There’s a scene in Titanic—set in 1912—in which Kate Winslet’s character, Rose, is getting tight-laced into a corset by her mother, who aggressively pulls the strings tighter and tighter, while her miserable daughter winces in pain. A hundred and five years later, watching that clip is like watching someone use a pay phone: outdated and not applicable in any way. Corsets? Ha! Joke’s on us though, because even if we’re not cinching our waists to the point of asphyxiation, we are wearing tight jeans, sliding into mules, and buying into statement sleeves—all fashion choices that are messing with our health.
New consumer research from the British Chiropractic Association found that five items in your closet could be contributing to back, joint, and neck pain, with skinny jeans coming in first. “They restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies,” BCA chiropractor Tim Hutchful said.
Oversize bags also, predictably, made the list—you already know carrying your life around on one shoulder prompts the body to shift unnaturally, which can cause muscle imbalances and alignment issues—but the rest of the fashion pieces are relatively unexpected and (annoyingly) in line with what we’re seeing in stores right now: Asymmetric hemlines, oversize sleeves, coats with giant hoods, both high heels and backless shoes, and large jewelry can also contribute to body pain, according to Hutchful.
Mules, one of the season’s most ubiquitous trends, are an especially egregious offender since there’s no support at the back of the foot, which increases strain on the legs and lower back (not that it’s stopping us from wearing them; 20 percent of women surveyed said they’re a fan of the shoe style.) Heavy jewelry, such as statement necklaces, also increase pressure on the neck and can screw with your posture.
Because you’re not going to shelve pieces you love, the key here is moderation: Hutchful suggests being selective about how often you wear supertight jeans, high heels, and voluminous items every week so you’re giving your body a break. A backpack also might come in handy on days when you have a lot to lug.
In case you’re interested, here are the top five wardrobe offenders, as per the BCA: