In the early years of commercial aviation, flight attendants’ uniforms were military-inspired, evoking a sense of practicality and seriousness. In the 1950s and 60s, as commercial aviation grew, the demand for female flight attendants increased. This change sparked an evolution in uniforms as well, with airlines placing an emphasis on their attendants’ appearances with the belief it would boost business. Airlines began to enlist popular designers to create uniforms that would make their flight attendants appear professional, appealing, and distinct. Though much has changed about commercial aviation since the 1960s, airlines still consider their flight attendants’ uniforms a crucial part of their brand’s image. Listed below are a few of the most unique flight attendant uniforms currently being worn.
While Air France operates worldwide, the majority of flights travel from the United States’ east coast to Western Europe. Air France’s flight attendant uniform epitomizes the famous French style, featuring a sleek silhouette paired with timeless accessories. Designed by Christian Lacroix, the uniform is comprised of a chic black blouse and a pencil skirt. The designer added a signature bright red oversized bow-tie belt and gloves to add a pop of contrasting color, creating a classic French look.
Conceived by famed designer Pierre Balmain in 1968, Singapore Airlines’ flight attendant uniform, known as the “Singapore girl,” is the oldest design still being worn during flights. The uniform reinterprets the traditional Malay sarong kebaya, combining it with a modern fashion aesthetic to create a design that embodies the nationalities of Malaysia and Singapore. The iconic look is available in four different colored prints. Each print signifies the role of the “Singapore girl” on the flight. Singapore Airlines travel worldwide with a concentration of flights serving Asia and the Oceania countries.
In 2005, Korean Air introduced a new flight attendant uniform that blended cutting edge design with functionality and incorporated details that harked back to tradition Korean garb. Designed by Gianfranco Ferré from Italy, the uniforms are a mix of fitted blazers, trousers, scarves, and skirts available in a whimsical eggshell blue, cream, and white. The scarves, which float freely above the shoulder, defy the laws of physics and add a futuristic touch. Korean Air travels worldwide with a majority of their flights to and from Asian destinations.