Thinking Costume: Jessica Rabbit, Original Ginger

Jessica Rabbit Untooned by Pixeloo

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!


Related Posts:

Thinking Costume: The Spider Queen

– My Eyeballs Roll This Terrible Terrain: Evil Clown Makeup Tutorial

While These Visions Did Appear: Fairy Costume and Makeup

Categories: Costume DIY Tutorials, Makeup Tutorials, Thinking Costume

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44 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Tea and commented:
    What an interesting thought! Her voice has always reminded me of Melody Gardot. Spotify her!

    • Hi Rachel, thanks for the repost! Interesting trivia: Jessica Rabbit’s speaking voice was provided by Kathleen Turner, but the singing was done by Amy Irving, who played Sue Snell in the classic 1976 Carrie.

  2. Hey Eva 🙂 Nice photos and fantastic costumes…I have a question for you..
    I want to make a surprise for my boyfriend and i want to buy a strapless dress of Jessica like the one in the photos of Dayna Baby Lou…where can i buy it? In Italy nowhere… Please help me and send me at my email some adresses please. Thanks for all and go on with ur projects; fantastics 🙂

    • Hi! There are some costume versions of this dress that are available in Italy. Take a look at Effetto Party or Ebay Italy. The one Dayna Baby Lou is wearing is probably custom made, so will be of a higher quality and more fitted (and therefore more expensive), but you could try a place that rents costumes like La Stranacasa, or simply look for something red and strapless at a regular dress shop, like Bellacerimonia. This is a more expensive option, but the quality will be much better and it’s more likely to fit how you want it. Thanks for stopping by, and buona fortuna!

  3. As a farmer, I certainly would not chase Jessica Rabbit or anyone doing a nice job of wearing the outfit off the farm…

  4. Great idea..I should start working out now!

  5. I’m impressed! Beautiful costumes on beautiful women.

  6. Thanks for liking my post! Great stuff here. Such fun.

  7. So enjoyed this post! Love Jessica Rabbit! Used to be a costume designer before my Interior Design Biz, Eva. Wonderful Blog! Thank you for liking my post too!

  8. Such fantastic research on costumes of Jessica Rabbit. Well done. I’ve always enjoyed her character, taking something as light and childish as cartoons and making it dark and sultry always a fun thing to see

  9. Wow? Multiple wows?

    I may be starting with Captain Hammer but it’s only the beginning of my cosplay (mis)adventures.

  10. this is AMAZING! I was never a big jessica rabbit fan but I am now!! 🙂 awesome article too!

  11. Those are some pretty sweet circley thumbnails you have there.

  12. Those are brilliant costumes! I don’t have nearly enough boobage to pull off that cosplay.

  13. YAYYY team red heads! I don’t think I would ever have the guts to wear that costume. I would constantly feel like the girls were going to pop out and say hello!

  14. The creator of Jessica Rabbit, Gary K. Wolf, is coming out with his latest novel in the Roger Rabbit series: Who Wacked Roger Rabbit?, and in anticipation of its publication in November we are holding a Jessica Rabbit look alike contest on his Facebook page! We’d love if any Jessica Rabbit fans on here would like to partake 🙂 Here is the link to our contest:


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