{Almost daily outfit of the day} Vintage skirts and compressed internal organ syndrome: an overview 5.2.12

Gap Outlet tee; vintage thrifted skirt; thrifted Banana Republic flats; vintage estate sale clutch; Forever 21 and eBay bracelets

Friends, today I would like to introduce you to a terrifying-sounding yet mostly innocuous medical condition called Vintage Skirt-Induced Compressed Internal Organ Syndrome, also known as VSI-CIOS. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, nausea, the inability to tuck in shirts, and confusion regarding whether the waist size of women in the 60's and 70's was as tiny as clothes of that time suggest.

VSI-CIOS is often a mix of two diseases:
  • Chronic Obstructive Denial: In CID, the patient insists on wearing vintage skirts with waist sizes that do not correlate with their actual waist measurement.
  • Compulsive Thrifting Disorder: Victims of CTD spend an excessive amount of time in thrift stores, despite intervention by friends and family to reduce this time-sucking behavior.
So far, researchers have identified victims of VSI-CIOS as female vintage enthusiasts with the confounding ability to sacrifice physical discomfort for personal style. You might get VSI-CIOS if you have a tendency to to spend an excessive amount of time in thrift stores, find yourself compulsively buying vintage skirts with waists that squeeze and pinch, and irrationally justify their purchase through statements such as "This skirt is Satan's handiwork, but I'm wearing it" and "OH MY GOD I CAN'T BREATHE...but I sure look cute."

There is no known cure for VSI-CIOS, largely because the sweet siren call of a great vintage skirt is hard, if not impossible, to resist. Attempts to come between a vintage enthusiast and her apparel should be regarded as potentially life-threatening and extremely dangerous. 

I confess that today I am a victim of Vintage Skirt-Induced Compressed Internal Organ Syndrome. But when the skirt is this great, I could care less.


  1. So so funny!
    That skirt is definitely worth suffering from VSI- CIOS. It's the cutest thing I've seen on ur blog and you have some cute things.
    Diana from http://thegirlwhocouldntbeafashionista.blogspot.com/

  2. So funny and true! Since getting into vintage (mostly on Etsy) I have noticed that you have to be relatively small/thin to find a decent selection. Most the time when I find something I like it is too small, and I consider myself to be a "normal" weight (whatever that means). I'm no Scarlett, but I have a pretty small waist and still I have trouble. Those women in the 50's/60's must have been tiny! My solution? Buy elastic whenever possible!

  3. Oh honey that skirt is worth all of the medical conditions in the world!

  4. My mom (born in 1938) says she started wearing a "panty girdle" (like Spanx) every day but Saturday when she was 12 YEARS OLD, and moved up to a girdle and stockings by high school. Her mother thought that the "support" was necessary for any "nice" girl's growing body (all direct quotes here!).

    I have no doubt that starting to suck it all in as a skinny preteen did have an effect both on body shape and posture.

    I am 44, and I can remember wearing skirts quite snug in the waist in the early 1980s--I think that was just the fashion and/or expectation about fit. I won't do it anymore! But I love your skirt on you--such a great print!


  5. Disease or not, you look fabulous. ;)

    I'm terrible. You're going to scream at me.
    Then resew the waist with elastic if I'm feeling ambitious.
    If I'm lazy, I just use safety pins. I consider it punk.

    Great post. Very funny.

  7. Regarding: "confusion regarding whether the waist size of women in the 60's and 70's was as tiny as clothes of that time suggest." I have a theory about this. And it's no, they were not, really. Sure there wasn't an obesity epidemic, and lots of ladies did wear some pretty structured foundation garments, but consider that this vintage stuff has been around for years (duh, I know, but stick with me) being passed down to others, pulled out of storage and being tried on by junior fashionistas of multiple decades, being sacrificed for Halloween costumes. The more easily wearable stuff- the bigger sized stuff that fit more people- got used up first. And the teeny tiny waisted stuff that only comfortably fit tweens and waifs? That got put back in the box, left at the thrift store, or lingered in the closet of the fashionista who could only wear them after a five day juice fast. So it survived, while the larger sized garments got worn to their ultimate, threadbare, ragged demise.

    Wear your skirt. I'm not one to say that a little discomfort isn't worth it for something you adore. It looks beautiful. No question. I'm just worried that the, "oh, those vintage ladies were all so svelte," refrain might be yet another pernicious my-body-isn't-good-enough-the-way-it-is negative programming message. Because they weren't. And we get enough negative messages without revising history to create our own. Just like in the store at the mall if something doesn't fit it's because the garment is the wrong size, not you- you're not some gargantuan modern product of rampant affluence and hormone injected chicken (although that might be a concern)- it's a small skirt and it's still here because hardly anyone could wear it.

  8. I have this syndrome...but have suffered without knowing what to call it!

  9. ok, literally, I have 2 goodwill skirts like this from 3 years ago in my closet now.... are you telling me that I won't ever get around to having them tailored? shit.

  10. Getting caught up on my commenting and had to tell you that you look AWESOME in this! LOOOOVE! P.S. Breathing is for pansies :)


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