Mile High Drama – Singapore Airlines Vs Pan Am

On my SIA flight, I couldn’t help observing the iconic stylings of the Singapore Airlines stewardess… I mean, flight attendant. Their uniforms are inspired by the traditional Malay Sarong Kebaya, a fitted semi-transparent blouse and sarong combo I remember my grandmother wearing. Theirs is opaque, for the keeping of modesty, with a sarong gathered in the front with pleats. For that slimline silhouette.

A 'Singapore Girl'

Incidentally, they were voted second best-looking flight attendants in an ‘offensive’ survey by the recent Business Travel and Meetings show in London. The Singapore Girl branding with her uniform was established in 1972. I wonder if there is still a waistline prerequisite. Some definite regulations are: Hair must be dyed black or brown, and toenails must be painted bright red.

Recently, they seem to have adopted the Amy Winehouse hairdo and eyeliner. Very edgy.

New vintage hair and makeup


On this flight, I caught the ‘pilot’ episode of Pan Am, the new TV series based on that luxurious airline in the 60’s, directed by Thomas Schlamme (West Wing,) to be aired on Aussie TV from this month. Check out the trailer here. It seems like everyone is clammering onto the Mad Men franchise, characterized by its classy yet seductive 60’s painstakingly recreated costumes. Apparently vintage 60’s garments were carefully taken apart so that every aspect of the make could be studied and mimiced. 

Pan Am ratings have taken a dive recently, but I think it’s still well worth a watch, even if only to see Christina Ricci in that equally iconic Pan Am stewardess uniform. Complete with girdle.

Christina Ricci in Pan Am stewardess uniform. Picture is a still from 'Pan Am.'
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