These 4 everyday clothing items could be killing you slowly


You might enjoy the smooth and slimmer waistline some clothes give you or the extra height you get from wearing high heels, but you need to know that some clothing items pose a danger to your health.

Medical experts have proven that tight clothes not only make you uncomfortable, but squeeze the life out of you. You’d be surprised to learn that some of your shoes and clothes are the reason you are on chronic medication to start with. 


It’s known that some clothing materials can cause an allergic reaction when in contact with your skin, but much has not been said about medical conditions that develop as a result of some of your clothes. It has been proven that tightfitting clothes, like skinny jeans and body shapers, put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your body, causing acid reflux, nerve damage, indigestion and heartburn, if directed to the abdomen.

Doctor Zukiswa Mqenge, a medical practitioner based in Johannesburg, says clothes can decrease your mobility. She says your shoe type can change the shape of your feet and cause deformities.

“High heels decrease your normal mobility. We weren’t built to walk on the balls of our feet, it means that you are doing an unnatural thing by wearing heels because we were meant to walk flat on our feet and wear shoes that accommodate our natural mobility,” she says, adding that people who wear heels on a daily basis cannot wear flat shoes and might tear their muscle tissue if they do.


Skinny jeans: Tight fitting jeans can cause numbness around your legs and thighs. Skinny jeans can also lead to the development or worsen a condition known as compartment syndrome, a medical condition that’s caused by the swelling and bleeding within your muscles.

Opting for a looser pair will save you the stress.

Body shapers:

The smooth illusion you get from a body shapers comes with a price. As it tucks in your stomach, it puts unwanted pressure on your internal organs. If worn over long periods of time, body shapers will give you heartburn problems and damage your nerves.



This type of underwear is closely linked with the development of hemorrhoids, a medical condition known as piles, which is the swelling of veins in the anus.

The condition causes discomfort and bleeding. The thin part at the back can easily slide to the front transferring bacteria that could in turn cause an infection.

Flip flops:

They are known to be comfortable, but because this type of shoe has thin material to cover your feet, it exposes you to sharp objects that could lead to injury or harsh sun rays that could result in the development of skin cancer.

High heels:

These shoes put pressure on your back, knees and spine. The higher your shoes are, the more pressure you are putting on the balls of your feet as they carry your entire body weight. Heels can result in the development of arthritis.


There are different views and opinions when it comes to style versus comfort. There are people who believe that freedom is wearing what you want, while others believe in dressing appropriately for your body size and type.

Humbu Vhulahani, an image consultant and owner of Man Made Executive Wear, a clothing store located in Johannesburg, agrees that we are living in an era where people don’t just wear clothes to cover their bodies, but to set a mood and communicate. However, the image consultant says you should find what works for you and run with it.

“You need to strike a balance between what’s in style and what’s comfortable. You also need to understand that some clothing items can be relevant but not work for you. For instance, you can fall in love with the most beautiful shoe, but not own a pair simply because it’s too high and you can’t walk in high heels,” he says.

He says different clothing items are made for different body types. He goes on to say slim people can get away with loose clothes, but says it’s a different case altogether for a bigger person. If you are not a small person, your clothes must be closer to your body, but not too close. He says you know something fits when you can easily move around and carry on with your day to day activities without any hassle.

Rethabile Lenkoe, author and social worker.  specialising in substance abuse and mental health challenges based in Bloemfontein, says if you look good, you will feel good. She advises that you wear clothes that don’t highlight areas that you are not comfortable exposing. “Being comfortable in your skin starts with you accepting yourself. If you are comfortable with who you are, you won’t feel the pressure to follow trends and do what other people do,” she says.


Wearing clothes that are unflattering, uncomfortable and tight can negatively affect your mood. Not only that, but they can also bring about long-term effects such as depression and anxiety. Most people develop body issues because in their eyes, nothing looks good on them, but Rethabile says there’s something for everyone. “It starts with sadness, and then develops into serious mental health issues such as an eating disorder and depression,” Rethabile emphasises the importance of embracing our differences as people.