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Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Soval2151

Ambassador Soval wearing a ceremonial Vulcan robe during the 22nd century

Vulcan uniforms are the clothing worn by Vulcans in the service of the Vulcan High Command, ranging from the 20th through the 24th centuries.

These uniforms facilitate Vulcan wearers' needs as scientists, ambassadors, and starship officers, as well as adaptations for occasional military roles, often displaying rank insignia and position.

20th century

Duty uniform

Vulcan Captain 20th century uniform

The captain's uniform variant

Mestral uniform

Mestral wearing a standard uniform

During the mid-20th century (or as early as 1957), Vulcan officers in service aboard scientific vessels such as the D'Vahl wore brown, leather-like duty uniforms.

Consisting of a high-collared jacket and trousers, these uniforms featured distinctive designs consisting of V-shaped divisions of color on the chest and stomach. While higher-ranking officers such as captains wore brown uniforms with black and tan accents, lower-ranking officers wore similar versions that did not include black trim. Each officer's uniform bore a trapezoidal crest at the center of the chest.

As in future incarnations of the Vulcan uniform, the Vulcan captain's rank insignia was worn on the collar. However, his subordinates wore no visible rank. Opening at the front from a central closure, the uniform was worn over an off-white undershirt.

In the year 1957, the crew of a ship that crash-landed on Earth wore uniforms like these, but destroyed them, along with their ship, to avoid cultural contamination. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")

During the 2006 It's A Wrap! sale and auction, one of these uniforms was put up for bid. The item description labeled it as "leather". However, even the episode in which it appears emphasizes the Vulcans' strong belief in vegetarianism. Thus, the uniform must have been made out of a material that only looked like it was leather, like "pleather".
Vulcan captains pin 20th century

Rank

Vulcan 20th century buckle

Crest


21st century

Ceremonial robes

Vulcan captain, first contact

The captain of the T'Plana-Hath

In the 21st century, Vulcan officers such as those serving aboard the T'Plana-Hath surveying vessel wore formal, ceremonial robes when they made First Contact with humanity in the year 2063.

Consisting of dark, neutrally-colored hooded robes, these Vulcan garb were heavily ornamented in beads and bore a phrase or word written in the vertical, spiral-shaped Vulcan written text. (Star Trek: First Contact)

The outfits worn by the crew of the T'Plana-Hath lander are probably more accurately described as ceremonial clothing than uniforms – they more closely resembled the ambassadorial robes seen on the likes of Ambassador Soval than the more military-type uniforms seen elsewhere. This could indicate that these Vulcans were civilians, but can probably be attributed to the fact that the uniforms created for Star Trek: Enterprise had not yet been designed.
The uniform worn by Cully Fredricksen in First Contact was put on display at the Star Trek: The Experience exhibit in Las Vegas, though it was later pulled out for use in the episode "In a Mirror, Darkly". (citation needededit)

22nd century

Duty uniform

Vanik

Captain Vanik in a gray captain's uniform variant, 2151

During the mid-22nd century, Vulcans serving the High Command aboard starships engaged in scientific or militaristic functions generally wore sleek, form-fitting jumpsuit-style, or two-piece uniforms. Many variations existed, ranging in formality and design.

Type A

Female Vulcan uniform, 2152

Subcommander T'Pol wearing a Vulcan uniform

As early as the year 2151, some Vulcan officers wore uniform jumpsuits with lower-cut collars that were trimmed at the chest or upper-stomach.

One version of this design bore a dark-brown coloration, highlighted by gray patterning. This uniform was trimmed at the collar and shoulders by reddish-brown piping which also encircled the mid-torso. This uniform was worn by officers such as Subcommander T'Pol, a member of the Vulcan Diplomatic Corps.

Another version – worn by higher-ranking officers, such as Captain Vanik of the starship Ti'Mur – was gray in color, with dark-gray piping. Both variations featured rank insignia on the left collar and a long closure running from the collar to the right side of the chest. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Breaking the Ice", "Fallen Hero")

Captain Vanik's uniform is a direct variation on T'Pol's, though Vulcan uniforms that appeared later seemed to stray from this design, skewing to a more formal style. See below for background information on T'Pol's variant, which was used exclusively in the first two seasons of Enterprise.

