Starfleet has fielded many uniforms over the course of its existence. In this series, we will take a look at each, from the beginning of the Earth Starfleet in the 2140s through those worn in 2399 and beyond.
The Starfleet duty uniform in use in the 2140s and 2150s was a dark blue coverall. It featured numerous, zippered pockets, and colored piping on the shoulders of the uniform indicated an individual’s assigned division within the Earth Starfleet; yellow indicated command and helm/navigation, blue was reserved for sciences and medical, and red signified security, engineering, and operations.
Along the corner of the colored piping on the right breast, insignia was affixed to display an individual’s rank. Officer ranks were denoted by a series of metallic pips, while enlisted ranks were denoted by stripes affixed to a circular pin with a delta emblem at its center. Just below the piping on the left sleeve, individuals wore a mission patch, which indicated their current assignment. The uniform also sported a black henley-style undershirt, as well as black boots and an optional black ballcap, which was typically adorned with the hull number of the ship to which an individual was assigned. The cap was typically not worn aboard ship, and eventually fell into disuse in the early 2150s.
The duty uniform could also be supplemented with an excursion jacket during missions to planetary surfaces with colder temperatures. This heavy jacket was made of a metallic, quilted material in a dark blue-gray, and featured division color piping in an identical pattern to the duty uniform.
Some time between 2155 and 2161, the duty uniform was altered slightly. Epaulets were added, as well as a universal Starfleet patch on the right sleeve, and a black nametag with red text on the left breast, mirroring the placement of the rank insignia on the right breast. This alteration would prove to be short-lived, however, due to the introduction of a new duty uniform following the formation of the United Federation of Planets Starfleet in 2161.
Starfleet officers and enlisted personnel also had a uniform option designed for desert environments. Featuring khaki pants and shirt, the uniform was designed to keep personnel cool in high heat. Insignia was kept to a minimum, and the uniform featured a mission patch on the left sleeve, but no division colors, and rank insignia was worn on the right side of the collar. The ballcap from the duty uniform was also permitted for wear with the desert uniform, and personnel frequently wore sunglasses to protect their eyes from intense sunlight.
The dress uniform was most frequently worn by flag officers, though it was also available to all personnel for formal occasions. The dress uniform was essentially a business suit combined with the Starfleet duty uniform. The uniform consisted of dark blue slacks with a white collared shirt, and an optional black necktie. A jacket in the same shade of blue was worn partially zipped, leaving the shirt and tie visible, and its shoulders were marked with the same piping in the wearer’s division colors, as well as a second, silver accent. Rank insignia was worn on both sides of the jacket’s breast, in the corners of the division color piping.
Following the establishment of the United Federation of Planets, the Earth Starfleet became the foundation for the new Federation Starfleet, and a new uniform was developed for use by Starfleet personnel. This uniform consisted of a light gray coverall, and pockets were reduced to just two on the uniform’s breast. The shoulders were dominated by a solid patch of the individual’s division color, which also extended into piping down the sleeves, torso, and legs of the uniform; the division colors remained unchanged from the previous uniforms. The shoulders of both sleeves featured a mission patch that combined the Starfleet Delta symbol and the name and registry of the ship to which the wearer was assigned. Much like the previous uniforms, an excursion jacket was available for use that mimicked the design of the duty uniform; it was made of a dark gray material, and also featured division color shoulders and mission patches on the sleeve shoulders.
Star Trek: Enterprise episodes 1-2, “Broken Bow;” episode 4, “Strange New World;” episode 24, “Desert Crossing;” episode 50, “First Flight;” episode 98, “These Are the Voyages…;” Star Trek: Beyond