Exploring the Impact of Fashion on Spinal Health

Exploring the Impact of Fashion on Spinal Health

What to Do When Fashion Takes a Toll on Your Spine

One day, you may realize that what you wear is causing discomfort in your spine. This is when we experience the reality of the saying, “Beauty is pain,” more clearly than ever.

Items That Aggravate Your Spine

Back pain and spine-related issues are not unfamiliar. However, the cause of these problems often comes not only from our lifestyle but also from what we wear daily. Do you know why French women adore the “effortless” style?

Fashion vs. Comfort: French women have a reputation for their fashion sense, but what sets them apart is their preference for comfort. They don’t squeeze themselves into tight, rigid clothing. First, such garments make the wearer tired because they have to “follow” the clothing without being able to move or act freely. Second, ill-fitting choices add unnecessary pressure to the spine.

Fashionable Culprits: Some fashion items may be interesting and trendy, but unfortunately, they are not reliable companions for our backs. High-heeled shoes, tight jeans, and overly snug dresses may make you shine in the eyes of others, but they are also engaging in an uncompromising battle with gravity.

For example, a pencil skirt can cause lower back pain because it is often designed to be narrow, hugging the body, especially at the waist and hips. This can create unnecessary pressure on the spine and the nerves surrounding the lower back and hips. And it’s not just the unstable spine; our legs and neck are also affected when we wear ill-fitting clothing.

Not Every Fashion Trend Is Spine-Friendly

Fashion has always been a symbol of boldness and creativity, but it’s not always good for health. We often hear about heavy, overly intricate clothing on fashion runways. However, the impact of fashion on health is not limited to that. A clear example is the trend of wearing waist trainers. Few people know that waist trainers can be uncomfortable for the body. They can alter the body’s natural posture and create tension on the spine, causing back pain.

In the history of fashion, many trends have proven to be harmful to the body, such as the ultra-skinny trend of the 90s, the Edwardian-era men’s high collars that made men feel suffocated while sleeping, jegging (a combination of jeans and leggings) in the 2010s, which was proven to potentially cause yeast infections because it prevented the circulation of air around the groin area…

French women love clothing that creates a sense of freedom. | Source: Getty Images

Furthermore, some clothing designs can be uncomfortable or peculiar, hindering movement. Recently, there has been a trend of eccentric corsets with multiple straps around the waist and chest or wearing shoes with many straps around the calves. In the long run, wearing such clothing can make you feel breathless and hinder blood circulation. Especially many beautiful designs have materials or patterns that rub against the skin, causing redness and irritation.

It’s not just clothes; fashion trends also include body modifications, piercings, and many experiments that affect body parts, such as strongly bleaching hair, using unusual contact lenses, etc. Without careful research and safe practices, these trends always pose health risks.

The collar caused quite a few troubles for gentlemen’s breathing back in the old days. | Source: Pinterest

Choosing Health and Style

In an ideal world, fashion and comfort should go hand in hand. However, striking a balance between looking stylish and ensuring the health of your spine can sometimes be challenging. Here are some tips on how to navigate the world of fashion without compromising your well-being:

Prioritize Comfort: Opt for clothing that allows ease of movement and doesn’t constrict your body. Loose-fitting attire made from breathable materials like cotton and linen can keep you stylish and comfortable.

Footwear Matters: While high heels may look elegant, they can strain your back and alter your posture. Consider wearing heels only on special occasions and choose more comfortable options for everyday wear.

Don’t Ignore Pain: If you start experiencing discomfort or pain while wearing a particular item of clothing, don’t ignore it. Listen to your body and make adjustments to your wardrobe accordingly.

Choose the Right Fit: Avoid clothing that is too tight or too loose. It’s essential to find the right fit that flatters your body shape without causing discomfort.

Balance Trends with Health: Stay informed about fashion trends, but don’t feel pressured to follow them blindly. Be selective and choose trends that align with your personal style and comfort.

Regular Exercise: Engage in exercises that strengthen your core and back muscles. A strong and well-supported spine is better equipped to handle the occasional fashion-related discomfort.

Modern corsets, despite being a trend, are not always comfortable to wear. | Source: Medium

Achieving Style and Spinal Well-being: A Fashionable Guide

Humanity has a long history of fashion evolution, from primitive attire to the digital age of fashion tech. However, it’s essential to remember that clothing, from its very inception, was designed to provide coverage and protect the body. Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at your wardrobe and ponder whether it truly offers comfort or induces feelings of constriction when worn. Below are some tips to harmonize your wardrobe with your spine’s well-being.

Must-Have Comfortable Wardrobe Essentials

As per Vogue’s advice, to achieve an “effortless” and comfortable style, your wardrobe should include basic yet fashionable items. Firstly, consider owning a blazer—a versatile piece that instantly elevates your look and portrays professionalism.

When opting for skirts, choose column skirts with slits to facilitate movement. Next, invest in oversized button-down shirts paired with belted trousers—a comfortable ensemble that exudes style. Lastly, classic kitten heel shoes provide both elegance and comfort.

Spine-Friendly Fabric Choices

Remember to select materials that offer excellent stretchability and softness. Many people believe that certain fabrics like denim are not stretchable. However, modern fabrics are designed to provide better flexibility.

The question here is whether you are willing to invest a bit more for added comfort. If your budget is tight, opt for materials that are naturally friendly to the body, such as linen, poplin, cotton, and more.

Embracing Health as a New Form of Beauty

The concept that “healthy is the new beauty” may not be groundbreaking, but it constantly competes with other fashion and beauty trends. This article doesn’t encourage choosing between health and trends; rather, it emphasizes maintaining both simultaneously. Health remains the foundation that allows us to explore new trends.

For example, experimenting with new hair colors is exciting, but it’s essential to parallelly implement hair care routines to ensure the well-being of your locks.

Starting today, you can create a list with two columns—one for “trends to try” and the other for “necessary care steps.” This approach will help you minimize any undesired effects resulting from your experimentation while staying stylish and healthy.


Fashion is a form of self-expression, and it should make you feel confident and comfortable. While it’s fun to experiment with different styles and trends, it’s equally important to prioritize your spinal health. Remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your well-being for the sake of fashion. By making informed choices and listening to your body, you can enjoy both style and comfort in your clothing.

So, the next time you pick an outfit, consider whether it’s fashion-forward and spine-friendly. Your back will thank you for it, and you can confidently stride through life without the burden of discomfort caused by your wardrobe choices.

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