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Make getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers

It makes you want to dye

There's only one problem with a Marks & Spencer fashion moment: you'll see your star purchase on every street corner. Unless...

Interest in Courtaulds may spark bid battle

COURTAULDS, the chemicals company, which announced plans for a de-merger in February, could find itself the subject of a bid battle after announcing yesterday that it had received an approach that could lead to an offer for the group.

Barristers attacked for price-fixing as think-tank calls for silk cut

The system of having Queen's Counsel - or silks - should be abolished because it only exists so barristers can charge higher fees, claims a solicitor writing for a right-wing think-tank. Michael Streeter, Legal Affairs Correspondent, looks at the case for the prosecution.

Style Counsel: Stole the show

Everyone owns at least one winter scarf. Mostly they are practical, woolly things, but those made from jewelled silk and velvet are the ultimate way to dress up any outfit says Melanie Rickey.

The Investment Column: Courtaulds counts on Tencel

So it doesn't wrinkle, it's tough and it's as soft as silk. But can Courtaulds' "wonder-fibre", Tencel, revitalise the chemical group's flagging fortunes? Courtaulds shares have slumped to 270p, less than 50 per cent of their value five years ago, and 7.5p down on the day on the back of poor first-half results. Pre-tax profits in the six months to September were pounds 62m, 5 per cent down on last year.

A cup above the rest; is it worth it? by cayte williams

Your biggest assets need tender loving care, but even La Perla isn't worth pounds 116

The Essentials: The time Dinner party The place Your home

An evening with good food, wine and friends is the ideal way to while away dark autumnal nights. But before planning the menu you'll need the right crockery, cutlery, glasses and table accessories. To help you lay the perfect table we went shopping and selected the following items:

The real feelgood factor

The new sensuality is not necessarily kitsch of a rejection of minimalist values, but an add on. Get the look by combining the very cheap with luxuriously expensive items.

Let's take it from the top

get the look ... and get it right

Letter: Unfair to fake fur

Sir: I was delighted to hear of the new anti-fur initiative by Respect for Animals (report, 14 December). I would be very sorry to be seen dead wearing fur. But could activists please ask sympathisers to be careful before attacking in public women who merely appear to be wearing fur? I have been the object of invective, and have even been spat at, for wearing my fake fur, when I have forgotten to wear my People for Ethical Treatment of Animals anti-fur badge.

TIGHTS OF FANCY

Oooh yes. Lacy tights are the ringer-dinger in thing to wear on your legs this autumn. Thank Prada for this resurgence in 'tack' hosiery (although its cashmere version costs rather more at pounds 95). Lacy tights should be worn with the simplest of outfits to avoid pattern overload. The good news is that for a tenner or so, you can have this year's look: climb into a pair and you will instantly update last year's wardrobe. And those with blotchy legs that never quite got along with sheers will welcome the camouflage effect of all over lace. To complete the effect these tights should really be worn with big clumpy scuffed leather shoes, the sort the girl who never got picked for netball wore. Revenge is sweet.

sheer bliss

Stay cool this summer in form-flattering chiffon. British designer Maria Grachvogel has artfully draped this most delicate of fabrics into dresses that reveal without revealing all

Ready to wear: Nothing like the real thing

Synthetics continue their steady ascent. Improved technology has made fibres which fell out of favour in the Seventies, such as rayon, polyester and acrylic, more attractive to wear. They have become more hydrophilic (ie less sweaty) and they can be used in finer gauges, thus becoming more versatile. This is good because man-made fibres, whether from a synthetic polymer (such as acrylic) or from a natural one (such as rayon/viscose) are perfect for the slinky knits that are so big this season. Slinky knits and jersey knits are perfect for covering up less- than-perfect figures; but there are a few things to watch for. Firstly, look for Lycra in woollen jersey, a recent innovation that helps the cloth keep its shape (mostly used by designers at present but also by Marks & Spencer); secondly, some slinky knits can cling, so prevent this by investing in Marks & Spencer "Cling Resist" underwear (from pounds 5 for a waist slip from branches nationwide). As for wearing slinky knits, the rule of thumb is: if you wear a fitted top, wear a loose bottom and vice versa.

But do I really need a pair of edible knickers?

mail-order junkie

BOOK REVIEW / A taste for indigo linen

THE BEST OF FRIENDS Joanna Trollope Bloomsbury £15.99
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
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Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
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Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss