Our oldest daughter asked to be a peacock for Halloween and who are we to disappoint?
The body of the bird was a blue jumper she could get in and out of pretty easily. The bird's wings we attached to this jumper. We were surprised to learn how bold the black and white stripes are on peacocks and were hesitant to add them but in hindsight, they looked great. The feathers were individually cut from a zebra-print fabric and glued to a base. Under the jumper she wore a long sleeved tshirt to which we added a little padding on the from to give her a more bird-like shape. The bird head was built on a baseball cap base and tucked into the jumper. Grey tights and funny-looking three-toed slippers gave the bird feet.
The tail was the most complicated part of the costume. Obviously we needed to show the fan of feathers because otherwise folks wouldn't know she was a peacock but we also needed to be able to make the fan go away at certain times so she could fit through doorways. The tail began as a large fabric-covered fan to which we added real peacock feathers both front and back. This fan was mounted on a rotating hinge with was itself attached to a leather belt. She put the belt on under the blue jumper and an opening in the back allowed the hinge and fan to hang behind her. To display her plumage, she pulled on a pair of trick lines run through loops on her shoulders. When she pulled them down, the fan would pull up and the weight of the fabric and feathers caused the fan to fall open.