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In the Star Trek TOS episode "Space Seed", Khan gets a "welcome to our century" dinner. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scott turn out "formal dress" uniform, where everyone else appears to be in their regular duty uniforms.

Does this have an in-universe explanation, or is it a production economy we're not supposed to notice (dress uniforms only prepared for the core cast).

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  • I'd say it's just a production thing, especially when you notice that all the non-formal wear people are with their back to the camera. It was probably hoped that you wouldn't see and determine this, but instead think they were wearing formal wear. – Durakken Sep 11 '16 at 6:54
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    From personal experience I'd say the dress uniform expressed to Khan who was important around the table in terms of rank. In UK military for example, the dress uniform of the lower ranks is little different to the standard, you keep it perfectly clean, pressed, badges polished boots bulled. Only the higher brass have a 'special' dress uniform often regimental with braids and distinctions. I don't think Star Trek production were so hard up that they couldn't make 5 more uniforms and its hard to miss the girls handing out drinks in full shot if they thought the viewers wouldn't notice. – Applefanboy Sep 11 '16 at 12:19
  • Just adding to what Applefanboy said, it would seem that only those with distinctions and awards would have a special uniform on which to pin them. – user52688 Sep 17 '16 at 5:43
  • In UK terms I would add that it can depend on the regiment, for example, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards there is a dress uniform (for every soldier) which includes a kilt and bearskin (hat). This is because they are dual purpose - tank cavalry soldiers and a regimental band. Generally I would stick with its recognition of higher rank. – Applefanboy Oct 5 '16 at 13:59
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    @Applefanboy the producers were that strapped for cash, and usually on an unreasonably tight schedule as well. Ignoring details of costuming so that they could use what they already had on hand was definitely something that happened :) – hobbs Jan 25 '18 at 21:19

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