Clothes have the capacity to make us feel great about ourselves. They can make us feel smarter, sexier, or just way more comfortable at the end of a long day. In the same way, poorly fitting clothes can make us feel self-conscious and physically uncomfortable. When we get dressed, we consider all of these things, from style, to weather-appropriateness, to comfort, but we don’t necessarily take into account what our clothes are doing to our body. Poorly fitting clothes, including footwear and underwear, could be causing us all sorts of problems that, up to now, we had no idea of the reasons behind it. Similarly, they could also be setting us up for physiological issues and discomfort later in life, and we don’t even know about it. Here are some of the hidden dangers, lurking in your closet.
Tight, figure-hugging jeans may give a stunning silhouette and basically go with everything, but they should be worn in moderation. The tightness of the waistband and the legs could be causing you all manner of problems. Firstly, you may notice after a large meal that the waistband can feel as though it’s digging into your stomach. This can cause problems with your digestion, as the movement of food through your digestive system can be blocked by the tight band. This is also the case for belts which are fastened too tightly, although it’s particularly bad for high-waisted jeans, as skinny jeans usually are. The pressure on your stomach and lower organs can trigger acid reflux as everything is pushed back upwards, which can be particularly uncomfortable. Try to avoid wearing tight trousers to dinner, especially if you’re eating late into the evening.
Skinny jeans can also cause nerve compression in the legs and groin, constricting blood flow to your legs which can eventually lead to muscle damage. If you ever experience numbness or tingling in your lower legs while sitting down, it could be caused by this. Lastly, tight-fitting jeans can actually cause infections in our skin. As the fabric is hugged so close to our body, it encourages us to sweat more, which in turn harbors all sorts of bacteria, causing problems like eczema and even ringworm. The best way to counteract this is by ensuring skinny jeans are washed regularly, almost as often as underwear, and that they’re not worn during any strenuous activity.
The obvious risk with high heels is that you topple over and cause damage to yourself that way, but there are other hidden risks too. The reason we’re always told to carry flats in our handbag when we’re on a night out is obviously because of the pain that badly fitting shoes can cause. For one night only it’s not the end of the world, but over a few weeks or years, repeatedly wearing poorly fitting shoes can cause lasting damage. It’s important to speak to a podiatrist if you notice any lasting feelings of pain in your feet, even after the shoes come off. Wearing poorly fitting shoes over long periods of time can cause bones to become shifted, and even an ankle muscle imbalance.
Flip flops are no better, as they keep your feet open to the air allowing bacteria and dirt to cover them. This, coupled with the fact that your feet suffer injury more readily when open to the elements and blisters are common, mean that all manner of infections are on the cards. Not to mention the resulting poor posture from wearing shoes without a back strap regularly, the heel pain, and the potential injuries your poor little toes face.
Poorly fitting bras
While it’s usually important to women to have pretty bras, we can’t allow that to overshadow the need for our bras to be functioning and comfortable. A poorly fitted bra offers little to no support, so our backs will really suffer. On top of this, a bra with a backstrap that is too tight can constrict our ribs making it more difficult to breathe deeply, and in severe cases can even cause nerve damage to the surrounding areas. So for the happiness of your back, shoulders, ribs and lungs, it’s crucial that you go for a proper bra fitting at least every year, if not more often. Our bra size changes our whole lives with our weight and our hormones, so never assume it’s just going to be the same year by year.
Not to mention the risks of bra underwire. While the idea that it might snap free from your bra and stab you in the ribs is probably unfounded, the underwire itself is usually contains nickel, something which many of us have a minor allergy too. Whenever your underwire breaks through the fabric of the bra, it’s probably time to say goodbye to that particular little soldier and invest in a new one – it’s really not worth the discomfort. If you just need the bra to make it through one more day before you get to make it to the store, use a fabric plaster to cover the end of the wire. This means you’ll not be exposed to the nickel, and you’re less likely to get that annoying rubbing sensation we all know so well.
The collars on our shirts, ties that we have to wear for work, or even choker necklaces could be causing poor blood circulation. As you probably know, a lot of blood has to move between our heart and lungs and our brain constantly to keep us alert and alive. If we have a tight collar or necklace on, that blood is moving through a constricted passage, slowing the whole system down. As you can probably gather, that’s not great for us. It can even put us at a much higher risk of a stroke. It’s easy to avoid, though, just make sure you can get three fingers between your neck and whatever is around it, and that the space doesn’t get much smaller when you flex the muscles or look up and down.
It’s amazing how much damage we could be doing to our bodies, just by the clothes we wear. The main thing to remember is to keep them clean, keep them comfy, and avoid anything too tight or constrictive.