How Tight Clothing Affects your Health

This is an important topic to note especially for women.  Particularly in today’s society where tight clothing and itsy bitsy cinching and push-up garments are on-trend.  When trends and new products come into the marketplace, we do not always think about how they directly impact our health or our environment but they can have significant effects that we all should be aware of.

What are some examples of tight clothing that can affect our health?

Garments such as girdles, corsets, shapewear, bras and underwear are of the most restricting; however our everyday clothing and accessories such as tight jeans, leggings, tank tops, and shoes can also hinder our health.  Additionally, tight clothing made of synthetic fibers can also affect us.

How do these garments impact our health?

Garments that are restricting such as corsets, shapewear, and most bras can cause strained organs, compressed rib cages, and serious health issues with the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems.

Bras evolved out of the evolution of the corset.  As the fashion of the corset squeezed the breasts and forced them upward, this look soon became the attraction behind the corset and eventually led to the design of the brassiere.  Little did women know, the vanity of wearing a slimming corset or a push up brassiere has a detrimental effect on one’s health.

Most women wear bras to support the breasts and prevent them from sagging; wearing bras however does the opposite of this.  Most bras are restrictive and do not allow the breasts and breast tissue to move naturally along with a women’s daily activities.  Because of this, the supportive ligaments surrounding the breasts weaken and lose the ability to hold up the breasts.  Ever heard of the saying, “If you don’t use it you lose it”?  This is what happens when the breast tissue around the breasts are constantly supported by a bra and are not able to get their daily “workout” from the natural up and down movement.  Additionally, the restriction from bras are harmful because the breasts are one of the largest lymph areas in a women’s body.  (The lymph is a colorless fluid which bathes the tissues and drains into the bloodstream.) The lymph is what clears the body of toxins and harmful cells which produce many health issues including cancers such as cancer of the breast.  If the breasts are not able to move naturally and stimulate the lymph to flow, these toxins and harmful cells build up and health issues arise.

The same issues arise from wearing tight pants, tops, socks, etc as they can cut off your circulation and hinder your lymph flow/drainage in your body.

As for tight shoes/heals, wearing tight shoes can lead to medical problems such as blisters or sores that can cause infections, bunions or hammertoes, corns, heel pain, toes that cross over each other (deformed toes), ingrown toenails, toenail infection, shortened achilles heel, swollen ankles, sore feet, complications with Diabetes, and athlete’s foot.

Clothing made out of synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon also affect our health as they do not allow our skin to breathe and detoxify.  Furthermore, these fabrics hold in heat; which in certain areas of our body such as those where we wear our bras and underwear, these areas are specifically important to keep a stable/regulated temperature.

What are better options of clothing to wear that is a healthier alternative?  

Obviously, looser fitting clothing is a better option along with clothing made out of natural fibered materials.  Natural fabrics such as those made from cotton (preferably organic cotton) and hemp are breathable to the skin and most natural fibers are also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  Additionally, wearing loose-fitting comfortable shoes that allow your feet to breathe is important in supporting your body’s structure as well as keeping foot problems at bay.


Hopefully, from the story above of how the brassiere evolved, you correlated a link with the fact that societal trends are not always the best to follow.  Before hopping on the bandwagon with the latest style, make sure that it is conducive to supporting your body’s structure, as well as its lymph flow and detoxification.


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Washing Instructions Label

Tips to help you learn how to read clothing labels – How to find sustainable, eco friendly garments

Do you get confused by some of the content listed on clothing tags and care labels? Just like food labels, there is so much to look for when reading clothing labels and tags. Similar to food labeling, there is required content that has to be listed on garment labels; of which can be quite confusing if you are not familiar with the labeling requirements. In this blog, I will discuss standard items you will see on labels along with what you should look for when looking for sustainable garments and natural fibered clothes.

To start, when reading the care label attached to a garment you will see the fabric content, garment size, wash/care instructions and then you will also see where the garment is made, who makes it, and possibly an RN# (also known as the maker or importer’s number) which is another way to track the garment to the business of the manufacturer, importer, distributor, or seller of the garment. You may also see all of this information written in multiple languages.

If you are looking for a more eco conscious garment, the main things to pay attention to on the care label would be the fabric content and where the garment was made. Look for fabrics such as hemp, organic cotton, linen, wool, silk, bamboo, tencel, modal, and (organic) soy; all of which are organic or natural fibers that are more sustainable for our environment and better for our health to wear.

Washing Instructions Label

Fibers such as Linen, Tencel and Modal are not clear what they are made from so you may not know that the garment is made from natural material when in fact it is.  Fibers such as Linen (made from flax), Tencel (made from eucalyptus trees) or Modal (made from beechwood trees) are all respectively fabrics made from these natural resources.

All of these fabrics are a healthier option than their synthetic fibered counterparts such as polyester, and nylon which are all chemically derived.

Another fabric that you may now see listed on a lot of “eco-friendly” garments is recycled polyester. Recycled polyester is made from recycled plastic which may be better for the environment than regular polyester but from a health aspect, wearing polyester is not the best fiber for the health of the skin. Polyester is not a breathable fiber as compared to natural fibered clothes. It tends to trap our skin from its natural detoxification process and hold in heat to the body rather than regulating its normal and preferred temperature.

Beyond fabric content, where the garment is made is an important factor when looking for an eco friendly, sustainable, and pure fibered apparel. The textile and manufacturing regulations are much different from country to country. In places abroad such as China, restrictions of how many parts per million of chemicals, formaldehyde, heavy metals, etc are much more lenient than we have here in the States. Additionally, areas such as Bangladesh are notorious for unhealthy work conditions and unjust wages.

When shopping for a new garment, it is important to not just pay attention to the labels, but to do your research before you buy. Do you like the company’s message? Are the garments manufactured according to the standards that you would like? Is it a quality made garment that you will get your wear out of?

Read the garment hang tag and packaging information or go to the company’s website to learn more before you choose to buy. Knowledge is power and supporting products that resonate with you and contribute to your greater health and the health of the environment will make a big difference.

Note from the Author:

There are so many brands and products to choose from. We are inundated with so many options that it can be overwhelming. It helps to narrow down the selections by becoming an informed consumer before you buy. Learn about the product; where it is made, what it is made from, research the company that made it, etc. to be more connected to the merchandise you purchase and feel good about the companies you support. Vote with your dollars!

The information provided and expressed herein is general information relating to health and is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. and Hippocrates Health Institute is not responsible for content written on this site or from contributing authors and makes no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate, or cure any ailments, conditions, or diseases with any advice or products(s).  The information provided in the site content has not been evaluated by the United States Food & Drug Administration or any other administration and is not a substitute for nor should it be misconstrued as medical or professional advice of any kind.  Please consult a qualified healthcare professional for a proper consultation and/or diagnosis of any health concerns you may have.  Ohganix takes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material, as the consequent responsibility for your choices and the effects they have on your health are ultimately yours.