No one buys Alexander McQueen aviator boots or Azzedine Alaia bondage sandals for comfort. But fashion masochists who insist on wearing skyscraper platforms are damaging more than their bank balances. High heels are public enemy number one on chiropractor Ross Currie’s fashion blacklist because of the damage they do to the pelvis and spine.
Heels change the mechanics of the foot, he says, changing the heel strike and affecting the knee, hip, pelvis and lower back. “Your pelvis tilts forward and that affects the angulation of the discs, putting them under a huge amount of stress.” This can cause back pain and even headaches as the persistent tilting of the pelvis causes the skull to change position. Currie recommends a two inch heel at the very highest.
He would also banish corsets. These are not a problem for an occasional wild night at the burlesque club but, worn regularly, weaken the deep muscles around the spine and abdomen.
Heavy handbags are also out. The demise of the it-bag has seen them get lighter but the average woman’s bag still weighs 3lb 5oz (about 1.5 kilos), enough to have an impact on the owner’s body. “Any time you lift weight over one shoulder, the shoulder muscles that attach to the neck shorten and raise the shoulder up.” Over time this creates low-grade stress to the neck, and puts it out of alignment. “I get a lot of women coming in with trapped nerves, muscle spasm, locked joints, posture problems. It is often their beloved handbag that is causing the problem.”
His final fashion bete noire is the bra that’s not up to the job. Gauzy lace jobs are fine for the minimally-endowed but “I see a lot of women who are heavy in the chest and, over a long time, they become hunched over. They need support, a bra that distributes the weight evenly around the back". After all, rounded shoulders, humpy back and a permanent headache are never a good look.