Type B

Vulcan uniform variants

Captain Sopek wearing a brown captain's variant, 2152

As early as the year 2152, Vulcan officers serving aboard starships sometimes wore more formal, two-piece uniforms, consisting of a jacket and trousers.

Featuring the same trim around the torso, shoulders and collar as the previous uniform design, this style sported a higher collar and closure than ran the length of the jacket.

At least two colors for this uniform existed, ranging from a golden-brown to rust. (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem")

This uniform design was seen on the likes of Captain Sopek of the starship Ni'Var and the aide that joined him for a visit to Enterprise. This uniform style was featured in only one episode.
With the introduction of this uniform, the Vulcan design lineage became somewhat muddled, the production staff most likely tinkering in search of a permanent design. As this uniform is more formal than T'Pol's and Captain Vanik's jumpsuits, it is quite possible that this is simply a nicer option.


Type C

Vulcan uniform, Cease fire

Subcommander Muroc in uniform, 2152

Another uniform type in use during 2152 also featured a jacket and trouser combination. However, it sported a far more intricate design and formal look.

Consisting of a reflective, rubber-like material, this uniform bore a high collar and closed at the right, as in the previous 22nd century designs. Unlike the other designs, however, this version featured a dark, wedge-shaped accent, running from the left shoulder across the chest, and sported a belt with an elaborate buckle. This uniform also came in a variety of colors, ranging from metallic-brown to silver. (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II", "Stigma", "Cease Fire", "Kir'Shara")

This uniform was seen worn by Dr. Oratt, Subcommander Muroc and, later, an unnamed Vulcan sublieutenant serving the Vulcan High Command in "Kir'Shara". This indicates that at least this style of uniform is not rank- or position-specific.
The belt buckle appears to be quite similar to the crest design seen on the 20th century Vulcans in "Carbon Creek".


Type D

Seleya crewman

A Vulcan crewman wearing a duty uniform, 2153

Far less formal than any of the other options, a fourth uniform design was available to Vulcan officers serving aboard starships such as the Seleya in 2153.

Consisting of a single-piece jumpsuit, this uniform was far more utilitarian, made out of a brown, rubber-like material. Devoid of any distinctive designs, this uniform had a belt buckle similar to the one worn on the previous uniform style. As with the previous design, this uniform featured a high collar, with rank insignia worn on the right side. (ENT: "Impulse")

Excursion jacket

Vulcan away mission jacket

T'Pol in the excursion jacket, 2151

As a compliment to the standard duty uniform, a metallic-brown duty jacket was also available to Vulcan officers aboard starships. Similar to the more formal duty uniforms, this excursion-type jacket was worn over the standard uniform jumpsuit and featured a belt for a holster or other equipment. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Oasis")

This uniform could also be worn with a hood, where appropriate. (ENT: "Fusion")

Excursion uniform

TPols white desert uniform

Subcommander T'Pol in the white desert variant, 2152

For use in desert or other, more inhospitable terrains, specialized uniforms were available to Vulcan personnel serving aboard starships.

Consisting of a stark white jumpsuit, trimmed with horizontal ribbing on the upper-arms and sides, the uniform was designed to provide comfort and versatility in environments the standard duty uniform would not. As with the standard duty uniform, the rank insignia was worn on the right collar. (ENT: "Marauders", "Bounty")

In the year 2154, newly commissioned Starfleet Commander T'Pol wore a version of this jumpsuit, altered to include a Starfleet assignment patch and rank. In this instance, it was worn with a long, white coat. (ENT: "Kir'Shara")

Debuting early in the second season of Enterprise, the general design of this uniform may have been the inspiration for T'Pol's civilian outfits, seen the following season.

Combat uniform

Vulcan armed forces uniform

A Vulcan military officer wearing an armed forces uniform, 2154

For situations that called for a Vulcan officer to serve in hazardous battle operations, a ground combat uniform was available as early as 2151. (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem")

Made of a metallic-silver, rubber-like material, this uniform featured horizontal ribbing running down the chest and back. This uniform was sometimes worn with gloves and was available to officers in service aboard starships and on Vulcan. (ENT: "Cease Fire", "Kir'Shara")

Ceremonial robes

VLar (Ambassador)

Vulcan Ambassador V'Lar

As in earlier periods, 22nd century Vulcans, both civilian and non-civilian alike, donned elaborate ceremonial robes during more formal occasions, or if their positions warranted the practice. Such was the case with members of the Vulcan Diplomatic Corps, including Ambassadors Soval and V'Lar, who wore their ceremonial robes regularly during their individual postings.

