47 Stunning Photos Of Flight Attendant Uniforms Over The Years

From statement-making accessories to evolving skirt lengths.

It’s no secret that passengers have gotten more relaxed in their flying apparel over the years, and flight attendant uniforms have seen dramatic changes too.

From statement-making hats to leg-baring shorts, attire for cabin crews has evolved over the past century of commercial air travel. Southwest Airlines, for instance, used to design uniforms around the axiom that sex sells tickets.

Many airlines have collaborated with prominent designers like Balenciaga and Emilio Pucci to refresh their flight attendants’ looks. Just last week, Delta began utilizing new crew uniforms designed by Zac Posen.

We’ve rounded up 47 photos showing flight attendant uniforms from the 1930s to the present. Keep scrolling for a look at cabin crew style through the years (including back in the day when it was still the norm to call flight attendants stewardesses).

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Often considered the first female flight attendant in history, 25-year-old registered nurse Ellen Church from Iowa welcomes a traveler at the door of a Boeing 80 A for Boeing Air Transport in 1930.
John Swope / Getty Images
Two flight attendants with actor Tyrone Power on TWA’s Stratoliner in 1940.
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
A Canadian Colonial Airways flight attendant with a tray of food and refreshments in the 1940s.
Circa 1945
Archive Photos / Getty Images
Eastern Airlines flight stewards pose in their uniforms in front of their aircraft, circa 1945.
Circa 1945
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Twin sisters Barbara and Sheila Gordon wearing their flight attendant uniforms in England, circa 1945.
Circa 1946
Margaret Bourke-White / Getty Images
An Air India flight attendant, circa 1946.
Circa 1947
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Avianca Airlines, Pan American Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines stewardesses in San Juan, Puerto Rico, circa 1947.
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
A flight attendant looks over the passenger list of a British West Indian Airlines plane at the Piarco International Airport in Piarco, Trinidad, in 1952.
George Rinhart / Getty Images
Uniforms worn in the 25 years since “sky girls” first went aloft, modeled by United Airlines stewardesses. From left, Carol Roos, in United’s original 1930 outfit; Carol L. Smith, 1933; Ruth Warren, 1936; Connie Ammon, 1937; Norma Banks, 1939; Nancy Riley, 1941 and Aldys Holmes, 1955.
Hy Peskin Archive / Getty Images
Sue Kehner, a flight attendant for National Airlines, circa 1958 in Miami.
Peter Stackpole / Getty Images
Flight attendants serve food and drinks to passengers on a Japan Airlines plane in 1958.
Keystone / Getty Images
Nigerian Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa greets stewardess Christina Twsela after the inaugural flight of Nigerian Airways in 1958.
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A South African stewardess in 1960.
New York Post Archives / Getty Images
Three flight attendants spoke out at a press conference in 1963 about American Airlines’ policy of retiring them at the age of 32.
Bettmann / Getty Images
United Airlines’ Capt. L.L. Treece escorts stewardesses Carol DiPasalegne and JoAnn Tartaul to the crew lounge after a trip from Chicago in 1965.
Bettmann / Getty Images
Emilio Pucci designed this 1965 uniform for Braniff International Airways hostesses.
Hans Neleman / Getty Images
Flight attendants serving beverages on an LAN Airways flight in the 1960s.
Wesley / Getty Images
Felicity Downer models a new British United Airways stewardess uniform at Gatwick Airport outside London in 1967.
Susan Wood / Getty Images
A stewardess in 1967 in a billboard ad campaign for American Airlines.
Dean Conger / Getty Images
A United Airlines flight attendant in a simulated passenger compartment of a Douglas DC-10 in 1968.
PA Images / Getty Images
Balenciaga designed Air France crew uniforms that debuted in 1969.
PA Images / Getty Images
Three Air France air hostesses at London’s Heathrow Airport wearing new uniforms designed by Balenciaga in 1969.
Dick Darrell / Getty Images
Air Canada stewardesses model new uniforms in 1969.
Bettmann / Getty Images
A 1970s hostess uniform by Emilio Pucci for Braniff International Airways.
Mirrorpix / Getty Images
A Cambrian Air Services flight attendant uniform in 1970.
Evening Standard / Getty Images
Air hostesses just before welcoming passengers in 1971.
Central Press / Getty Images
Stewardess Cynthia Robertson holds a Bengal tiger cub while modeling the new synthetic tiger fur uniform for National Airlines in 1971.
Alan Band / Keystone / Getty Images
Stewardesses working for Southwest Airlines in 1972, when the company followed the dictum that sex sells seats.
Mirrorpix / Getty Images
Pan-Am World Airways stewardesses in 1972.
Mirrorpix / Getty Images
Royal dressmaker Hardy Amies designed these 1972 British Airways uniforms.
Mirrorpix / Getty Images
Dan-Air stewardesses in 1976.
Gianni Ferrari / Getty Images
Stewardesses on a flight from Madrid to Barcelona in 1986.
Independent News and Media / Getty Images
Aer Lingus air hostesses in Dublin in 1988.
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A Tempelhof Airways stewardess in 1990.
Toru Yamanaka / Getty Images
Flight attendants for Japan’s All Nippon Airways introduce its Pokemon jet, which began domestic operations in 1999, at Tokyo International Airport.
Early 2000s
Richard Baker / Getty Images
A Continental Airlines flight attendant at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in the early 2000s.
Kazuhiro Nogi / Getty Images
Japan Airlines flight attendants wearing newly designed uniforms in Tokyo in 2003.
Ben Rose / Getty Images
Delta flight attendants modeling new uniforms designed by Richard Tyler in 2006.
Steve Parsons / PA Images / Getty Images
Singapore Airlines stewardesses in 2008.
Bloomberg / Getty Images
At a ceremony marking China Eastern Corp.’s acquisition of Shanghai Airlines Co., flight attendants from the two airlines, in Shanghai in 2010.
Tiksa Negeri / Reuters
Ethiopian Airlines cabin crew members at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia in 2015.
Jeff Greenberg / Getty Images
An Etihad Airways flight attendant on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Abu Dhabi in 2015.
Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters
Austrian Airlines flight attendants with company executive Kay Kratky and fashion designer Marina Hoermanseder after presenting new uniform designs in 2015.
Toru Hanai / Reuters
Emirates cabin attendants in 2016.
Foc Kan / Getty Images
Models wear Hainan Airlines stewardess uniforms designed by Laurence Xu in 2017 in Paris.
Jorge Silva / Reuters
A Thai Airways flight attendant welcomes passengers in 2018.
Mikhail Pochuyev / Getty Images
Aeroflot flight attendants in Russia in 2018.

CORRECTION: A wire photo caption in a previous version of this story indicated that a Continental Airlines employee worked for American Airlines.

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