/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Zip me up, Scotty: 50 years of Star Trek uniforms

The colorful uniforms worn by the crew of the Starship Enterprise count as some of the most iconic looks ever. Here's how they've evolved over the past 50 years.

richard-trenholm-square.jpg
Richard Trenholm
tosgallery005-1.jpg
1 of 91 CBS

Star Trek uniforms

Ask any cosplayer: One of the most enduring aspects of Star Trek is the famous Starfleet uniform.

The instantly recognizable color scheme and iconic badge have been adapted for new series, movies and games from The Original Series up to the latest Trek adventures Discovery, Picard and Lower Decks. Check out the many outfits worn by the crew of the Enterprise on their continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and boldly look cooler than anyone has before.

First published Sept. 8, 2016.  

Update July 8, 2017: Adds images from Star Trek: Discovery. 

Update August 5, 2019: Adds images from Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks. 

On the set of the TV series Star Trek
2 of 91 Sunset Boulevard

Star Trek: The Original Series

Originally conceived by costume designer William Ware Theiss, the colorful pop art outfit debuted in 1966 in The Original Series.

stn-00031314.jpg
3 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Animated Series

The multicolored uniforms looked great in the luminous cartoon world of The Animated Series.

gettyimages-594760722.jpg
4 of 91 Sygma/Getty Images

Star Trek movies

In a series of Star Trek movies, the crew of the Enterprise adopted maroon tunics for the big screen.

tnggallerybluebackground.jpg
5 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The crew of The Next Generation saw a new take on the multicolored Starfleet uniform.

ds9gallerypose1.jpg
6 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Aboard Deep Space Nine, a darker version of the uniforms reflected the darker stories told in this series.

voycastyear01.jpg
7 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Voyager

Crew members on Star Trek: Voyager also wore the darker uniform.

ent-castyear03ai.jpg
8 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Enterprise

Prequel series Enterprise showed us an early Starfleet uniform.

ch-sj-ad-0417.jpg
9 of 91 Sam Jones

Star Trek rebooted

Stepping outside of the established TV timeline, a new series of movies sleekly updated the iconic uniforms for a new generation of fans.

1097520623b2.jpg
10 of 91 Jan Thijs/CBS

Star Trek: Discovery

Sonequa Martin-Green (centre) and Michelle Yeoh (right) lead the cast of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access and Netflix. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.) 

Star Trek: Picard
11 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Picard

Patrick Stewart returns for Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access and Amazon Prime Video.

Star Trek: Lower Decks
12 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Lower Decks

Animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks will introduce to a side of Starfleet we don't normally see, with a new twist on the uniform.

enterprise060-2archer.jpg
13 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Enterprise

Let's look at the development of Starfleet's uniform in chronological order. The earliest version appears in prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise, featuring Captain Archer and his crew in flight suits with colored accents presaging The Original Series and shoulder panels like The Next Generation.

star-trek-discovery-sonequa-burnham
14 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Discovery

Prequel series Discovery is set shortly before The Original Series, and gives the zip-up jumpsuits of Enterprise a more sci-fi twist with metallic side panels and shoulders.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY
15 of 91 Jan Thijs/CBS

Star Trek: Discovery

By season two of Discovery, we see a nifty combination of various eras of the uniform.

Star Trek: The Original Series
16 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

In 1965, the first pilot episode for The Original Series starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike, wearing a prototype version of the uniform we know and love.

Star Trek: The Original Series
17 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

The pilot episode, The Cage, features colored tunics with ribbed collars.

Star Trek: The Original Series
18 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

The womens' tunics boast a stylish pointed collar, and were much less revealing than what would come later.

Star Trek: The Original Series
19 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

On away missions, the crew donned special jackets.

