Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: The 10 Best Starfleet Uniforms, Ranked

In all of pop culture, there are few franchises as beloved as Star Trek. For 54 years, Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future where mankind has evolved past the biases that hold us back and began exploring the stars has helped the world dream of a better tomorrow filled with science, adventure, love, and cool outfits.

The look of Star Trek, no matter what form it takes, is as ingrained in our minds as Mister Spock's ears, the sleek look if the Enterprise, and Captain Picard's facepalm. When we see the Starfleet uniforms, we know that we are looking at heroes; people who will do whatever they can to make the galaxy a better place. But which of those heroes looked the best? These are the 10 best Starfleet uniforms, ranked...

10 Section 31

There's no arguing that the Section 31 uniforms are cool. They're all black - including the insignia - which makes them mysterious and slimming, but also makes them unlike any other Starfleet uniform. Starfleet is, at its heart, an exploratory division of the Federation. They do have weapons and are ready to fight or even go to war when needed, but that is not their primary goal.

Section 31 is the antithesis of Starfleet, even as it sits within the organization's charter. It is all about subterfuge and assassinations and doing dark things in dark places. And while their uniforms fit their style, it doesn't fit with Starfleet's goals.

9 The Motion Picture

Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the return of Captain Kirk and his crew after the show was canceled a decade earlier. The movie was made in no small part because of the success of Star Wars just two years earlier, but it couldn't be more different from George Lucas's creation if it tried, and that includes the uniforms.

These uniforms scream 1970s so much, it's amazing the movie isn't set in a disco. The crew of the Enterprise looks like they came together to hang out in a conversation nook and discuss the oil crisis, not save the universe from an unknown vessel. The colors are there, but they're muted, and the way the uniforms fit doesn't compliment the actors at all.

8 The Kelvin Timeline

Taking its cues from the Original Series, the 2009 Star Trek reboot - aka the Kelvin Timeline - uses uniforms that are very close to the 1960s versions, but with minor changes to make them a little more modern. Overall, they look great.

They're sleek, they're sexy, and they're classically timeless. The only thing that keeps them from being higher up in this list is the fact that they are, essentially the same uniforms as the 1960s version. Interestingly enough, the biggest change to the uniforms - the added texture to the shirts - would be gone by the time Star Trek Beyond came to theaters.

7 Mirror Universe

If you follow the timeline of Star Trek, the uniforms in the Mirror Universe become less and less uniform as time goes on. In the original series, the Mirror Universe uniforms are similar enough to those of our heroes to make them obvious plays on what we know, but by Deep Space Nine, the evil versions of the characters coming from the Mirror Universe have moved into two categories; Mad Max or leather.

The Mirror Universe no longer has the "evil Starfleet" look. Instead, they appear to be whatever clothes happened to be laying around. Star Trek: Discovery, taking place a decade before the events of the original series, shows the Mirror Universe uniforms falling more in line with the real universe, helping bring the idea that over time things in the Mirror Universe have gotten worse.

6 Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery found itself in an interesting position. They had to have uniforms that fell somewhere between the ones we had seen in Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: The Original Series. On Enterprise, everyone is wearing what are essentially jumpsuits, which is why they don't make the top 10, and Discovery builds on that by giving everyone uniforms that are mostly blue, with their operation division colors represented on the sides.

This was a simple way to bring the two parts of Trek history together without taking away from either one. Adding to the fun, in season two of Discovery, we got to see an early version of the Original Series uniforms when Captain Pike, Number One, and the rest of the Enterprise crew arrived.

5 Lower Decks

The newest addition to Star Trek, and the first animated series since 1974, Star Trek: Lower Decks takes place shortly after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, and it gives us a look at a new take on the most consistent design in Starfleet's uniforms.

While the changes aren't drastic, they do add a good deal tot he uniforms. The darker uniforms from DS9 and the Next Generation movies have reverted to a more colorful look and a touch of the uniform introduced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan can be seen in the cut of the jackets. There's no doubt that Lower Decks takes the past looks of Star Trek and pays tribute to them while adding something new, and that's a great thing to see.

4 Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine didn't get it's own uniform design until the series had been on for a few years. At first, the members of Starfleet that appeared on DS9 wore the same uniforms as the ones seen on TNG, but a new look was brought in when TNG ended its run and went into production on the movies.

This new look fit DS9's darker tone well. As the show entered the Dominion War, the dark grey and black with hints of color worked with the dread and fear that the characters were feeling. It was a lucky accident that this happened, as the costumes were really being redesigned for the new movies.

3 Wrath of Khan

In truth, the Starfleet uniforms used in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the original crew movies that followed it go against a lot of what makes a good Star Trek uniform, but they somehow still work in the universe.

The red coats that everyone wears are far more militaristic than other Star Trek uniforms, and that is on purpose. They call back to the uniforms worn by Horatio Hornblower, the fictional British Royal Navy hero who inspired Gene Roddenberry when he created the series. The design is iconic enough that it appears in some episodes of Next Generation, usually when Picard is having flashbacks to his younger years.

2 The Next Generation

Since Star Trek: The Next Generation began airing in 1987, this style of uniform has been the standard-bearer for the franchise. There have been changes to it, but the basic concept has stayed the same. Now, 33 years since it first showed up on TV screens, this is likely the design most people think of when they think of Star Trek. There is little doubt that TNG has become the series that represents what Star Trek is to most people.

This uniform was a major change from what fans had seen before, but it took no time for them to embrace it. The look is sleek, regal, and powerful while being inviting and, for lack of a better term, safe. You know that the people who wear this uniform are serious, but not inherently dangerous. They are heroes, going where no one has gone before.

1 Original Series

The look of Star Trek: The Original Series is timeless. Everyone knows what they are looking at the moment they see those red, yellow, or blue shirts. With an eye on the growing color TV market, these uniforms were less about looking like a government organization and more about looking like a bright and exciting future.

These three colors would become staples of Star Trek, even as which division of Starfleet they represented changed. Still, these uniforms are so timeless that it only took a few modifications to make them work 40 years after they first left the airwaves when JJ Abrams and his crew brought them back for the reboot movies.


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