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6 Signs That Your Wardrobe Items Aren't as Healthy as You Think

Updated on June 7, 2010

Do you choose your outfits based on fashion trends or comfort? If your look tends to be based largely on what's "in" at the moment, you could be jeopardizing your health by continuing to wear certain items on a regular basis and it's likely that you wouldn't even realize this. Here are a few signs that some of the contents of your wardrobe may pose a bigger health risk than you might think.

1. Your bra doesn't fit you properly

An bra that doesn't fit properly can be more than just uncomfortable. As well as failing to support your breasts properly, an ill-fitting bra can cause discomfort in the neck, shoulders and back. If the bra fits too tightly, the material can cause irritation to your skin due to friction.

Many women have never had their bra size professionally measured and if you're one of them, you may not be aware that you're wearing the wrong bra size. Even if you've been professionally measured in the past, it can be worth going back to make sure that there hasn't been any changes since then. You may have to buy some new underwear to reflect this but it's worth the investment to know that you're wearing the right bra size for your breasts.

If you've had your usual bras for some time now, it's a good idea to get some new ones as they can lose their shape over time and become less supportive as a result. This may not be particularly noticeable to you in terms of look or feel so you may not realize that this is the case.

2. You wear high heels

For some girls, high heels are an essential on a night out. If you've ever stubbornly forced your feet into shoes that don't fit in pursuit of vanity, you're risking more than just discomfort. Ill-fitting shoes are common causes of unsightly corns, bunions and callouses but the risks go beyond this. If your shoes are too tight around the toes, repeatedly wearing them can cause your toes to bend as you're squeezing them into a space that doesn't really exist. If they're too small in general, your feet can become swollen and painful.

These types of problems become more likely if you wear ill-fitting shoes on a regular basis but you can limit them by investing in shoes that feel comfortable and are neither too small or too big. If you can stay clear of high heels altogether, do so.

3. You wear tight-fitting jeans and trousers

Wearing jeans or trousers that are on the right side makes you more susceptible to thrush. Yeast infections love warm, moist conditions and this kind of environment is created when you wear tight-fitting clothes on your bottom half. If you've ever had a yeast infection, you'll know how irritating they can be. If you're lucky enough not to have experienced the intense itchiness that usually characterizes the likes of thrush, ditch the tight-fitting jeans and trousers to make sure that it stays that way.

'Hipster' jeans that are low-slung can also be problematic as they can set off a nerve around your hipbone that makes your outer thighs feel like they're burning. Regularly wearing them can cause the pain to become chronic so you're better to wear a style that sits higher up on the waist.

4. You wear thongs

Thongs may avoid unsightly VPL (Visible Panty Line) but they're not the best choice of underwear for several reasons. They're not too dissimilar to tight-fitting jeans and trousers in that they make you more susceptible to yeast infections due to them fitting so close to the skin and creating a moist environment that is perfect for letting bacteria thrive. They are well-known or chafing your delicate areas and any cuts that develop could become infected, especially if you shave your bikini line and don't have much in the way of public hair to protect against this. Wearing a thong can also increase the risk of bacteria spreading between your vagina and anus. If this happens, you can easily pick up an infection such as cystitis (a bladder infection). Cotton underwear may be a less attractive option but it's far less likely to pose health risks and when it comes to avoiding thrush and cystitis, cotton underwear is often advised as a means of prevention.

5. Your sunglasses do not have UV protection

Not all sunglasses come with UV protection and this can be damaging to your eyes. Over time, repeated exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts and permanently damage the retina. Always look for sunglasses that offer good protection from UV rays (both UVA and UBV). 

The fit is also important as sunglasses that don't sit too far away from your eyes are less effective for offering protection due to the fact that there is ample room for UV rays to penetrate your eyes through the gap.

6. You have a large handbag

Big handbags (the type that end up being carried in the crook of your arm because they're too hefty to go on your shoulder) may be trendy but they're notorious for causing neck and shoulder pain and even headaches. If you're regularly lugging large handbags, there is potential for throwing out your spinal cord and bringing on muscle spasms and pain, especially if you're carrying everything but the kitchen sink. Limit your handbag's contents to the bare minimum that you need such as money, make-up essentials and your cell phone and leave the rest at home. 

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