Starfleet uniforms

Starfleet uniforms

In the fictional Star Trek universe, enlisted personnel and officers in the United Earth Starfleet and, later, the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet wear a variety of uniforms.

"Star Trek"

Television uniforms

Throughout "", male officers on the USS "Enterprise" wear a colored velour shirt with a stylized arrowhead on the left breast, black pants, and black boots; female officers wear a uniform skirt and boots, although they occasionally wear the "male" uniform. The skirts' shortness is commented upon in "Trials and Tribble-ations" ("DS9"). Rank is indicated by gold solid or dotted braids on the sleeves.

The shirt color indicates crew members' branch. In the pilot episodes, command personnel wear green (which tended to look gold on film), science and medical personnel wear blue, and operations wear beige. ("TOS": "The Cage", "Where No Man Has Gone Before"). When "Star Trek" went into regular production, the department colors were altered: command and helm personnel wear gold shirts, engineering and security personnel wear red, and science and medical personnel wear blue ("TOS": "The Man Trap"). The frequent death of red-uniformed security officers led to the coining of the term "redshirt". The command uniforms were in actuality green, but appeared gold on screen.

Insignia within the arrowhead logo also indicate the wearer's branch: a star indicates command, a small round symbol indicates science and medical, and an angular spiral indicates engineering.

In the first pilot, "The Cage", the uniforms also include grey coats worn on away missions. On occasion, Captain James T. Kirk wears a green wraparound tunic ("TOS": "The Trouble With Tribbles"). Such tunics are shown both with the rank stripes on the sleeves ("TOS": "The Trouble With Tribbles") and on the shoulders ("TOS": "The Enemy Within"), and always feature the assignment patch near the waist as a belt fastener.

Officers assigned to other starships or starbases wear the same uniforms, but with the arrowhead replaced by different logos or "assignment patches" representing the ship or base on which they are stationed ("TOS": "Court Martial", "The Doomsday Machine", et al.).

On certain occasions, the characters wear dress uniforms ("TOS": "Journey to Babel", "Court Martial") that are made of a shinier fabric and are decorated with gold piping and colored badges that vary depending on rank. ("TOS": "Court Martial").

The original material itself was velour. Used in the first and second seasons, it shrank after it was dry-cleaned and tore easily, so it was replaced in the third season by a nylon fabric used in professional baseball uniforms.

The uniforms on Star Trek were designed by staff costume designer William Ware Theiss.

Movie uniforms

"The Motion Picture"

The original plans for ' involved retaining the "TOS" uniforms, but when the project became ', they were replaced by a new design [Star Trek Phase II, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens] . The film has multiple uniform styles, including one-piece jumpsuits, matching shirt and pants, and tunics either with buttons or a sash around the waist. All uniform variants include shoes built into the pantlegs. Some uniforms have short sleeves, while others are long-sleeved, with either standing, v-neck, or turnover collars. Uniforms come in gray, white, gray and white, blue, brown, and beige.

Rank is indicated by braids on long sleeves or on shoulder boards.

Security guards wear white uniforms with brown helmets and breastplates. Engineers wear thick white spacesuits with large, black, ribbed collars.

In "The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture," Susan Sackett and Gene Roddenberry wrote that the uniforms were redesigned because the bright colors of the 60's original, so vibrant on television, would detract viewer attention on the big screen. But the designs proved unpopular with their wearers, and when he took over as producer of the motion pictures, Harve Bennett ordered the uniforms redesigned because he did not want "an all-gray crew on an all-gray ship."Fact|date=August 2007

Later movies

The uniforms were redesigned for "". The second movie-era uniform consists of a burgundy single-breasted jacket with a colored strip over the right shoulder designating division, attached to which is a rank pin. A white, gold, grey, dark green, light green, dark blue, light blue or red colored turtle-neck under the jacket indicates division. All officer uniforms have a red stripe on the outside of the legs on the pants or skirt.

All uniforms include the arrowhead insignia from "TOS", now adopted as the Starfleet emblem, on the left chest. Characters also wear a black belt with a buckle shaped like the Starfleet arrowhead.

Security and engineering personnel wear armor and radiation suits, respectively, similar to those worn in "The Motion Picture", although security guards wear a red, turtle-necked uniform underneath (""). The engineering radiation suits have a colored collar ("Star Trek II"): black indicates officer, red indicates cadet. There is also a field jacket for away missions with several large pockets, arm patches, white ribbing and a large white turnover collar. Starfleet cadets in "The Wrath of Khan" wear the same uniforms as officers, but with bright red undershirts and a red shoulder strap instead of one indicating department.

Enlisted personnel wear a one-piece red jumpsuit (similar color as the officer uniform) with tan shoulders and upper chest and black undershirts. Enlisted trainees wore the same uniform, substituting the black undershirt for a red one. ("Star Trek II").