Star Trek: The Original Series
20 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

Spock and Captain Pike in their blue-grey planet-exploring garb.

tos002794.jpg
21 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

For the second pilot the uniform went through some changes. In the episode entitled Where No Man Has Gone Before, William Shatner and Sally Kellerman wear uniforms in the familiar colors but with a different collar.

tos021-rotated.jpg
22 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Although it's tough to see in the series itself, in the pilot you can see the famous "gold" uniforms were actually lime green. They only appeared gold under studio lighting.

toskirk007.jpg
23 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

When the series proper began in 1966, the familiar black neckline appeared.

tos562.jpg
24 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

The different colors represent the job each crew member does: Blue is worn by science and medical officers, gold by command officers, and red by security and engineering officers.

Star Trek: The Original Series
25 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

The colored shirts are paired with black boots and naval-influenced trousers.

gettyimages-156913445.jpg
26 of 91 CBS/Getty Images

Star Trek: The Original Series

Lieutenant Uhura and Nurse Chapel model the rather more daring version of the uniform worn by women crewmembers.

tos01000001900.jpg
27 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Other lower-ranked crew members wore color-coded jumpsuits.

tosstorigrand.jpg
28 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Yeoman Janice Rand shows off a Starfleet regulation hairdo.

tos01200002023.jpg
29 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

The Enterprise's lethally high turnover of red-garbed security officers gave rise to the expression "red shirt," meaning a minor character who's pretty much doomed.

tos020001.jpg
30 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Series creator Gene Roddenberry believed clothes would have no visible fastening in the future, so the zips are concealed in the shoulder. Initially, the uniforms were made of velour. 

gettyimages-162796930.jpg
31 of 91 CBS/Getty Images

Star Trek: The Original Series

For the third series, the costumes were made of nylon fabric similar to baseball uniforms -- because the previous velour versions shrank.

stn-00031309.jpg
32 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Animated Series

The Animated Series made the gold color official.

On the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture
33 of 91 Sunset Boulevard

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture did away with the bold colors of the series, adopting new tunics in shades of grey, beige and white.

On the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture
34 of 91 Sunset Boulevard

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The new uniforms didn't prove as popular as the iconic shirts from the series, lasting just one film.

On the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture
35 of 91 Sunset Boulevard

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The new uniforms were rather snug.

gettyimages-590693380.jpg
36 of 91 Sygma/Getty Images

Star Trek movies

From 1982's Star Trek: Wrath of Khan onward, designer Robert Fletcher put the original crew in tunics that evoked Starfleet's naval tradition, including bell-bottom trousers. 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
37 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The differing colors for different departments returned on the wrist and shoulder straps, and an undershirt.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
38 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The film also saw some warm jackets for away missions.

dup2-tngcasts1horz.jpg
39 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

In 1987 The Next Generation began with the crew in form-fitting spandex jumpsuits. The colors return, but this time it's command wearing red, engineering and security in mustard, and science and medicine once again in blue. 

Star Trek: The Next Generation Portrait Session
40 of 91 / Getty Images

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Unfortunately the futuristic-looking outfits gave some cast members backache, so the spandex only lasted two seasons.

tng-worf00000999d.jpg
41 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

For the third series, Mister Worf and his crew mates donned more relaxed wool gabardine tunics, designed by Robert Blackman.

gettyimages-459889488.jpg
42 of 91 CBS/Getty Images

Star Trek: The Next Generation

After the switch to the new uniforms in The Next Generation, lesser crewmembers were sometimes glimpsed in the older outfits. Their poor backs.

ds9sisko00001478d.jpg
43 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

In 1993 Captain Sisko and the crew of Deep Space Nine adopted a black uniform with colored shoulders, previously seen in The Next Generation as the uniform of Starfleet Academy.

voyjaneway701i.jpg
44 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Voyager

From 1995, Captain Janeway and the crew of Voyager wore the black uniforms.

voycastyear07.jpg
45 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Voyager

Lost in the Delta Quadrant, the Voyager crew didn't keep up with the latest fashion and so didn't make the switch to the grey-shouldered uniform.

gettyimages-906599.jpg
46 of 91 Getty Images

Star Trek: The Next Generation

When The Next Generation crew made the leap to the big screen, they donned a new uniform with grey shoulders. The department colors are seen on the undershirt and the rank stripes on the wrist.

