Southwest Didn't Always Hate Skimpy Clothing. Just Look at Those '70s Hemlines
Southwest Airlines posted a cheeky little game on their Facebook page: Check out these seemingly identical photos of our stewardesses from the 'first hostess class' in 1971 and find the 10 differences (it's sort of fun).
Our first thought: Southwest hired go-go dancers as stewardesses? (check out the one woman's hair, lower right)
Next thought: Those are some damn teenie dresses.
Which is funny after reading Anna's piece yesterday about Southwest Airlines ruling the skies as the unofficial wardrobe police. Anna detailed customers' wardrobe choices perceived by Southwest employees as too risque for family-friendly flying. In 2007, one lady, ironically, was kicked off the flight for a short skirt. Oh, the times they are a-changing.
Most recently, Anna noted, there's Avital, the large-chested woman whose fairly conservative but nonetheless cleavage-bearing sundress landed her a warning: Cover up or you can't fly. She boarded without further incident, telling Jezebel, "My cleavage did not interfere with the plane's ability to function properly." Several years ago, another woman was made to cover up her top half, and last year, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day was kicked off a flight because his pants sagged too low for the discerning taste of a Southwest employee.
If stewardesses dressed like they did in the '70s, we'd have a real pot/kettle issue on our hands, but the uniforms have evolved with their wearers' attitudes, becoming more prudish and sensible with each passing decade. From the depths of the Internet, we just discovered this blog, which posts pictures of airlines' uniforms of yore.
It's a bit sad to watch the gradual decline of the vixen stewardess and her hemline, but we must admit, the modern-day uniforms look way comfier. At this rate, they'll be wearing embroidered scrubs by 2020. And passengers? Who knows what they will (or will not) be wearing.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.