TNG skant analysis, part 2 - neckline and yoke

TNG-era Starfleet Uniform Skant Analysis


Part 2 - Neckline and Yoke

Now that we've covered William Ware Theiss' stylistic inspirations for his TNG-era uniform skants (and what seems to have been the ideology behind them), the fabric they were made with, and the TNG-era division colors he established, let's take a look at the construction of the skant itself!

"Let's take it from the top."


Curiously, the neckline on the early TNG uniform skant wasn't as wide as that of its counterpart, the early TNG jumpsuit. (Granted, the latter had notoriously wide necklines, but still; one might have assumed that they would be directly analogous to each other, being riffs on the same uniform era designed by the same person for the same production year of the same show!)

TNG skant - neckline
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


The neckline on the (women's) original, screen-used TNG skant I examined was only about 4 ¾" at its widest - about where the shoulder seams were.

TNG skant - neckline
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


The early TNG skant's upper structure was otherwise analogous to that of the early TNG jumpsuit's


The yoke extended onto the upper sleeve, cut as a continuous piece; there was no "traditional" upper armscye seam, and this formed an unusual yoke/armscye/sleeve construction. 

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


Here's an up-close photo of the TNG skant's yoke extending onto the sleeve, resulting in this funky armscye:

TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


Both the neckline and yoke of the early TNG uniform skant were embellished with division-colored piping.

This "piping" was, in fact, merely a strip of fabric folded in half; there was no cording (rounded or otherwise) sewn into the piping to give it the round body typically associated with sew-in piping.

Also, observe how the piping fabric occasionally responded differently to the lighting than the rest of the skant.
TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


My previous theory was that - on the skants, jumpsuits and medical smocks - the piping was simply a strip of jumbo spandex folded in half, "wrong" sides together, so that the opposite (shinier) sides of the fabric were facing outward. 

However, upon examining Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant, I was surprised to discover that the division-colored piping wasn't only a different fabric entirely, but it didn't quite match the jumbo spandex used for the body of the skant!

TNG skant - piping
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


It was difficult to determine with only a sliver of the fabric available for observation, but it appears to have been a different, lighter-weight spandex, cut on the bias/diagonal.


On the skant I examined, the neckline piping was precisely 3/16" wide.

TNG skant - neckline trim
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


As with the the early TNG jumpsuits, the neckline piping was simply folded in half, sewn onto the skant's neckline, and turned under; there wasn't a "yoke facing" or anything comparable on the underside of the yoke.

TNG skant - neckline trim
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


Note the catch-stitching on the underside of the neckline trim, securing it to the underside of the yoke - although, curiously, this was done in division-colored thread, rather than black. (I mean, the color-match looks good on the interior neckline, sure, but while the stitching would ideally be invisible on the outside of the garment, why risk having little pinpricks of gold thread around the black yoke's neckline?)


In the show, the yoke piping appeared to vary in width. 

Sometimes the yoke piping appeared to be quite narrow - perhaps ⅛".

TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things"


Other times, the yoke piping was noticeably wider and more pronounced - perhaps ¼".

Of course, some of this might have been an optical illusion due to the aforementioned pull on the piping across the curved seam line; observe how, in the first example below, Deanna's yoke piping appeared to be wider toward the center front, and in the second examples, the piping appears to have been narrower on one side!

TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things"


As with the neckline piping, on the skant I examined, the yoke piping was precisely 3/16" wide.

TNG skant - yoke piping
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant
TNG skant - yoke piping
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


The yoke piping was sewn into the yoke; both the front and back yokes were actually in two pieces (upper front yoke, lower front yoke, upper back yoke, and lower back yoke), with the seam establishing the contour of the piping. The yoke/piping seam allowances were pressed upward.

TNG skant - yoke piping
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


Curiously, on one of Data's screen-used early TNG jumpsuits, the yoke piping seam allowance was left intact, but on the screen-used TNG skant I examined, the yoke piping seam allowance was trimmed down to about ⅛".

TNG jumpsuit - yoke piping
Data TNG jumpsuit auction photo
TNG skant - yoke piping
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


The contour of the early TNG skant yoke piping appears to have been generally analogous to that on the early TNG jumpsuit; that is, it curved away from center and toward the shoulders curved in a graceful, subtle S-shape.

Curiously, though, it did sometimes to be more of a straight diagonal line, but only from certain angles ... observe how in the two images below, the yoke piping on the wearer's left (photo right) was obviously curved, but on the wearer's right (photo left) it looked much straighter ... an optical illusion, perhaps?

TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 1x20 "Heart of Glory"
TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things ..."


For what it's worth, on the screen-used TNG skant I examined, there was very little curve to the yoke piping, on either the front or the back.

TNG skant - yoke piping
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant
TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


The front and back yoke piping properly aligned at the skant's shoulder seams.
TNG skant - yoke piping
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things ..."


In The Next Generation's first season, if we assume a piping width of ¼", the early TNG jumpsuit yoke usually appeared to be about ¾" deep (1" including the neckline piping), with the yoke piping positioned halfway between the upper and lower edges. 

(Note that if we assume a piping width of 3/16", however, the front yoke dimensions need to be altered accordingly!)

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x4 "Code of Honor"


Of course, if you've read my TNG jumpsuit analysis, you know that the yoke depth not only fluctuated a bit over the course of The Next Generation's first season (and they actually grew significantly deeper over the course of the second season)! 

Counselor Troi actually wore several different TNG skants over the course of The Next Generation's pilot, and their yoke depths spanned the gamut just as the jumpsuits did. 

One of her uniforms' yokes was roughly analogous to the aforementioned TNG jumpsuit's.

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


Sometimes, the upper and lower yokes appeared to extend to about ⅜" tall each (resulting in a slightly deeper yoke, measured from the center front).

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


The upper and lower yokes sometimes appeared to extend even deeper - perhaps ½".

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


One of her TNG skant variants from The Next Generation's final episode had a similar yoke depth. (More on this particular uniform variant later!)

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things ..."


Sometimes the jumpsuit yoke grew to be rather "top heavy" - that is, the upper yoke was noticeably taller than the lower yoke, and the yoke piping was no longer centered between the upper and lower yoke edges.

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


And finally, sometimes the opposite was the case - that is, the yoke became "bottom heavy!"

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"


Again, one of Counselor Troi's early TNG skant variants from The Next Generation's final episode had a similar yoke depth.

TNG skant - yoke
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things ..."


The original, screen-used TNG skant I examined had one of the slightly deeper yokes - 1 ⅛" tall (including the neckline trim) at the center front - although the yoke piping was, thankfully, vertically centered between the neckline trim and the upper edge of the front body panel!

TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


The back yoke measured 3 ⅛" deep (including the neckline trim) at the center back.

TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant
TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


Using the "weave" of the jumbo spandex as a guide, one can observe that the lower edge of the front yoke wasn't cut horizontally, but it curved downward away from center. 

On the front yoke, the lower edge curved downward approximately ½" from center front to armscye.

TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


The back yoke also curved downward ½" from center back to armscye.

TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant
TNG skant - yoke
Steve Barnes' original, screen-used TNG skant


TNG skant analysis - fabric, fit, and division colors
TNG skant home
TNG skant analysis - body panels

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