i’m here, i’m queer, and i’m your resident costume designer ready to resolve the starfleet pockets debate once and for all.
Let’s do some establishing, hm?
We begin chronologically, with Enterprise. I have but one thing to say about Enterprise, which is…
Um, pockets! Pockets pockets pockets pockets pockets. Pockets. Damn, when you say it that many times it starts to sound weird. The Enterprise costumes were designed by Rob Blackman, who also worked on Next Gen, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine. (and just like that, I understand how those skintight jumpsuits for T’Pol, Troi, and Seven happened :/)
An argument could be made that all those pockets (and let’s be real here, I would kill to have that many nice pockets on an outfit) also show how early the time period is. In fact, this was a intentional choice by the producers. Payoff? Not sure.
Let’s evaluate his other work, shall we?
Here are some photos from what I believe to be seasons five, six, and seven of Next Generation, which is what Blackman worked on, as well as a few from earlier seasons. It’s pretty hard to tell whether or not Picard has pockets in that pants and jacket uniform, but if I had to wager a guess I’d say that he doesn’t. And the lower picture- y’know how I know there aren’t any pockets on those?
oofahh. that one really burns. So no, there weren’t pockets in TNG. There are a few uniform variants that I think would seriously benefit from some pockets, especially the top two pictures of Picard’s variants, but in the end I think it was alright. Except those holders. They can choke.
Ah, Voyager. In my opinion, they really pulled off the ordinary uniforms.
In times of trouble, this exact picture of Captain Janeway comes to me with words of wisdom. Not to mention the dress uniform- they did a pretty good job on those, too.
Personally, I would’ve shortened the length of the tunics, but that’s a me thing. No pockets. But now, a list of Voyager costumes that can fling themselves out an airlock for all I care:
Ah, Seven of Nine. Definitely no pockets on that monstrosity. But I recently learned that they specially built a contraption to hold the fabric between her breasts in. I might make a post later about our holy trinity of screwed-over female Star Trek characters. Later.
wHAT ARE THOSE FASTENERS?! I digress. No pockets.
If anyone could’ve pulled off pockets, I think it’d be Neelix. But no. There were no pockets on Voyager.
ONWARDS TO THE SPACE STATION
I’m really gonna breeze through Deep Space Nine because most of their uniforms were already covered.
No pockets. (I desperately want Jake’s purple velour jumpsuit, though) So I think it’s safe to say that there were no pockets in the 24th century Starfleet uniforms, the only exceptions I could find being a variant of Pulaski’s tunic which was later removed, and an overcoat for B’Elanna that was designed to hide the actress’s pregnancy. And for the most part, I’m okay with that. I do, however have issues with a few things- namely, the way they tried to compensate with fasteners in TNG. And I won’t be reviewing any of the movies, because A) I’m pretty sure they didn’t have pockets either and B) that’s Too Much.
You know how I know there weren’t pockets in TOS? Because that’s how this debate got started. It was specifically noted during the production. And I do agree with many of the points Team No Pockets makes- there’s no need for wallets, and everything else goes on that nice little belt that they did Much Better than TNG. Behold:
They were literally velcroed on. #respect.
So that’s it, you say. Starfleet uniforms didn’t have pockets, and Enterprise’s United Earth ones just served as a visual time placer, right?
Not quite, I’m afraid. Team Pockets has a hero, and her name is Gersha Phillips. Know what Gersha Phillips did? Gersha Phillips did pockets.
See those stripey things on the pants? Those are pockets- how Burnham keeps Georgiou’s badge with her, in what might be the only onscreen mention of a pocket in Star Trek history, and where Lorca keeps his eye pen. Nice ones, too, given that Jason Isaacs just stuck his phone in there for a photo shoot. There’s no chance that i could fit my phone into most of my pockets. I’m very jealous.
Somewhere in the early 2260s, it seems like Starfleet bid farewell to the pocket. Since we’re seeing the Enterprise in Disco S2, I’ll be on the lookout for pockets on Constitution Class uniforms.
Team No Pockets makes some good points. There’s really nothing in the distant future that we’d need pockets for. Everything we’d need could be held or future-velcroed onto our clothes. But at the end of the day, I’m afraid this costume designer has to cast her vote for Team Pockets. Live long and get fucked. #pocketsforever
I went to NYC for a holiday, and look at what I found in the Museum of the Moving Image! I’m so, so happy that I was finally able to see these incredible costumes in person - it was a very special moment for me.