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The Squeeze on Skinny Jeans: How Tight Clothing Can Injure You

Art is about suffering—that’s an idea held by some artists. In the realm of fashion, that artistic suffering might be too literal. It turns out that some popular fashion trends, like skinny jeans and gladiator sandals, maybe putting fashion’s cutting edge in the hospital room.

How Fashion Hurts

Earlier this year, it was reported that an Australian woman, after working to help a family member move for several hours, was hospitalized for four days thanks to her skinny jeans. While walking home after the project, she tripped, fell, and was stranded for hours. The skinny jeans had to be cut from her at the hospital due to all the swelling.

Slim Fashion Leads to Swelling

In an article by the Burlington County Times, New Jersey-based vascular surgeon Dr. Charles Dietzek discussed the perils of skinny jeans, gladiator sandals, and other restrictive pieces of clothing. Though the incident involved was out of the norm, it does, at a larger scale, highlight what happens to a constrained body. Skinny jeans make it so thick tissue surrounding the muscles, known as “fascia,” can’t stretch when it’s supposed to. This may cause injuries to muscles, vein walls, and nerves; it can even limit blood flow to the heart.

“It would be like wearing a tourniquet. The worst-case scenario could be the formation of a blood clot. That situation might need surgery, which is very intrusive and painful,” said Dietzek. “If you’re wearing something that hurts you, it’s not a good idea to keep it on.”

High-fashion gladiator sandals boast leather straps weaving all the way up a person’s calf; these items can cause the same problem.

Getting Fashion—and Health—Forward

People seeking to keep it stylish but strangling have options. Avoid itchy or stiff fabrics; instead, seek out skinny jeans with a high percentage of Lycra or spandex. These items will keep their form-fitting nature without risk or discomfort. “Jeggings,” a jeans and leggings hybrid,” are particularly popular alternatives.

Likewise, dabble in gladiator sandals that only reach part way up to the ankle. These still feature a classic, bold look without inflicting gladiator-Esque battle wounds. Also, for all sandals, slide your finger underneath each strap; if you can, you’re safe.

Fortunately for everyone, tight-fitting pieces of clothing are beginning to dip out of style. People can expect to look savvy without suffering in just a short amount of time.

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