Flight Attendant Uniforms Through History

Never has there been a more anxiety-ridden topic than "What can I wear on a trans-Atlantic flight that won't make me 100 percent uncomfortable?" While we as passengers have a bit of leeway when it comes to middle seat-approved outfits, there exists one group of people that have to endure the exact same outfit trip after trip. The coveted flight attendant uniforms has been a topic of conversation since the 1940's when in-flight service began to rise in order to accommodate the growing number of passengers that new planes were able to hold.

During WWII, all the extra fabric was going to make military uniforms for men serving overseas. The shortage forced airline uniform designers to innovate, taking out the pleats and heavy materials traditionally used in women’s wear in favor of slimmer silhouettes.

The result was a tighter-fighting garment that left (relatively) less to the imagination. At the time, airlines imposed various sexist standards on their female staff members. Only single stewardesses between the ages of 20-25, weighing between 110-118 pounds, standing between 5’ and 5’ 4" feet in height, and bearing no children could work in the skies.

More recently, female crew members aboard British Airways flights won the option to wear pants after a two-year battle on the topic. For a number of other airlines, brand uniforms stretch much further than clothing. Singapore Air flight attendants are only given five approved hairstyles. One of which is a bun that must be between 6.5 and 7 centimeters wide. Other airlines look to well known designers to take their in-air fashion to the next level.

Flight attendant uniforms are all a part of the flying experience – a familiar face on hand to help with your every request (and you're especially lucky if you find yourself in the hands of one of the world's best airlines for customer service).

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