The Federation Starfleet has used a series of uniforms from its inception. They are intended to identify members at a distance, as well as indicate the department, fleet service, rank, and other information, in the tradition of various Earth navies before interstellar flight.
2161 Uniforms Edit
The initial uniforms used by Starfleet were inherited from the Earth Starfleet. They were jumpsuits with color-specific departments. Command (gold), Sciences (teal/blue), and Operations (red). The ship's mission patch was worn on the left shoulder, and while the original Earth Starfleet uniforms had rank pips, this was changed to cuff stripes for easier visible distinction between ranks, along with rank epaulets.
Planetary Duty Jacket Edit
The Starfleet had uniforms for planetside duty, worn as a jacket over the standard uniform.
Desert Uniform Edit
When in a desert or hot, arid environment, Starfleet provided a khaki uniform with an optional overcoat.
Arctic Uniform Edit
For cold weather environments, Starfleet issued an Oros-manufactured aerogel jacket, pants, and gloves which would help keep the wearer warm. Their fourth-generation aerogel was well adapted to keep body heat in, so that the wearer would not freeze in environments colder than 32° F.
2165 Uniforms Edit
Adopting a new, unified appearance reflecting the newly unified Federation Starfleet, design elements from the founding members of the Federation were incorporated into the uniforms, which were now a tunic and pants, rather than a jumpsuit.
After the MACO organization was merged into Starfleet, the uniforms featured four division colors: avocado for Command, red for operations, blue for medical, and dark grey for security
The five stellar fleets that merged into the Federation Starfleet formed the five main divisions of Starfleet: United Earth Space Probe Agency (UESPA), Andorian Guard, Tellar Space Administration, Vulcan Space Council, and the Alpha Centauri Space Research Council. Each division was placed over certain interstellar operations:
- UESPA: Exploration
- TSA: Operational Support and Supply
- VSC: R&D, Administration
- ACSRC: Research and Exploration
- AG: Defense
These uniforms would last for over thirty years before Starfleet would seek to redesign them again.
2195 Uniforms Edit
After 2215, the undershirt was changed to a mandarin collar, maintaining duty color for the departments. This variation would last until 2332, when the new uniform styles were introduced.
The new uniforms were streamlined and maintained use for 32 years. Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers had a separate jacket with mandarin collar, and rank indicated on the collar. Enlisted officers had jumpsuit variants without the collar, but with department color piping. There was a skant variant for women, resembling the popular version from the 2260s, with the option to wear pants with the skant.
The most recent version of Starfleet uniforms combine the aesthetic of the 2332 version, along with the popular jacket/tunic combination of the 2276 uniform. Starfleet has created variations to meet the needs of most every duty scenario an officer or enlisted person should encounter.
Class A Duty Uniform (Service Dress)Edit
The standard uniform uses the standard departmental colors for command (red), operations/security (gold), science/medical (teal), gray (intelligence), and dark green (marines). The tunic has black piping on the mandarin collar, and a zipper up the center. Typically, officers wear an undershirt under the tunic, a tanktop provided by Starfleet. Pants are similar to those of the 2332 style, with department piping around the bottom hem of the pants, and black boots for footwear. The jacket retains the simplified style of the 2332 uniform, but now has a jacket flap, with a rank stripe acting as a clasp holding it closed, with department color piping along the jacket flap. Female officers have the option to use a skirt with the uniform.
Class B UniformEdit
The first alternate uniform is a wraparound variation similar to that found in the 2250s and 2260s, with a similar wrap-over styling, which respects the Zandaran, Aktevan, and Dinaran cultures's sensibilities in uniforms. Many officers tend to wear this uniform when they have ended their duty shifts, but might be called back at a moment's notice, or they are on planet-side duty, providing a cooler option for wear than the standard jacket.
Class C UniformEdit
Captains have an alternate uniform that clasps closed up the front, with a lower collar than the standard uniform. In practice, captains tend to wear this uniform when they have ended their duty shift, but are still working on official business.
Dress uniforms in Starfleet are worn for ceremonies such as changes of command, retirements, commissionings and decommissionings, funerals, weddings, or when otherwise appropriate. Full Dress is similar to Service Dress except that ribbons are worn on the uniform under the communicator badge on the left breast.
The second variation is the dinner dress uniform, with a "years of service" stripe above the rank pips on the cuff. Warrant Officers wear silver braid on the uniform, as well as the Chief Petty Officers.
By 2368, the Dinner Dress variant had become the single variant dress uniform. On the left breast are worn full medals, and on the right, those ribbons without full medals. Officers wear white gloves with the uniform on formal occasions, such as banquets with the Federation President or the Admiralty.
Some professions, namely engineers and medical personnel, work in environments where the service dress uniform may not be the most useful. Starfleet provides an engineer's jacket with pockets for common tools needed in their jobs, and for doctors a looser jacket for use while in sickbay.
Starships began to post more regularly psychiatric officers, called counselors, to help deal with the effects of long-term space travel when they began the original five-year mission program, after twenty years' study. In the 2260s, Doctor Elise McKennah was posted to the original USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) three years into Captain Kirk's five-year mission. The pilot program was successful, and counselors were more regularly posted on starships beginning in 2271. Starfleet found that Counselors functioned more effectively when they appeared less like officers, and more informally, so they often dressed in more casual attire rather than their regular uniforms. By the 2360s, however, counselors wanted to be taken more seriously and recognized as officers, so Starfleet created several uniform variations that reminded of the regular duty uniform, while being less formal and more 'approachable' to their patients.
For cold weather operations, Starfleet uses a fifth generation aerogel developed originally by NASA on Earth, and further developed by Oros, a clothing company founded on Earth in the early 21st century.