For those who wear them, is it a tayloring thing? hard to find the right size? and what gives with the poor details like oversized com badges, dont' you at least want it to look like the ones on tv?
It's lots of things.
* Off the rack one-size-fits-all vs personalized tailoring
* An eye for detail
* Appropriate height/weight/age to carry off being a Starfleet officer
* Availability of reference materials
When I made my TOS redshirt, I used an old favourite velour sweater that coincidentally had a moth hole where the insignia went. A rank stripe (a little too high) covered a second moth hole on the sleeve. But it's served me well for 28 years!
When some friends and I made ST II costumes we only had the pics in a "Starlog" ST II mag to go on. We made our first "metal" insignia badges out of cardboard, painted gold, and rectangular strips (with rounded corners) cut from a plastic ice cream container. (Eventually we bought commercial, movie tie-in metal badges, but had to enamel them accurately.) But I told another friend what we were using that first time and her cardboard/plastic badge ended up huge
- and looked ridiculous. She thought hers looked great. We reckon we just had a better eye for accuracy.
My first TNG uniform was designed from one tiny advance-publicity cast photo in "Time" magazine, and I wore it about 24 hours after the magazine came out. I simply cut up two turtleneck T-shirts (one black, one command gold) and used hemming web to join them, plus a commercial metal insignia from ST:TMP. It didn't look right once we saw better official pics and actual TV footage, but it certainly wowed everyone that first night.
About six months later, we had developed an accurate pattern and churned out many costumes for friends, completed with accurate communicator badges from Lincoln Enterprises.
Keep in mind that TV can do lots
of tricks. A good example is how Gort the robot in "The Day the Earth Stood still" looked so seamless. There were two costumes
: one with a zipper in the front, another with the zipper in the back.
A floor costume at a convention must look and move well under all
conditions, and the wearer must pretend to feel great whether hot, cold or fighting for breath. On TV or in a movie, a costume can be altered to look better for sitting vs standing scenes, walking vs fighting scenes, and can be removed after just a few minutes of filming, then put back on again when needed.
In the Superman movies, they have different length capes for walking, flying and stunts. Plus someone with a blow drier drying the actor's sweaty armpits between takes.