Eight Items in Your Closet That Might Just Kill You

fembot from Austin Powers Franchise shooting sleeping gas from bra


Despite what some people may tell you, fashion choices are important. In an increasingly visible, visual world: you are what you wear. Celebrity CEOs hailed for their “uniform” clothing styles, like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs when he was alive, still rely on fashion as a vehicle for presenting their message to the world, even if that message is, “I’m a powerful person who makes lots of decisions. The last thing I want to decide is what to wear.”

We all know that people can make good fashion choices and poor fashion choices, and most of us know that style is subjective; just look back at Taylor Swift circa 2006 if you don’t believe me. And although you can live down an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, you can’t live down a deadly one. That’s right, I’m saying it: your closet is trying to kill you. Here are the eight items you should continue wearing with caution.

8. Shapewear

Spanx can make you look smoother and tighter underneath your favorite dress, hiding bumps and bulges that could otherwise upset that perfect silhouette. Like most things designed to give you an instantly “perfect” figure, shapewear is notoriously uncomfortable. And that uncomfortable pressure on your internal organs can cause a whole host of health problems, such as constipation, incontinence, blood clots, and esophageal erosion.

7. Ties

Ties can be uncomfortable, but the payoff — a professional and polished look — is usually considered worth the constriction. But even the slightest discomfort felt when wearing a tie causes a tiny amount of pressure on the jugular, which increases your blood pressure. If you only wear these items every so often, you won’t be in much danger. However, if neck-constricting items are your wardrobe staple, you may want to consider alternatives that will allow you to escape increased eye pressure and retinal damage.

6. Bras

People with breasts are generally required to wear bras in order to avoid being perceived as improper, promiscuous, or unprofessional. If your nipples harden or show through your top: woe betide you, you strumpet. This obsession with bras and propriety leads a lot of people to wear that particular undergarment at all times, even while sleeping. However, a very small study has shown that wearing your bra to bed can interrupt sleeping patterns, thanks to a decrease in melatonin production caused by pressure the bra exerts against the skin. Continue wearing your bra if you wish, but take it off when you head to bed.

5. Underwear

Despite what you may think, thongs and synthetic underwear aren’t made for all-day, everyday use. Thanks to how — and where — they fit, these underwear are notorious infection culprits. If you find yourself drinking more cranberry juice than normal, consider tossing out your cute thongs and polyester blends — or at least dialing back how often you wear them — in favor of the cotton panties your granny is wont to rock.

4. Cheap Jewelry

Nothing ties an outfit together like bangle bracelets or a cocktail ring. Since we can’t all afford precious metals, most of us buy big, sassy pieces of jewelry on the cheap. Costume jewelry can be incredibly versatile, but it can also kill you. Cheap rings and bracelets may contain unsafe levels of base and heavy metals, such as lead, nickel, and mercury. Although you’d actually have to eat your jewelry in order to suffer any ill effects from these elements, some products are treated with sprays that can be absorbed through your skin.

3. Flip-Flops

They’re a cheap summertime staple, but they can also be truly problematic. Without any real support for the curves of your feet, flip-flops can cause plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. They can even alter your stride, causing you to take shorter, more awkward steps even when you aren’t wearing them. An altered gait can damage your knees, hips, and back, so be mindful of how you’re stepping. As with all the items listed here, simply wearing your flip-flops less can diminish their negative effects.

2. Jeans

By now, I’m sure you have heard of the Australian woman who wound up hospitalized after her skinny jeans cut off circulation to her legs, causing permanent nerve damage. According to the Internet, about four people die each year due to falls sustained while putting on their pants. Although I couldn’t verify that statistic, it does seem to have some veracity. So be careful the next time you’re getting dressed, and be sure to step into your pants at a safe distance from your stairs.

1. High Heels

And coming in at #1 — though they may look fabulous, high heels are the most dangerous item in your wardrobe. If you wear heels regularly, you might be setting yourself up for major foot, leg, and back problems. Since osteoarthritis, sciatica, and irreversible tendon damage are no joke, consider leaving your heels at home unless it’s a special occasion. Trust me: your whole body will thank you.

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