airlines” serving passengers, circa 1968-1970


An archive photograph of airline stewardesses of “American Airlines” modeling uniforms in the early Seventies


Stewardesses of “Southwest Airlines” in a photo taken in 1971


Delta Airlines uniform from the period 1979-1983


A Pacific Southwest Airlines uniform from 1973


A United Airlines stewardess aboard a Boeing 747 in the early Seventies


A Hughes Airwest uniform from 1972


Quantas Airways staff in uniforms worn from 1974-1985 designed by Italian fashion legend Emilio Pucci.


A Southwest Airlines stewardess takes orders for drinks in the year 2000


  Stewardesses of “Delta Air Lines” in the uniform designed by Richard Tyler that appeared in 2006

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