In old films, the female stars always had lovely slips, and they would wear them while applying their make-up, seated at a rather splendid dressing-table. When they were done, they would dress in some exquisite satin gown, and then Cary Grant would come and take them for dinner. Many is the evening I have rigged up a makeshift dresser - wearing my M&S slip - and applied and reapplied lip gloss (it was the only make-up I had). Cary Grant never turned up, but my father did look a bit like him when he was younger. He would come in and ask me what had happened to his Black & Decker Workmate. This lacy bodice chemise is a find: it looks expensive but isn't, it looks exquisite and is. Merry Christmas. AB

Ivory embroidered chemise, pounds 40, also available in black from Knickerbox nationwide (0171-284 1744)