Within a year of the first bunny costume going into use at the clubs a number of changes were made.
One of the most noticable changes came with the name tag, pinned to the right hip (left if the bunny was left-handed). This placement put the name tag at eye-level with the customers while serving them so they could easily identify each bunny, soon the sides of the legs were heightened to lengthen the leg.
A rosette nametag was added to the right hip
It was then when Playboy hired Chicago seamstress Renée Blot to prefect the design.
She got to work eliminating the need for a corset underneath the satin and together with Chicago corset maker Kabo came up with a boned one-piece costume.
By 1964 the design of the bodice was complete and has remained the same ever since.
The original satin had been replaced, bones had been added to the inside for support and the cups were now made from the same foam car seats are made out of, the costume was also a washable and highly durable one piece shell that came in only two cup sizes, 34 and 36D (which required most bunnies to stuff their bust with anything they could find, from plastic bags to bunny tails.)
The costume was now available in 12 colors with most popular being black, red peacock blue and emerald green.
With the costume the over sized ears were also modified to better frame a bunnies face and not be too overbearing on her head, the original fish net and later mesh dancer tights were replaced by Danskin sheer black and nude tights (bunnies had to wear one of each) and the tail was made larger to compliment a bunnies natural assets.
Mid transformation - note the large ears
Through all the changes in the costume itself though, it still remained a regulation to wear 3″ died to match satin pumps, which the bunnies had to supply themselves by getting a swatch of their costume from the seamstress.
The most important change however came in adding the finishing touched to the look.
Even though Hef had always like the outfit he felt something was missing, the bunny costumes could easily be mistaken by bathing suits with ears and a tail pinned to it.
He went back to look at the Playboy logo, the original inspiration for the costume, and noticed that the bunny was wearing a bow tie.
Hef mentioned this to Renée and she came up with cuffs and a collar with a clip on bow tie to wear with the costume… this turned out to be the perfect addition in completing the bunny transformation.
Hugh Hefner inspects the new bunny costume designs at his mansion
The bunny costume truly is the work of great engineering and intelligence and for the almost 50 years that the bunny costume has been around it has been surrounded with mystique and certainly has become an icon in it’s own right.
The bunny costume as we still know it today
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