Hawaiian Airlines Has Had Some Awesome Flight Attendant Uniforms Over The Years

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

My how time flies.

Today (Nov. 11) marks the 85th anniversary of Hawaiian Airlines. And they've come a long way since they started. Sure, now they fly non-stop between JFK and Honolulu International, but back in the day they hardly flew between islands. (The airline started with three weekly roundtrips to neighbor islands; now that number is 560).

So what does this anniversary call for? If you know us, you know it calls for a retrospective look at the airline's flight attendant uniforms throughout the years. They've gone through all sorts of transitions. Check it out below.

All photos and caption information courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines Corporate Communications.

The airline hired its first hostesses to work on their 24-seat DC-3 aircraft. The uniform had a gray jacket and matching skirt with a white blouse; throughout the 40s additions such as a military cap and a black stripe on the sleeve were added.
This photo was taken the first week of August 1948 when this group of Hawaiian Airlines hostesses greeted the Philippine Airline crew (represented by their lead hostess wearing the lei). That flight stopped over in Honolulu en-route to San Francisco, carrying President Elpiidio Quirino on a diplomatic mission to the United States.
When the first commercial jet service between Los Angeles and Honolulu began in 1960, the uniform color changed from gray to blue. The jacket sleeves were shortened to three-quarters, and matching colored berets were added, along with a set of wings.
Hawaiian Airlines rolled out new uniforms for its flight attendants in conjunction with the unveiling of the new DC-9 Royal Fan Jet service it added to its fleet. The uniforms were considered high fashion and featured a gorgeous three-piece ensemble topped by a white straw beret. They were designed and produced by Fashions by Hino, one of Hawaii's leading dress manufacturers at the time.
"Flower Power" was the key to Hawaiian Airlines' Fashion Flight Attendant Plan for 1968, according to then president John H. Magoon, Jr. Attendants wore an A-line dress in a print designed specifically for Hawaiian Airlines by Tiger Fabrics of New York (they were produced by Kahala Sportswear of Honolulu). Flight attendants had the option of wearing the dress with either a short split sleeve or sleeveless. Fresh plumeria flowers were worn in the hair as part of the ensemble. Pale yellow tights accented the ensemble. David Evins of the renowned Evins Shoe Company of New York designed the shoes. The yellow leather purse was designed by New York fashion house, Park Lane.
Now the uniform featured a two-piece outfit consisting of a nylon dress and jacket designed by Richard Tam of San Francisco, whose line could be found at high-end department stores. Hawaiian Airlines designed the print for the fabric. The accessories included low-heeled pumps, lace boots and sandals, which were all white. Scarves were used as headgear or sash belt or ascot tie. There was also a golden pendant worn on a chain around the neck, which was a stylized fish to represent the Hawaiian's conquest of the seas (and is a symbol of strength and good luck in Asian culture).
In 1974, Malia International designed easy-to-wear uniforms for the female flight attendants. The ensemble consisted of five items in a floral print that could be combined into different ensembles. A long dress or muumuu for the traditional island look; a short dress; a top-and-skirt combination, plus a shirt jacket to be worn with any of the other garments. Crisp white accessories for the uniform -- shoes, handbag and jewelry -- complemented the outfit.
Again designed by Malia International, Ltd., this uniforms included a jump suit, a long muumuu, jacket, solid scarf and print scarf.
Hawaiian Airlines' brilliant hibiscus red and bright orchid logo colors at the time inspired the creation of an exclusive print named "Sky" for the uniform program in 1979, which was the airline's 50th anniversary. Flight attendants were able to make 20 different outfits from a wardrobe of six garments.
In the 1980s, Hawaiian Airlines began hiring its first group of male flight attendants. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the airline rolled out new uniforms for all of its employees for a more contemporary and professional look to complement the national and international scope of its service. The flight attendant uniform for men consisted of the patterned 50/50 poly-cotton shirt in mauve, with the option of short or long sleeves, and a poly-cotton dress pant in a brownish stone-grey color. The female flight attendant uniform included a blouse that matched the men's shirt and was worn with a skirt or dress slacks in stone grey and matching blazer or shirtwaist dress with matching belt.
Inspired by the traditional Hawaiian quilt, Hawaiian Airlines unveiled a new flight attendant uniform that featured the classic quilting tradition with its Pualani logo in the center, surrounded by an intricate design that included indigenous Hawaiian plants and flowers and also the airline's DC-9 aircraft.
As Hawaiian Airlines moved into a new era of service, it changed its flight attendant uniform for both men and women to feature a cotton-blend Hawaiian print that was a navy-and-amethyst-on-eggshell rendition of the 'i'iwi bird.
Current Uniform, 2009-present
In celebration of its 80th anniversary in 2009, Hawaiian Airlines debuted a new uniform that is currently used today. Hawaii designer Emma Howard incorporated the input from employees in creating the new uniform's print design, drawing inspiration from the Hawaiian word makahiki, which resulted from combining the words for "flight" and "movement." The most noticeable change in the new uniforms is the color palette – azure – representing the color of Hawaii's ocean and sky. A central objective of the company's employee-driven uniform committee was to give the uniforms a more sophisticated, forward-looking appearance, while retaining a distinctive, evocative image in a world of navy colors favored by other carriers.
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Before You Go

A Clubhouse barman's uniform

Flight Attendant Uniforms