"This little thing? Just something I slipped on."
From the mid 2260s to the early 2270s, Starfleet uniforms were drastically modified from their earlier versions. The general tailoring of the "tunic and pants" uniform design worn by Starfleet service people was maintained, but with the addition of an updated collar, new rank insignia, and revised colors for Starfleet divisions and departments. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver")
These uniforms were made of xenylon, an algae-based fabric with a special appearance not often seen in the clothing before this period. The difference in fabric appearance was considerable, as Captain James Kirk once pointed out to an illusory inhabitant of the Melkot simulation of Tombstone, Arizona. (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun"; TAS: "The Terratin Incident") Xenylon resulted in the crew of the USS Enterprise being turned into dehydrated porous cuboctahedron solids during an encounter with the Kelvans. (TOS: "By Any Other Name") In addition, they had built-in temperature controls to accommodate for cold weather environments. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")
This style of uniform was initially put into general use by 2265, but some starship crews or individual service members continued to wear the older style until 2268. These uniforms were drastically replaced in the 2270s, with a change of many uniform variants sometime after 2270. (TOS: "Charlie X", "Dagger of the Mind", "Friday's Child", "The Trouble with Tribbles"; TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Duty uniform Edit
As with earlier Starfleet uniforms, the divisions were distinguished by color, and were generally described as gold (or green) for command division, red for operations division/special services, and blue for the sciences division. (TOS: "Dagger of the Mind"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
Into the 24th century, scholars of Starfleet history will note the division colors of this era. Miles O'Brien and Benjamin Sisko told Julian Bashir of the different practices when, in posing as "contemporary" Starfleet officers during an unplanned visit to 2268, the doctor, admitting he was no historian, initially did not understand why the captain wore a "gold" uniform and the engineer a red one, as the uniforms of his career conformed to a different standard. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
The standard duty uniform consisted of a tunic and pants worn with standard issue black leather boots.
The duty uniform top was a long-sleeve, division-colored tunic, with a closing seam from the collar to the left shoulder. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Charlie X") Furthermore, tunics typically bore rank insignia, displayed as sleeve stripes, and an assignment patch on the left breast was worn by all personnel. The tunics had either a black collar with a V-shaped bottom, or were collarless, allowing for the wearer to instead wear a black undershirts. Though generally worn under the short-sleeved tunic and jumpsuit uniform tops, they were not strictly required for everyday wear. (TOS: "The Naked Time", et al.) The black boots rose above the calf and zippered along the inside. (TOS: "Charlie X", "Obsession", "Wink of an Eye"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
Black pants were worn that ended in length midway down the shank of the boot and terminated in a one-inch-wide flare, similar to the style worn by sailors on old Earth.
"And women wore less.""
Female crew members could choose between a standard uniform tunic with pants, or a one-piece uniform that continued down into a miniskirt over matching high cut shorts, worn with black hose and boots. Female uniform tunics also had a large open collar, the seam closed right at the assignment patch. There were two variations of the female tunic: one with a black collar and another version which had the collar colored the same as rest of the tunic. (TOS: "The Man Trap", "Charlie X", "The Naked Time", "What Are Little Girls Made Of?")
