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30th Anniversary of the Classic TNG Tunic

So here we are in December at last.
A new year around the corner, and a chance to look back.

We Trekkies are fond of anniversaries, and as costumers an important one just passed us by. Thirty years ago STAR TREK: The Next Generation debuted the ninth episode of it's third season - "The Vengeance Factor," and with it came the final design of TNG's Standard Duty Uniform which now celebrates its 30th Anniversary!

The fall of 1990 saw The Next Generation finally hit its stride, and the next few seasons would be some of the best in the entire franchise. 

From "Encounter at Farpoint'' three years earlier, to "The Price" - the uniforms for the crew of the Enterprise-D kept evolving. Starting with original costume designer, William Ware Theiss, continuing with 2nd season designer Durinda Rice Wood, and finally with costumer Robert Blackman - the costumes changed considerably. 

Captain Picard and his crew began their trek through the galaxy in jumbo spandex "spacesuits'' (as the cast called their uniforms), but quickly discovered that they were just not comfortable over the course of long days shooting the series. 

In season two, Durinda Wood started the search for a solution to the numerous problems the one piece uniforms presented the crew, but concocting a new design eventually fell under the direction of season three's new designer. 

In the run-up to shooting the new season, Bob Blackman hit upon a two piece men's ensemble made of wool, and consisting of a pair of pants with a cropped, military style jacket. But the uniform wasn't finished evolving.

Outfitting the entire cast of a show with new costumes is an enormous expense for any production, let alone one already as costly as Star Trek. The uniforms were rolled out in phases determined by one's position on the call sheet. 

Thus Patrick Stewart always got the latest iteration first (along with Jonathan Frakes). A couple of episodes later, Brent & LeVar, and so on. 

The first version of these new uniforms were very heavily structured. With prominent dual seams running down the chest (think State Trooper and you know the style), and a couple of heavy darts on the upper abdomen. These details and others began to disappear starting with Captain Picard over the first handful of episodes until we reached episode nine. 

With "The Vengeance Factor" the final form of the TNG Standard Uniform had arrived. It was finally comfortable (I mean, "The Picard Maneuver" wasn't just for show), and looked fantastic!

The Next Generation Tunics have RETURNED!

Sign Up Now for FIRST ACCESS to these Iconic Captain Picard Tunics. 


This time marks the anniversary of those uniforms, and they've been a favorite of mine for the majority of my life. I've made them, worn them, sold them, and even had a chance to meet their designer. 

They define the 'The Next Generation' era of Star Trek  in a way no other 24th Century uniforms have. Don't believe me? They just returned (with just a few minor changes) in the new show STAR TREK: Lower Decks.

So Happy 30th Anniversary to Next Gen’s Standard Duty Uniform! Long may it reign!


John Cooley

John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.

John Cooley December 14, 2020 0 tags (show)