Emirates signature look. Photo: emiratesgroupcareer.com

Cabin crew uniforms are a special fashion category. You can’t buy them, but sometimes you’d love to. I always like to watch cabin crews traveling to or from a plane, either fresh before starting their shift, or tired right at the end of it, but still looking immaculate.

Here are 10 elegant, beautiful designs that graced international airlines in 2014.

1. Emirates Airlines.

In a recent article published by the Huffington Post (Emirate Airlines flight attendants reveal just how much goes into their in-flight look) two members of the elite, diverse crew (which is made up of people from 130 different countries!) talk about their job and the deeply rooted, historical element of their uniforms. “People are really impressed by the way we look. I think it makes us stand out, look professional and well put together”, says flight attendant Maria Pedersen. Getting ready for the in-flight look normally takes about an hour and there are strict guidelines for many details such as the exact position of the hat (to be worn two fingers width above your eyebrows); how to fold the scarf so it is tucked in a certain way; about make up (the signature red lipstick) and grooming (hair shouldn’t touch the shoulders); etc. Flight attendants are not allowed to wear pieces of uniforms if they are off duty, that would be pretty taboo.

Photo: emiratesgroupcareer.com
Flight attendants have strict rules about grooming. Here their signature buns. Photo: huffingtonpost.com
Emirates cabin crew. Photo: gedlab.com

2. Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines world-famous ‘Singapore Girl’ uniform has barely altered in over 40 years. But as the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The outfit is elegant, stylish, traditional, instantly recognisable and therefore one of the most iconic cabin crew uniforms in the world. The original, a take on the traditional ‘Sarong Kebaya’, was designed by French couture designer Pierre Balmain in 1968.

Singapore Airlines stewardess. Photo world-stewardess.blogspot.com
Cabin crew in Changi airport. Photo: forums.hardwarezone.com.org
Singapore Airlines timeless outfit. Photo: confessionsofatrolleydolly.com

3. Air Canada Rouge.

You have to hand it to them: for a discount carrier, they have pretty creative, fun uniforms. The burgundy/grey new ensembles are kind of “Glee” meets hipsters. Footwear design is by Vancouver-based and celebrity favorite John Fluevog. Lower budget can be stylish too!

air canada rouge uniforms
Air Canada Rouge trousers uniforms. Photo: thestar.com
Air Canada Rouge recently redesigned cabin crew uniform. Photo: thestar.com
Air Canada trench coats and hats. Photo: thestar.com

4.Thai Airways.

Graceful, timeless and elegant, the traditional Thai Airlines uniforms exude style.
As part of the company policy, Thai Airways International flight attendants are required to wear their corporate purple outfit for use outside the plane, and to change into traditional Thai dress prior to passenger boarding the plane and while in the plane.

Fresh orchids on the Thai flight attendants traditional dresses. Photo: glamourtraveler.com
Purple dresses and suits: Photo: airportinternational.com
Thai Airlines purple suits and hats. Photo: world crews.blogspot.com

5. Aereoflot

The Russians may not generally be thought of highly in the fashion stakes but the crisp caps and jauntily-angled neck ties of Aeroflot’s stewardesses struck a chord with passengers who have rated the airline the world’s most stylish in a survey for the flight booking website Skyscanner. A timeless classic.

Aereoflot beloved crisp cap. Photo: theaviationwriter.com
Aereoflot signature red. Photo: telegraph.co.uk
Aereoflot cabin crew uniforms. Photo: guardian.co.uk

6. Qantas

I fell in love with the new Qantas trench coat. I would buy one if I could. Miranda Kerr wearing the cabin crew dress also helps to show the new collection in all its glamour.
The new design, full of striking colours, including French Navy, Qantas/ruby-red and fuchsia palette was created by Australian born designer Martin Grant, the tenth Australian designer Qantas has worked with since the airlines launch in 1938.

New Martin Grant designed trench coat. Photo: red carpet-fashionawards.com
New Qantas scarves and dresses suit any hair color. Photo: richtigteuer.com
Miranda Kerr in her Qantas uniform. Photo: 2gb.com

7. Etihad.

Another sleek and elegant uniform, similar to the Emirates one, is Etihad. But the special touch is the Abu Dhabi “grid girls “dress.
Etihad Airways “grid girls” gather ahead of Sunday’s Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The cabin crew – dressed in iconic Formula 1 uniforms – have become a key feature of the Yas Marina Circuit race.

Etihad Airways graceful cap and scarf. Photo: pramugariblog.wordpress.com
Etihad Grid Girls. Photo: ittn.ie
13.11.2011- grid girls
An impressive line of Etihad Grid Girls. Photo: letstravelmag.com
Etihad Grid Girls. Photo: letstravelmag.com

8. Virgin Atlantic.

In 2013 Virgin Atlantic uniforms were redesigned by Vivienne Westwood. Like them or hate them, the bold approach is worth a mention. It mixes the ornate silhouettes Westwood is famous for with traditional British heritage. New eco-friendly thread is used to create the new uniform pieces, still in the iconic ‘Virgin red’, spun from recycled polyester. For the girls the scarf has been ditched and the collar has been raised. Hour glass designs feature in the new pieces and the infamous red shoes have been redesigned with a non-slip sole for added comfort; well Virgin girls do walk on average 7 miles per flight.

World Gold Council/Uganda
The new Virgin Atlantic uniform designed by Vivienne Westwood. Photo: thedesignair.net
Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic. Photo: dezeen.com
Vivienne Westwood's Virgin Atlantic uniform
Bold makeup and hairstyles for the new Virgin Atlantic cabin crew uniforms. Photo: fashion.telegraph.co.uk

9. Air France

The ever stylish boys and girls and Air France simply had to feature in the list, as their current uniform offering most definitely brings back the glamour. Created in 2005 by deign legend Christian Lacroix, signed pyjamas by the man himself are handed out to passengers lucky enough to be able to travel in the airline first class (L’Espace Premier)

As chic as ever – Air France uniform and coat. Photo: rantsofasassystew.com
Air France in-flight dress. Photo: aquiemcima.blogspot.com
Style the aisles with Air France. Photo: confessionsofatrolleydolly.com

10. Garuda Airlines

Garuda Indonesia decided to go back to the Sarong Kebaya design for their flight attendants after almost six years since it suspended the earlier version. This current version that was launched in 2010 was designed by Indonesian well-known designer, Josephine Werratie Komara also known as Obin. She opted to go for plain colored top and batik motive material for the sarong, with a large brooch that is pinned in the middle, where the two lapels meet. Feminine and put together, it’s another example of elegance and professionalism.

Garuda airlines showing off its Indonesian flair. Photo: glamoroustraveler.com
Garuda flight attendant in bright orange. Photo: garuda-indonesia.com
Garuda Cabin Crew. Photo: garuda-indonesia.com