This article was originally published in 2019
We are deep into summer, and you know what that means! Time for that beach vacation you’ve been dreaming about all year. But before you start packing for that Labor Day getaway, let’s get some fashion inspiration from the most popular holiday destination in all of Starfleet: Risa.
Risa wasn’t always a desirable vacation spot. Originally a dreary, rainy planet with frequent earthquakes, the native Risians implemented a weather control system and seismic regulators to transform their planet into a tropical paradise. The sunny weather and beautiful beaches aren’t the only reason to visit, however. Risians are known across the galaxy for a liberal attitude towards sex, and many people come to Risa seeking jamaharon.
Starfleet officers often visit Risa on shore leave, but their non-uniform wardrobe doesn’t always make sense for the pleasure planet. Let’s look at the top 12 Risa vacation fashions.
12. Captain Archer
Captain Archer obviously didn’t understand that Risa is supposed to be fun when he packed his bag in “Two Days and Two Nights.” While the big collar and low neckline add a bit of character to this long-sleeved tan shirt, the brown t-shirt underneath covers up the skin that is usually displayed on Risa. What’s worse is that all his other shirts follow this same pattern: more brown and tan. You can do better, Archer!
11. Captain Picard
If your vacation does end up involving some last-minute archaeology, then by all means bring out your brown and tan clothes. Picard here in the aptly titled episode “Captain’s Holiday” pulls off an Indiana Jones look, Risa-style, with loose, drape-y tops and low necklines. I’m impressed that he and Vash managed to bring matching outfits considering they didn’t know each other until the day before, but great minds think alike, I suppose.
10. Malcolm Reed and Trip Tucker
Reed and Tucker’s vacation clothes are a little staid, but they’re clearly trying to play with color and shape. The linen jackets are a nice nod to Risa’s balmy weather.
9. Hoshi Sato
Sato goes a bit further into local fashion than her crewmates. This red crop top and floral skirt hit two Risian trends — exposed midriffs and colorful patterns — while still fitting Sato’s Earth culture (and the mid-aughts fashion trends that were alive and well when Enterprise aired).
8. Jadzia Dax
Jadzia’s look in the classic DS9 episode “Let He Who Is Without Sin…” says “I’m trying to have fun on Risa, but I don’t want to piss off my grumbly boyfriend too much.” She’s wearing a beautiful swimsuit, but the colors are relatively dark and the cut is fairly modest. Maybe she’s just trying to stand out amongst all the pink and purple? Worf still thinks she’s showing too much skin.
7. Dr. Julian Bashir
Bashir is no stranger to fashion; just think of all his various holodeck cosplay adventures. On Risa he wears both a tight tank top and loose, drape-y pants, displaying his slim build while keeping things breezy and cool. Gotta show off those Springball arms! While purple and orange don’t usually go together, the hint of purple in the pants shows that Bashir is at least trying to match the shirt.
6. 'Risian' Locals
These two ladies have very trendy outfits by Risian standards: bare midriffs, large cutouts, sheer layers, and glitter. It’s no surprise they catch Tucker and Reed’s eyes. Unfortunately, it turns out they’re actually shapeshifting alien thieves who lure the Starfleet officers to a basement and leave them tied up in their underwear, but you can’t fault their fashion sense.
5. Actual Risian Locals
Sheer, tight, lacy, and matching. With these variations-on-a-theme outfits, I’m inclined to believe these women are Risa’s version of Destiny’s Child.
Classic Ferengi look with a summery twist! Sovak is showing a bit more leg than Ferengi usually do, but the bright colors often worn by his species enable him to stand out even on Risa. The cropped overlayer on the shirt is a nice nod to Risian style while maintaining modesty and professionalism. He is on Risa for work, after all.
Vash, despite coming to the pleasure planet to find a hidden artifact, clearly knows how to have fun. She’s picked up on the local fashion trends and looks amazing in her shiny swimsuit and sheer pink jacket. The smirk doesn’t hurt, either.
Perhaps Vash noticed the propensity of local staff to wear tiny swimsuits with their bellybuttons showing. This resort staffer, Joval, is rocking a gorgeous strappy suit with a sleeveless sheer vest on top, but it’s not enough to entice Picard into jamaharon.
1. Captain Picard (Again)
Despite being forced into taking vacation, the captain knows how to relax. Picard’s outfit is peak Risa: short and tight, but long and drape-y at the same time. I love the asymmetrical overshirt with absurdly large pockets. You could fit a real book on each side! The swimsuit has a very stylish two-color stripe motif; if it included the rest of the rainbow it would be the most popular pair of shorts at Pride. Way to show off those gams, Picard.
Bonus: The Outfit That Never Was
We all wish Worf had been brave enough to wear these gold trunks.
Emma Lawson (she/her) is a librarian and writer from Vancouver, BC. She’s written for SyFy Wire, ComicsAlliance, and CBR and will never turn off an episode of Star Trek. Tweet her @emmalawson.