Delta’s New Uniforms Are… Purple!

Filed Under: Delta

Delta has just released their latest employee uniforms, which will eventually be worn by the company’s 60,000+ employees. The uniforms were designed as a collaborative effort between designer Zac Posen and Delta’s employees. Here’s how the new uniforms are being described, per the press release:

Posen’s designs drape employees in a wholly-reimagined mix of colors dubbed Passport Plum, Cruising Cardinal and Groundspeed Graphite, with accents of Skyline Slate and Traveling Thistle to bring a cohesive look across customer-facing and technical job functions.

There are a number of subtle details including a signature winged collar on the women’s Traveling Thistle blouse, the Delta logo, also known as the widget, accented throughout the collection and for non-customer-facing employees, reflective Delta widgets on high-visibility outerwear.

Here are the new flight attendant uniforms:


And the new customer service uniforms:


And the new ramp agent uniforms:


And the new tech ops uniforms:


Delta has always been a bit more progressive than other US legacy airlines when it comes to their employee uniforms, and this new set of uniforms is no exception. I can’t help but think a bit of Virgin Atlantic when I see them, given their use of red and purple.

We’ll start seeing these uniforms in early 2017, when a team of 1,000 employees will wear them as a test. From there adjustments and tweaks will be made, and finally the uniforms are scheduled to be rolled out worldwide by the first quarter of 2018.

I’ve talked to a few friends about the new uniforms so far, and what’s interesting is how polarizing they seem to be. Some people love the new uniforms, while others said it’s awful/ugly (their words, not mine).

At first glance I think I like it, but I’m not sure.

What do you make of Delta’s new employee uniforms — love it or hate it?

  1. So, DL owns a 49% stake in VS. These uniforms are VERY similar to the color palate/themes VS uses, as you mentioned. Is there something else going on behind the scenes?

  2. @Adam I can’t help but feel the same way. I don’t hate the color but it’s not fitting of Delta’s palette as it stands today.

  3. Love it! The VS uniforms ARE AWESOME and these are pretty close. I love the Alitalia uniform too…

  4. I was on a flight out of Atlanta today when the uniforms were announced. The male crew members seemed pleased. The female crew members were less happy.

  5. As soon as I saw them I thought they match Virgin. Looks good, don’t match the interior of the aircraft though, maybe the new aircraft coming will he changed to match.

  6. Those poor female Delta FAs!!!! Sleeve length is too long and flared hip is not flattering on most women. The huge red trim is just wrong! Zac Posen’s colors and design sense are more fitting killer clown costumes for Halloween. Epic fail.

  7. @Donna – you’re right – not flattering and color scheme is atrocious. The short sleeve/shorts look suspiciously like Fedex uniforms.

  8. Don’t like it for DL brand. Super confusing and not really connected to their livery or colors. Interesting otherwise though

  9. Purple is just hideous, and when it’s mixed with red just makes me wanna puke!! Better start putting those bags in the back of every seat again

  10. Delta will be the laughing stock of every other airline with these Barney the Dinosaur uniforms. Once again just like when they redesigned the aircraft interiors MD-90, A320, A319 They had to be secretive and not get input from the 22000 over the wing employees who are in the Public Eye who actually have to wear the Hideous Purple People Eater Costume! Seriously Red&Purple together! All of our aircraft are Red,White & Blue! No Purple ANYWHERE! The company needs to make sure that we dont walk through the airport in groups so we dont get mistaken for the Fruit of The Loom Grapes!! This color ONLY looks okay on the very thinnest of flight crews not the portly senior mamas and papas which account for about 50% of the crews so we had better get ready for the heckling and the jokes and snears from the other flight crews. At least during breast cancer awareness we can ditch the purple for the pink which will look good for the Men with the light gray but the women are stuck with the dark purple and the pink added will look like a clown threw up on them. SERIOUSLY DELTA WTF!!!!!

  11. When I flew for New York Air in the eighties, we had purple uniforms with red accents. That was followed by grey with red braids. I loved our uniforms because they stood out from the rest of the boring navy blue, which every major airline was wearing at the time. Good for you Delta….Be bold and be different!

