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A Snapshot of How the Iconic Bunny Suit Has Evolved Over 60 Years

**Hugh Hefner and London Bunnies in Hyde Park.** ©Playboy ©HMH Archives

Hugh Hefner and London Bunnies in Hyde Park. ©Playboy ©HMH Archives

The world of a Playboy Bunny is fascinating, adventurous and enlightening. As a Playboy Bunny, I was fortunate enough to experience all of these professional attributes.

My Playboy career started in the Hollywood Playboy Club wearing the iconic Bunny costume from 1965 to 1978. During my years as a Bunny, I was part of a staff with 150 Bunnies. All Bunnies enjoyed the friendships of many beautiful women from all countries and walks of life. Our daily camaraderie seemed much like a daily international peace conference.

While working as a Bunny, I was cast for Chuck Barris’ Dating Game TV show and the Playboy Club TV shows filmed at CBS. I even trained and flew as a Jet Bunny on Hef’s Big Bunny DC-9 jet, traveling all over the world with the international Bunny Mother as one of her training Bunnies. As you can probably guess, I met well-known celebrities, politicians, authors and athletes while attending events representing Playboy.

**Bunnies wave on from the plane.** ©Playboy ©HMH Archives

Bunnies wave on from the plane. ©Playboy ©HMH Archives

After thirteen years of Bunnydom, I moved on to become the Bunny Mother managing the Bunny department in the Playboy Club Century City near Beverly Hills. As a Bunny Mother, I worked hand-in-hand with a staff of eight Bunnies, doing everything from providing their Bunny training to scheduling and guidance to coordinating their fittings and costume color selections.

My current position is now in the Playmate Promotions Department as the Playmate Promotions Specialist assisting Playmates with their numerous activities as brand Ambassadors, and of course their Bunny costume needs. My world of Bunnydom has no limits, and continues to inspire me in so many different ways.


My expertise in Bunny costume design and its usage has been supported by the assistance of a Bunny costume seamstress. A professional Bunny costume seamstress is essential for all Bunny costume fittings. Fittings assure each Bunny costume’s design is precise in appearance and beauty that accurately reflects the brand.

The Bunny costume design is extraordinary in creating the perfect appeal for each beautiful women who chooses to wear it. The costume shell (or a bodice), Bunny ears, collar/cuffs, black bow tie, Playboy cuff links and white fluffy tail combined create the iconic Bunny costume.

The tailor-fitted shell and costume accessories worn together create the formal attire that is instrumental in our flawless image. The Playboy Bunny costume is the epitome of understated sex appeal, sophistication, glamour and mystique.

When originally creating the Bunny costume and Bunny guideline, Mr. Hefner emphasized the importance of mystique. Such things as jewelry, over-applied makeup and some hair styles did not fit with the magical image of the Playboy Bunny he envisioned. It took six weeks of training to prepare women who desired to be Bunnies. Mr. Hefner created elegant nightclubs with timeless women in these Bunny costumes, which in turn ushered in an exciting environment in the Playboy clubs and within the pages of Playboy magazine.

The Playboy Bunny costume is the epitome of understated sex appeal, sophistication, glamour and mystique.

Over the years, the Bunny costume’s fabric and colors have evolved. During the late ‘60s and early '70s, Bunny costumes were made in psychedelic fabrics. Psychedelic colors and patterns coincided with a time of social, musical and artistic change within our country. Playboy naturally continued on with the velvet costume worn by Bunnies who served in our VIP dining rooms, and the red and dark green velvet costume with white fur trim worn during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In the '80s, the Cabaret costume was introduced due to the rebirth of thigh high stocking and garters. Later, other themed costumes were introduced to the Bunny costume wardrobe, such as military (all four branches), bellhop, bride, Brazilian, tango and many more. The costume shell hip line was also cut higher on the hip to give the illusion of longer legs.

Due to the constant interaction with Playboy Club key holders and guests, a Bunny needed an outgoing personality. An outgoing personality was essential in creating a welcoming, fun atmosphere that visitors expected to encounter when entering the world of Playboy.

The Bunny costume’s elegance was displayed at all times using the following working and non-working positions: The Bunny Dip, the Bunny Stance and the Bunny Perch. Bunnies where trained to use these techniques when working in the costume.

The Bunny Dip is famous for its unique way of serving with your back to the table. Bunnies dipped their knees and bent backwards, all while placing cocktails and food on tables. The Bunny Dip was also used to remove a full ash tray from a cocktail table and replacing it with a clean ash tray. The Bunny Dip is used today by many servers throughout the country. It’s fun, and rewarding when perfected.

**Bunnies posing with the “At the Playboy Club Tonight” board.** ©Playboy ©HMH Archives

Bunnies posing with the “At the Playboy Club Tonight” board. ©Playboy ©HMH Archives

When not working, Bunnies assumed the Bunny Stance, which was standing with their feet in a model stance position with the serving tray in one hand and the other arm at their side. The Bunny Perch was when a Bunny was sitting on the back, or arm, of an empty chair with one foot on the floor and serving tray in her hand. This position was used when Bunnies waited in their assigned area to service guests.

The vision of Mr. Hefner led to the elegenace of the Bunny costume design that you see today. Their presence in the historic ambiance of the Playboy Clubs led to the Playboy Bunny becoming forever imortilized in pop culture.

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