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Feature
The Evolution Of The Star Trek Uniform
Fashion aboard the USS Enterprise

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Starfleet’s 1980s Makeover

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

Determined to make a change, Robert Fletcher stayed on as costume designer for the next three movies. The uniforms went back to a more military style for The Wrath Of Khan, with the main cast wearing burgundy jackets with overlapping lapels that they could dramatically rip open if their character was called upon to look tired or stressed out. The change in colour scheme, by the way, was not so much for design reasons as because the new uniforms were actually the old uniforms from The Motion Picture, dyed to a dark red (picked because it was the best dye that actually stuck to the Motion Picture costume fabrics).

Budgetary serendipity struck again, and the burgundy colour, combined with a variety of Naval-inspired turtlenecks, stuck around until the Star Trek movie torch was passed on to Captain Picard and the Next Generation crew. With the exception of the casual-looking suede bomber jackets worn when characters beamed down to an alien planet, the 1980s uniforms didn’t date too badly -- mostly because they largely adhere to what we think of as a traditional military dress uniform. The boxy tailoring is more formal than anything seen earlier in the series, and details like vertical stripes down the side of the trousers are a direct reference to real-world military traditions.

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Your Comments

1 Star Trek - Into Dark Charcoal
Maybe Empire will reboot the article, make it all look better in the new article, and call the old article the Prime Version. More

Posted by KHeasman76 on Monday May 13, 2013, 16:10

2 RE: The Missing Generation
Typically, Empire puts up a great piece that nobody else is addressing, and the forum responds with complaints about what's not there without a word about what is. This is fascinating stuff; good work Gavia. More

Posted by David Somerset on Saturday May 11, 2013, 23:35

3 The Missing Generation
It does seem strange to include the classic TOS uniform from television and to miss off the three TNG uniforms that were shown in four films from Generations and First Contact until Nemesis. Including those outfits would have covered off TNG/DS9 and Voyager without even venturing away from the cinematic theme. More

Posted by jaideco on Saturday May 11, 2013, 14:31

4 So...
Is this the evolution of Trek outfits, but only if Kirk and friends are involved? More

Posted by rich on Friday May 10, 2013, 23:54

5 ST TNG DS9 VOY????
Where is TNG, DS9 and VOY???? You can't skip them and those ones are even more impotrant that 2 new motion pictures! More

Posted by Max Krause on Friday May 10, 2013, 17:47

6 Where is the section on TNG and DS9 style uniforms !
You can't have a Star Trek uniform "chronology" without them. More

Posted by koit on Friday May 10, 2013, 17:21

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