I don’t have any trouble at all remembering my first costume. I can’t tell you exactly how old I was, though I know I’d have been at least five years old. I suspect I was closer to seven or eight at the time; there was a friend of mine who lived probably three or four blocks away – a long walk when I was that age – and he was just as crazy about Star Trek as I was. He insisted that I always be Mr. Spock in our little innocent role-playing, and eventually my mom agreed to make the costume for me.
I don’t think she made the blue shirt, though I might be wrong about that – she was certainly good enough to do it. I can’t remember clearly if she put the black collar on it – I originally thought not, but upon further reflection she might have done so after all. I do remember she found exactly the right gold braid for the sleeve rank, and made sure it matched the Commander’s pattern in my treasured Starfleet Technical Manual. (I still have that, by the way, almost four decades later.) I think she hand-embroidered the department arrowhead symbol on the front – she did so again later for a Scotty shirt. I appreciate that so much now looking back!
Of course, I outgrew it soon enough. I was active enough as a child that I’d have worn it out if I hadn’t outgrown it. There aren’t any pictures that I know of, which is a darn shame. But that shirt meant so much to me, and my lifelong love for costumes and cosplay began back then. Thanks again, Mom.