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The new Starfleet Uniforms from Star Trek: Discovery are very distinctive and different from anything that we have seen before:

enter image description here

Especially their color scheme is decisively a new thing when compared to the old classic red/blue/yellow color code that represented one's department.

The new all-blue uniforms seem to be very similar, except for their shiny ornaments, that maybe also mean belonging to a particular department.

Do we know more about the new colors?

  • I don't know if this is the correct use of the tag 'object identification' but I could be wrong. – Edlothiad Oct 13 '17 at 10:13
  • Not 100% sure either, I can edit it if needed. – Sekhemty Oct 13 '17 at 10:16
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    well...that's an impossible image : p – NKCampbell Oct 13 '17 at 15:01
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    @NKCampbell Well, by using a strict logic, if Captain Lorca was visiting the Shenzhou it could have been possible, but I get what you mean ;) – Sekhemty Oct 13 '17 at 16:03
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+200

An interesting article at TrekMovie.com describes the new uniforms in detail, and tries to shed some light on the meaning of their features based on observation of on-screen evidence.

The most important functional1 features of the Discovery uniforms are:

Department

The blue two-piece duty uniforms are adorned with decorations of different colors2, that denote the department that the wearer belongs to:

  • Gold: Command department
  • Silver: Science department
  • Bronze: Operations department
  • White/Silver Medical department (an exception to the standard blue uniforms, medics are clad in white ornated with the silver Science decorations)

Alternate versions

  • Jumpsuit: a less formal suit that keeps the same style and colors of the standard ones, but it is a one-piece and short-sleaved, and has a different decoration (a colored pattern on the low back instead of the sides).
  • Field Suit: an alternate version worn during shuttle flight operations and away missions, one-pieced, less formal and more utilitarian; it has black decorations in place of the departmental colors. It is worn in conjunction with a reinforced flak-jacket of sorts.

Division

The more specific division inside a department is displayed as a symbol engraved in the badge worn on the chest. These symbols are the same used in the TOS era (see pictures below):

  • Pointed star: Command
  • Interlocked circles: Science
  • Angled spiral: Operations
  • Medical cross: Medical

Ranks

The ranks are engraved in the chest badge as a series of a maximum of four round pips, in the same fashion of the ones worn on the uniform's collar during the TNG era:

  • Four pips: Captain
  • Three pips: Commander
  • Two and a half pips: Lieutenant Commander
  • Two pips: Lieutenant
  • One and a half pips: Lieutenant J.G.
  • One pip: Ensign

In addition to the pips, two slightly different badges are worn by admirals and cadets:

  • Admiral: The "Starfleet Delta" is inserted in a circular badge and encircled by a golden wreath.
  • Cadet: The "Starfleet Delta" is inserted in a rectangular badge and superimposed to a series of four horizontal bars.

Furthermore, a Captain, besides wearing Gold ornaments on his uniform by belonging to Command department, has and additional golden pattern on the shoulders. An Admiral has this pattern extended into the uniform's arms.


Other features (like the the delta pattern on the side of the tops, or the stripes that run from shoulders to feet) seems to be identical on all uniforms regardless of rank or departments, so they can be assumed to have just decorative purposes.

Picture 1: Uniform Breakdown

enter image description here
Source: TrekMovie.com


Picture 2: Uniform Types

enter image description here
Source: user Rekkert from DeviantArt


Picture 3: Field Suit

enter image description here
St:DIS Episode 1x06: Lethe


1. So, not only decorative, but serving a practical purpose to distinguish between ranks, departments, ad roles.
2. They appear to have just "metallized" the colors used in TOS: Yellow > Gold, Blue > Silver, Red > Bronze

  • I don't see any golden frieze on the shoulders of Lorca in the picture in the question, though. (I think I can convince myself I see it on Georgiou – Kate Gregory Oct 13 '17 at 17:49
  • @KateGregory Probably depending on how the ambient light makes the shiny parts stand out, they are more visible in certain shots and less in other; anyway, I meant this – Sekhemty Oct 13 '17 at 18:06
  • Has anyone figured out why some people have four shoulder stripes and others have five? Saru definitely has 5 and everyone else I've found seems to have 4. scifanatic-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/… – J Doe Oct 13 '17 at 21:46
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    @JDoe according to the article that I've linked, the number of stripes doesn't seem to have any particular meaning, except being there more on largest sized uniforms and less in smaller ones. – Sekhemty Oct 17 '17 at 17:09
  • Excellent work digging this up! That said, the headache inducing levels of subtlety here is… Just crazy. From a quick visual scan, it’s really almost impossibly to quickly differentiate crew ranks and divisions. – JakeGould Oct 25 '17 at 0:17

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