Thanks to the towering stilettos being introduced this season, there were a multitude of models wiping out on the runways. Just check out YouTube to see some of the carnage.
But crazy-high heels aren't the only treacherous fall trend: Such fashion must-haves as sewn-on jeans, hefty handbags, and oversize jewelry can also play havoc with your health. "All that squeezing, balance shifting, and heavy lifting can really take a toll on your body," says Bob Emery, Dr. P. H., an associate professor of occupational health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Fashionistas need not despair, though. A few minor adjustments to this year's looks can keep you in styleÃ¢â‚¬” and out of the doctor's office.
"This year's heels are taller than ever and offer less supportÃ¢â‚¬” and the higher the heel, the more damage that can occur," says New York City podiatrist Johanna Youner, D. P. M. Over time, the extra weight on your forefoot can lead to pinched nerves and joint problems such as bunions or hammertoes (sexy, huh?). "I've also seen women who literally fell off their shoes, fracturing their foot or spraining their ankle," Youner says.
Fashion Do Stick with a two-or three-inch heel and a rounded or open toe. This will distribute your weight more evenly and make room for swollen tootsies. "Instead of spindly stilettos, look for wedges, platforms, or thick, stacked heelsÃ¢â‚¬”as well as a firm back or straps to keep your foot secure in the shoe," Youner says. For extra shock absorption, consider having a leather outsole replaced with a rubber one, and adding a thin gel or foam insole, such as Dr. Scholl's for Her ball-of-foot cushions ($7.50, drugstore.com).
"Super-skinny jeans won't crush your organs the way corsets did, but they can irritate your skin and trap moisture, which can set you up for a yeast infection," says Elizabeth Kavaler, M. D., a urologist in New York City. A stiff denim crotch seam can also cause pelvic muscles to clench (in an effort to "push" the fabric away), making urination difficult.
Fashion Do Choose skinnies made of stretch denim in a breathable cotton or linen, and make sure the seams are soft and pliable. When trying them on, take a seat: If you feel the need to unfasten, try another size or style. Looser boyfriend jeans or trouser jeans won't make you feel like a sausage in too-tight casing.
The potential side effects of enormous arm candy: a stiff neck and shoulders and a pounding headache. Carrying a heavy shoulder load also restricts blood flow to one side of the body, causing muscle strain.
Fashion Do With all the hardware, today's average bag can weigh 10 pounds empty. Look instead for smaller sizes in lightweight materials like silk, cotton, or nylon. Padded wide or short straps or longer straps worn diagonally across the chest can spread out the load on your shoulder. A bag with many compartments will distribute weight more evenly (and keep your stuff from pooling in one spot). And unless you want to develop a hunch, be sure to switch arms frequently.
Wearing doorknockers can cause the holes in your earlobes to stretch or tear. Once that happens, the lobes may not heal on their ownÃ¢â‚¬”then, to repair the damage your only option is cosmetic surgery (read: not covered by insurance) to remove excess tissue and stitch the hole shut.
Fashion Do "Limit heavy chandeliers to only a couple of hours at a time, and never wear them around little kids, who tend to pull on earrings, which can speed up the tearing process," says John Canady, M. D., professor of plastic surgery at the University of Iowa. If you can't give up bigger, eye-catching styles, try lighter hoops, mesh metals, and wooden or plastic beads instead of heavy stones. For extra support, swap skinny ear wires for post styles that come with large plastic backs.