In the parlance of science fiction conventions, there are two kinds of
costumes - those worn for competition, and those worn for the fun of it.
The latter are called collectively, "Hall Costumes." There is, of
course, some cross-over, as you'll occasionally find Masquerades that permit
hall costume entries, and you will occasionally find costumers wearing
versions of old costumes in the halls. And you will usually find
costumers wearing hall costumes, even if they are showing something very
I am, in the plain truth, a bad hall costumer. I usually wear
simple street clothes, or the occasional tuxedo, to conventions, being
neither inspired nor technically competent enough to do such a costume
properly. That said, here I show the simple Hall Costumes I have
worn, whether they were to conventions or just to costume parties.
Rene Magritte was a 20th century surrealist painter from Belgium who painted,
among other seminal works, a series of studies of men in simple suits and
bowlers with a green apple suspended before their faces. This costume
is a simple pin-stripe suit ($5 at the Salvation Army store), a felt bowler
(from Boston Costume), and a green silk apple suspended in front of it
via a bent coat hanger embedded in the front wall of the hat. You
can always tell who knows their art history - they just chuckle and walk
on. They who don't always come up and say, "OK, I'll bite; what's
the apple for?"
This costume we threw together for a friend's Mardi Gras party.
Note the green brocaded smoking jacket (here being used as a tuxedo jacket),
the purple cummerbund, and the gold hat and tie. All the important
colors covered. I'm also wearing Mardi Gras beads, leopard-print
sunglasses, and black tuxedo trousers.
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