the clothes line
Katharine Hepburn lounged around in them after having an argument with Jimmy Stewart in the 1940 film Philadelphia Story; Manuela Pavesi, the Italian fashion photographer, is always seen wearing them while working with the world's fashion cognoscenti.

The last thing you would imagine them to be is exactly what they are - pyjamas. Margaret Howell, the British designer who is well loved in Japan for her classic, essentially English clothes, has been including traditional white linen pyjamas in her collection for 20 years.

They have recently been making appearances out of the bedroom, as the more laid-back among us realise their potential as the ultimate in relaxed summer dressing.

The drawstring trousers are especially versatile for wearing during the day, particularly if you happen to be hanging out in St Tropez.


Margaret Howell 100 per cent linen pyjamas, pounds 185; matching dressing- gown, pounds 245; available from Margaret Howell, 29 Beauchamp Place, London SW3, and 24 Brook Street, London W1. Also available from Alicia Kite, 395 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield.