Six of the best towelling

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Indy Lifestyle Online
1Strappy sundress, pounds 50.50, Armand Basi. This season towelling has featured in designer collections from Chanel to Nicole Farhi and can be found in abundance on the high street. This spaghetti-strap navy towelling sundress is taken from this season's 'tango' collection by Spanish designer Armand Basi, who is currently experiencing a revival in London. Now retailing at half the original price, the dress is available from his flagship store. Armand Basi, 12 Floral Street, London WC2 and Wardrobe, 53 Deansgate, Manchester, for enquiries call: 0171 278 4843.

2V-neck top, pounds 40, Komodo. Towelling's popularity is unsurprising: it is both comfortable, practical and relatively cheap, and it makes a perfect holiday companion as it can be squeezed into the smallest suitcase without creasing. This red and white V-neck long-sleeve top by Komodo is no exception, also available in white with a red contrasting stripe and in sky blue and navy for men. Komodo, 65 Monmouth Street, London, WC2 and Cult Clothing branches nationwide, for enquiries call: 0171 379 5225.

3Floral mules, pounds 55, Red or Dead. The high-street label renowned for funky street and club wear, was quick to spot the bathroom staple's potential, and these floral towelling mules clearly bring this notoriously kitsch fabric into the 90s. Available in white (as pictured) navy and red. Red or Dead from 33 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 and branches nationwide for enquiries call: 0171 937 3137.

4Duffel bag, pounds 12.99, Debenhams. Although just as stylish off the beach as on it, towelling is still primarily used to dry the body. This striped towelling duffel bag, with matching towel, combines the fabric's original use with its current fashionable status, to create a versatile accessory. The soft pile towel is big enough to lie on or to use as a screen for changing on a busy beach. While the matching rucksack doubles as a shopping or shoulder bag. Debenhams, 334-348 Oxford Street, London W1 and selected branches nationwide for local stockists and enquiries call: 0171 408 4444.

5Towelling hat, pounds 19.95, Kangol. Proof that this feelgood fabric has come a long way from the humble bathrobe comes from the hat giant Kangol, who has used its soft, cool properties to create three different styles in their summer collection. This pull-on brimmed towelling hat is also available in white, royal blue, navy, black and orange. Major department stores, enquiries call: 0171 487 4888.

6Towelling two-piece, pounds 27, Betty Jackson. The plunging neckline is inspired by 50s Hollywood beach babes, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. Fashion has seen a return to beach wear and especially the halter neck top. This one comes with cute matching shorts, and is currently on sale at half price. Betty Jackson, 311 Brompton Rd, London SW3, for local stockists and to check availability call: 0171 589 7884.