Sexy Handmaid's Tale costumes pulled from sale after criticism

When you think of The Handmaid's Tale, a slinky play costume doesn't typically come to mine - but US store has made just that.

Online lingerie store Yandy recently put the 'Brave Red Maiden Costume' up for sale on its website, a provocative hooded cloak with bonnet and thigh-revealing short skirt.

Similar to the outfits the suppressed handmaidens wear in the critically acclaimed TV series, based on Margaret Attwood's best-selling dystopian novel, the costumes were advertised with the message "be bold and speak your mind".

Costing nearly NZ$100, the outfits were slammed online for trivialising the important themes the series presented and the hardships the main characters went through.

The Handmaid's Tale depicts a future where women are enslaved and forced to breed by a totalitarian government.

Some of the women are kept as handmaids and raped by their keepers for babies.

The controversy quickly became clear to Yandy, who pulled the costumes and released a statement apologising.

"Our 'Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume' is being seen as a symbol of women's oppression, rather than an expression of women's empowerment," it said.

"Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we've received, we are removing the costume from our site."