Flight attendants or air hostesses have worn a staggering and extravagant array of outfits over the past 80 years in the air.
Right from the advent of commercial aviation, flight attendant uniforms were often a part of the package. They have always been mandatory right from the get-go. In the earlier days, the air hostess uniforms were almost nurse-like and the designs were meant to inspire confidence in the minds of the flying public were still skeptical about the safety of aviation.
Over the years, the flight attendant uniform has evolved considerably. The uniforms encompass both aviation history as well as the evolution of vintage fashion. Because female flight attendants have always dominated the public imagination, the biggest and most notable changes have been in their flight attendant uniforms.
As airlines strove to outdo one another in their marketing, the uniforms have also changed considerably. There were uniforms that were quite memorable but not very practical. One airline had its flight attendants wearing bubble space helmets with bright candy-colored coats. The hats ended up taking lots of space in the overhead bins!
Some of the flight attendant uniforms have been sharp and ageless, standing the test of time over the years.
The first ever company to hire female flight attendants was Boeing Air Transport. They had a dark green woolen uniform that had a heavy cape and a cap. The attendants also wore the block-heel Oxford brogues to ensure stability. Since the planes also had to land frequently to refuel, the capes helped the flight attendants stay warm during pit stops.