TNG medical smock analysis - preface

TNG-era Starfleet Uniform Medical Smock Analysis


Preface

For The Next Generation's first season, costume designer William Ware Theiss designed and introduced the early TNG-era uniforms, most notably the TNG jumpsuits

Although there were a handful of other Starfleet uniforms (such as the formal “dress” uniforms and admiral uniforms), with the occasional exception of the early TNG skant, there were no standard duty uniform variations - only unique "accessories" such as unusual rank (Kosinski), decorations (Worf's baldric), and other garments (Dr. Crusher's lab coat). 

Neither costume designer William Ware Theiss or Gates McFaydden (Dr. Crusher) returned for The Next Generation's second season; Durinda Rice Wood took over as costume designer, and of course the character of Dr. Katherine Pulaski (played by Diana Muldaur) was introduced.

TNG season 2 costume designer Durinda Rice Wood


Several changes were made that season: Commander Riker grew a beard (the importance of which cannot be overstated!), Wesley ditched those awful sweaters, Worf's baldric was changed, and both Geordi and Worf switched from "red" to "gold."


Also, and obviously most relevant to this costume analysis, Dr. Pulaski didn't wear the standard Starfleet uniform established in The Next Generation's first season and worn by every other Starfleet officer (except Counselor Troi); instead of the TNG jumpsuit, she wore a unique "medical smock" uniform variant, exclusive to the character. 

Furthermore, it may surprise you to learn that Dr. Pulaski actually wore five (!) different medical smock variants over the course of that season! (Actually, there were at least seven; I've arbitrarily reduced the "middle five" to three because they were so similar, and even those could possibly be further consolidated, but more on this later!) 

I will present my analysis of the TNG medical smock variations in approximate chronological order, one at a time, so you'll hopefully be able to easily observe the various styles and changes. 

And finally, I refer to this garment as a “smock” rather than a “skant” for two reasons: first, to avoid confusion with the actual season 1 TNG skants (which were an entirely different uniform style), and second, because Dr. Pulaski wore trousers with the uniform, and to me, “skant” seems an inappropriate term for something worn with trousers. 


Now, let's take a good look at the TNG medical smock!

TNG medical smock analysis


TNG medical smock analysis - preliminary notes TNG medical smock home TNG medical smock analysis - overview

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