Some later variants of the skirt uniform seem to have been two-piece uniforms. (Star Trek: The Animated Series)
Starfleet cadets wore a uniform that consisted of a tunic top made out of a reflective gray material with a black V-shaped collar, and black trousers. A Starfleet assignment patch insignia, a ten pointed star, was worn on the left breast. These uniforms were worn from the minimum timeframe of 2252 to 2268. (TOS: "Shore Leave", "The Trouble with Tribbles", "Wolf in the Fold")
Outpost variant Edit
The uniforms worn by outpost personnel, as opposed to starship and starbase personnel, varied in form of having a shinier fabric, with a dull beige color worn over a standard black undershirt, and lacked rank insignia on the sleeves. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "Arena")
A short-sleeved "smock" tunic was often worn by medical personnel. It appears to have been made from a fabric similar to that of the jumpsuits and gave the user more free use of their hands than the standard long-sleeved tunic. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Naked Time", "Mudd's Women", "The Changeling", "Journey to Babel")
Captains had a choice of more casual clothing to wear when on duty. James Kirk favored two variations of a green wrap-around tunic, the first with rank stripes spread across the left and right shoulder, and the second with sleeve rank stripes like the standard uniform. Unlike the standard uniforms, the assignment patch was used as a fastener near the waist. Charles Evans wore a beige version of this uniform with a cream colored undershirt. Evans' uniform didn't have any rank insignia. (TOS: "The Enemy Within", "Charlie X", "The Doomsday Machine"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
Fully dress uniform consisted of a tunic with a Nehru collar worn with standard pants and boots in the male version; a miniskirt with a back collar similar to the standard female uniform but with a longer skirt and gold piping along the collar for the female version. Variations on each uniform's style depended upon rank:
- Lieutenant dress uniforms bore an assignment patch, with a thin gold piping around the collar (and running down the front of the high-collar version) and their rank stripes;
- Lieutenant commanders wore the tunic with similar piping, but decorations were worn in lieu of the assignment patch and rank stripes for lieutenant commanders and above;
- Commanders and executive officers had a much thicker braid around the collar;
- Captains had additional piping down their shoulder seams;
- Commodores and above had an additional gold piping running the length of their sleeve.
Doctor Leonard McCoy was not especially fond of the entire hoopla that went along with meeting dignitaries, including the "dress uniforms, spit and polish," describing his dress uniform stating that "I feel like my neck's in a sling." Later, during the arrival of the Vulcan delegation, he asked Spock to review how to do a Vulcan salute; upon his attempt to replicate it, he said "That hurts worse than the uniform." (TOS: "Journey to Babel")
Athletic wear was available for use during sporting or other leisure activities. Several varieties were issued, all colored red. One set included red leggings, black socks, a tunic and a belt. The belt was colored, possibly indicating a certain ranking within a sport. Another option was a red unitard. The assignment patch was placed on the left breast of the tunic, and on the left side of the leggings or unitard. (TOS: "Charlie X")
Everyday work jumpsuits were also worn, usually with no assignment or rank patches visible (even if the jumpsuit was worn by a senior officer). Duty jumpsuits came in a division color. Some versions had embroidered writing and insignia on the left breast. The jumpsuit had medium length sleeves and was worn open in the front, sealing at the waistline. A standard black undershirt was worn underneath, in contrast with jumpsuit uniforms of the previous style with division-colored undershirts. The jumpsuits came in red (operations division), green/brown (command division), and blue (sciences division). (TOS: "The Naked Time", "The Enemy Within", "Mudd's Women", "Balance of Terror", "Dagger of the Mind")
When Technician Fisher beamed aboard with an unknown magnetic ore on his jumpsuit in 2266, he was instructed by Montgomery Scott to "decontaminate that uniform." (TOS: "The Enemy Within")
Later that year, when the stowaway Simon Van Gelder was discovered aboard the USS Enterprise, wearing such a jumpsuit, it was simply stated that he was "someone in engineering uniform." ("Dagger of the Mind")
A hazard vest, seen in beige, was in issue for excursions or technical personnel, such as during maintenance work on the shipboard atmospheric system. Sometimes the hazard vest was worn in conjunction with protective gloves and head cover. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Man Trap", "Dagger of the Mind")