While these robes varied in color and flourishes, most Vulcan ceremonial robes consisted of long, hooded robes, adorned with beads and including Vulcan text on the right side of the chest. The robes were worn over similarly formal, though less elaborate, tunics and trousers. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Terra Prime")

In her first moments on screen, T'Pol appeared decked-out in the traditional Vulcan robes, as part of Soval's delegation, though she was most often seen in the jumpsuit-style duty uniform. Still, in the episode "Fusion" (featuring flashbacks set before her mission aboard the NX-01), she can be seen in her standard uniform, suggesting that the robes were not constantly in use during her time on Earth. Ambassador Soval, however, was seen in episodes like "The Forge", "Awakening" and "Kir'Shara" in both his robes and a less formal, suit-like ensemble, though never a uniform like T'Pol's. T'Pol later donned the robes in the episode ENT: "Precious Cargo" and one last time in "Terra Prime".

23rd century

Ambassadorial wardrobe

Vulcan diplomat's uniforms in the 23rd century
Sareks casual attire Sareks dress uniform
Casual attire
Dress uniform
Sareks casual attire detail Sareks dress uniform detail
Casual attire detail
Dress uniform detail
Vulcan aide 1 Vulcan aide 2
Ambassadorial aides

During the 23rd century, many Vulcan people were employed in representing the United Federation of Planets in peaceful diplomacy. With this occupation came a number of dress options, ranging from simple suits to elaborate ceremonial robes.

Formal attire

During the 2260s, Vulcan diplomats, such as Ambassador Sarek, sometimes wore formal suits, unique to the era.

Among the choices was a dark gray coat and trouser combination, featuring a black collar and distinctive orange and gold stripe running vertically down the left breast. Alongside this strip, an ambassador could display any appropriate medals. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

With the planet Vulcan's inclusion in the Federation in the latter half of the 22nd century, the High Command's scientific and militaristic operations were most likely incorporated into Starfleet, along with Earth's, Tellar's, and Andoria's comparable agencies. Thus, the Vulcan uniform became a more civilian affair, with no indication of true military uniforms throughout The Original Series.

Casual attire

Like the Vulcan diplomat's formal attire, his or her casual attire could be equally, or even more meticulously decorated.

Among the options was a dark blue coat, similar in pattern to the formal coat, but slightly less rigid and tight-fitting. This option bore a large floral heraldry crest that took up most of the coat in the front, which also displayed honorary medals. The right sleeve featured two diagonal golden stripes, woven high on the cuff. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

Ceremonial robes

Vulcan ambassadorial robes

Ambassador Sarek sporting a more ceremonial look in 2286

As early as the mid-2280s, Vulcan ambassadors and diplomats also had far more ceremonial options available to them.

Like their predecessors, Vulcan diplomats sometimes wore elaborate and intricately designed ceremonial robes, complete with Vulcan text as decoration. While these robes were quite unusual, ranging in color and style, they often incorporated high collars, flowing sleeves, and were sometimes worn with jewelry such as rings or even elaborate hats.

One of the most intricate ambassadorial options included a gold breastplate, studded with large jewels, occasionally worn by Sarek throughout the late 2280s. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

The ceremonial robes worn by Sarek were designed by movie costume designer Robert Fletcher and its jewel-studded breastplate was based on two-thousand-year-old Jewish clothing. (Trek: The Unauthorized Story of the Movies, 3rd ed., p. 92) Following the release of Star Trek IV but prior to the making of Star Trek V, Fletcher cited Sarek's clothing as having been among his own personal favorite designs from the costumes he had created for the films produced up to that point. (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 259) Portions of Sarek's robes were later worn by a young Tuvok in a flashback in VOY: "Gravity".


Workman's uniform

Vulcan workers

Two Vulcan workers in their utility suits

Despite the abundance of ceremonial garb in the late 23rd century, Vulcans continued to see use for far less formal, often more utilitarian wardrobe.

