Chosen One of the Day: The Starfleet skant uniforms of Star Trek: TNG

Contributed by
May 17, 2017

Oh, the skant.

Star Trek: The Next Generation devotees know it well. A keen eye watching the first season will see the skant (no, seriously, that's its official name) uniform popping up from time to time on a male extra in the background, but never daring to grace the frame of the male leads of the show. Even more so than trying to tell a story about a truly progressive socialist society to an audience of greedy late '80s Americans, this male skirted uniform was a bridge too far in an attempt to create a universe with no real difference between the sexes.

The skant (again, that is actually what they called it, the 24th century still needs terms like "guyliner" and "RompHim"), like the amount of fabric used in the making of it, was very short-lived.

Speaking as a gay woman myself, I can only empathize for those who were denied the chance to sink their teeth into this potential male eye-candy generating garment. Despite the objective fact that later seasons' bearded Commander Will Riker is far superior to early years' non-bearded Riker, one cannot help but feel like the combination of young Riker with the skant is a truly wasted opportunity. It is indeed canon that Riker has nice legs, as stated by Lwaxana Troi, so where do the costume designers of ST:TNG get off only getting this close to the perfect uniform for him?

Look how baggy those pants are! You had ONE job!

 

In later years, there have been attempts to bring the skant back into the fandom. Costume pattern companies like Simplicity have even offered a pattern to make your own version at home, although any fashionista would immediately recommend tapering in that waist for just a little bit more of an A-line effect ...

And while I appreciate the coquettishness of this particular pose, I think the below photo might show an alternate theory for why the skant actually fell out of favor in the 24th century: No one thought to pair it with a sassy boot.

Seriously, you want to see what a little boot can do?

We can probably also guess why the same uniform went out of style for the female crew members, because here it makes Deanna Troi look like a cheerleader wearing her outfit to school the night before a big game.

But it might even be more simple than that. Male, female or any other gender identity or alien race without gender at all, it's possible that the Federation ultimately decided to retire any and all skirted uniforms because, like the number of a famous athlete's jersey, it just felt like no one should ever again encroach upon the turf of the one true master of the game.