Uniforms similar to this style are still in use at least as late as the 2340s, although without the turtle-neck or belt ("TNG": "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Dark Page", "Family, "Violations"). The TNG episode "Cause and Effect" shows that they were in use as early as 2278.

"Star Trek: The Next Generation"

The Starfleet officers and crewmembers seen in "" wear a jumpsuit with a Starfleet communicator badge (or 'commbadge' as it was sometimes called) on the left chest and rank insignia on the right side of the collar. The uniforms' sleeves and abdominal area are colored to indicate the individual's branch, with red indicating command; gold for engineering, security, and operations; and blue for science and medical ("TNG": "Encounter at Farpoint"). Beverly Crusher sometimes wears a blue labcoat above her standard uniform ("TNG": "The Naked Now"). The blue tended to appear teal under certain lighting conditions in the later seasons and subsequent spinoffs. In some episodes of the later seasons, Jean-Luc Picard would sometimes wear a different uniform that consisted of a grey shirt with ribbed black shoulders and collar with a thick overcoat that was red overall with black ribbed shoulders, often worn open or very loosely fastened. The uniforms could be fitted with pouches for carrying tricorders and Type 2 phasers on the waist, and the early versions had a small pocket built in on the left side of the waist for carrying a smaller Type 1 phaser when being openly armed was not desired. The removeable gear pouches were also incorporated into the uniforms used in "DS9" and the "TNG"-era films from "First Contact" onward.

Both male and female characters wear a micro-skirt version of the uniform in the show's first season ("TNG": "Encounter at Farpoint").

In the show's early seasons, the uniforms were made of Spandex, and sized slightly too small so that they would be stretched when worn and provide a smooth appearance. The feel of this annoyed the cast members, who persuaded the costumers to gradually replace them with wool uniforms [ Is it true that you got back ache from your costume?] - BBC's Interview with actor Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard)] . The wool uniforms, which all main cast members wear from the third season onward, lack colored piping on the shoulders and edges of the pant leg cuffs and have a raised collar. The collar of the shirt has a colored edge of a width similar to that of the original diamond-shaped shoulder piping. The spandex uniforms continued to make appearances throughout TNG, usually worn by extras in various scenes. These were later altered to lack the piping on the shoulders and trouser hems and include a raised collar as a cost-cutting measure.

The "TNG" dress uniform, which continued to be used in "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager", is a colored wraparound robe of a solid division color, save for black shoulders. The edges of the robes are piped in silver for field officers and in gold for flag officers.

Other uniform designs appeared briefly in individual episodes - always following the theme of a coloured or differentiated shoulder yoke. Examples include cadet uniforms in several episodes (including The First Duty). Wesley Crusher's 'Acting Ensign' grey costume was never specifically identified as a uniform, but it also exhibited a shoulder yoke design.

Theiss, the costume designer from the original series, returned to design the initial "TNG" uniforms. The costumes adopted from season 3 onwards and later series' costumes were designed by Robert Blackman.

Alternate Timeline

In the TNG episode All Good Things..., an alternate timeline showed a uniform with the full color shirt (including shoulders). The same colors were used and the rank insignia would be shown above the right breast over a black line which cut off the shoulder area. These uniforms would also make an appearance in the episode Endgame.

The alternative timeline episodes also used various alternate combadge designs, including one where rank was denoted by the number of bars behind the arrowhead.

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and TNG movies

Initial uniform

"" introduced a new style of uniform that appeared to run in parallel to the one seen on TNG. The new uniform comprised a single-piece open-necked jumpsuit with the colored and black areas reversed (in other words, black torso and colored shoulders). A purple-grey turtleneck was added, to which rank pips are affixed.

The station's crew still wear "TNG" style dress uniforms ("DS9": "Move Along Home"), and both "TNG"- and "DS9"-style uniforms appear side by side in "TNG"'s "Birthright, Part I" and "DS9"'s "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", as well as the series' pilot, "Emissary".

Throughout the run of DS9, ship-based Starfleet personnel continue to wear the old TNG uniform design. The new design may therefore have been intended as an alternate 'class' of uniform for the different environment of the space station, as in a scene in "The Maquis, Part I" Commander Sisko can been seen wearing the new style uniform while Commander Hudson (not a member of the DS9 crew) can be seen wearing the old style. Sisko also wore the TNG uniform on certain formal occasions and during his first arrival at DS9.

Following the release of Star Trek: First Contact, the new grey movie uniform design then also appears in DS9's fifth season and for the remainder of the series.

