Oddball Airline Collections

PHOTO: The Braniff International uniform from the 1970s featured a mini dress.

A guy collects hundreds and hundreds of flight attendant uniforms - ranging from '60s era hot pants to Hawaiian muumuus (and some very strange hats). Is this a hoarder?

No, says the Mayo Clinic, since "hoarders save random items they encounter ... and store them haphazardly." Cliff Muskiet, on the other hand, has been meticulously cataloging and sharing his airline outfits since he began his collection 32 years ago.

He's not the only one obsessed with some aspect of flying. People amass, buy and sell all kinds of airline memorabilia for fun and profit. Here are some of the more colorful collections:

For more travel news and insights view Rick's blog at farecompare.com

Collector Muskiet, a purser (lead flight attendant) with the Netherlands' KLM posts photos of cabin crew clothes on his site UniformFreak. At last count, he had 1,098 uniforms from 426 current and defunct carriers. He says he has many favorites, but leans toward the "mod" look, adding "I love the psychedelic prints and color combinations, the short skirts, the pointy collars and don't forget all the polyester fabrics." Some standouts:

Braniff International: Mini dresses in bright green and blue swirly patterns from the early '70s (a close feminine adviser informs me that if they're not Pucci prints, they're pretty darn close). Also see the plastic "space-man" hat.

(Image courtesy Uniformfreak.com)

TWA: Uniforms made of paper from 1968 (another woman friend explained that paper mini dresses had a brief and wholly inexplicable vogue in the late '60s). Check out the metallic gold number.

(Image courtesy Uniformfreak.com)

Continental: Lurid orange stripes decorate early '70s mini dresses, plus Hawaiian-inspired muumuus dating from the '80s. Interestingly, the basic navy uniforms that go back all the way to 1957 look clones of the modern day outfits.

(Image courtesy Uniformfreak.com)

PSA: The airline that used to paint "smiles" on planes took their quirkiness to another level in the mid-'80s with a uniform color-combo of purple, pink, red and orange.

(Image courtesy Uniformfreak.com)

Pan Am: Surprisingly drab uniforms, and despite all the talk about them on that TV show, not a girdle in sight.

(Image courtesy Uniformfreak.com)

Sometimes you can tell by the name of the carrier what its uniform will look like: Ireland's Aer Lingus features lots of green; Tyrolean Airways uniforms look like something out of "Heidi"; Qantas blouses from the '80s feature kangaroos while '90s scarves from Air Tanzania sport giraffes. As for the various Virgin airline designs, all I can say is Richard Branson's favorite color must be red.

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