Star Trek: Lower Decks
47 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks follows the escapades of junior officers Starfleet officers aboard the USS Cerritos, wearing a new take on the Next Generation uniform.

Star Trek: Lower Decks
48 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Lower Decks

Lower Decks is set in 2380, a year after the Next Generation crew's final mission, Star Trek: Nemesis. It seems Starfleet has ditched the black and grey for a return to bright colors, perfect for the palette of a cartoon.

Star Trek: Lower Decks
49 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Lower Decks

The Lower Decks uniform includes a simplified badge, a line of silver piping and a point at the bottom. The folding front harks back to the movie tunic. 

ds9gallery004cropped.jpg
50 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

In Deep Space Nine's fifth season, the DS9 crew switched to the uniform worn by the Enterprise crew in the movies.

Star Trek: Picard
51 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard sees a return for the beloved Next Generation captain. He's long left Starfleet behind so he isn't wearing a uniform, although those shoulders look pretty familiar. Picard streams on CBS All Access in the US and Amazon Prime Video elsewhere. 

picard-starfleet-uniform-old
52 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Picard

The show features flashbacks to Picard's final days in Starfleet, when TNG-style coloured shoulders were given a striking striped flourish.

picard-starfleet-uniform-modern
53 of 91 CBS All Access

Star Trek: Picard

In the show's present day, the more streamlined shoulders have returned, but with a new collar.

Star Trek: The Original Series
54 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

Sometimes our heroes are seen in alternative uniforms.

tos005002.jpg
55 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Captain Kirk occasionally wears a green tunic.

tng-picard00001007d.jpg
56 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Captain Picard got his own version of the Captain's uniform with this blue tunic and red jacket.

foto10.jpg
57 of 91 Paramount Pictures

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Throughout the movies, the captains wear different variations on the captain's vest.

tos066vcp505.jpg
58 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Doctor McCoy gets in on the action with his medical smock.

Star Trek: The Original Series
59 of 91 CBS Photo Archive

Star Trek: The Original Series

Captain Kirk gives a martial arts lesson, complete with Starfleet-issue uniform.

tos064d.jpg
60 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Mister Spock models a spacesuit.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY
61 of 91 Jan Thijs/CBS

Star Trek: Discovery

The Discovery crew in a modern take on the spacesuit.

tos01500001708.jpg
62 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

For special occasions, the crew don Starfleet dress uniforms.

tos02400001784.jpg
63 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

A fancy Captain Kirk meets the villainous Khan while wearing his dress uniform.

nemesis-50r.jpg
64 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The dress uniform appeared in different forms throughout The Next Generation. Here's the version worn by the crew for a wedding in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis.

tngtroigallery001.jpg
65 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Counsellor Troi got to wear her own clothes throughout The Next Generation. Troi eventually started wearing the official uniform in later seasons, but she wasn't the only character to appear in their own gear.

tngwesley018.jpg
66 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Child prodigy Wesley Crusher wasn't officially a Starfleet officer, so he wore an outfit that hinted at the uniform style.

ds9galleryjake00001493d.jpg
67 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Another youngster in the series, Deep Space Nine's Jake Sisko, got to show off much jazzier duds.

ds9gallerykira300.jpg
68 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

DS9 was crewed by a mix of Starfleet and Bajoran officers -- including Major Kira, seen here in her Bajoran uniform.

ds9galleryodo001.jpg
69 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Constable Odo also "wore" a Bajoran uniform, although technically as a shapechanger he could wear what he liked.

voy7of9-gallery044.jpg
70 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Voyager

When Voyager rescued Seven of Nine from the Borg collective, she expressed her new freedom with some very tight outfits.

