With the fifth version of the TNG medical smock, costume designer Durinda Rice Wood seems to have finally landed on a style she liked; it was this version that Dr. Pulaski wore for the remainder of The Next Generation‘s second season.
Other than the obvious similarities of color, fit, and general yoke construction, it was again quite different from the preceding versions – and as you’ll see, perhaps even a harbinger of later Starfleet uniform garments.
Perhaps the most notable departure from the other early TNG-era uniforms was the decision to use different fabrics than the ubiquitous jumbo spandex.
Instead, the body of this fifth version of the TNG medical smock was made out of superfine wool gabardine, and the yoke was made out of a “mystery fabric” I’ve yet to identify – perhaps wool flannel, felt, or melton? (It doesn’t look like the wool crepe used on the season 2 admiral jacket yoke.)
A collector (who wishes to remain anonymous) generously provided this photo of their “version 5” Pulaski smock, in which one can clearly observe both the different fabrics and the interior lining.
Neckline and Yoke
On this fifth version of the TNG medical smock, the neckline was again tightened a bit, and slightly more V-shaped at the center front – more reminiscent of the TNG skant necklines in those regards.
The contour of the yoke piping was also more analogous to that of version 1; it, too, was more of a “straight shot” away from center.
As with the previous versions, one could most easily observe the difference yoke piping contours when Dr. Pulaski was standing in-frame with another character who was wearing the standard TNG jumpsuit.
Again, if you’ve read my TNG jumpsuit analysis, you may remember that the TNG jumpsuit yokes gradually deepened over the course of The Next Generation‘s second season.
We’ve observed this trend on Dr. Pulaski’s TNG medical smocks so far, as well, so it should be no surprise that this final version of the smock had a deeper yoke too.
The back yoke was a little deeper too, but nowhere near as deep as version 4.
The most distinguishing characteristic of version 5, though, was probably the body paneling.
Specifically, the body of this version was comprised of eight panels: front, side front, side back, and back (for both sides).
The communicator was conveniently centered over the left front seam.
There were also no princess seams or bust darts; as with versions 2-4, the additional bust fullness was incorporated into the side front body panels.
And as with versions 2-4, this fifth version had two lower back vents (one on each side).
The length of this fifth version appeared to be consistent with that of its predecessors, as well.
Armscye and Sleeves
The rounded, raglan-style “silhouette” on version 5 was a big improvement over some of the previous versions.
If you’ve read my TNG jumpsuit analysis, you may recall that costume designer Durinda Rice Wood didn’t seem to care for the extremely deep armholes on the TNG uniform jumpsuits (as designed by William Ware Theiss), and she raised the underarm over the course of season two.
Likewise, this fifth version of the medical smock had more “normal” armholes, not the deeper ones previously seen on the show.
And as with the previous versions, the sleeves were noticeably looser than the corresponding TNG jumpsuits.
As you may also recall from my TNG jumpsuit analysis, costume designer Durinda Rice Wood also loosened the lower sleeves on the TNG jumpsuits over the course of season two. (Or they eventually just stretched out over time.)
The TNG medical smock likewise had looser lower sleeves (“cuffs”).
And finally, as previously mentioned with the (anonymous) collector’s photo, this version of the TNG medical smock was actually lined – which makes sense, since it was made out of woven fabrics instead of jumbo spandex.