For years, James T. Kirk boldly took us where no one had gone before. As captain of the Enterprise on Star Trek, he introduced us to new life, new civilizations and new adventures out in the final frontier. Kirk found himself in a lot of diverse situations during all these travels, and along the way that meant he had to wear quite a few different — and interesting — outfits.
Whether it was hosting a formal event on the Enterprise or going on an undercover mission, Kirk made some bold fashion choices as a member of Starfleet. Sometimes these choices were his to make. Others were out of his hands and forced upon him by the situation he was in. Either way though, many of them were memorable and some were definitely better choices than others.
Here are the 10 looks I think were Kirk's finest throughout the TV show and movies, counting down to the best.
Future casual (The Search for Spock, The Voyage Home)
This appears to be the casual clothing of choice for the older Captain Kirk in at least two of the films. Kirk wears deep red pants and a long-sleeve deep red coat with either a white or sometimes purple-looking shirt underneath. The shirt's fabric crosses along the front to be secured by a button towards the top and features a line pattern. The whole thing is brought together with a black belt and silver buckle. Kirk wears this for everything from looking for Spock's body to walking around 1980s San Francisco! It's not the most stylish of his outfits, though. The colors appear a bit off, the belt doesn't work in his favor and the weird shirt button and lined pattern look a tad odd. Still, the fact that he wears it so confidently keeps him from looking too ridiculous.
Dress uniform ("Journey to Babel," Season 2)
To look his best, Kirk turns to this dress uniform. It's not the most flattering of his uniforms, but he manages to make it work for the most part. The uniform features darks pants, a long-sleeve green top and slightly too much gold! The gold runs along the collar and down the middle of the front, which also features badges that are quite colorful. The blue versions worn by Spock and Dr. McCoy look better frankly. When it comes to the dress uniform, it's a bit too loud even for Kirk to pull off!
Romulan ("The Enterprise Incident," Season 3)
In this episode, Captain Kirk is on a Federation mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device. Crossing the Neutral Zone, they attract the attention of the Romulans and ultimately Kirk fakes his own death aboard their ship. Returning to the Enterprise, he asks Dr. McCoy to make him appear like a Romulan and then puts on a Romulan officer's uniform before traveling back to the other ship to complete the mission. With blue pants, a dark top and a stunning blue piece of cloth draped over his shoulder, Kirk fits right in among the other Romulans and manages to look quite good while doing so.
1920s mobster ("A Piece of the Action," Season 2)
In the middle of a civilization that's run by gangsters, Kirk and Spock blend in by changing into some 1920s clothing. Kirk looks impressive in his blue and white, silvery outfit. It has a pinstripe suit, tie, and fedora that helps him fit into the era quite well. He manages to pull it off despite how different it is from his usual uniform. The hat especially completes the whole ensemble and the color scheme proves that, like with the Romulan uniform, Kirk looks good in blue!
Survival jacket (Star Trek Beyond)
In the latest Star Trek movie, the Captain Kirk of the Kelvin timeline changes into some survival gear after the Enterprise crashes. That gear includes this rather stylish survival jacket. The bluish top seems almost like a more formal jacket with its cut metallic elements and different textured material. The best-looking part though is the shoulders. I really love the way it displays the division colors right on top. They're impossible to miss but don't overwhelm the whole piece to look like his usual uniform.
1930s casual ("The City on the Edge of Forever," Season 1)
After following Dr. McCoy through the Guardian of Forever time portal, Spock and Kirk find themselves in the 1930s. Quickly they realize they're not exactly wearing appropriate clothes for the period. Kirk steals some laundry for them to change into and we discover that Kirk looks good in red plaid! Sometimes he adds a brown coat to the look that works rather well with it all, too. Kirk must have also been fond of it, considering he wears the same thing the entire time he's there.
Wraparound green tunic (various)
When Kirk isn't sporting his standard gold uniform on the Enterprise, he's sometimes donning this V-neck wraparound green tunic. There's more than one version of these he'll wear. One has gold along the collar while another has gold at the sleeves. All of them have the classic insignia uniquely -- and perhaps oddly -- placed towards the bottom of the tunic. While frankly not as good a look as his standard uniform, the green still works well and nicely changes things up from his usual wardrobe.
Mirror Universe uniform (“Mirror, Mirror,” Season 2)
When Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scotty arrive in the alternate universe due to a transporter malfunction, their clothes change to fit their new reality. That means Kirk's uniform becomes a bit shinier and a bit more revealing. Kirk's alternate uniform includes dark pants and a sleeveless shiny gold deep V-neck top with a gold sash around his waist. His Starfleet insignia is now that of the Terran Empire and it looks like a few medals have appeared on his top as well. It's definitely a different outfit for Kirk, but he looks good in it! Even in the Mirror Universe, gold is still very much Kirk's color.
Red uniform (The Wrath of Khan)
This is the perfect look for the older Kirk. I've mentioned before how much I like these uniforms in general, but they work especially well for the captain of the Enterprise. The striking red top features the right touch of white and gold, with the gold insignia being particularly impressive. Matched with dark pants, Kirk looks official and in command but never like it's an uncomfortable or temporary look, like, say, the dress uniform. Instead this works for him in all situations and even has a warm and just as stylish matching jacket, too!
Standard uniform (various)
Nothing can beat Kirk's classic choice of clothing. Whether he was sitting in the captain's chair or running around on some planet, he always looked good in his standard uniform. With gold stripes on the sleeves and gold insignia on the chest, the color really popped thanks to being matched with a black collar and dark pants. Between that and the fit really working well for Kirk, the standard gold uniform is still his best outfit even after all these years.
Which outfit worn by Captain Kirk is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!