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Standard-VS-Premier or “What color was Captain Kirk’s Tunic?”


Our Premier Star Trek Command Tunic is a nearly perfect replica of the costume tunics worn by William Shatner during the third season of Star Trek in 1969.  It has correct patterning taken directly from original sources, full length zipper (to allow for the actor’s hair and make-up), spring weave collar fabric, a body made from custom milled Premier 3rd season diamond weave double knit fabric, our perfected rank braid and insignia, and the actual “avocado-green-gold” color formula used by the Star Trek costume department. This costume tunic replica is crafted by hand to please those collectors who want nothing less than what was worn on the sound stage.

Our Standard Star Trek Command Tunic was designed to be a nearly perfect replica of the uniform tunics worn by Captain Kirk aboard the Enterprise in 2269. Its patterning has been adapted to provide a better fit for a wider array of personnel, it has a nominal six inch zipper, rib knit collar fabric (used at times side-by-side the spring weave collars), a body made from custom milled Standard 3rd season diamond weave double knit fabric (which is even a tiny bit heavier than our Premier fabric but less dense of a weave which affords it better breathability and comfort aboard ship), our perfected rank braid and insignia, and the same command division gold seen on our monitors for nearly fifty years. This uniform tunic is replicated in a factory to please those collectors who want nothing less than what they saw on their screens.

You see the distinction?  When we brought our Premier Star Trek tunics to some of the first conventions we attended, we always got the same questions-“Why is your Captain Kirk tunic green?” “Shouldn’t Captain Kirk’s shirt be gold?” and so on.  Our response was always to educate people to the fact that the costume William Shatner wore in the third season of Star Trek was this shade of avocado-green, and that it only looked gold on camera.  Some understood, some didn’t, and some walked away saying that they didn’t care what color it was on the stage, Kirk’s tunic was gold.  It was the last comment that always got to us.  “You don’t care? We’ve made a tunic that could pass for an original in the Smithsonian, and you don’t care?”

Years pass and more convention conversations later, and we realize that there are lots of people who want to wear Captain Kirk’s tunic that are walking away because they want something that looks more like what they saw on TV.  Ok, but we don’t want to change the Premier tunic as it’s already perfect.  What to do? Create a new line of replicas that display the same attention to detail and accuracy but tune the color closer to what most people’s expectations are.  Then we thought if we introduce a change like that, what else can we do to differentiate one line from the other and the answer was a lower price point.  How do we lower the price?  Standardize the manufacturing process, change the fabric weave to something easier to make, and construct the tunics in a factory setting.  Those changes dropped the price of the tunic a hundred dollars, and opened up a whole new segment of people who would wear a Star Trek tunic, infusing our hobby with new blood.  

As for the color of our Standard Captain Kirk tunic; the change in color to the naked eye (under most lighting conditions, even natural light) is so subtle that you’d be hard pressed to even discern it. Under most conditions it’s just a pinch more gold/yellow.  

Here are both tunics pictured outdoors in natural daylight without a filter.

And then there’s what I call “The Camera Trick”, and if you saw us at last year’s conventions you might have seen it. 

I take a Premier Command Tunic and drape it over a Standard Command Tunic... 

(Indoors, artificial light, with a flash, no filter.)


...and then I hold my phone in camera mode over them and what happens next is exactly what happened with TV cameras in 1969 – the Standard Tunic turns gold!

(Indoors, artificial light, no flash, no filter.)

It’s really cool, and if you’re coming to San Diego Comic Con or Creation’s Las Vegas Star Trek Convention I’ll show it to you. 


So here we are, offering two versions of the same classic Star Trek Command Tunic. Most people who at one time walked away from the Premier tunic purchase the Standard because it looks closer to how they expect Captain Kirk’s tunic to look (and the money they save is almost an afterthought), and we still make the Premier Tunic for those that want to wear exactly what William Shatner wore.   

Who said you can’t please everybody? 



John Cooley July 21, 2014 0 tags (show)