Jessica Rabbit, drawn with a smooth wave of long hair falling over one eye, is an iconic redhead, named as the sexiest animated character of all time and evoking classic silver screen beauties from the 40’s like Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake. Read on for some thoughts on costuming and makeup to bring your own sultry Jessica Rabbit look to life, complete with tutorials and real-life cosplay examples, or jump straight to our Jessica Rabbit cosplay gallery here!
An exaggerated callback to those body-fitting gowns of the 1940’s, the basic Jessica Rabbit costume is long, red dress, strapless gown with a low back and sweetheart neckline, slit to the thigh. Accessories include opera length (look for 16″-23″ lengths to reach above the elbow) purple gloves, red pumps, and gold-tone stud earrings, as you can see in Jessica’s signature musical number below.
From a costuming perspective, the gloves and other accessories are thankfully easy to find, but, given the challenges presented by the laws of physics, the dress is a tough one. If you are particularly skilled, you could try to sew your own, like cosplayer Miss Godzilla over at Deviantart, who made a tremendous Jessica Rabbit dress complete with internal corsetry, or the impressive Jessica Rabbit dress sewn and modeled by the lovely BelleChere.
Cosplayer Tif9123 cut and refit a red dress to create this sensationally fitting number, then liked the look so much she upgraded to Jessica’s sparkly performance dress, and I completely adore the purple lining in this stunner worn by cosplay extraordinaire Wham Bam Pam and photographed by Animae Nut.
Luckily, if you are less than a god of costuming, there are a variety of commercial and handmade options out there, but beware cheap costumes that lack the internal structure to keep everything where it needs to be. Anything without some internal structure is unlikely to give you the desired results. If the classic dress feels like too much of a commitment in terms of cost or double-sided tape, use it as a jumping-off point for your own interpretation of Jessica’s look, whether that’s a reworked prom dress or this fabulous hand-painted Jessica Rabbit mask.
Hair and makeup is also a key component of evoking Jessica Rabbit. Her look is particularly delightful to play with, because you can take the styling cartoony and fun, like so…
…or honor the sultry vintage vixen at the heart of Jessica’s look with a classic 40’s style, as shown here.
This video also shows how to get Jessica’s sexy Veronica Lake-inspired hair to cascade in waves in front of one eye, if you are so fortunate as to have long, single-length hair. A wide selection of wigs are also available to create this look at a variety of shades and price points. Below, the completely gorgeous Samantha is rocking the vintage look, whereas sizzling model and cosplayer Dayna Baby Lou has gone with a fun, slightly more cartoon-y feel.
And, well, love it or hate it, Heidi Klum as Jessica Rabbit is….Heidi Klum as Jessica Rabbit.
A final word, darlings. This is, quite rightly, not a subtle costume. The most important thing to feature when styling for Jessica Rabbit is attitude, so have fun with this look. If anyone tries to tell you differently, you can take your cue from the very sassy Rita Hayworth and simply put the blame on Mame.
Looking for more amazing cosplay? Check out sexy Freddie Nova as Ann Weying/She-Venom by Superhero Photography.
Need more costume ideas? Browse the complete Jessica Rabbit gallery below, or visit our Costume & Makeup category for costume and makeup tutorials!