Created by Gene Roddenberry, the phenomenally successful Star Trek series was first screened by NBC in America in 1966, and ran until 1969. The costumes were designed by William Ware Theiss who was also responsible for the instantly recognisable USS Enterprise insignia. Personnel on the Enterprise were divided into three main categories, Command, Science & Medicial and Engineering & Services, identified by different colour tunics, each with a different style of insignia. In the first two seasons, the tunics worn by William Shatner as Captain Kirk were lime green with gold and black insignia, and not yellow as is sometimes thought. This discrepency has been explained by Theiss in an interview he gave to James Magda. The velour fabric chosen by Theiss for the tunics had two drawbacks, when cleaned the velour shrank a little which explains the rather tight-fitting appearance of the tunics - by the third season the velour was replaced by a double-knit material which was more straigtforward to launder. The other problem was the colour, particularly the lime green chosen for Command. Theiss had initially selected vibrant colours he thought would look good under the bright studio lights, however the Command uniform worn by Captian Kirk is seen as a yellow/gold colour on screen. Theiss explains...It was one of those film stock things, it photographed one way - burnt orange or gold. But in reality, was another: the command shirts were definately green.
It is not clear whether the tunic in this lot is one worn by William Shatner. Although it bears a label with his details, this colour tunic was also worn by minor characters, and the sleeves show no sign of the gold trim which would have been sewn on to indicate the Captain's rank. This trim was removed for re-use once a costume had worn out or had become too small.