Captain Kirk's green wraparounds (a.k.a. "wraparound tunics" or the "captain's wraps") were seen regularly in seasons one and two of STAR TREK: The Original Series.
Pictured herein, the author's 2016 re-creation of the Season 2 Wraparound achieved a coveted finalist slot in the 50th Anniversary Costume Contest at Star Trek Las Vegas, as did his 2017 replica of the Season 1 wraparound uniform the following year.
This article shall provide prerequisite knowledge for constructing a competent replica: including references to the episodes in which the wraparounds appeared, and links to resources for independent design study.
Base Design and Fabrics
All wraparound designs share a similar cut and style, and are ultimately based upon the standard men's service uniform shirt pattern. (See: TOS Men's Shirt - Pattern Selection)
However, the Season 1 and 2 variants are substantially different in construction and also conceptually different in their intended fit, given the type of textiles employed in each:
- The Season 1 Wraparound was built from wool crepe (a solid woven fabric) and is akin to a well-fitted jacket.
- The Season 2 Wraparound was built from wool double-knit (a stretch knit fabric), and is essentially a form-fitting shirt intended to expand marginally around the wearer's body.
Notably, the Season 2 version also requires gold piping, and optionally but quintessentially employs black springweave collar fabric as neck trim. For modern replicators, the pique knit fabric presented under "An Alternative to Springweave!" in TOS Men's Shirt - Collar Tutorial also provides superior resiliency on the wraparound.
WARNING: Standard techniques used for sewing solids differ from those needed to successfully tailor with stretch knits. Whilst studying the resources contained herein, the reader is warned to never assume that any design detail visible on one variant of the wrap is necessarily the same on the other. Attributes of each version must be verified independently.
Season 2 Wraparound
The Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority has made the following invaluable photo shoot available, detailing much of the internal construction of an actual screen-used Season 2 Wraparound:
Amongst other things, the photos reveal that this garment's unique shaping is largely achieved through the use of hems and self-facings that are hand sewn with extensive blind stitching.
As reported by Star Trek Magazine at Titan Magazines, that same surviving original from the collection of Greg Jein was studied by ANOVOS in 2011 to create their replica version:
Pictured here is the screen-used original, alongside the Chase replica for comparison:
N.B.- Photos are property of their respective owners and reproduced for information purposes only.
Season 1 Wraparound
There is little in the way of Photo Studies for those replicating the Season 1 Wraparound; screencaps from STAR TREK: The Original Series comprise nearly the entirety of the available reference material.
To Boldly Go: Rare Photos from the TOS Soundstage - Season One by Gerald Gurian (Minkatek Press, 2016) features the following shot of William Shatner and his body double, Don Eitner, stepping off the transporter pad on page 42:
It is noteworthy that the "scrambled eggs" rank braid has not been added to the wraparound worn by the latter.
Unfortunately, no other behind-the-scenes photos of a Season 1 Wraparound have yet been located, and it is unknown if any still survive intact. (Anyone aware of the existence of such resources is highly encouraged to contact Starfleet.ca with that information!)
The modern high-definition remastering of ST:TOS reveals a wealth of detail that wasn't clearly observable in older formats. Now at least from the exterior, virtually every uniform seam can be scrutinised in 1080p!
The following are chronological (filming order) lists of episodes in which the wraparounds appeared.
Each episode title links directly to the corresponding gallery of HD screencaps on TrekCore. These should be examined thoroughly before undertaking to make one's own replica.
Wraparound Appearances - Season 1
- “The Enemy Within” [1x04] *
- “Charlie X” [1x07]
- “Court Martial” [1x14]
- “This Side of Paradise” [1x25] **
* - Contrary to unfounded rumours involving performer weight gain, the wraparound's original purpose was to distinguish the "good Kirk" from the "evil Kirk" in "The Enemy Within". It is thus a reasonable hypothesis that the Season 1 version made so few appearances because it was not constructed with a long-term vision in mind.
** - Utilised only as a prop in its final appearance, a Season 1 Wrap can be seen in Captain Kirk's quarters, within the open suitcase of personal belongings being packed for transport to the planet's surface. Having not been used in the prior 10 episodes, it is possible that routine cleaning had shrank these all-wool garments beyond reasonable wearability by that point in time.
