It’s no secret that beauty is pain, but squeezing into the latest fashion contraptions could be affecting you in more than one way.
Clothing that is too tight, accessories that are too heavy or shoes that don’t fit correctly may lead to health issues down the road that you haven’t even thought about.
Check out the five wardrobe mistakes you might not even know you’re committing:
1. Carrying a Heavy Purse
Lugging around a purse loaded with stuff you might not necessarily need can lead to pain and strain. A consistently heavy purse can promote neck, shoulder, back and foot pain. Since women usually carry their purse on the same side of their bodies, a heavy purse can also change the way you walk, according to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.
2. Squeezing Into Shapewear
Spanx is every woman’s best friend — or is it? If you’re not grabbing the correct size in an effort to look slimmer, you could be hurting yourself in other ways. Sure, you’ll look great, but your internal organs could be compressed against your diaphragm, hindering your ability to breathe normally.
If that’s not discouraging enough, one study found that shapewear can also slow food movement through the gastrointestinal tract, leaving you more bloated than before and perpetuating a vicious cycle.
Tight belts, pantyhose and tight waistbands are among other culprits that could affect your body. If you’re still concerned about your body’s appearance, try a fitted jacket to hide any problem areas.
3. Wearing Constricting Underwear
Thongs and string bikini panties can boost anyone’s confidence, but the payout might not be worth the spike in perkiness. Tight underwear made of synthetic materials can promote bacterial growth, which can lead to all kinds of issues, such as vaginal yeast infections.
If you’re not open to more loose-fitting underwear, be sure to shower before wearing any tight-fitting panties. As always, make sure to change into dry clothes after swimming or exercise to prevent yeast infections.
4. Rocking Too-Tight Jeans
You’re feeling amazing about yourself, you’re ready to hit the town with friends on the weekend, so you slide into your favorite pair of jeans. You don’t care that they squeeze your body, because they show off your curves. But you might want to rethink that move.
Jeans that are too tight can affect the nerves where the jean’s seams lie, leading to Tingling Thigh Syndrome. While the temporary feeling of numbness, tingling or burning usually subsides, you should also consider the chafing the jeans might do to your inner thighs. If nothing else, the tightness could cause a decrease in blood flow to the lower legs due to the upper legs fighting overtime to get comfortable.
Instead, choose breathable jeans that allow for correct blood flow, and you won’t have to worry about anything but having a good time.
5. Wearing Pointy Shoes
Shoving your toes into a narrow, pointy shoe can actually wreak havoc on how you walk. Once your toes are forced to squeeze into a shoe for fashion’s sake, you start to increase pressure on the balls of your feet. This tendency can cause bunions and other health issues.
A 2016 study found that women who wear constrictive shoes between the ages of 20 and 30 have a greater risk of developing bunions later in life. While you don’t have to rid your entire wardrobe of narrowing shoes, try not to wear them for hours at a time when you do pick them out of your wardrobe.
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Tori Linville is a freelance writer and editor from Clarksville, Tennessee. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she’s faithfully watching her alma mater, the University of Alabama, dominate the football field.