Not everyone wants to indulge in autumn’s trends to Anna Dello Russo proportions. For the understated and economical buyer who likes to get maximum wear out of every piece – for the believer in the philosophy of the curated wardrobe – it’s all about picking pieces that echo the trends but also last beyond them.

For a balance of quality and price, you’d do well to check out the autumn 2012 range from French Connection (frenchconnection.com). Featuring many an on-trend update on classic styles, they’re the kind of subtle pieces that’ll withstand the test of time. Here are three top picks.

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Sultan silk classic shirt

You might say 2012 is the year of the print. But while kaleidoscopic digital prints and intricate florals may be perfect for spring, autumn calls for something a little more complimentary to the colours and textures of the season. Like this bohemian paisley, which would work brilliantly with a high-waisted pencil skirt, cropped cigarette pants, or even daring short shorts. Layer it under a knit and coat for those chilly days.

More: Sultan silk classic shirt.

Lucky Wishes double breasted coat

Nothing oozes effortless chic quite like a gently oversized blazer. Throw it over skinny pants, roll up the sleeves, and you’ve got an androgynous look that’s basically fail safe. To mix it up, contrast with something utterly feminine, like a soft blouse and silk skirt.

More: Lucky Wishes double breasted coat.

Let It Be rock jacket

If you haven’t already noticed, studs are back. This time around the best interpretation is the most subtle – i.e, forget the deadly spikes and stick to a sprinkling of metal. French Connection’s Let It Be Rock Jacket is a prime example: it’s got the edge of toughness without going over the top.

More: Let It Be rock jacket.

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