07entjolenebs.jpg
71 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: Voyager

Vulcan officer T'Pol also got to wear her own (very tight) outfits. Most illogical.

tos06600001879.jpg
72 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

The crew of the Enterprise have encountered many other uniforms during their voyages, like these Klingon outfits in The Original Series.

tng200001.jpg
73 of 91 CBS

Star Trek the movies

The Klingons underwent a serious makeover for the movies and The Next Generation.

1103870220b.jpg
74 of 91 Jan Thijs/CBS

Star Trek: Discovery

Klingons get a modern makeover in Star Trek: Discovery, influenced by their brief appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness.

tos009311.jpg
75 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

The Romulans appeared in uniform in The Original Series.

tng240002.jpg
76 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation

By the time The Next Generation aired, they too had a striking new look.

tos0031623.jpg
77 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Eagle-eyed fans will notice that the uniforms aren't always spot-on, like when Uhura was seen in a command uniform in the episode The Corbomite Maneuver.

tos028251.jpg
78 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Occasionally, the crew have to slip out of uniform, like when a time-travelling Kirk and co had to blend in with 1930s America in The City on the Edge of Forever.

tos05200001843.jpg
79 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Yes, well, anything to blend in, right?

tos039035.jpg
80 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

Some of the best alternative uniforms are seen in a parallel universe in the episode Mirror, Mirror.

tos039024.jpg
81 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

The mirror universe is home to a fascist version of Starfleet, complete with evil versions of our heroes -- and their uniforms.

stxi-ph5.jpg
82 of 91 Industrial Light & Magic

Star Trek rebooted

In 2009, big screen Star Trek reboot reinvented the look of the classic series.

star-trek-into-darkness-pine.jpg
83 of 91 Paramount

Star Trek rebooted

In the films Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, gold is once again the color of command, with metallic insignia on the chest and sleeves. The V-neck shirts are worn over black undershirts.

ch-02861.jpg
84 of 91 Zade Rosenthal

Star Trek rebooted

The film's prologue showed us this glimpse of an earlier uniform, styled somewhere between the blue-ish flightsuit of Enterprise and the colored shirts of The Original Series.

ch-29983.jpg
85 of 91 Zade Rosenthal

Star Trek rebooted

The new films also feature planetside uniforms that nod to the lines and colors of 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

stb-11519rlc.jpg
86 of 91 Kimberley French

Star Trek rebooted

In the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond, the uniforms are subtly altered, with more built-up shoulders and slightly darker panels down the sides.

sub3stb.jpg
87 of 91 Kimberley French

Star Trek rebooted

The neckline nods to the rounded collar of later Next Generation uniforms.

67251360964784-hh-16242r-copy.jpg
88 of 91 Paramount

Star Trek rebooted

The new films continue the tradition of skin-tight outfits with this diving uniform worn by Lieutenant Uhura.

stb-02722rlc.jpg
89 of 91 Kimberley French/Paramount Pictures

Star Trek rebooted

Star Trek Beyond also sees the crew don blue and yellow jackets when escaping the ship.

53941360964611-hh-00789c-copy.jpg
90 of 91 Paramount

Star Trek rebooted

The new films recognise that the original Starfleet uniform is one of the most iconic movie or TV costumes ever.

tosspockrandkirk015.jpg
91 of 91 CBS

Star Trek: The Original Series

With more Trek on the way, here's to another 50 years of cool uniforms!

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

39 Photos
iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple's highest end 2021 phones

More Galleries

iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple's highest end 2021 phones

66 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

65 Photos
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster is a fundamental shift

More Galleries

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster is a fundamental shift

25 Photos
2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse is big-displacement nostalgia

More Galleries

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse is big-displacement nostalgia

37 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
2022 Ford Expedition: More than meets the eye

More Galleries

2022 Ford Expedition: More than meets the eye

54 Photos