In 1965, the TV situational comedy I Dream of Jeannie first aired with co-star Barbara Eden in the lead role as the beautiful genie named “Jeannie” along with co-star and physical comedian, Larry Hagman, who played “Anthony Nelson,” an astronaut at NASA Air Force Base. I fell in love with the show and watched in syndication all five seasons when I was a tween. It was a lifetime goal to recreate the iconic I Dream of Jeannie costume and in the Summer of 2020 I found myself doing exactly that!
The original costume was designed by American costume designer Gwen Wakeling (active in cinema from the 1930s to 1960s). The entire 5-piece pink suit gives homage to women’s 1960s fashion! The pillbox hat with chiffon veil/drape, bolero jacket is dark pink velvet, but appears red on-screen, the voluminous “pantaloons” or harem pants were made with 2-layers of pink chiffon, the bra overlay in pink chiffon ruching, and a velvet hip band with center back closure and cut-out “cat eyes” design.
The top half changed from Season 1 to Season 2-5. The bolero jacket with velvet sleeves was actually featured in Seasons 2-5. The Season 1 costume had a velvet top, more like a bralette with chiffon sleeves. Personally, I think the harem pants (sometimes referred to as “jupe culottes”) gives a nod to the early 1900s feminist movement and suffragettes. The jacket was decorated with pastel pink gimp braided trim along the edges and accessorized with bubblegum pink tassels tacked to the sleeves. Watching the film, it is a difficult to determine if the tassels had gold or silver jeweled caps but as they say to each their own. Jeannie probably wore both. The same pink tassels were also displayed on the center front of the bra top.
Another nod to 1960s fashion is the small pillbox hat (also referred to as a “headdress”). Jeannie almost always wears it when in costume. The hat is also covered in velvet and decorated with the pastel pink, gimp braided trim in a swirl design. In some images, it appears it was lined in satin. On each side of the hat, the pink chiffon veil is tacked and draped under chin and continues over the shoulder. The top of the hat has a large hole in the center for her long ponytail to pass through.
What a classic and iconic costume! Recognizable today by anyone who dares to wear it. Want your own? Visit our Etsy shop for more details. Of course, Jeannie’s costume is our favorite. We also offer Jeannie’s twin sister green suit with its 16-panels of mint and jade green color block chiffon skirt, as well as the pillbox hats for sale individually. Sew looking forward to hearing from you!