"Star Trek:Generations"

New uniforms were designed and made for the movie "Star Trek Generations", but were abandoned at the last minute. Nonetheless, Playmates launched a number of action figures, wearing these planned uniforms. [cite news|title=New Movie Costumes Planned|date=June 1996|publisher=Titan Magazines|work=Star Trek Monthly|page=7] "Generations" has the crew wearing both "TNG" and "DS9" uniforms, sometimes in the same scene (for instance, Worf vs. Riker in the battle against the Duras Sisters' Bird of Prey).

As the movie progresses, some characters change from old to new uniform designs but never the other way, possibly suggesting that Generations showed a period of transition between designs, with characters changing to their new uniforms over a period of time. This would also act as an introduction of the new design as standard shipboard wear for ""

The new style combadge (with the gold oval background of the "TNG" combage replaced by a rectangular gold background with a cutout in the center) was also introduced (for all uniform types), and subsequently adopted for DS9 at the beginning of its third season.

"Star Trek: Voyager"

The crew in "" use the same uniforms seen in the (contemporaneous) early seasons of "Deep Space Nine" throughout the show's run. Stuck in the Delta Quadrant and out of contact with Starfleet, the "Voyager" crew never makes the switch to the updated uniform seen in later "DS9" episodes (though Starfleet personnel back in the alpha Quadrant are seen wearing this uniform in later seasons of the show when "Voyager" manages to reestablish contact with home). The crew also wears the "TNG" style dress uniforms ("VOY": "", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "One Small Step"). [ How did you try and make Voyager different?] - BBC's Interview with costume designer Bob Blackman] .

B'Elanna Torres is sometimes seen wearing an overcoat over her normal uniform which matches the colors of her normal uniform, but has a pocket on the right breast for carrying small tools. The jacket was used in a sometimes unsuccessful attempt to hide actress Roxann Dawson's pregnancy, and was never used after the birth of Dawson's child.

"Voyager" also uses the new style combadge, and introduces a new 'provisional' rank insignia which consisted of a solid strip with varying markings to signify rank instead of the traditional pips, and were worn by the Maquis members of "Voyager"'s crew, since they were ineligible to wear official Starfleet ranks (see Starfleet provisional ranks and insignia for more information).

Later seasons and "TNG" movies

' introduces a new uniform style later adopted in "DS9" ("DS9": "Rapture"). This uniform features a colored turtleneck undertunic (with the same departmental color scheme as in earlier shows) covered by a black jacket with colored bands on the lower sleeves near the cuffs showing the wearer's division, the shoulders and upper chest of which are ribbed and made of thick, grey material. The communicator badge is worn on the jacket, while rank pins are worn on the undertunic's collar. The pants are black. ' also introduced a new dress uniform; It consisted of a white coat and black pants both with gold trim, a gray ribbed tunic (white tunic for captains and members of the admiralty), and rank insignia on the collar of the tunic with the combadge worn in the customary location on the coat. Unlike the previous uniform, it was the same color regardless of the wearer's division, save for colored bands on the lower sleeves like the standard uniform. It also appeared in the "DS9" episode "".

Ancillary uniform

Starfleet personnel fighting in ground battles appear in the episodes "...Nor the Battle to the Strong" and "The Siege of AR-558". They wear one-piece black uniforms with divisional stripes across the chest.

"Star Trek: Enterprise"

In "", field officers and crewmembers wear duty uniforms consisting of a dark long-sleeved undershirt and blue jumpsuit with colored piping around the shoulders. There is also a desert uniform with khaki pants and white shirt. Both uniforms have a United Earth Starfleet patch (featuring the stylized arrowhead emblem) on the right upper arm, and an Enterprise emblem patch on the left upper arm.

Division colors follow the "TOS" scheme, with command and flight control (helm) officers wearing gold piping, engineering and security officers wearing red piping, and science, medical and communication officers wearing blue piping. Throughout the series, men and women wear the same type of uniform. Unlike the other series' uniforms, standard uniforms on "Enterprise" include zip-up pockets. Designer Bob Blackman has described the jumpsuits as "more like a NASA flight suit" than the previous Starfleet costumes. [cite web|url=|title=Bob Blackman on uniforms in "Enterprise"|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2006-12-31]

On certain occasions, "Enterprise" characters wear dress uniforms similar to the blue jumpsuit, decorated with the same pattern of colored piping, but lacking the zip-up pockets and combined with a white long-sleeved undershirt and, in some cases depending on rank, a white tie.

Rank insignia on duty uniforms are worn on right side of shoulders only, but rank insignia on dress uniforms are worn on both sides.

Also, there are two different kinds of field jackets worn on away missions. They have zippered pockets and the same colored pipings as the jumpsuits, as well as a cold weather gear, pressure suits, spacesuits, an EV undersuit, and a royal blue undergarment with slight differences on male and female garments.

ee also

*Starfleet ranks and insignia

External links

* [ Spike's Star Trek Page: Starfleet Uniforms - Images of the shows' various uniforms]


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