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A hall costume is a costume worn during a fan convention, but may or may not be entered in the masquerade contest, i.e. a costume other fans would see while wandering the halls between scheduled con programming. According to Fancyclopedia,
Hall costumes used to be fairly rare at general sf cons, but are much more frequently seen today, perhaps because of crossover from anime and steampunk fandoms.
Halloween Eccentricon fundraiser, Sydney, Australia, 1985.
Astrex members at the first annual Denebiatt Dinner Dance at Penrith Panthers, 1986.