Delta Flight Attendant Uniforms of the Jet Age (1959-Today)
Delta's first Jet Age uniform was designed by Academy Award winner Edith Head, chief designer for the Paramount movie studio.
The shirtwaist dress of honey-beige wool gabardine was complemented by a leather belt and a "jet flame" orange ascot. The Chanel-inspired jacket featured fabric-covered buttons and three-quarter length sleeves. This uniform also included a variation of the 1940s military cap and "cinnamon brown" kid gloves, three-inch stiletto heels and a leather topcoat.
French blue crepe suit with a narrow skirt, semi-box jacket, and white overblouse. The "Delberet," a pill-box hat designed for Delta by Mea Hanauer of New York, replaced the traditional overseas stewardess cap.
This iridescent-green version of the winter suit also included the "Delberet."
Set of two A-line, wool dresses in red and black. A short double-breasted black jacket converted the black dress into a suit. A red topcoat and raincoat, black kid gloves, alligator print pumps or boots, and handbag finished the look. The serving smock was made of vinyl.
Set of three pastel polyester-knit dresses in "Aquanox Blue," "Grenelle Green" and "Sunshine Yellow." Accessories and the reversible serving smock echoed the colors of the dresses, so it was possible to have six color combinations in the cabin at one time. A tall "huntsmen" hat fit over trendy beehive hairdos! Short white gloves were standard issue.
Note: In the studio photo, the flight attendant on the left is wearing the 1968-70 Winter vinyl smock.
First Delta flight attendant uniform with pants—navy blue bell bottoms—and hats were no longer required. Pleated mini-skirts and tunics of wrinkle-free polyester came in orange, navy blue and white to coordinate with the interior of Delta's new Boeing 747. The serving smock was bright yellow. Accessories included a navy blue ribbon beret, patent leather pumps or heeled loafers with gold hardware, and optional boots. In winter, navy leather gloves were available, in summer—white short gloves. This uniform also featured a "tomato red" topcoat, a yellow raincoat, and a yellow duffel bag purse with a red/white/blue striped shoulder strap.
Return to a collarless, but more classic blazer in blue banded in red, or red banded in blue. The A-line skirts were still short, but the slacks were no longer bell bottoms. A new item was the short-sleeved, ribbed turtleneck. For the first time, a hat wasn't a part of the uniform. The Delta "widget" logo scarf could be worn as a headband, tied around a ponytail, or draped around the neck. Paisley aprons protected uniforms during meal service. Black chunky-heeled loafers completed the look.
Male flight attendants joined the cabin crews on board Delta jets in 1973. They wore a wrinkle-free polyester navy suit jacket and gray pants with a red/white/blue striped tie.
Feeling trendy or classic? Female flight attendants could choose sky blue and camel leisure suits and Qiana nylon wrap dresses, or traditional blazers, slacks and skirts. Accent pieces in peach and beige included four types of blouses and three sweaters. A knit T-shirt, scarf and blue/white serving smocks featured the names of Delta destinations. Scarves were worn in a variety of ways around hair or neck. Brown leather handbag and chunky-heeled loafers finished the look.
Male flight attendants had a choice of two suits of blue and camel, worn with a camel vest. Shirts came in light blue, ecru or white, and were topped with a solid blue tie or one of two striped ties.
This collection was sure to fill a closet! Each of the basic pieces, such as jackets, pants, and skirts, came in three colors—taupe, beige and rose. There were pleated and non-pleated skirts and slacks, silk and gabardine dresses and jumpers, and a variety of sweaters and blouses to choose from. Serving smocks came in brown or pink printed in white Delta "widget" logos.
Male flight attendants wore light or dark brown suits with striped ties of brown/beige or pink/rose. A dark brown butcher-block apron was worn during meal service.
It was back to basics with Delta's longest-lived uniform—a professional, tailored suit of tropical wool in navy blue. Originally the jackets, pants, vests and skirt were also issued in gray, but navy became the preferred color. This was the first Delta uniform with maternity wear—a loose navy jumper. Scarves and ties were either red with a thin blue line and tiny white Delta "widget" logos or blue/gray/burgundy striped.
In 1991, the uniforms were updated with new and redesigned pieces. The navy coatdress became an easy-to-wear favorite. A new Delta crest was embroidered on white shirts and blouses, a detachable navy collar and serving apron. Scarves and ties were printed with stripes or geometric shapes, some with touches of green. Male and female flight attendants sported a pre-shaped, cranberry red scarf, or "pocket puff," in their blazer pockets.
In 1996, specially-designed Olympic scarves and ties were worn to support Delta's promotion of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, held in Atlanta.
Delta Express, 1996-2001
Delta Express—Delta's first low-cost carrier—served fourteen leisure markets between the Northeast and Florida. The casual uniform of khaki pants, sweaters instead of jackets, and a skort option for women, was designed "to create a relaxed atmosphere in the cabin." Shirts, pinstriped in Delta blue and light blue, featured an embroidered logo and epaulets.
A "professional business casual" approach: charcoal gray mini-check pants, loose jackets, skirts and a skort of tropical weight wool. Bright blouses, shirts, and a twin-set sweater of "Delta Millennium" blue were accented with maroon/beige/blue checked ties and scarves. Each silver-colored button had a tiny, raised airplane on it.
In 2003, white shirt and blouse options were added, and the original tie and scarf were replaced by ones echoing the "Colors in Motion" flowing design painted on Delta's aircraft.
Song—Delta's second low-cost carrier—started service with flight attendant and airport customer service uniforms of basic black pants, button-down shirts, black sweaters and sweater vests, and a scarf patterned in lime green/black/gold/blue squares.
In 2004, Song launched new uniforms of dark gray charcoal pieces with black knits and lime green accents. Kate Spade designed the female flight attendant and airport customer service uniforms and accessorized them with Kate Spade shoes and bags. Male uniforms were designed by Andy Spade under the Jack Spade label.
An elegant, professional uniform designed by Richard Tyler.
Bold red pops against midnight blue pieces. The collection features a regal red wrap-dress with cinched waist, jackets with molded shoulders and torso-lengthening silhouettes, and subtle stripes arranged in triangular shapes.
Since 2008, flight attendants have worn a pink version of the iconic red dress during the month of October, promoting Delta's partnership with Breast Cancer Research Foundation to support Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising efforts. Pink shirts, turtlenecks, and a tie and scarf are also available.
Propeller Era Uniforms (1940-1959) »