For anyone who likes their undies with a twist, stay-at-home Utah mom Candice Pugh has the perfect gift-giving solution this holiday season: “granny panties” emblazoned with the likenesses of the Golden Girls — Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia — from the popular ’80s sitcom featuring Betty White and Bea Arthur.
Courtesy Cathy Pugh
Less than a week after Pugh, 29, put the custom-made, high-waisted briefs on her Etsy “unmentionables” site, Bullets and Bees, the orders are pouring in, with 100 requests on the first day alone for the panties, priced from $38 to $48 a pair.
“I might need to put my husband to work cutting fabric,” says Pugh of Salt Lake City, who is married to Sol Adams, 36, a metal fabricator, and has two children, Ezekiel 5, and Adele, 15 months.
“I’m definitely feeling growing pains from working with large underwear,” she tells PEOPLE. “Who knew they’d be a trend?”
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A self-taught seamstress who turned a walk-in closet into a sewing room five years ago, Pugh started out selling homemade retro dresses and aprons, but turned to bloomers once her business blossomed.
“I made a friend a custom pair of granny panties with lace, and pretty soon, everybody wanted them,” she says. “So two years ago, I started out with a Star Wars set, and when those did well, I did some with Batman and Mr. Rogers. So this year, I thought, ‘How about the Golden Girls?’ Everybody likes them. My gay friends are always posting Golden Girls stuff on Facebook, so I went with it. But I never expected them to be such a hit.”
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Pugh adds lace trim and cut-out panels of the Golden Girls‘ stars to plain sets of cotton or nylon tricot underwear, giving them an extra dash of “geezer sex appeal.” Pairs featuring the face of Rue McClanahan (Blanche) are crotchless as a tribute to her “man crazy,” southern belle character.
“So even granny underwear can be risqué,” says Pugh. “The term gets a bad rap, sort of like mom jeans. Why not have fun with it?”
Although “granny panties” may seem large enough to set sail with, Pugh says they’re actually quite comfortable. In fact, she confesses to owning several pairs.
“I’m wearing some right now,” she tells PEOPLE. “I actually think they’re quite sexy. I have a post-baby belly and this is what fits and feels good. And it’s not quite as depressing wearing them when you can dress them up a bit.”
Besides high-waisted undies, Pugh also creates low-rise and bikini skivvies, featuring everything from cats and UFOs to celebs like Ryan Gosling and Shia LaBeouf. She has even embellished a pair with the face of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the slogan, “Feel the Bern.”
“Most of my customers are men, buying underwear for their wives or girlfriends,” she says, “although some people do buy them as gag gifts.”
And for any woman who might be offended on Christmas morning when she opens a prettily-wrapped package and pulls out a pair of panties that could double as a tablecloth?
Pugh laughs. “Look, I know I’m taking a risk here,” she says. “I could always add a ‘peek-a-boo’ bum. Really, there are endless options.”
Who are you buying a pair for this holiday season? Share in the comments below!