Nest time you’re flying, take note of your flight attendants – both male and female. Take a good long look at their conservative attire. Then read these quotes from a 1979 newspaper article.
As the flight attendant helps you adjust your seat and begins taking orders for cocktails, have you ever wondered how the airline selects her uniform? There may be a lot more to the process than you think.
“We have a company image to project,” says Barbara Collins, assistant chief flight attendant. “We want the woman to look professional and subtly sexy.”
Ms. Collins stressed that PSA stewardesses have never worn slacks and never will. Skirts are feminine and show off legs, and for an airline that caters to a large percentage of businessmen, that’s a factor to consider.
“We try to select designs that set our attendants apart from all the rest and we want them to look young and attractive,” she says.
As part of their training, new flight attendants attend a grooming class and are then sent to a salon for advice concerning hair styles and makeup.
In 1969 PSA decided to open the eyes of Californians and the airline industry by introducing the unforgettable pink and orange mini-skirts worn with matching hotpants and midcalf boots. And for the total effect, stewardesses were required to wear hula orange lipstick, false eyelashes and eyeliner.
It was time again for change in 1974. Only this time it took a more conservative approach…. The retirement of the short skirts was a big disappointment for many male travelers. But for girl watchers, there is consolation in the slit in today’s PSA skirt or the two buttons left undone in the front of the jumper.
Now take a look at a bunch of photographs of stewardesses before they were called flight attendants. Things are sooo much better now.... right?