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French Connection, Exchange Street

An improved offer in a slick, well-merchandised store. Shame about the service.

Product 7

At its best when turning out smart casual menswear with design twists, it’s good to see French Connection doing just that this season. There is a toggle-fastening shawl-neck navy knit, a navy wool donkey jacket with ticking-stripe cotton panels on the shoulder and denim shirts in mid blue with dark denim contrasts on the collar, pockets and placket. Tailoring is sophisticated with a charcoal glen-checked wool three-piece leading the way. A table is given over to superhero T-shirts.

Experience 5

A stylish store with clear merchandising that groups the product in easy-to-define sections. Veering more towards a smart casual aesthetic than the brash looks of previous seasons, this places the environment firmly back with its premium contemporaries. It’s an aesthetic that corresponds with the store design. However, the service lost this shop marks as two assistants loudly chatted,  ignoring the few shoppers.

Value 6

Inconsistent prices have some pieces weighing in at All Saints/Reiss territory and others a touch cheaper. At the top end, a donkey jacket is £200, wool blazers with taped lapels are £150 and both a heavy knit and panelled shirt are £70. More reasonable is a navy quilted jacket at £95. The few denim options are about £90.

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