Skip navigation

Three fashion trends inspired by aviation

Article published
13.10.2016 at 07:00
Travel People & Aviation
The fashion world has gathered inspiration from aviation for decades. Here are some of the best known trends inspired by flying.

From fancy flight attendant uniforms to aviator sunglasses, the awe-inspiring world of aviation has created fashion statements that have spread far and wide.

Here are the top three fashion pieces inspired by aviation:

Aviator sunglasses

The first Aviator sunglasses were created by American optician business Bausch & Lomb in 1936. The Ray Ban Aviator’s signature teardrop shape was designed to protect pilots’ eyes during flight. The US Army adopted the sunglasses, and they replaced previous heavy-duty pilot goggles.

During the Second World War, aviators gained a greater reputation as US Army General Douglas MacArthur was photographed for newspapers wearing them. Though aviators were first sold as specialized sports gear, in the decades after the war, they became the first sunglass model to achieve wide popularity.

Today, the aviator is produced by many brands and chain stores in a variety of different colors.

Aviator style sunglasses are included in the collections of many shops at Helsinki Airport including Collection (Gate 27) and Helsinki Duty Free (Gate 22).

Pilottitakkeja kannattaa kysellä Helsinki-Vantaalla esimerkiksi ARG:n myymälästä (portti 13–14).

Flight attendant scarf

The first flight crew outfits in commercial aviation mostly resembled wartime nurses’ outfits: most included a long skirt, form-fitting jacket, dress shirt and a hat. In the decades after World War II, with the rise of the jumbo jet, air travel grew into an international business. Flight attendants, in their stylish uniforms, became the epitome of the glamour of the jet set era.

Through the decades, many airlines have even collaborated with top fashion names to create their in-flight fashion, from Dior-designed Air France crew uniforms in 1963 to Vivienne Westwood’s 2014 look for Virgin Airlines.

Besides the tailored two-piece suits and pillbox hats, the classic flight attendant look includes, of course, a neatly tied silk scarf. Finnair flight crew, for instance, have had scarves designed by Dior, Hermès and Marja Kurki.

Find your inner flight attendant and pick a fashionable silk scarf from Helsinki Airport stores such as ARG (Gate 13–14), Collection (Gate 27) and Marimekko (Gate 26–27).

Bomber jacket

Like many classic garments, the widely popular bomber jacket also has its roots in army wear. The first pilot coats were created in the early 20th century, before cockpits were closed off, so the jackets were meant to keep pilots warm in high altitudes and rough winds. The first models often included high collars, fur lining and wind-flaps to keep cold weather at bay.

The most well-known flight jackets were designed for the US Army. For instance the short, fur-collared leather flight jacket G-1 has been in use since World War II and became world-renowned from Hollywood movie Top Gun starring Tom Cruise.

Today’s popular nylon bomber jacket designs are usually based on the MA-1 model that the US Army started using in late 1940s. The best-known version of this jacket is sage green with a bright orange lining; in case of an emergency crash the jacket could be worn inside out so the bright color would improve rescue visibility.

Look for bomber style jackets for instance at ARG store (Gate 13–14).

Read a flight attendant's tips for a long flight