  12. Its Like being on the kids show Barney! This is absolutely hysterical – and horrible. It won’t last.

  13. Well it looks like “PISSED OFF IN PURPLE” should get a new job! I think United is hiring 😉
    I think the design is progressive and for those who lack fashion sense (which is seems most do as their clothes shopping is done at Old Navy or Target) the colors match in a very sharp and yet harmonious way. It’s great to see Delta finally moving away from the Delta Red, White and Blue that as been their imagine for so long and slowly transition into a new phase of what a global airline should look like. We can already see Delta’s color scheme changing as their introduction of the new A350 shows the small hints of passport plum and graphite; a color palette much more inviting and relaxing then their previous strong red & blue. For those who think they will look like a hippo in the new uniform, eat a salad! Congratulations Delta on moving forward with epic strides in being a leading airline!

  14. As a Delta Mechanic I’m glad they have at least kept the pants basically the same. But a red shirt? Seriously? You realize how oil stains and such will stand out? Won’t be long before you are looking like a shade tree mechanic. But put on the purple and now you can instantly work for FedEx! These colors are TOTALLY un-relatable to our aircraft livery. Where’s the association? Guess we’ll be painting our planes purple next. Then they too can be mistaken for FedEx.

  15. For 25 years I work a blue uniform – at one point, decorated with sergeant stripes on sleeves, and the only choice was a blue or white shirt when I got promoted to command staff. It’s a uniform. It’s not designed for personal wear ….. it’s what you wear to WORK. As long as it’s comfortable and at no cost to you, who cares? Your shirt gets dirty or oil-stained, I am sure you can get a new one. Tear or snag it? New one. Think of the money you’ll save on not having to buy clothes for work! And funny that people are comparing them to Virgin and FedEx – that’s pretty good company to be in. Sometimes, going outside of the box can be a good thing and let’s face it….. red, white, and blue as uniform colors is just too “uniform.”

  16. I actually think they are awesome! The Customer Service dress is maybe a little too literal on the red arrow design, but overall, the purple works!

  17. Ugly AND they don’t represent the Delta brand in any way. I cannot believe marketing didn’t have some input before these were announced. Barney, Teletubbies, Grimace, Purple People Eaters…the jokes are already writing themselves. Run, don’t walk away from this bad decision!

  18. As a customer, I struggle the most identifying who works for which US-based airlines. There are so many variations of uniforms. Ground staff, flying staff, lounge staff, etc, all different uniforms. If I need help, I really don’t know who to go to. KLM’s blue is easy to spot and identify, so is EVA, Alitalia, China Airlines, etc. Airlines should have the same uniforms for all customer-facing employees.

  19. Horrid! oviously only for model bodies, which we all know most of us aren’t
    What’s with the high collars and short sleeves, who looks good in those?!
    Sorry, guys, that gray is cheap looking and NOT complimentary to anyone.

    Reminds me of that blue & gray outfit that had people thinking we were valets

  20. All you have to do is look at how Zac Posen dresses celebs to understand why Delta should have never used him to design their uniforms. Do a google image search on zac posen along with rihanna, tracee ellis ross, zosia mamet, or lena dunham and you’ll instantly see what I mean. Horrible cartoon colors and dowdy unflattering styles done in shiny satin fabrics which are hard for even the most fat-free woman to pull off successfully. He is probably the worst designer in all of the US today. How he has been continually promoted by the fashion industry and still survives as a designer, I have no idea. And this is my sugar-coated version!

  21. Is Delta kidding?

    How many astoundingly hideous uniform pieces has Zac Posen come up with? And in colours that have nothing to do with each other, or the airline’s brand – unless Delta is merging with Wizz Air.

    Why not just let Delta employees wear their own clothes to work? Because this new uniform is made-up of so many different garments, in so many different colours, that during the course of a flight, customers are going to have a difficult time distinguishing between employees and other travelers. Passport Plum, Cruising Cardinal, Groundspeed Graphite, Skyline Slate, Traveling Thistle… STOP! The point of uniforms is to look UNIFORM!

    If these garments appear this ill-fitting, this out-dated, this mismatched, this downright UGLY, on men and women who have been professionally groomed and photographed, how are they going to look on the average employee, who just gets up in the morning and throws their uniform on? Not to mention the employees who take so little pride in their appearance that they show-up for work looking like they slept in their uniform, as seems to be the case with half the cabin crew members, each and every time I fly a major U.S. airline.

    This is truly one of the worst airline uniform disasters I’ve witnessed since beginning my flying career back in 1974. A busy, confusing mess. Why didn’t Delta simply look to the uniforms of their classier partners, Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic, and realize that LESS IS MORE.


