Mile High Style

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 4 2012 @ 7:48pm


Sarah Rich takes stock of airline apparel and how it's changed over the decades:

In the 1960s and 70s, stewardess uniforms (indeed, they were all women) were designed to be overtly sexy and appealing to male passengers. Designers like Emilio Pucci were hired to bring current high-fashion cuts and patterns onto planes. "The airlines used bright colors and different psychedelic prints—stripes, flowers, dots," [flight attendant Cliff Muskiet] recalls, "Everything was possible!"

Today’s travel atmosphere is more about inspiring trust and calm than it is about giving people a thrill. … The addition of male flight attendants to the field, and the focus on comfort and safety, led to a less distracting and more gender-neutral look.

(Image: Uniforms for Pan Am (1969-1971), United (1968-1970), and Southwest (1995-2004) from Cliff Muskiet)