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Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Bangkok Airways’ flight attendant uniform from the ’90s until 2012.
FLIGHTY

Photos: Explore the world’s biggest collection of flight attendant uniforms

Thu-Huong Ha
By Thu-Huong Ha

Reporter

Cliff Muskiet doesn’t care if people think he’s weird. The KLM flight attendant has possibly the largest collection of stewardess uniforms in the world, at 1319 outfits from 486 different airlines, and counting. Under the moniker Uniform Freak, Muskiet shares his beloved uniforms—which date back to the 1940s—on his site.

From a young age, Muskiet was obsessed with civil aviation, he told Quartz. As early as 13, he collected any airline paraphenalia he could, like postcards and timetables.

In his teenage years, Muskiet had a job cleaning planes, so he took left-behind cups and spoons for his collection. In the early 1980s he wrote letters to airline companies. “Every now and then I would receive a uniform,” he told Quartz. He started collecting in earnest in 1993.

Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Braniff International, USA (1965 – 1966)

Muskiet especially loves hats, and is giddy over the fact that they’re making a comeback in uniforms in Europe and the Middle East. He recalls a short-lived hat from the US airline company Braniff International in the 1960s, a piece of headware that looked like a space helmet, worn to protect the hat underneath. The easyJet uniforms from the 1990s, he says, are among his least favorite.

“Even if a uniform is ugly as hell, it’s a uniform,” he said. “So I want it in my collection.”

The Dutch flight attendant estimates that 70% of his uniforms are donated. When he asks fellow attendants for an item to complete his collection, he usually gets it, he adds.

Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Iberia, Spain (1972 – 1977)

Still, he said, collecting is not an easy hobby. Airline uniforms are hard to come by—eBay has strict guidelines against reselling goods related to “government, transit, and shipping,” as impersonating a flight attendant can present a security issue. (There are companies that sell generic flight attendant and pilot uniforms, but to get one with a logo you must show proof of employment.)

Below, a fascinating selection of uniforms from Muskiet’s collection.

Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, The Netherlands (1971 – 1975)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
National Airlines, USA (1972 – 1975)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Qantas, Australia (1974 – 1987)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Ghana Airways, Ghana (1980s)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
easyJet, United Kingdom (1990s)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Emirates, United Arab Emirates (1990 – 2009)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Bangkok Airways, Thailand (1990 – 2012)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Kuwait Airways, Kuwait (1993 – late 1990s)
Courtesy Cliff Muskiet
Singapore Airlines, Singapore (present day)

One item Muskiet still hopes to own is a sweater and short-sleeved dress issued by Japan Airlines in the 1970s.

“It’s one of my favorite uniforms,” he said. “So I know exactly what it looks like.”

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