At least three types of protective suits were available for the wearers' protection. They were relatively flexible in design, and provided complete coverage and suitable for hazardous environments. (TOS: "The Man Trap", "The Naked Time")
Equipment belts were worn with the standard duty uniforms, often by security personnel to carry phaser pistols. (TOS: "Miri", "The Galileo Seven", "Arena", "The Savage Curtain"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
Life support beltEdit
- See: Life support belt
Assignment patches were worn on many of the uniform styles, and were individual depending on a service person's posting. Departmental insignia of the wearer's position was in the center of many of these patches. (TOS: "Charlie X", "The Omega Glory", "The Tholian Web"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly", "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
Examples of rank insigniaEdit
Lieutenant junior grade
|Starfleet uniform styles|
|By era:|| 2140s-Early 2160s • Mid 2160s • 2230s • Late 2240s-2250s • 2250s-2260s • Mid 2260s-Early 2270s •|
Mid 2270s • Late 2270s-2350s • 2350s-2370s • Late 2360s-Early 2370s • 2370s
|By type:|| Casual duty attire • Patient wear • Fictional uniforms|
Alternate & parallel uniforms • Alternate reality uniforms • Terran Empire uniforms
|Related topics:|| Assignment patch • Federation blue • MACO uniform and equipment • Starfleet decorations •|
Starfleet insignia • Starfleet ranks • Terran Empire ranks • Xenylon • Uniforms of the Alpha Quadrant
Background information Edit
The Starfleet uniforms worn during Star Trek: The Original Series were designed by William Ware Theiss, who returned to design the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms (which were further adapted into future versions on Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and in the TNG-era films by Robert Blackman).
Although the standard command division uniform tunics looked gold on most color TV sets, the costumes were actually lime green.  This issue was made light of in an in-joke from the first draft script of DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", in which Department of Temporal Investigations agents Dulmur and Lucsly – just prior to leaving space station Deep Space 9 – asked Benjamin Sisko one final question: what color had Kirk's uniform been. Sisko, having seen Kirk in both a duty uniform and wraparound tunic, simply answered, "Green." The greenish hue of the command tunics can be seen more clearly in the third season, when the fabric used for the tunics was changed from satin velour to a double-knit fabric that reflected the set lighting differently. The dress uniforms, made of a silk material, were always clearly green by comparison, and some darker green jumpsuits and wraparound tunics that were more clearly seen seemed to confirm that all the "gold-to-green" variations were part of the same color scheme. The so-called "beige" uniforms which originated with "The Cage" were ironically a much more yellow color, but likewise appeared beige or pinkish under the lights.
These uniforms first appeared in "The Corbomite Maneuver". Kirk's wraparound jacket was light green, one variation in "Charlie X" with captain's braid on one shoulder, two other variations in TOS Season 2 with gold trim only with rank on the sleeves appearing only in "The Doomsday Machine" and with both gold and black trim with rank on the sleeves for the remainder of the season. No other officer in the original series was ever seen wearing this uniform, although one more green uniform was used, a green service jumpsuit worn by Connors. (The mirror universe Jonathan Archer wore this variant uniform in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly".) This style was not seen at all in TOS Season 3.
Chronologically, these uniforms first appeared in late 2265 in the Christmas party flashback scenes in "Dagger of the Mind" and the recording of Doctor Leonard McCoy's visit to Capella IV in "Friday's Child".
With a few exceptions, all women in these uniforms wore the skirt variant. One uniform seen on extras in TOS Season 1 was a woman's gold command uniform with pants. It was created for a scene in "Charlie X" where a pretty crewwoman was transformed into an old hag, who might not have looked appropriate in a skirt uniform. It also made an appearance in "The Man Trap". In regards to the collars on female uniforms, blue-collared uniforms were seen in TOS and TAS on Nurse Chapel, and red-collared uniforms were seen in TAS. Female gold command uniforms were rare on both series and were never seen with colored collars.
The alternate reality uniforms introduced in Star Trek were based on this design, though the timeframe of that film, and its sequels, has them in use when the previous prime reality style was being used. Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness, Issue 2 depicts the alternate reality version of this uniform was already in use by 2239, suggesting that in the alternate reality the previous uniform was never adopted at all, unless it was used briefly after 2233.