Vulcans employed in technical operations, such as starship repairs, wore distinct work uniforms distinguished by a simplistic design. Off-white in color, these uniforms consisted of a looser-fitting tunic and pants, worn with a dark-gray belt. Most striking about the uniform was a stark red cap, extending high above the head and curving forward. Another option to be worn with this utility-type uniform was a red robe, worn over the ensemble. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Whether intentional or not, these Vulcan hats bore a strong resemblance to those worn by the cartoon characters known as The Smurfs, which were also popular in the late 1980s.
Greater similarity can be found, though, in the cap's resemblance to the Phrygian Cap of Ancient Anatolia (modern-day Asia Minor). The cap was historically worn by emancipated slaves, whose descendants were therefore considered citizens of the Empire. This usage is often considered the root of its meaning as a symbol of liberty.
Several pieces of these uniforms were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a belt [1] and bracelets. [2]

Religious wardrobe

Ceremonial robes

Vulcan ceremonial robes

T'Lar in full ceremonial attire

Like the ambassadorial attire, Vulcan religious wardrobe often consisted of elaborate and intricately designed robes. Often off-white in color, these robes were also often accented in red and worn with rigid hoods.

Some women, including T'Lar in 2285, wore crowns that featured crystals on their heads. Others wore very revealing, flowing robes. Members of particular religious ceremonies, such as the fal-tor-pan, occasionally wore distinctive hats and jewelry. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Ceremonial guard wardrobe

Vulcan fal-tor-pan guard ST3

A guard present at a fal-tor-pan ceremony in 2285

Sometimes present during religious ceremonies, Vulcan guards wore equally elaborate wardrobe. Guards taking part in the aforementioned fal-tor-pan ceremony wore heavy, gold-plated, jewel-encrusted armor and gold helmets. In areas unprotected by these jewels, burgundy and black cloth was visible. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Burial robes

Vulcan burial robe

A Vulcan burial robe

After Captain Spock was killed by radiation poisoning in 2285, his body was launched from the Enterprise in a photon torpedo casing and propelled into space. The casing eventually landed on the Genesis Planet, where Spock was reborn wearing traditional Vulcan burial robes that were black and were adorned with the three-symbol Vulcan insignia. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Spock arriving aboard the Enterprise

Spock arriving in the robe he was later buried in

This robe was also one Spock was wearing when he arrived aboard the
Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, suggesting that the robe was used because it was in Spock's quarters, not because it was a robe meant only for burial.
See also


Alternate reality

Vulcan science minister, alternate reality

Vulcan Science Academy robes

In the alternate reality created by Nero's incursion to 2233, members of the Vulcan Science Academy wore dark clothing. Male Vulcans wore jackets that draped over the left half of the body, while females wore a flowing head dress. (Star Trek)

24th century

Duty uniform

T'Vran Captain

24th century Vulcan science vessel uniform

Vulcan scientists serving aboard exclusively Vulcan, non-Starfleet research vessels, such as the T'Vran, wore distinct duty uniforms, separate from those worn by Starfleet officers.

Consisting of a dark blue tunic and trousers, this high-collared duty uniform sported the traditional three-symbol Vulcan text with lighter-blue highlights on the shoulders. (DS9: "Vortex")

The 24th century Vulcan uniform was a reuse of the Rutian police uniform seen in TNG: "The High Ground". It could very well be the uniform worn by Vulcans still serving the High Command, as T'Pol did in her day.


Vulcan 2387 uniform

Jellyfish uniform

Spock wore a unique jumpsuit when piloting the Jellyfish and handling the red matter which he used to stop the supernova of 2387. (Star Trek)

Science uniform

Vulcan scientist 2387 3

Vulcan scientist uniform

Members of the Vulcan Science Academy in 2387 wore long, light gray coats with padded shoulders. (Star Trek)

Field outfit

24th century Vulcan hoodie

Vulcan excursion outfit

For cold environments, Vulcan officers wore a fur-lined hooded jacket and gloves. (Star Trek)

Ambassadorial wardrobe

Ceremonial robes

T'Pel (Ambassador)

T'Pel in typical 24th century ceremonial attire

Like many esteemed Vulcans before her, 24th century Ambassador T'Pel and her colleagues often wore traditional ceremonial robes. Comparable to the religious attire of the late-23rd century, the ambassadorial robes sometimes included elaborate head-wear, including hoods and hats, as well as jewelry. (TNG: "Data's Day")

Formal attire

Lojal

Lojal in typical 24th century ambassadorial wear

Also as in the previous century, 24th century Vulcans in diplomatic service had, at their disposal, far less elaborate attire than the ceremonial robes. Nonetheless formal, this attire retained many very Vulcan flourishes, such as Vulcan text displayed on the tunic, as well as a comfortable, yet aristocratic appearance.

