Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Graphic: Jimmy Hasse

Along with Rex Manning Day, Captain Picard Day is one of the few pop culture holidays we can actually get behind. This day of observance of one of Starfleet’s finest captains was established in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season-seven episode, “The Pegasus.” Captain Jean-Luc Picard (the inimitable Patrick Stewart) was never anything other than bemused by the honor bestowed upon him by the children aboard the Enterprise, but we at The A.V. Club felt the need to mark the occasion. But how? With a compilation of his most stirring speeches, or some other reflection on his most compassionate and/or heroic moments?

In any other year, yes—but as we began to work our way through TNG in the midst of quarantine, we were most taken with the Captain’s more comfortable ensembles (which, in the case of this particular set of loungewear, more often than not means “revealing”). The TNG uniforms are classic (beginning with season three, that is), but Picard’s collection of robes and tops with plunging necklines are equally worthy of praise. His “off-the-clock” looks prove this captain plays as hard as he works.

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Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Conspiracy,” the penultimate episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, is a tense affair, delivering on the misgivings hinted at in “Coming Of Age,” while dialing up the threat of parasitic aliens taking over a massive organization like Starfleet. We know shit’s serious when Captain Walker Keel (Jonathan Farwell), an old friend of Jean-Luc’s, calls up the Enterprise captain on a super-secret subspace channel. It’s the middle of the night, so even though this call is, like every other one on the series, a video call, Picard takes it while wearing a deep-blue shorty robe and matching shorts. The look is very European and cozy, and shows that, despite his stern season-one exterior, this captain could also let loose.

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Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season two of The Next Generation saw Picard try on multiple new looks—riding gear in “Pen Pals,” Dixon Hill/detective cosplay in “Manhunt”—but his robes were nowhere in sight. The second season was the shortest of the series, though, which might have forced the writers to limit Picard’s non-uniform attire to the Holodeck. With its multiple robes, sets of shorts, and “picleavage,” the third season more than makes up for the lack of loungewear. In “The Offspring”—which, along with the exceptional “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” saw TNG firing on all cylinders—Picard is once again roused from his slumber to take a late-night call, for which he doesn’t bother to close his robe. If you think we’re making too much of this, check out how the scene is introduced:

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

But the real fashion show is in “Captain’s Holiday,” which sees Picard take some shore leave on the resort planet Risa. There he meets the intriguing Vash (Jennifer Hetrick) and soon finds himself thwarting off a Ferengi. Our own Zack Handlen was appalled by the combination of the light robe—which is noticeably lacking any kind of belt—and shiny, body-conscious shorts. But if a starship captain can’t lounge around half-naked while on holiday, when can he? And if a 50-year-old Patrick Stewart was willing to strut around in said shorts, who are we to say otherwise?

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Captain’s Holiday” also amply demonstrates Picard’s penchant for gathered scoop-neck tops:

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

The season four episode “Devil’s Due” has a lot of the trappings of an episode of The Original Series—complete with horny alien (Marta DuBois as Ardra)—which makes sense, given that the premise was pitched as part of Star Trek: Phase II. It is also, sadly, the last time we see the pajama shorts ensemble in all its glory. So here it is again, after Picard has been transported by Ardra from the privacy of his quarters to a lab where he can be silently mocked—or appraised—by Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton).

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Don’t worry, he won’t be drinking alone for long.
Don’t worry, he won’t be drinking alone for long.
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

The fifth season of TNG opened with the resolution to season four’s “Redemption” cliffhanger. And with “I, Borg,” the season also introduced viewers to the young Borg drone Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco, who reteamed with Stewart for Star Trek: Picard) and the next generation of Picard’s robes. This floor-length cashmere number sold for over $2,500 at auction, and may have also had the original PJs set tucked within.

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation
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The jacket is pretty great, too.
The jacket is pretty great, too.
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Alas, the robes were MIA in TNG’s penultimate season, but Picard had a few other deep-V options. This low-cut silk green shirt was his outfit of choice for thwarting invaders on a desolate Enterprise in “Starship Mine,” in which things got a little Home Alone and/or Die Hard. But the top is actually quite versatile, as it also seems to be what Picard wears to practice playing the Ressikan flute he first encountered in “The Inner Light.” Say what you will about the shirt’s construction, it certainly helped Picard work his charms on Lt. Commander Nella Daren (Wendy Hughes) in “Lessons.”

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Picard is both handsome and frugal—he hung on to the taupe-colored shirt from season six (seen above), which he wore while playing sweet music in the Jeffries tube with Lt. Commander Daren, then sported it once more in the season-seven episode “Attached,” in which he and Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) do the “will they/won’t they” dance while on the run.

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

The more formal version of Picard’s robe makes one final appearance in the series finale. Picard is awakened in the middle of the night by something he’s sure is more than a dream, and he races outside to ask Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), who are mid-goodnight kiss, the stardate. It’s Picard’s (and Stewart’s) last opportunity to swan about in this cashmere robe, which he wears while being examined by Dr. Crusher and counseled by Troi.

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
Screenshot: Star Trek: The Next Generation

After Picard has saved the universe and satisfied the omnipotent Q (John de Lancie), and before he joins the crew for poker, Stewart dons the robe once more, struggling to come to terms with the imminent parting of himself and his comfortable dolman. But all good things must come to an end.

Illustration for article titled Captain’s holiday: Celebrate Picard Day with a look at some of Jean-Luc’s best loungewear
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