This is the story of a gentle woman who unaccountably steals a black chiffon nightdress in a London department store. She does not know why she has done it. She is a woman of honor, good family and sufficient wealth. In a frantic attempt to prepare some sort of defense in court the next morning, her husband’s solicitors call in a psychiatrist. Looking under the surface of polite and agreeable family life, the psychiatrist finds the motive in tensions that do not at first seem to be important.
The central situation is one that wounds the feelings of the innocent as well as the guilty. Once the black chiffon has been stolen, you cannot shake loose from the consequences.