TotL – 5 Best Star Trek Starfleet Uniforms
Yes, 2017 just happens to be the 30th Anniversary of the debut of Star Trek The Next Generation, and while I do consider that series to be without a doubt the best of all of the Trek series to date, I don’t really need an excuse to do a Star Trek List. Over the course of the several decades that Star Trek has been a thing, the franchise has explored humanity and culture in the greatest of science fiction spun ways. But one piece of popular culture exploration from the franchise stands out as a perfect focus for a list segment like the Top o’ the Lot – or TotL (pronounced “Total” by the kids) – that looks at the incredibly trivial from all over the pop culture spectrum. This is, of course, the fashion of Trek. Fashion just started being a thing in pop culture when Star Trek first debuted in the 1960s, and the franchise continued to have both weird and cool clothing options throughout. So, without further ado, I do mention The Skirt, I adore the classics, and it may just be the man who makes the clothes, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: 5 Best Star Trek Starfleet Uniforms.
Honorable Mention: Not Quite Violating the Uniform Code
This is a weird list that moves all over the place, and it all starts here, with the Honorable Mention spot. Starting with The Next Generation members of the crew were given a lot more diversity with their uniforms to help better represent their current place on the ship. This worked well for some, and terribly for others.
Worf’s baldric became a part of the character, signifying his relationship with his heritage. Ro Laren’s introduction of the Bajoran earring was a great moment in TNG that was pushed into an entire series. But Troi’s dress in hindsight is a dumb idea, and she looks even better in the traditional crew uniforms, and I’m not even going to mention the man dress…but I did.
5. The Motion Picture iPhone Belt
Star Trek The Motion Picture was the way to bring the life back into the Trek franchise, and it took several missteps on the way. But one of those missteps was not the fashion, because it was awesome! It was very sleek, stylish, and diverse for a military unit, but it did have one glaring feature that was inexplicable.
Yes, I’m talking about the weird smart phone belt buckle on the front. “What the hell is that thing?” you ask. Well, it’s a personal biometric sensor. It monitors bodily functions. Yeah, that’s just weird, but still kind of cool.
4. The Original Series Captain’s Prerogative Greens
The Original Series lends most of its fashion fame to those really short skirts that marked the 1960s. It’s weird how we can look back on those as sexist while forgetting the sexual revolution that devised them, but I digress, because coming in at number four in this Lot is not those skimpy skirts, it’s the Captain’s cool shirt.
Kirk’s Greens, as the top has come to be known, is a wonder. It’s not so much a shirt as a weird tunic that just sort of crosses over the chest and latches oddly at the bottom with an off-center belt. It’s not only a great piece of 1960s fashion, but it’s a cool bit of imaginative future fashion. Ahead of its time, and a landmark for the franchise, but I would in no way wear this today. Sorry.
3. Later The Next Generation
The Next Generation Starfleet uniforms were brilliant. Jumpsuits made good sense in the 90s and the color coding worked. As cool as these uniforms were, they were simply a single step in a fashion evolution that culminated in something that is as close to perfect for a Starfleet uniform that I care to see.
While the previous TNG uniforms used a colored body with black accents, the final version utilized a colored undershirt with a high collar to signify department, and the much more, dare I say, uniform main design looks much more professional. If only we’d have seen more of it, but number three is a solid spot for this modern masterpiece of sci-fi fashion.
2. Wrath of Khan and Beyond
Arguably THE classic Star Trek uniform due likely to its wide popularity is a slew of great movies, these very Naval looking uniforms debuted in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, and was a mainstay in every major Trek motion picture up to and including the Generations crossover.
I think these uniforms had such incredible staying power because of the timeless, military look, and also because most of these movies all happen within 12 months of each other. And that logic is ironic in its own Trek way.
One word: Boss! When you’re the boss you can wear whatever you want. But there’s a catch: You got to still look like a boss. Captain Picard, relegated to the same old uniforms that everyone else on board the Enterprise was wearing for years, broke out of that cocoon of fashion, and broke into a stylish, trend-bending jacket. And I love it so much!
The grey undershirt kind of makes the whole thing work, but that red jacket with ribbed, “leather” shoulders and crushed velvet look makes me drool. Always a man of action, Picard’s Jacket makes him look like a Starfleet captain ready for anything.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Let us know!