Playboy Bunnies are a bit like Geisha in their duties (they are there to entertain), but with a very North American flavour (okay, so Bunnies are a bit less demure and coy *cough* than Geisha if only by their costume - I love Geisha and am not trying to insult their tradition, but I see a certain parallel between the two).
According to Wikipedia:
The Playboy Bunny outfit was the first service uniform registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (U.S. trademark registration number 0762884). The costume was made from rayon-satin constructed on a merry widow corset. Satin bunny ears, cotton tails, collars with bow ties cuffs with cuff links, black mesh pantyhose and matching high-heeled shoes completed the outfit. A name tag on a satin rosette was pinned over the right hip bone.
The uniforms were custom made for each Bunny at the club they worked in. Whenever the club was open there was a full time seamstress on duty. The costumes were stocked in two pieces, the front part being pre-sewn in different bra cup sizes such as B or C cup. The seamstress would match the Bunnies' figure to the correct fitting front and back pieces. Then the two pieces were sewn together to fit each person perfectly.
[...]Playboy Enterprises required all employees to turn in their costumes at the end of employment and Playboy has some costumes in storage. Occasionally costumes are offered for sale on the Playboy Auction site or eBay. Some of the costumes on eBay may be counterfeit or damaged in some way. Genuine Bunny costumes in good condition have sold for over $10,000. The only two on public display are in the collections of The Smithsonian and the Chicago History Museum.
Exerpt from Wikipedia - Playboy Bunny: The Bunny Costume.
I first learned of Playboy Bunnies as a child: I don't exactly remember what it was, but I saw a documentary (or a couple minutes of one while my dad was flipping the channels) with a picture of a Bunny in her costume and immediately loved the elegant look. Personally, I feel influenced by some of the vintage 60's photos to make a black one some day.
Truly, as burlesque costumes goes, it’s not that bad. It has become a popular adult Halloween costume (mostly if you're going clubbing that night) and it has even been integrated in Japanese culture; it is nowadays associated with sexiness
Even Elle Woods (Legally Blond - 2001) wore one (a pink one in her case):
In the mean time, I’ll keep on wearing my silver Playboy Bunny Earrings for Easter!
Note (yes, another one): This post is only about the costume. By presenting the costume, I am not condoning the way these women were chosen or treated (I know there has been a lot of criticism). In fact, I'm sure it was unfair and probably often downright insulting. But the outfit is lovely and has become an icon, therefore it deserves to be features on this blog.