  23. I like it, but then, purple is one of my favorite colors. This does remind me of the poem When I Am Old, which begins, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me”.

  24. Unfortunately they will just have to live with it. Delta employees work for a paycheck and the family atmosphere. Delta really loves their employees. Right????? Or is this a bad dream? One can only hope!

  25. Just awful!

    Must be a nitemare to be laughed at by everyone outside of your airline…

    Well, at least its almost Halloween. They all get Barney costumes. LMAO!!

  26. I just watched the reveal on Delta’s Facebook page –
    Let me begin by saying how excited I was to see the new uniforms, however, if the plan was to achieve a more cohesive look amongst divisions, this missed the mark.
    The garments had a very sloppy look on the runway, with the exception of a few of the “models” and one wonders what these will look like on people that have not been professionaly groomed.
    Just giving a color a catchy travel related name does not make it work!
    Purple? Really?
    I thought these new uniforms were supposed to reflect Delta Air Lines, not FedEx….
    Zippers on the chest? Really? Not a good look on women, I hope you see where I’m coming from….
    At least below wing employees won’t have to worry about the purple and red dress that looks as if it were cut from an old cloth seat cover from the 1970’s, nor have to worry about being mistaken for Hillary Clinton in the Red Coat “pantsuit”. I must admit the Cargo employees have a very nice look, too bad nobody will see them.
    These “new” uniforms already have a dated feel and the colors are tired. They do not have a cutting edge look, they are more cartoonish than stylish.
    My condolences to the 60,000 Delta employees that will be forced into these hideous clothes.

  27. Not “Classic”. Not “Classy”. Reminds me of the groups of older ladies you see wearing red hats and purple in response to the poem, “When I am old”.

  28. This is akin to Coca Cola suddenly painting their cans blue & using a circular logo…

    Ugly… and even worse, it has nothing to do with Delta’s current livery & brand colors. Sure, the FA model they used doesn’t look bad in it…but add a few fabric panels in there to accommodate the more…ahem..shapely… FAs and

  29. I love the color purple, but only as an accent or accessory, not as a primary garment.
    I have always thought of Delta as being classy & stylish. Not with this uniform. This does not fit with their branding or colors whatsoever. There is little consistency or continuity. Maybe they plan to spend lots of money on changing their color schemes, interiors, etc.
    Delta has stated, they want to bring the glamour back. I am surprised they think “glamour” is more important than looking professional. Do you think that airline passengers are going to respect someone in an all purple or red suit and take them seriously? I don’t think we want to regress & go backwards to the days when an airline slogan was “Fly Me” or the old “Coffee, Tea or Me” phrase. The next thing you know, the airlines will be bringing back weigh-ins & girdle checks.
    These uniforms are different & edgy, but not in a good way. Everyone (employees & passengers) will get tired of them quickly. They really missed the mark on this one. I pity the poor employees who will have to wear these every day. I will try not to laugh.

  30. I am sure this is just a case of Delta finding very cheap material that no-one wanted (Hence the color) and just ordered a bunch of uniforms. Purple can be wonderful to wear, but it can also (and will) very quickly start to look disheveled and dirty – it just doesn’t hold up too well.

  31. As a current flight attendant for Delta this uniform color is awful. Our colors are red, white and blue…on our planes, on our brand and always in our uniforms. If they wanted purple they should have used it sparingly, we will definitely be the laughingstock of the airline industry. Zac Posen should be ashamed of himself…just because “PURPLE” is the color of this season doesn’t mean it is the color for Delta who has always been Audrey Hepburn classic.

  32. If I am to compare their new uniforms to all the US legacy airlines new uniforms to which have been presented this year, I surely praise Delta for being avant garde, being airline looking, being style progressive and being world class designed!

    Somehow, blue and red are already quite monotonous to almost all airlines whenever uniforms are concerned starting from the 80s until now. This is a very huge stride for Delta and I applaud them for that.

    Now, the question is, will these uniforms look good to all of its employees? Maybe no, for some, but of course, yes to some, too. Not all uniforms with which an airline has conforms with all of its employees. Come on, be realistic.

    Just saying…

  33. Just saying they went from frying pan to fire the last round are hideous and these are just plain ugly.
    So what if Virginwears them the purple matchs nothing of Delta.
    Better luck in 10 years when they change them to orange and lime green
    Lol still fly Delta they are the best !

