exhibits

History

Delta Brand

Employee Uniforms

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1959-1965 Winter

Delta's first Jet Age uniform was designed by Academy Award winner Edith Head, chief designer for Paramount movie studio. Hat designed by Mae Hanauer of New York NY.

Shirtwaist dress of honey-beige wool gabardine was complemented by leather belt and "jet flame" orange ascot. 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 leather topcoat.

For more information, see page 6 of this 1959 DC-8 brochure and this 1963 Delta news release.

 


 

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1965-1968 Winter

French blue crepe suit with 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 cap style.

Uniform by Hamilton Tailoring Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Hat by Mae Hanauer of New York NY. For more details, see this 1965 Delta Digest article.

 


 

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1966-1968 Summer

Iridescent-green version of the winter suit and "Delberet" with a beige overblouse and white gloves.

Uniform by Hamilton Tailoring Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Hat by Mae Hanauer of New York NY.

 


 

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1968-1970 Winter

Set of two A-line, wool dresses in red and black. Short double-breasted black jacket converted black dress into a suit. Red topcoat and raincoat, black kid gloves, alligator print pumps or boots and handbag finished the look. Black paisley serving smock was made of vinyl.

Uniform designed by Harry Gilbert of Lady Simpson. Hat by Mae Hanauer of New York, NY. 

For more details, see this 1968 Delta Digest article.

 


 

1969-1970 Summer
Set of three pastel polyester-knit dresses in Aquanox Blue, Grenelle Green and Sunshine Yellow. Accessories and reversible serving smock echoed colors of the dresses, so it was possible to have six color combinations in an aircraft cabin at one time. Tall "huntsmen" hat fit over trendy beehive hairdos! Short white gloves were standard issue.

Uniform designed by Harry Gilbert of Lady Simpson. Hat by Mae Hanauer of New York, NY. See this article.

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Note: Model on left wearing 1968-70 Winter smock.

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1970-1973
First Delta flight attendant uniform with pants—navy blue bell bottoms—and hats no longer required. Pleated mini-skirts and tunics of wrinkle-free polyester in orange, navy blue and white coordinated with interior of Delta's new Boeing 747. Serving smock was bright yellow. Accessories included navy blue ribbon beret, patent leather pumps or heeled loafers with gold hardware, optional boots, "tomato red" topcoat, a yellow raincoat and yellow duffel bag purse with red/white/blue striped shoulder strap.

Designed by Sharon Harris for the Fashionaire Division of Hart Schaffner & Marx. See also this 1970 "Care & Wearing" booklet and Delta Digest article.

 


 

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1973-1975
Return to collarless, but more classic blazer in blue banded in red, or red banded in blue. A-line skirts were still short, but slacks were no longer bell bottoms. New item was short-sleeved, ribbed turtleneck. For first time, hat wasn't a part of the uniform. Delta "widget" logo scarf could be worn as a headband, tied around ponytail or draped around neck. Paisley aprons protected uniforms during meal service. Black chunky-heeled loafers completed the look.

Male flight attendants joined cabin crews on board Delta jets in 1973. They wore wrinkle-free, double-knit polyester navy suit jacket and gray pants with a red/white/blue striped tie.

Uniform by Fashionaire Division of Hart Schaffner & Marx.  For details, see this 1973 uniform program booklet.

 


 

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1975-1979

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. Knit T-shirt, scarves and serving smocks in "Delta Cities" print featured names of Delta destinations. Scarves were worn in variety of ways around hair or neck. Brown leather handbag and chunky-heeled loafers finished the look.

Male flight attendants had choice of two suits of blue and camel, worn with camel vest. Shirts came in light blue, ecru or white, and were topped with a solid blue tie or choice of two striped ties.

Designed by Pat Ashley of Omniform, a division of W.R. Grace & Co. For more about this uniform, see this 1975 "Apparel & Appearance" booklet.

 


 

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1979-1983
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. 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. Dark brown butcher-block apron protect uniform during meal service.

Female flight attendant uniforms designed by Pat Ashley of Omniform, a division of Jones Apparel Group. Male flight attendant uniforms designed by Uniflite, subsidiary of Andrew Pallock and Co. See this 1979 article.

 


 

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1983-2001

Back to basics with Delta's longest-lived uniform—a professional, tailored suit of tropical wool in navy blue. Designed by Van Lupu for Omniform, this uniform was a classic when it was introduced in 1983. The uniform won the 1984 Image of the Year Award from the Career Apparel Institute.  First Delta uniform with maternity wear—a loose navy jumper. 

The original accent colors were gray, dark purple (aubergine) and dark red. For more details, see this 1983 article.

Jackets, pants, vests and skirt were made available in gray, but navy became the preferred color.  

An update in about 1988 added a double-breasted suit jacket option to the earlier-style single-breasted jackets. Scarves and ties in gray and dark-red paisley by Design Accessories. A new pleated-front navy dress accented with a navy stretch elastic belt linked with large goldtone clasps. Chunky-knit navy cardigans and pullover sweaters in the looser style of the late 1980s. See this ca. 1988 brochure.

A 1991 update added new and redesigned items. The coatdress became an easy-to-wear favorite. New Delta crest embroidered on white shirts and blouses, new detachable navy collar and serving aprons. Scarves and ties printed with stripes or geometric shapes, some with touches of green. Flight attendants sported pre-shaped, cranberry red scarf, or "pocket puff," in jacket pocket. See this 1991 article.

In 1996, special scarves and ties promoted Delta as The Official Airline of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.

 


 

Detla Express Uniforms
Detla Express Skort
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Delta Express, 1996-2001

Delta Express—Delta's first low-cost carrier—served fourteen leisure markets between the Northeast and Florida. A casual uniform for Delta Express flight attendants and airport public contact agents, originally designed by Ireland's Paul Costelloe "to create a relaxed atmosphere in the cabin."  

Uniform offered pleated khaki pants, a skort option for women, and sweaters instead of jackets. Shirts, pinstriped in Delta blue and light blue, featured an embroidered logo and epaulets.