What would Aunt Lydia think?

An American lingerie retailer has stopped selling a “sexy” Halloween costume modelled after the outfits worn by oppressed female characters in the dystopian novel and hit television series “The Handmaid’s Tale” following intense backlash.

The online store Yandy’s “Brave Red Maiden” costume featured a white bonnet, bright red cloak with giant slits up two sides and a hood, and a short red mini dress for the price of US$64.95 – fishnet pantyhose not included.

“An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say. However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume,” the description for the item reads.

In a caption below images of the costume, a slogan reads: “Everybody. Own your sexy.”

Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” became wildly popular after it was adapted for television. The story centres on a totalitarian society where fertile women are rare and forced into sexual slavery in order to propagate humanity.

The repressed female characters are called “handmaids” and wear conservative, long red dresses and cloaks with distinctive white bonnets as their uniform throughout the series.

The reaction to Yandy’s recreation of the outfit was swift with an overwhelming majority of Twitter users expressing their disapproval.

There were others, however, that said it’s no different than other racy Halloween costumes for women.

On Thursday night, Yandy released a statement on Twitter announcing they would stop selling their sexualized version of the outfit in response to online backlash.

“Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our “Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume” is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment,” the statement read. “This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.”

The Arizona-based company then announced it was removing the costume from its website “given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received.” Yandy’s statement received mixed reviews with some accusing the retailer of intentionally stirring up controversy for publicity while others defended the costume.

It’s not the first time Yandy has been criticized for its merchandise. Last year, the retailer was the target of online reproach for its numerous Native American-style costumes and its suggestive take on the child character Eleven in the Netflix show “Stranger Things.”