Some of the key trends well interpreted in a French Connection way, housed in a lovely store.
- 52-53 Centrale Shopping Centre
Walking into French Connection with the trends in mind we can begin to tick some of them off, but it’s good to see the store take the season’s key stories and work them in its own French Connection way. A lovely eccentric mushroom print on a shirt and matching shorts, a washed-out tropical floral print on a pair of shorts, a logoed baseball jacket, a printed graphic T-shirt and a polka-dot version with contrast paisley-print pocket trim are all winners for spring. These sit alongside solid basics such as plain T-shirts, chinos in nine colours, casual unstructured blazers, simple knits and some neat outerwear.
The prices here are definitely at the higher end of Croydon’s offer, but French Connection does generally have the quality, through fabrics, prints and fit, to back them up. Its hero pieces, such as the mushroom-print long-sleeved shirt and matching shorts, are both £55, which seems reasonable. A 100% cotton printed T-shirt is good value at £25, while the more directional polka dot and contrast pockets only reach £30. Knits reaching up to £125 and a safari jacket for £190 do seem pricey, however.
This store is the smartest Drapers visited on this trip, with some charmingly inventive visual merchandising in the window. The store is spacious, well merchandised and spotlessly clean and tidy, with staff fastidiously keeping everything in line while greeting customers. Changing rooms are equally roomy and clean. While there is an area dedicated to Sale, which includes winter knits and jackets, these are well organised by size.