"Why do Flight Attendants Dress Provocatively?"

By The Flying Pinto


I recently found your blog and I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. I have a question-I fly pretty often and I noticed that many of the female flight attendants seem to dress very provocative. Whether it’s the high heels, extremely short/tight skirts, tight/revealing/low cut blouses or all of the above! Do they dress like this on purpose-to entice the men? I happen not to mind because it gives me something to look at when bored: ) but just curious why they do it.

Of course I have seen plenty of FA who don’t dress this way but my question is on the ones who do.

Eagerly awaiting your response!

Dear Eagerly awaiting my response,

Thank you…

Sorry, it took so long for me to respond, but you know I’m extremely busy shopping and preparing for my flights all the time. What with all the accoutrement’s, the heels, hair, nails, false eyelashes, false other things…not!

Seriously, I’m not sure what airline you frequent, but I never see Flight Attendants dressed provocatively. Some look great in their uniforms, I’ll even say I’ve seen a few look somewhat sexy in a polished way but never provocative. Not in the U.S. anyway. I do remember seeing some Brazilian  Flight Attendants in Italy once, they literally shut the airport operations down on the tarmac as they walked by in their fur cuffed jackets, short skirts and boots. Even so, I’d still say they were sexy not provocative.

If you happen to be time traveling back to the 70’s I might agree with you. The Flight Attendants, then called Stewardesses dressed pretty hot back then and were even “sold” that way in commercials like this one:

But today? The polyester/wool blend I sport is a far cry from yesteryear. The only U.S. Airline uniforms I even like these days are Virgin America and Delta.

If I can offer a bit of advice? You say you enjoy looking? Well, that’s fine, but on behalf of my sisters please leave it at that and don’t make any unnecessary comments. You’re sure to become “galley gossip” if you do.

You can find out a little bit of history on flight attendant uniforms “here and a great collection of uniforms “here” if you’re interested.



  1. HunterSFO @ 2010-09-18 07:05

    Hi FlyingPinto

    I hear new uniforms are being designed for some major airlines that are merging. I hope you work for one of those airlines if the new uniforms end up being something more to your liking.

    I remember reading somewhere that U.S. carriers have gone towards uniforms that have a more "military" look because it tends to help things go smoother in emergencies. It's supposedly more reassuring to passengers to see someone that they feel looks the part for having authority and being able to handle the situation (which I'm sure you are very well trained to do.) It's also supposed to make people pay better attention to commands during an emergency.

    Don't remember where the article was that I read this, but that's the gist of it. It might have been in the SFO museum when they had the Flight Attendant Uniform exhibit.

    I recommend to everyone to check out that museum (its free) if you have layovers at SFO. It changes often too.

  2. Flight attendant @ 2010-09-18 08:55

    We are on the same wave lenght here, i cant say i have seen a provoactivly dress flight attendant for some time, smart yes professional yes, and some not so much, often see some shall we say older attendants, with a nice warm cardigan, and their bifocals on a chain around the neck, not exactly provocative/

  3. We've come a long way, baby. Still a ways to go. Good response.

  4. christina @ 2010-09-18 14:26

    I once saw a presale ASA flight attendant that was dressed (late at night with no supervisors around) with her skirt so short it wasn't even properly tailored, tall boots with chains on them and wild hair. I couldn't see the front of her. She was dressed like a nasty biker slut in my opinion! I have also seen a DL flight attendant with a wayyy to short skirt. Unfortunately, mouth acted faster than brain and I said, yes out loud, "Really?" LOL

    She too just looked ridiculous to me and not provocative, unless that's what provocative means.

    We have a joke saying that you can always tell the First Class cabin flight attendants by how short their skirts are and how high their heels are. I think that's just a silly statement and not true these days.

    I like to wear my dress (just to my knees) with my hair and makeup done tastefully and yes, heels. I feel better about myself and more professional than the pants with my shirt out and hair down. It would nice if I looked somewhat sexy however, as a Mom, I'm not sure if I feel that way too often anymore.

  5. lisleman @ 2010-09-18 18:46

    Even if I didn't know this blog was written by a woman this post would sure have given it away (not that you are hiding anything).
    provocative – sexy – about the same thing to many men. Unfortunately some guys find a little lip stick provocative.
    You handled this answer very well, but had he not stated "female" it would have been interesting to assume he was referring to male FAs.

  6. Aviatrix @ 2010-09-19 18:41

    I would have added that flight attendants are merely wearing their required, company-issued uniforms and are turned out according to the corporate grooming standards. It's the usually heterosexual male corporate suits who decide in the end what the FA uniforms look like.

    If most pilots were female, our uniforms would probably be a lot hotter, too.

  7. OH thank you! I clicked thru to the more "uniforms" site, and found that a woman that I used to fly with had donated her uniform, before she died of cancer. Wow.
    It brought back so many memories….cherish those you work with today, as you will miss them some day.
    Thank you again, smiles!

  8. Joanna Jenkins @ 2010-09-20 00:03

    I wonder what airline that guy was flying– Cuz I fly regularly and have for years. There's nothing "provocative" about polyester and sensible shoes. And I've never seen any shirts too short or blouses unbuttoned.

  9. Hahaha, totally have never seen a FA dress provocatively either. Some people just look great in uniform.

  10. I have flown with Flight Attendants who take in their uniform pieces. Make shorts shorter and make shirts tighter. My uniform is usually baggy unless I start to gain weight. 🙂 We all joke about where these flight attendants are based when we see them.

    At first I thought this was going to be a post about layover "bar" clothes. I'm always surprised how put together some of these outfits are and sometimes revealing. I don't put much thought into my layover clothes but I am married. 🙂

  11. The Lysser @ 2010-09-20 20:08

    Go Pinto! Thanks for fielding that one… I was at a loss for words.

  12. LMAO! Was this a recent comment? As several have noted, this might have bee almost true in the late 60s and 70s, but not today. I think most of today’s regular PAX have at least some idea of how hard you folks work and that functional and professional is the order of the day for uniforms. If I have a choice or airlines for a given trip, you can bet that I and nearly any experienced Self Loading Cargo won’t make our choices based un the FA’s skirt length. If slacks are a uniform choice and they are more functional, go for it. As for that 300# street trash, wearing ‘hot’ pants, a tank top and flip-flops, trying to squeeze her 25″ wide behind into a 17″ seat… There is a reason that some of buy seats in fromt of the curtain.