There is something undeniably playful and provocative about the bunny costume. If you are planning on a fancy dress night and you want to replicate the timeless appeal of the bunny outfit, you have come to the right place.
The Playboy bunny costume is now recognized the world over. In fact, some might suggest that the Playboy bunny outfit is the most famous costume ever created. That’s not to say that the bunny costume originated at the Playboy Mansion. In fact, Hugh Hefner, the brains behind Playboy, took inspiration from a bar in Illinois named Bunny’s Tavern. Hefner regularly frequented this watering hole during his studies at the University of Illinois and was taken with the Tavern’s unique take on the showgirl outfit.
When Hefner launched his Playboy Club and subsequent magazine, the bunny outfit was designed and prototyped by a Latvian seamstress whose daughter was dating one of the Club’s original founders, Victor Lownes III. It took several revisions of the outfit to achieve the look Hefner and co. wanted. The first prototype was rejected for looking too much like a one-piece bikini. Hefner provided a host of alterations to make the infamous outfit somewhat racier. This involved exposing more leg by cutting the leg to almost the top of the hip, as well as a general refinement to a ‘V-shaped’ appearance.
The bunny costume eventually made its debut in Chicago’s Playboy Club in 1960. It wasn’t long before these were mass-produced for all workers in the Playboy Clubs, with iconic French fashion designer Renee Blot also recruited to make alterations to the outfit just a couple of years later. The addition of a bow tie, cuffs and rabbit head-shaped cufflinks helped to refine the look. Although the bunny outfit provided a healthy dose of allure, Hefner wanted the outfit to be classy and sophisticated at the same time. Hefner’s Playboy Clubs were “supper clubs” where smartly dressed men could unwind and socialize with the opposite sex.
Examples of the bunny costume in other forms of popular culture
It’s fair to say that the Playboy bunny outfit is just as relevant in popular culture today as it was in the 60s. The bunny costume is woven into the very fabric of pop culture when you consider that bunnies were serving beverages at the 2018 Coachella Festival in California. This nostalgic yet playful look, which was the original service uniform to achieve a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office, has also had its very own Playboy Gold Jackpot slot modelled on the iconic franchise and the bunnies themselves which launched back in November 2019.
Although the bunny costume is synonymous with the Playboy Club and the culture of its waitresses, the bunny-eared bodysuit has also become a cliched symbol of female power and sexuality, as shown in some of the best-loved romantic comedies of our generation. Who could forget the magnificent Bridget Jones’s Diary of 2001? The stunning Rene Zellweger dons the alluring bunny outfit for a garden party that she believed was a “Tarts and Vicars” themed shindig. Unfortunately for Bridget, she arrived blissfully unaware that the themed had been changed and the fancy dress was cancelled altogether. The way Bridget retains her composure and class is an example of her strength and integrity.
Do you remember when Reese Witherspoon was also a bunny? The glamorous Elle Woods rocked up to a college fancy dress party that was not-so-fancy dress. Not to be deterred, Elle enjoys the party in her corset and pink tights, turning the heads of plenty as she goes.
The 2004 movie Mean Girls was also characterized by the bunny costume worn by character Regina George, the rich and sassy school teen and leader of ‘The Plastics’, played by Rachel McAdams. To this day, there are many fancy dress costumes out there modelled on Regina’s bunny costume, with sharp V-hems and bunny ears that are ideal for those wanting to look like the queen bee.
How to replicate the bunny costume look yourself
Looking to put together your very own DIY Playboy bunny outfit? Perhaps you are heading to a fancy dress party with a friend or partner? Dressing up in the iconic bunny costume is no doubt a fun and flirty option. If you are going to a party with a group of friends, you might all decide to dress up as a group of bunnies together. It would certainly make for great photo memories on Instagram. Fortunately, you only need a select group of items to piece together a replica Playboy bunny outfit:
• Corset or Bodysuit
First thing’s first, the centerpiece of the outfit is a corset or bodysuit. Ultimately, it depends on how confident you feel. You could choose a tightly fitted corset or a bodysuit that keeps the skin on show to a premium. You should be able to find a corset that comes with matching underwear.
• Fishnet Stockings
The most typical pairing with a Playboy bodysuit is fishnet-style stockings. If you want to design your DIY bunny costume on the classic look, fishnets are definitely the way to go. Of course, if you would rather choose a garment that offers a little more modesty, you could always wear some black short shorts.
• Bunny Ears, Tail and Bow Tie
There’s no doubt that the most archetypal accessory you can use to create an authentic bunny costume is, unsurprisingly, bunny ears. It’s possible to be full-on accessory kits for bunny outfits, with bunny ears as well as a bunny tail and cute bow tie. If you want to go for the classic Playboy bunny look, you should also look for some furry cuff links too.
• Your Favorite High Heels
When it comes to footwear, there’s nothing better than a pair of your most comfortable high heels to finish the Playboy look. What’s the perfect heel for your height? Check out this article to discover the right size of elevator shoe for you. You could even opt for some classic black pumps if you don’t think that your feet could handle the heels.
Since Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017, the Playboy bunny look is even more in vogue than before, as ladies around the world pay tribute to this iconic look and show off their own charisma and personality in the process.