  34. I love these uniforms. They are bold, and elegant. Delta has always been a company to set the pace, and change with the times. Change is good, and the only way to break past the american barrier into international competition is by, first, looking the part. The 1990’s called they want their old blueberry uniforms back. If you cant roll with the change then I feel very badly for you because the employees are gonna have to wear this uniform whether they like it or not. Its a beautiful uniform consider yourself lucky to apart of a company that takes pride in their brand. Not everyone is gonna be happy all the time. At the end of the day its what you make of it, and how you wear it that makes the difference, and believe me that difference is seen by delta’s customers.

  35. Simply gross …. and Zac Posen is laughing all the way to the bank !

    Ugliest uniforms I have ever seen it looks like Maria Von trap made them out of the curtains

    So long, farewell I bid you all good night. I hate to go and leave this gruesome sight……..

  36. Great job Delta! The new uniform looks absolutely awesome! Love the epaulets on the blazer! I think Delta is the only airline (except JetBlue) to show any kind of style and flair in their front line uniforms!

  37. Ugly is the first word that comes to mind. That style is in the past for a reason. Not to mention the color and shape does not fit Delta at all!

    I can’t believe that uniform made it this far in the thought process. Who said yes in those design meetings?

  38. I have mixed feelings about them. I watched the runway video on Delta’s news page, and feel better about them after watching it. However, I feel like it’s just mixed up as hell. No cohesive identity. Korean Air, Emirates, Jet Blue, all have cohesive identity, this looks like a Zac did his own Project Runway project and had to do too many variations. I think his fellow judges on the show should have been able to critique this collection!

    And I HATE, absolutely HATE that horrid half lapel on the mens suit… Really Zac, you come out in a tailored suit and wear one every day of the year, but put the thousands of men at Delta in that mess of a suit jacket that looks like Vanilla Ice would have worn it.

  39. I recently flew Delta and saw the new purple uniforms and they just literally made me nauseous. Delta is iconic for the red,white,and blue emblem and I just don’t see where the purple fits in. The design l saw was 3 pieces(skirt,shirt,vest, and jacket)reminded me of the Salvation Army. The outfit doesn’t look comfortable at all and very restrictive .My favorite look is the red and blue
    iconic dress.

  40. Three worse dresser in my life wore.. yes! Purple! I still remember the outfit like I have seen it yesterday, it was that memorable. Well, I guess now it’s four worst dressers I have seen in my short 44 years of life! Maybe if I live long enough, I will see my fifth worst dresser.

  41. Seriously??? Purple??? Light Grey(stains and dirt!!!) on a red and blue livery of aircraft. I hope after the intial trial they just pay off Zac Posen and start again with a real designer like Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren. If it does get final approval…maybe a good 3-4 year run before Delta merges with another carrier and new uniforms come out. Fail Fail Fail

  42. Purple does not work – please get some feedback from your staff. Really, an entire staff in purple is not attractive- a bunch of “Barney” looking adults. The purple does not work well with the blue interiors of the plane. I think your staff will likely provide you with some valuable feedback; please listen to them. A big no for purple is my vote!

  43. Am I the only one who thinks the new garb is sexist? Pink and purple for women, grey and red for men?

    One can only hope they go back to the drawing board on this. The cut on half of the things for women accentuates the absolute largest part of women: the hips! Who in their right mind would design something the brings attention to how wide a woman’s hips are. Just disappointing.

    Don’t even get me started on the color purple.

  44. Its missing something. The fas should wear hats and personally id prwfer purple shoes ….. *”*

  45. I’m hoping we will have the petite option for the FA sweater. We usually have petite jackets and blouses, but never the sweater. Why, I can’t answer. It would be so nice to have a sweater that fits.

  46. These uniforms are hideous. I feel so bad for these employees. The men look like bell hops from the 50’s and the women look so matronly.
    Epic fail as opposed to Delta Airlines traditionally classic look. I’m thinking the employees did not vote for these uniforms.

  47. I’m at ATL right now and admiring these new uniforms. Considering that nearly ALL of of the carriers use navy blue or black uniforms, I can truly understand this desire to create an identity. I think it works. The gate agent I chatted with said the follow-up survey with employees thus far indicates that 85% of those wearing the new colors are either positive or neutral about them, which in any corporate change can be considered a resounding success.

    And the shade of “purple” isn’t offensive at all. It really is “plum”.

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