Across all the Star Trek movies and shows, there have been many uniforms. Some of them are functional, some look flattering, and some absolutely stink. Looking at all the movies and TV shows, let’s list them from best to worst. We’re skipping near variations that only appear in an episode or two, or formal dress uniforms. Just the main uniforms worn. Commentary by Chris AND Vincent, those two bastions of fashion.
1. Star Trek: Enterprise
Chris: Say what you want about the show (I liked it) but the uniforms on Enterprise look the most functional. They look like something a team of astronauts/scientists might wear. I think that if an alien race encountered them, they would comprehend that they were an organized team of explorers with a structure. I can imagine them working in engineering in such a suit.
Vincent: They’re good, but I don’t know if they’re number one good. I think I’ll forward the Star Trek fan death threats to you. Overall, I think they’re kind of boring. It’s not really an aspiring outfit. If you want functionality and something to be more “realistic” here you go. But it’s not the kind of costume that inspires people to cosplay.
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation Movie Uniforms (First Contact forward)
Chris: I think the grey and black look flattering. The layered look makes it look like there’s some functionality in terms of dealing with different environments. It looks like they’d allow for different body types.
Vincent: This is definitely the uniform of, “We’re getting fatter.” Not one of my favorites, but functional.
3. Star Trek Original Series Movie Uniforms (Star Trek II-VI)
Chris: It has an actual belt. It’s a coat and slacks, basically. It had to make a cast that was, let’s face it, getting up there in age and weight. And I thought they looked good. So mission more than accomplished. Plus, they stand out and have real color. They pop!
Vincent: Now we’re talking! I love these uniforms. It’s interesting how more “formal” they are than the shirts/pants look of the original series. They’re a lot more military in a lot of ways. Regardless, I always loved these uniforms because they looked like something a real military/science organization would wear. They even had thicker coats to match the rest of the uniforms!
4. Star Trek Reboot Movie Uniforms
Chris: They sort of keep changing. They’re arguably over-textured so that they look more like something a superhero would wear but I do like the bright colors that signify command, science or engineering. They look cool. And ultimately it’s a shirt and slacks so I can believe it as a uniform.
Vincent: Shirt. Pants. Jackets when they need them. Yeah, they make a lot of sense. And they have a lot of color, which I prefer in my Star Trek uniforms.
5. Star Trek Original Series Uniforms
Chris: I’d love to rank them higher since they were first but they honestly look pretty cheap. The color idea is good. The shirt and pants idea is good. But they look like something you’d make out of Goodwill leftovers. But points for miniskirts. Ridiculous but fun.
Vincent: Chris originally had these ranked at #7. I made an executive decison to move them up. They’re not much different than the movie ones except they look cheaper, which you can totally write off because they were from a 1960s TV series. They’re far more functional than Next Generation’s original onesies (except for the mini skirts). I believe they should go below the newer movies ones only because of the cheapness factor and the miniskirts.
6. Deep Space Nine/Voyager Uniforms
Chris: Pretty good. I think they were on a progression that got better and better. Not quite as textured as the Next Gen movie uniforms with the grey shoulder area, but the color at the shoulders still indicates the area they work in and the overall uniform is primarily black so it is more flattering to various body types. Still, it looks more like a onesie than a boiler suit or uniform.
Vincent: This is my favorite incarnation of this type of uniform. It’s way more practical than a onesie and has color.
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation Uniforms (Seasons 3-7)
Chris: They’re pretty iconic. It’s a sci-fi design but it also seems to require the actors to keep pretty slim. Can you imagine Scotty from the original movies walking around in one of these? That wouldn’t work.
Vincent: From a practical standpoint they stink. However, it might be partially nostalgia, but I love the colors and the triangular pattern near the waist of these things. They’re my favorite Next Gen uniform by far.
8. Star Trek: The Next Generation Uniforms (Season 1-2)
Chris: I think these look awful. The bare neck and the onesie nature of these skintight things make them look like baby pajamas that adults have to slip into. It looks like they were really tight and made the actors hunch over a little bit.
Vincent: These things did not hold up well to the test of time. They’re too tight. They look uncomfortable. Bad.
9. Star Trek: The Motion Picture Uniforms
Chris: These don’t look like any of the other TV or movie uniforms at all. And they look SO 70s. Unflattering, impractical. Just bad!
Vincent: People forget that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a movie much less how much their outfits differed from any other incarnation of Star Trek. I do like Kirk’s color combo of grey and white, but it stops there. Everything about these uniforms is so rooted in the time they came from. McCoy’s exposed chest, the bell bottoms. Nothing works on these uniforms.