Fashion can be a lot of things: exciting, transformative, communicative, and, most importantly, fun. That said, there are some facets of fashion that—over time—could damage your body and overall wellbeing. (Yeah, we know: not so fun.) We’re talking about the actual things you put on your body and the mindset you adopt for the sake of “looking the part”.
To explain which fashion habits could be doing major damage, we enlisted Will Torres, a health and fitness expert and owner of Willspace, a private training studio in New York City. Read on to educate yourself:
1. Teetering On High Heels
You’ve heard it before, but wearing high heels really is one of the worst things you can do for your body alignment. According to Torres, when you walk on the balls of your feet your torso tilts forward and you lean backward. This puts an incredible amount of stress on the spine and compresses its discs over time. What’s more, it can take weeks, months, or years of altered movement to feel the effects, like cramping in the toes and calves and pain in the back and hips. Luckily, though, lower heels are available everywhere—and they’re really, really cute.
2. Lugging Around That “It” Bag
The bigger the bag, the more things you find can put in it. And because, as Torres points out, you probably carry your purse on one side, the uneven weight distribution can cause muscle imbalances (like one shoulder being more developed than the other) and a slew of alignment issues (like one shoulder sitting higher than the other).
But it gets worse: Heavy bags can also cause neck, shoulder, and spine pain when your torso shifts to deal with the uneven weight. A solution: A few days a week, give your body a break, and carry a small, light bag that’s free of extraneous objects. We’re partial to canvas totes, leather pouches, or paper-thin backpacks so long as they’re generally un-stuffed.
3. Dieting And Striving to Look “Fashion Skinny”
Seriously restricting your food intake for the sake of looking “fashion skinny” can ultimately slow down your metabolism, which can cause weight gain down the road, according to Torres. It doesn’t help that fasting can cause you to overeat when you do dig in.
4. Adopting a “YOLO” Mentality
This motto can lead to tons of impulsive and destructive behaviors, from unhealthy eating habits to splurging on a designer bag that’s way beyond your budget. While it’s true that we only live once–and deserve to enjoy life!–your best bet is to make choices that benefit your body, mind, and wallet in the long run.