Wraparound Appearances - Season 2
- “The Doomsday Machine” [2x06] *
- “Wolf in the Fold” [2x07]
- “The Apple” [2x09]
- “Mirror, Mirror” [2x10]
- “I, Mudd” [2x12]
- “The Trouble with Tribbles” [2x13] **
- “Bread and Circuses” [2x14]
- “Journey to Babel” [2x15]
- “The Immunity Syndrome” [2x19]
* - "The Doomsday Machine" debuted a "collarless" sub-variant without black springweave trim around the neck. Three possible reasons for why it was added for all subsequent episodes are: that there was a desire to improve the contrast of the design and/or its consistency with standard uniforms; or that the raw gold cording wore uncomfortably against the neck; or that it was always intended, but not finished in time for shooting.
** - Besides seeing greater general use than the first variety and being worn in thrice as many episodes, the production decision to have Captain Kirk in a Season 2 Wraparound throughout the fan favourite episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" still contributes greatly to its continued high popularity — notwithstanding the author's personal preference for the Season 1 design!
Major Construction Differences
Aside from the obvious aesthetic differences (such as the shape of the neck hole and placement of braid), there are at least four major construction differences between the Season 1 and Season 2 wraparound designs that are more subtle.
Uniform makers should bear the following in mind:
- DARTS -
- The Season 1 Wraparound has two prominent waist fitting darts running up its back. In the Season 2 design, these are absent: tapering of the waist is achieved entirely through the typical side panel darts, which are placed lower than on a standard shirt.
- BELT -
- The Season 1 belt is an integral part of the outer (left) front, whereas the Season 2 belt is cut as a separate pattern piece. The latter's stretch knit fabric necessitates that the belt be cut with its length running in the direction of least stretch (at a 90° angle to how it would be orientated if it were a continuation of the front piece) to provide the needed stability.
- FACINGS -
- Season 1 front and neck facings are cut as independent pattern pieces, whereas Season 2 utilises self-facings that are turned under and blind-stitched down.
- SHOULDERS -
- As with virtually all first season uniforms, the Season 1 Wraparound features a distinct saddle shoulder, not a raglan sleeve. (See: TOS Men's Shirt - Saddle Shoulder)
Several other wraparound designs appeared with varying degrees of legitimacy as Starfleet uniforms. These are included here for general interest, but should not be regarded as an authoritative basis for TOS replicas.
Suede Wraparound (Charlie X)
This somewhat-too-large tan suede wraparound was worn awkwardly with an under-shirt by Charles Evans in “Charlie X” [1x07].
It may be an unused early prototype created for William Shatner, as was also surmised by Allan Asherman on page 39 of THE STAR TREK COMPENDIUM (Pocket Books, 1989):
In some scenes, Charlie wears a brown suede wraparound tunic that is much too large for him. This appears to be a rejected version of Kirk's fatigue shirt; a command insignia is visible on the belt of the garment.
Evidently, Charlie's wardrobe is designed to mimic the authority figure in his given environment. If he is indeed wearing a re-purposed Kirk prototype, it would explain why this is one of merely two episodes that revived Captain Kirk's own Season 1 Wraparound after it served its initial purpose in “The Enemy Within” [1x04].
From an "in-universe" standpoint – as no Starfleet personnel are ever seen wearing one – it must be seriously questioned whether this garment was a regulation design available onboard the Enterprise, or purely an attempt by Charlie to emulate Captain Kirk as his newly-found paternal "hero" figure.
The design of this wrap is predictably similar to Captain Kirk's Season 1 variant, with two chief differences:
- A vertical seam indicates that the belt was cut from a separate pattern piece and then joined to the outer front, as is the case in Captain Kirk's Season 2 variant only.
- Full outer arm seams are present, which is not a design feature in either of Captain Kirk's wraparounds, nor of the standard shirt pattern on which they are based*.