Vulcan Ambassador Lojal wore such attire, during a visit to Deep Space 9 in 2369, consisting of a gray tunic, highlighted by red patterning and large shoulder pads, similar to those worn by Romulans of that time period. (DS9: "The Forsaken")

Appendices

Background

The wardrobe worn by the Vulcans has evolved over the years, from the sleek, somewhat Medieval designs of William Ware Theiss in The Original Series, to Robert Fletcher's operatic and flowing robes debuting in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and further evolving in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

For Vulcans living in The Next Generation-era forward (and backward to Enterprise), costumes were provided by Robert Blackman. Deborah Everton's contribution to the costumes in Star Trek: First Contact may have been the most influential turn in Vulcan garb since The Motion Picture, adding overt Asian touches and influencing Blackman's coming designs.

Some correlation can be found in the Vulcan wardrobe, specifically the uniforms, seen in Enterprise and the Starfleet uniforms of the TNG-era 24th century. While it could just be a coincidence that these uniforms shared a common shape (and even displayed rank in roughly the same place), it could very well be an indication of Vulcan influence over not just Earth, but the Federation and Starfleet as a whole.

In the script for TAS: "Yesteryear", Ambassador Sarek's attire is described thus; "His clothes always are subdued, neutral colors, brightened only by the badge of office he wears."

Several pieces of Vulcan uniforms, costumes and jewelry were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] Three of the hats were worn by background performers Cheryl Wallack [18], Dave Armstrong [19], and Don Purpus. [20] A headband was worn by background performer K. Willey. [21]

T'Pol's Vulcan duty uniform

T'Pol's Vulcan uniform

Robert Blackman's sketch of T'Pol's duty uniform

The tight-fitting Vulcan uniform worn by Jolene Blalock in the role of T'Pol was designed by veteran Star Trek costume designer Robert Blackman. (ENT: "Stigma" text commentary, ENT Season 2 DVD, et al.) Regarding the "catsuit", Blackman told Star Trek: Communicator magazine in 2001, "We've got T'Pol in a Vulcan subcommander uniform. She's military. She's not civilian. It's a close-fit outfit, certainly, because she's a beautiful woman and it's useful on every level to have some kind of romantic figure." Blackman went on to describe the Vulcans with the words "beautiful grooviness". (citation needededit) In a 2002 interview for Star Trek: The Magazine, Blackman stated of the same costume, "It is very form-fitting, although it sort of opens up below the knee; it's not the 'Seven of Nine' notion of tight fight – it's more like the Troi or Crusher or Dax notion of close fit." Although the uniform ultimately incorporated brown-red piping, a sketch that Blackman drew for the costume includes primarily black piping and omits a pin that was ultimately worn at the collar. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 90)

The clothing used custom-designed fabric that was handmade by textile designer Francine LeCoultre. (ENT: "Stigma" text commentary, ENT Season 2 DVD)

Like the Starfleet standard duty uniform, T'Pol's catsuit appeared to have the ability to split into two pieces, despite the existence of a zipper at the back and the appearance of a jumpsuit. In the episode "Shockwave, Part II", T'Pol is seen in just the bottom half of her uniform.

The novelization of "Broken Bow" suggests that T'Pol's uniform is for special diplomatic advisers and the costume's use in "Precious Cargo" seems to further support this theory.

T'Pol's uniform last appeared in the Enterprise second season finale, "The Expanse". In fact, when T'Pol is first introduced in the script for the third season premiere "The Xindi", the teleplay specifically states, "T'Pol is no longer wearing her Vulcan uniform."

Apocrypha

In the novel of "Broken Bow", T'Pol's Vulcan duty uniform is referred to as "a Vulcan commissar's uniform."

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