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A costume was a garment whose purpose was to give one the appearance of someone or something they were not. A costume could be worn to blend in around the natives of a planet (TOS: "A Private Little War") or to enhance one's experience within a holoprogram. (DS9: "Afterimage")

In 2364, Q appeared in a variety of costumes to the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, eliciting Jean-Luc Picard to frustratedly cry, "What is this need of yours for costumes, Q? Have you no identity of your own?" (TNG: "Hide and Q")

In 2372, entering the USS Voyager's holodeck in her Starfleet uniform, Kathryn Janeway, playing the role of "Lucille Davenport", explained her strange attire to Lord Burleigh as a costume. (VOY: "Persistence of Vision")

In the first draft script of ENT: "Fusion" (which had the working title "Equilibrium"), Trip Tucker explained to Fraht that costumes were typically worn at Halloween (including to go trick-or-treating). Tucker also recalled that, in his childhood, he had usually dressed up as either an alien or an astronaut for Halloween. He told Fraht that wearing a costume was a condition of an upcoming Halloween party which was to be held aboard Enterprise NX-01. However, Fraht was initially unsure what costume he should wear to the party. After Fraht reasoned that he was an alien among Humans, Trip advised him to come to the party just as he was.

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