The TNG jumpsuits had at least two subtly (but distinctly) different neckline styles during the first season.
The men’s necklines initially had an angled V-shape to them, with a slight corner at the center front.
Captain Picard’s uniform had this V-shaped neckline for the first several episodes:
A few episodes in, however, Theiss began experimenting with the shape of the neckline, widening it a bit at the shoulders and replacing the front corner with a gentler curve.
Theiss appears to have generally favored this wider, more rounded neckline for most of the rest of the season – at least on Captain Picard.
About two-thirds of the way into the season, however, the early jumpsuits (with the V-shaped neckline) apparently rotated back into the production wardrobe, which resulted in Captain Picard wearing both neckline styles in several episodes.
The V-shaped necklines more or less returned for a few episodes.
For the final stretch of episodes, Theiss seems to have settled on a hybrid of the two neckline styles, still slightly V-shaped, but wider at the neckline than initially established and with a softer corner at the front.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison between these two overall neckline styles:
(Observe that the spacing of the rank pips changed after the first few episodes, too.)
Commander Riker’s jumpsuit neckline followed a similar progression over the course of the first season.
For the first few episodes his neckline was also V-shaped:
A few episodes into the season, Theiss likewise widened and rounded Commander Riker’s neckline.
Like with Captain Picard’s uniforms, toward the end of the season Riker’s earlier jumpsuits (with the V-shaped neckline) occasionally rotated back into production use.
Here’s another side-by-side comparison between these two overall neckline styles:
Curiously, Data’s jumpsuit necklines appear to have been V-shaped over the course of the entire season; Theiss doesn’t seem to have experimented as much with his uniforms in that regard.
Conversely, Geordi’s jumpsuit neckline appears to have initially been more rounded and gradually sharpened into the V-shape over the course of the season.
It looks like Worf’s jumpsuit neckline may have followed a similar progression to Captain Picard’s and Commander Riker’s (V-shaped, rounded, both in rotation), but it’s tough to say for sure.
For what’s it’s worth, here’s what the neckline on the screen-used Worf TNG jumpsuit I examined looked like while lying flat on my table:
Other male characters’ jumpsuit necklines varied during the first season, probably due to a variety of factors.
Kosinski’s neckline sometimes looked V-shaped, but other times it looked more rounded; his appearance was right around the time Theiss began tinkering with the necklines, so who knows?
It’s possible (even probable) he had at least two uniforms made, and they had different necklines.
Several guest characters’ jumpsuits had V-shaped necklines.
Other guest characters’ jumpsuits had wider, more rounded necklines.
It’s worth noting that at least some of these may have been recycled costumes; I believe Commander Quinteros in particular (“11001001”) may have been wearing a recycled Commander Riker uniform from earlier in the season.
As best I could tell, the women’s necklines were consistently V-shaped – primarily evidenced by Tasha Yar’s uniforms over the course of the season.
Again for what’s it’s worth, here’s what the neckline on the screen-used Tasha Yar TNG jumpsuit I examined looked like while lying flat on my table:
It was difficult to make any determination regarding Dr. Crusher’s jumpsuit neckline(s) because of her hair and/or lab coat; as best I could tell, it did appear to be V-shaped like Tasha’s for most of the season:
Toward the end of the season, though, it looks like Theiss may have slightly widened and rounded her jumpsuit neckline like he did for some of the men’s uniforms. (It’s tough to say for sure, though.)
Here’s what the neckline on the screen-used Dr. Crusher TNG jumpsuit I examined looked like while lying flat on my table:
Female supporting characters that first season also had V-shaped necklines.
The Facts ... And My Interpretation
Whichever of the men’s neckline styles Theiss preferred, we may never know.
The wider, more rounded necklines had the most screen time on the two lead characters throughout the middle of the season, but Theiss does appear to have returned to the V-shaped necklines for the last handful of episodes.
Data’s necklines were consistently V-shaped, but was this because Theiss favored that look (either overall, or for the character), or simply because he hadn’t gotten around to implementing the more rounded necklines yet?
It’s my personal interpretation that Theiss conceived the V-shaped necklines but didn’t like how they initially looked on at least some of the male cast members, so he almost immediately began experimenting with different necklines for Captain Picard and Commander Riker, eventually circling back around to a subtler V-shape for them.
And whether the V-shaped neckline was Theiss’ preference for women’s uniforms, we can only guess because the sample pool is comparatively limited.
Tasha Yar’s uniforms are the primary point of reference in this case since Dr. Crusher’s jumpsuit neckline was seldom visible, Counselor Troi didn’t wear the standard uniform at that point, and many of the female extras wore the TNG skants.
It’s again my interpretation that Theiss liked the V-shaped necklines on the women’s uniforms, although he may have preferred a softer, less extreme neckline based on the later Dr. Crusher examples from “Skin of Evil” and Captain Scott’s neckline from “Conspiracy.”
For my TNG jumpsuit sewing patterns, I patterned the necklines directly off the screen-used uniforms I studied, which were more akin to the later rounded ones.
Both the neckline and yoke itself were accented with division-colored fabric trim.
This trim was made from a thin strip of lightweight spandex, bias-cut, and simply folded in half without any cording (rounded or otherwise).
On all of the early TNG uniforms I’ve examined, the lightweight spandex used for the piping was a close, but not exact color match to the division-color jumbo spandex used for the uniform body.
The neckline trim appears to have been intended to be precisely 3/16” wide.
I say “appears to have been intended” because there was some minor inconsistency, plus or minus about 1/16”.
Typically, though, the neckline trim did seem to ideally be 3/16” wide that first season.
There was some minor variation in the width of the neckline trim, which is hardly surprising since (as I can personally attest) it can be difficult to consistently control several layers of spandex with 1/16” accuracy while sewing.
Sometimes the neckline trim appeared to be just a narrow ⅛” sliver or so, especially early in the season and on Data’s uniforms.
Other times, the neckline trim looked slightly wider – closer to ¼”.
Sometimes the neckline trim width was noticeably uneven on the same uniform – although again, having made quite a few of these jumpsuits myself, I can personally attest to how challenging it can be to consistently control multiple layers of spandex to within 1/16” accuracy while sewing.
The strips of fabric used for the neckline trim were simply folded in half, sewn to the jumpsuit neckline, turned under, and the allowances hand-sewn to the underside of the yoke.
Observe in the examples above that the neckline seam allowance was ⅜” on the Worf and Tasha Yar jumpsuits, but ½” on the Dr. Crusher jumpsuit.
In context of all the other TNG uniforms I’ve studied to date, I believe ⅜” to have been the standard.
Here are a couple auction photos in which the underside of the neckline trim is also visible – however, observe that in the previous three examples the hand-sewing was done with division-colored thread, but in these it was done in black.
In season one, this trim definitely extended outward from underneath the neckline; I specifically mention this now because (as you’ll see) the neckline trim was done differently in season two.