Eighties television was a wonderland of bulky sweaters — even if your show took place in the 24th century. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, young Wesley Crusher, played by Wil Wheaton, sported enough elaborate knitwear to make Cliff Huxtable envious. Hopefully, wool did not irritate Wheaton's skin.
Most of Wesley's stylish wardrobe is seen in the earliest episodes of the series, in the first half of season one in 1987. The costume department tried a lot of different, loose-fitting pullovers on the kid before settling on a rather iconic look. Later, as Wesley came of age, he spent most of the time in a plain ol' black-and-burgundy Enterprise uniform. We're not going to count that.
No, instead, were going to rank Wesley's more unique looks. Are these the "best," the "most memorable," or "the ugliest?" Well, yes.
The Rainbow Stripes
Thousands of cosplayers agree: If you're going to a convention and want that Wesley look, this is the top for you. We like the stripes feature the three colors associated with uniforms in the Original Series — red, gold and blue. You can even buy a replica. To fully appreciate this baby, you have to get a profile view. Note the interlocking chevrons on the shoulder, and the overall poofiness of it all. Poofiness will be a recurring theme here.
The Peach Pirate
"I don't wanna be a pirate!" Jerry Seinfeld exclaimed in "The Puffy Shirt." That iconic white Seinfeld blouse was ugly, but at least it wasn't the color of your grandma's couch. This billowing sweater featured just about every knitting pattern one can think of. It really pops over some thick, brown cords.
The Green Monster
The wavy cords in this one bring to mind Swamp Thing. Wesley pulls this out of his space drawer in the first episode, though it is not the first outfit we see…
The Burlap Sack
Shout out to this drab sweater, the first look we see on Wesley in the pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint." With its burlap-y texture and excessive bagginess, it blends both comfort and itchiness. Wesley takes it to the next level a handful of episodes later in "Justice," when he wears it over some two-tone puce-and-wine pants. Which he jogs in?
In case you need reminding that season one was produced around the time of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Less Than Zero, there is this extremely yuppie look. Wesley counters the built-in popped collar with pushed-up sleeve. This outfit screams, "I really want to beat up the Karate Kid."
The Starfleet Gray
When Wesley enters the Academy, he matriculates to this mature, if drab look. A least he gets to sport some of his beloved cording on the shoulders, to remember his sweater roots.
The Disco Aerobics Jumper
"Angel One" remains one of the most misguided episodes in Star Trek history, a sort of spiritual sequel to "Turnabout Intruder" that aims to make a statement on gender roles, but ends up with something extremely sexist. Anyway… Wesley does at least bright the mood with this Xanadu-ready jumper straight out of Olivia Newton-John's closet.
The Pie Dandy
In "Hollow Pursuits," late in season three, Wesley can be seen in the Holodeck going full Little Jack Horner–meets–Musketeer. Fortunately, Wil Wheaton had an entire pie to take his mind off this look.
The Farewell Vest
At last, in "Journey's End," episode 20 of season seven, Wesley bids farewell to the crew and audiences. And he says goodbye in one of Roseanne's sweater vests.
Bonus: The Screen Test
No wonder he got the role! Here is Wil Wheaton in his screen test, showing off his uncanny knack for modeling baggy, multicolored sweaters.