Star Trek TOS "Space Seed":

enter image description here

What is the above garment Khan is wearing called? Is it a jacket? Is it a shirt? Does it have a more specific name?

I thought maybe it might be European, but I've never seen anything like it in the USA. Since we have people from all over the world on the site I thought somebody else might have a more specific description of what it is.

Is there a way to procure one now in our universe?

  • 16
    Looks Indian in style to me. (India Indian, not American Indian.) Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 3:30
  • s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/08/89/00/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 10:34
  • @Richard I saw that one on Ebay last night. It's close. The other shirt/Jacket doesn't attach in the middle and has buttons on it, and of course the fabric on khan's rocks. I want Khans so bad, but ricardo montalban is 6 feet, I'm almost 6'3" and I have a thinner build then him. I'm worried it'll look funny for a tall person to wear a really long shirt/jacket like that. I'm thinking about going to a tailor and finding out what it would cost to make such a garment.
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 13:38
  • 2
    @muru Khan is indecent and disreputable, lol. And he doesn't have it full fledged chest hairs open, an of course you can close it higher if you want. I just love the jacket.
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 19:59
  • 6
    SciFi Stack Exchange: Come for the trivia, stay for the fashion trends.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 14:14

5 Answers 5


A few years ago, considerable research was done into Khan, the development of his character, and the making of "Space Seed" by sociologists Maria Jose and John Tenuto, leading to a six-part interview with them by the official Star Trek web site.

From The Evolution of "Space Seed", Part 5, we have the following notes regarding the costuming for the episode:

The costumes of the original Star Trek were largely the result of the talents of William Ware Theiss... He had served for four years in the United States Navy before turning his attention to costume design.

Like all artists on Star Trek, Theiss had to regularly deal with many limitations, including budget, time and network rules, and "Space Seed" was a unique challenge. The costumes had to demonstrate the regality of Khan that was familiar to the audience, yet also be futuristic in their design.

Despite these limitations, Theiss’ output on "Space Seed" is remarkable for its iconic nature and its interesting symbolism...Theiss’ three original designs all have a common element: ovals. Khan's cryogenic outfit is entirely constructed of these ovals, interlocking together symbolically to mimic perhaps DNA helix strands...The interconnecting ovals again appear on Khan’s dress dinner jacket, a design that showcases Montalban’s physique and Khan’s superiority.

enter image description here

The tunic / dinner jacket is an original construction by Theiss, designed to display royalty and futuristic notes at the same time, as mentioned above. That is to say, it is not exactly an existing Earth garment.

But given Khan's ethnic origins in the Indian subcontinent, Theiss likely took some inspiration from traditional dress of that region, namely the achkan, Nehru jacket, and sherwani, as others have noted.

There also exist action figures of Khan wearing the tunic:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Unfortunately, the packaging for the figures doesn't have anything to say about the tunic.

Finally, as for purchasing a (life-size) version of the tunic, it doesn't seem to be a particularly popular item. I cannot find a vendor that has made exact replicas of it. Furthermore, the current location of the actual tunic worn on set by Ricardo Montalbán is unknown. (This is in contrast to his cryogenic-sleeper suit, which has been auctioned several times — see the Star Trek Prop & Costume Authority.)

  • 1
    Excellent work, great research, thank you. +5 lol. Do you have that action figure? My birthday is in March. ebay.com/itm/…
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 16:44
  • 2
    @JMFB : Thanks! I don't actually have the figure. We can buy one pack and then decide who gets Kirk and who gets Khan. ;-)
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 17:15
  • my initial guttural reaction was to scream out, "Khaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn!!!!!!!" But then remembering my shared heritage with Billy Boy, I'm kinda torn. I'll take Kirk and the jacket Khan is wearing, you can have a shirtless Khan, LMAO!
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 17:47

I think it's called a Sherwani, a "long coat-like garment worn in South Asia, very similar to an Achkan or Polish żupan."

Here's an image from the link above:

enter image description here


I'm Indian. Singh is a Sikh name. This looks very similar to what the groom wears at a Sikh wedding.

You can definitely buy one, just be aware that Indians are going to look at you funny.

While it's not a religious garment per se, I've never seen one outside the actual wedding ceremony.

The bride & groom usually change into something else for the wedding reception.

  • 3
    +1 thanks for the info. I'll check it out. Is there a specific name for the garment a man wears at a sikh wedding. And fyi if I manage to procure a garment like this I think everyone is going to look at me funny, not just Sikh people, lol. I wear Fedoras, and sunglasses at night, so I'm never really concerned what people think anyway. Let me know if there's a name for this garment. Thanks again.
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 3:55

I don't know the name of the type of jacket, not being fashion conscious. But it does sort of resemble a Nehru Jacket, named after the prime minister of India.

I think that a Nehru jacket would have had a bigger collar worn straight up.

  • It is just a slight variation on a Nehru Jacket. Collar sizes vary widely. Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 3:49
  • @M.A.Golding Good answer I found something similar. indusdiva.com/… +1 Let me see what others come up with.
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 3:57

In an attempt to recreate this jacket for the Star Trek Cruise, with the help of answers on this page, I found out a little more about this outfit.

The pattern is based on the Nehru jacket, but with the Sherwani length and collar. I obtained a vintage pattern on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/listing/526179885/vintage-1960s-sewing-pattern-butterick

The fabric is Luna Camel Gold Chenille Oval Texture Upholstery Fabric. No longer manufactured or sold online (as far as I could tell). [Luna Camel Gold Chenille Oval Texture Upholstery Fabric [1]

Kahn Jacket

The trim is unknown and after searching through thousands of samples, I have not found anything that comes close.

In my costume, I replaces the oval fabric with a hex pattern and a trim from India my seamstress found.

Kahn jacket with J Frakes

  • Etsy link should work now Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 13:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.