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Fashionably Under Cover: Fall 2009 Vintage Coats Trends


As the cool air begins to whip about the city streets, we reach into our closets and dust off our coats from their summer hibernation. Seasons later, the colors may seem faded or maybe you’re missing a button. It’s not exactly how you remembered it.

Fall inspires change, from the color of the leaves to the coveted fashion trends on the runway. So, it seems fitting to honor and celebrate this seasonal transformation, both in temperature and apparel, with a new coat. Although if your wallet disagrees and you’re not longing to purchase a cloned piece of fabric from a chain store, you should consider taking a peek at vintage treasures tucked away on a rack waiting for their revival.

Vintage fashion connoisseur, Heather Waity, has made quite a name for herself in the Philadelphia vintage scene with her shop, Vintage Connection. Beyond winning Philadelphia Magazine and Philadelphia Weekly's 2009 title of “Best Vintage Shop,” photos of Vintage Connection were recently featured in “The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping: Insider Tips, Helpful Hints, Hip Shops.” With an eye for new trends and an old soul, Waity carefully handpicks each item for her store.

During her most recent fashion excursion, Heather was determined to return with a plethora of the best cold weather combatant and long lasting fashion statement, a coat. So I asked Heather to share a sampling of her favorite coats that represent the 2009 fall fashion trends (pictures of the following coats can be seen in the Photo Gallery on this page). She notes that fur, both faux and real, is a popular choice this season, “whether it's a full jacket or wool coat trimmed in it.” The tan coat with a mink trim offers just a hint of this trend for someone not willing to wholeheartedly jump in to the full fur piece.

Those immersed in the “Mad Men” culture will be happy to know that many of the styles from that era are popping up in vintage stores, like a wool yellow coat in Waity’s collection. She notes that one can achieve a true “Mad Men” look by “placing pins on the lapel.” And if you’re not sure what “Mad Men” coat suits you best, then pay closer attention while watching the next episode to see what truly catches your eye.

Beyond elegant fur and ladylike wool flashbacks, another trend that is dominating the runway and the streets is leather jackets. Heather’s “brown motorcycle and burgundy version are buttery soft.” Although if you are trying to achieve a look that is a bit more relaxed, you might want to opt for a denim jacket, a trend that according to Waity has carried over from the spring. This classic 80’s piece is perfect for chilly temperatures when lined with shearling, giving you a “laid back, cool look, [while allowing you] to stay warm at the same time.”

As you peruse the racks of vintage coats hoping to come face-to-face with a style that speaks to your fashionable soul, keep in mind that along with seeking out stylish warmth, you’re also practicing the art of sustainability. Heather notes that “reusing clothes helps conserve textiles which use a lot of energy and pollute the environment.” Sustainability takes on yet another meaning with vintage fashion, as you are not only prolonging the years of a garment, but also sustaining the memories that come with it. One can only imagine how many fall seasons that this coat has been through, the number of chairs it has been thrown over, or the amount of gloved hands that have sought refuge in its pockets. The next time you button or zipper your vintage coat, consider the fact that you’re not only supporting a seasonal trend, but also sustaining stories that live in every stitch. Just remember to make some of your own.

Vintage Connection

9th and Bainbridge Streets

701 S. 9th Street



Wednesday - Saturday 11am to 7pm

Sunday 11am to 6pm

Monday - Tuesday closed to bring new vintage weekly!