*N.B.- Service shirts with full outer arm seams were worn by Captain Kirk and other hero characters in the last several episodes of Season 2, but these are believed by the author to be an anomalous creation stemming from the production's velour supply coming to an end.
Gold Wraparound (Season 3 / Phase II)
Two "would-be" wraparounds, each titled
UNFINISHED KIRK-STYLE WRAPAROUND SHIRT, surfaced in the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection Christie's auction in 2006.
Lot 968 (sold for 1,140 USD):
A long-sleeved men's informal uniform shirt of mustard/gold polyester doubleknit featuring wraparound design with saddle-yoke ragland sleeves, the sleeves hemmed, but neckline and hem unfinished, different colors of basting threads suggest this was a work-in-progress, possibly indicating that Theiss was in the process of redefining this garment's shape -- designed by William Ware Theiss and believed to have been made for the third season of The Original Series or possibly for Star Trek: Phase II
Lot 969 (sold for 1,440 USD):
An unfinished long-sleeved men's informal uniform shirt of mustard/gold polyester doubleknit featuring wraparound design with saddle-yoke ragland sleeves, black satin collar basted onto neckline, includes belt, designed by William Ware Theiss, believed to have been made for William Shatner as Captain Kirk for Star Trek's third season or possibly for Star Trek: Phase II
This design was likely for STAR TREK: Phase II (as opposed to TOS Season 3), but not knowing for certain is unfortunate: an answer to that question might reveal if a Season 3 wraparound would have been gold as pictured, or remained green as was the general trend for "alternative" Command Division uniforms.
It is furthermore unknown whether these were truly a "mustard" shade of gold: auction descriptions could have been authored from the photographs, meaning that these may have actually been constructed of the familiar Season 3 "Command Avocado" nylon double-knit that appeared gold on film.
Yet – despite that a wraparound was never again seen on-screen after the Season 1 & 2 velour uniforms were retired – the very existence of these prototypes positively indicates that the design was still present and being worked upon by Bill Theiss as an option going into the future.
Captain Archer's "Defiant Wraparound" (ENT: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II)
The mirror universe's Captain Jonathan Archer appeared in a Season 2 style wraparound found onboard the U.S.S. Defiant in the STAR TREK: Enterprise episode “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II” [ENT 4x19].
Having originated in the prime universe it should be entirely congruous with Captain Kirk's, but includes several features that diverge from his original.
In retrospect, the obvious and unfortunate flaw is not having the correct Starship "arrow-head" emblem on the belt. This costume was built at a time when even Star Trek's own production designers were still operating under the pervasive fallacy that ship-specific "assignment patches" were intended to exist on TOS. (They were not — see Breast Insignia - Regulations (1/2) and Breast Insignia - Analysis (2/2) for extensive explanation.)
Aside from the incorrect emblem (and improperly wide belt necessitated by its use), three construction differences separate Archer's wrap from Kirk's:
- Black rib knit was employed as collar trim in place of the original springweave.
- Prominent shoulder darts can be seen running up the outer sleeve to the neck hole.*
- Two fitting darts run up the back of the garment from the waist; these were a feature of the Season 1 Wraparound only.*
*N.B.- From the author's own experience in building the S2 Wrap, one possible explanation for the extra darts is that the ENT wardrobe department correctly based their wraparound on a standard TOS shirt pattern, but underestimated the amount by which its measurements need to be reduced in order to achieve a conforming fit with the stretch knit fabric.
Despite that ENT is part of overall Star Trek canon, insofar as replicas are concerned, Captain Archer's "Defiant wraparound" remains another production's interpretation of the original design.
Nonetheless, should a fan adaptation (for a Captain other than Kirk) require additional fitting darts or a more readily-available alternative collar trim, this design sets a canon precedent.
- Star Trek: TOS screencaps from TrekCore.
- Photos of screen-used originals and other material at Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority.
- Special thanks to Star Trek Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Costume Contest pre-judges, John & Bjo Trimble and John Cooley of ANOVOS, for selecting the author's Season 2 replica as a finalist.
- Special thanks as well to the Star Trek Las Vegas 2017 Costume Contest pre-judges for selecting the author's Season 1 replica as a finalist.