Most people may not give much thought to the costumes worn by the crew of the Jupiter 2 over the three seasons of Lost in Space. This is due to the subconscious notion that they were wearing uniforms—you expected to see them dressed the same way week after week. Despite that misperception, there is a surprising array of garments worn by the Robinsons during their adventures.
First of all, there were three major changes of costuming during the series’ run, with a minor adjustment of one of these. The overall movement was from one of a more individualised look in the first season to an increasing thematic uniformity in the look of the costumes from season two onward. The move to colour broadcasts with the second season also signalled a change to much brighter colours in comparison with the rather muted palette of season one. By season three, after some minor tweaks over the course of season two, the Jupiter 2’s complement were wearing the least diverse costumes ever, and these costumes (especially the men’s) had a distinct military look to some extent.
The chief reason for the move to new outfits at the end of season one was the impending switch to colour broadcasts in season two. Comparing the costumes from the first two seasons, those from the second season are clearly designed to take advantage of colour film. Bill Mumy has commented that his favourite uniform was season one’s; he disliked the second season uniform because the bright orange top was not a very good colour for him. After much pleading with costumer Paul Zastupnevich, Bill was given a lavender uniform in the final season which he felt was at least an improvement over the earlier orange ensemble.
In contrast, Marta Kristen has implied that the culottes worn by her character in the first season were not highly regarded by her. All cast members complained of the excessive warmth of the velour costumes under the Klieg lights. The outer layer was velour; between it and their undergarments most cast members had a dickie around their neck and covering their chest, so the reason for overheating is clear enough. In “There Were Giants in the Earth,” Guy Madison can be seen sweating in his uniform and parka while the temperature is reported to be below zero! Interestingly enough, when Will shows up in the scene without a parka, he doesn’t seem to notice the cold.