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I’m going to be honest, I am probably not the person to be writing about fashion. I wore my work ballet flats with holes in them to my own wedding!

But I do what I want, so, without further ado, here’s the best and worst of Star Trek fashion according to me, a fashion disaster, in the order in which I thought of them…

The 5 Best Outfits in Star Trek

1. Lwaxana Troi’s Dedication to the 1980s

Lwaxana Troi in a deep purple dress, with very large frills on the shoulders, cascading down to the ground (CBS-Paramount)

I considered just picking five Lwaxana Troi outfits for this section and calling it a day. However, I ultimately limited myself to only one of Lwaxana’s amazing ensembles. Those shoulder poofs just scream, “It’s 1989 and I am a strong independent woman who doesn’t need a man!” She doesn’t need a man, she wants a man- any man. She is at maximum thirst 110% of the time, and this dress (from TNG: “Manhunt”) is a suitable wingman.

2. Hikaru Sulu: Space Pirate

Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, dressed in a brown leather cap on top of a slightly darker brown suit and a teal cross body shirt (CBS-Paramount)

Sulu is the guy who can actually pull off that amazing thrift-store find, sitting in the back of your closet. This is a man who knows he will be picked up by security cameras and dressed for it.

3. Kira Nerys Finds Her Summer Camp Squeeze

Kira Nerys and Vedek Bareil. While Bareil wears Vedek robes, Kira wears a mid-thigh-length orange dress, with a mossy green knitted duster of the same length. (CBS-Paramount)

There are a lot of things my fifteen-year-old self would have done in 2001 to get this outfit. Is Kira going to Burning Man or trying to woo a Space Cardinal? Is she protesting nuclear proliferation? Whatever she is off to do in this cottagecore dream (from DS9: “The Circle”), she will certainly be the best dressed.

4. Trip Meets Mom, It Doesn’t Go Well

Commander Trip Tucker and T’Pol. Trip is wearing a white and navy-blue trimmed polo, with dark khaki pants. T’Pol is in a lilac t-shirt and rose-colored capris. (CBS-Paramount)

To be frank, I picked this outfit (from the Enterprise episode “Home”) because Trip has excellent forearms. Like, I am not that into men but even I can see that Trip has some serious arm game. You don’t need some elaborate outfit when your shirt barely contains your bulging biceps.

5. When the King of Fashion is a Queen

Elim Garak wearing a deep red suit with a thick, golden, textured trim (CBS-Paramount)

I mean, did you really think I would skip the only character whose entire thing, allegedly, is tailoring? Whether he is going to lunch with his favorite human, going on an (alleged) mission to rejoin the Obsidian Order or winning a battle to save his planet, Garak is always the best dressed.

The 5 Worst Outfits in Star Trek

1. Why Even Try on Risa?

Dr. Julian Bashir lounges on a pillow, wearing orange and purple hammer pants with a felt purple tank top (CBS-Paramount)

Imagine being BFFs with a fussy tailor and going out in public in this getup, from DS9’s “Let He Who Is Without Sin…”! Even I can see it is terrible. Why is he wearing what amounts to a crushed velvet top? I think I have discovered the reason for Bashir’s consistent romantic failures.

2. This is Why You Check In Before Beaming Up

In a scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Dr. Leonard McCoy stands in a transporter in a white, collared jumpsuit, revealing just a bit of hairy chest, a large brown and gold buckled belt, and a large gold medallion necklace (CBS-Paramount)

“Love Train” clearly hit Dr. McCoy hard! Nothing quite shows disdain for the universe like, for your first day back on the job, digging out the white jumpsuit you wore on the most intense LSD trip of your life.

3. Omnipotent and Omniscient Doesn’t Guarantee a Fashion Sense

Q stands with his arms on his hips in a grey jumpsuit with a high waist and olive green undershirt (CBS-Paramount)

First of all, before you message me, I know Q was human in this episode, TNG’s “Deja Q”, and therefore didn’t have access to his usual spectacular wardrobe. That said, surely he could have managed something better than a fake one-piece suit with pants pulled up to his pecs, overall just leaving far too little to the imagination.

4. Individual and Independent xB… as long as you don’t have to pee

Seven of Nine in a silver, skintight jumpsuit that also includes visible corset boning (CBS-Paramount)

Nothing says sexy like needing twenty minutes, multiple people and a production stop every time you need to take a piss. I realize I might get some disagreement here from fans of the catsuit but my position is… if you need a nurse with an oxygen tank on set – to keep Jeri Ryan from passing out – it is a bad outfit.

5. Did You Really Think I’d Skip the Sweaters?

Wesley Crusher leans over a console in an oversized burnt orange sweater with frills, cable knitting, and a rolled turtleneck (CBS-Paramount)

I have a deep appreciation for an oversized sweater. That said, poor Wesley Crusher is clearly not built for the oversized sweater life. This selection, from the TNG installment “Where No One Has Gone Before”, is particularly egregious. The sweater is fully wearing him and the mix of textures is dizzying. This is a sweater that makes you yearn for the awkward acting ensign outfit.

Star Trek challenges us to dream of a better future and re-evaluate our present. It also posits that fashion is going to go some strange places in the next 400 years. So,… buckle up!

2 thoughts on “The 5 Best & 5 Worst of Star Trek Fashion

  1. This is a great piece! Laughed my way through it with great delight! Very humorous and fun piece of work!

  2. On my best list from “Star Trek: Next Generation”:

    Famke Janssen’s wedding dress at the end of “The Perfect Mate”. The bodice was a stunning gold and cream confection. Unfortunately, it was horribly unresolved and made her look 40 lbs heavier in every direction from the waist down.

    The royal blue gown with sheer accents an altered Deanna Troi wears when she bursts into Ten Forward in “Man of the People” (Next Generation). Pure gorgeous malevolence!

    Data’s Sherlock Holmes, Geordi’s Dr. Watson, Dr. Pulaski’s dress, Moriarty’s day suit and everyone in Conan Doyle London (“Elementary, Dear Data”). Period costumes as good as any motion picture about Victorian England.


    The Ambassadors’ of “Liaisons” are clearly victims of a depleted costume budget. Dull gray one piece coveralls. Zzzzzz. In a similar vein, Ensign Deseve is given a bland burgundy pull-over that is terribly ill-fitting and does no favors for his body.

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