As a fan of the original Star Trek series, I thought I'd seen every article of clothing related to that show possible. There are standard uniforms, dress uniforms, and even Kirk's weird green uniform available for sale somewhere on the web (such as StarTrek.com). Heck, it's even easy to get a black uniform tee shirt like the one that Chris Pine wore in the last movie. There is, however, an article of Star Trek uniform clothing that most fans have never seen, much less owned.
The monkeys over at ThinkGeek sell the coolest thing: a Star Trek uniform-style bathrobe, which is available in command gold, science blue, and operations red. If you're a little hesitant to purchase one because you've experienced cheap 100% synthetic articles of clothing, these robes aren't like that at all; these robes are warm, soft, and absorbent terrycloth -- the stuff that good robes are supposed to be made from. The robes sell for $39.99 USD - $59.99 USD on ThinkGeek (though as of this writing, the robes are on sale).
In addition to the traditional colors, the left breast has the Star Fleet emblem, and the sleeves have rank insignia. There are two solid lines on the science blue robe (which indicates a commander), and three solid lines for the command gold robe (which indicates a captain). (I haven't seen detailed photos of the operations red and Uhura robes.)
No, the original series never showed anyone wearing these styles of robes, but that doesn't mean that the robes don't exist in Star Trek. There are a lot of things that you never saw in the original series that must have existed just off camera. Consider bathrooms, they exist in the Official Blueprints, but they were never actually shown on the show. So, it's possible these bathrobes exist in the 23rd century.
In the 21st century, however, the bathrobes do exist and are actually quite useful for away mission situations. Consider, for example, someone like myself who is built along the lines of Harry Mudd on vacation. Yes, I can walk through the hotel lobby on the way to the pool wearing just my swimsuit, spreading blindness in my wake like an unshielded matter-antimatter reactor, or I could follow the prime directive and wear the science blue robe I own.
In addition to safeguarding the ocular organs of the indigenous lifeforms, there is another advantage to this robe: It stands out rather than looking like one of those complementary robes made of sandpaper and unknown materials that hotels often have. Plus, it's actually comfortable and fits on my Tellarite-like frame, which is no small feat, pardon the pun. (Photo to the right is the author modeling his science blue attire. Photo credit: Crista Woychowsky.)
Also, the science blue robe seems to have a feature that isn't described on ThinkGeek's site. There appears to be some kind of deflector technology involved, because my children don't bother me when I'm wearing this robe, especially in public. If you ask me, this robe is worth purchasing just for that undocumented feature.
What I like
- It's a Star Trek uniform robe.
- Its uniqueness.
- The color -- I've always like science blue. Doctor McCoy was my favorite character.
What I don't like
- I had to choose between science blue and command gold. (When the robe was ordered, those were the only options.)
- It could be too warm for the summertime, especially this year.
Geek bottom line
Star Trek is an icon that has influenced the lives of millions, if not hundreds of millions. There are people whose entire lives have been patterned after Gene Roddenberry's dream of the future. They have become writers, actors, doctors, pilots, and computer programmers, and this robe can give them the chance to live a little more of the dream.
Geek Gift Score (out of five)
- Fun factor: *****
- Geek factor: *****
- Value: *****
- Overall: *****
For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, games, and books, download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.