Cool unisex nightwear inspired by an exotic adventurer

P Le Moult’s classic cotton pyjamas and nightshirts hark back to an early-20th-century butterfly hunter

P Le Moult thick-striped cotton pyjamas, €208 with matching jacket
P Le Moult thick-striped cotton pyjamas, €208 with matching jacket

The haute-utilitarian designs of P Le Moult are the epitome of nightwear that’s chic enough to wear as daywear. The Paris-based brand produces a unisex collection in hardwearing cottons and poplins with the intriguing tagline: “The original nightwear of the world’s number one butterfly hunter” – and the backstory is a large part of the label's appeal. Eugene Le Moult was a naturalist, entomologist and author in the early 20th century; he spent his childhood years in French Guiana, where he began collecting and then exporting butterflies. By the time he and his family moved back to Paris in 1908, he had amassed the fourth largest collection of butterflies in the world and counted Hirohito, the emperor of Japan, among his clients.

Striped cotton nightshirt, €124
Striped cotton nightshirt, €124
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Cotton shirt with regimental stripes, €112
Cotton shirt with regimental stripes, €112

Le Moult also, it turns out, wore particularly fine nightwear, all of which was made to order and was handed down through his family, eventually ending up in the hands of his great granddaughter, Praline Le Moult. Having studied fashion at both Central Saint Martins and the Ecole des Beaux Arts Paris, Praline created a collection based around her great-grandfather’s cache of beautifully tailored pyjamasdressing gowns and long cotton shirts, using herringbones or more colourful Madras checks. The fabrics are sourced in India and the pieces manufactured in Jaipur. Striped cotton pyjamas (£184) are neatly cut with elasticated waists, or you can buy the tailored cotton lounge trousers (€110) on their own. The timeless striped cotton nightshirts (from €99) have Mandarin collars and side slits – and double as stylish day dresses for women, or work equally well with trousers for men – while belted smoking jackets (from €184) and the wonderfully named, striped-trim deck gown (from €216) are perfect for lazy weekends spent pottering and relaxing – or, I imagine, chasing butterflies.

Smoking jacket with feather stripes and piping, €242
Smoking jacket with feather stripes and piping, €242
Striped-trim cotton deck gown, €216
Striped-trim cotton deck gown, €216
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