Tuesday 20 February 2018

Health risk or not, I'll never give up wearing skinny jeans S

With headlines screaming about the potential dangers of wearing slimline denims, Vicki Notaro defends the only jeans she's ever truly loved

I've heard of being a fashion victim, but I never thought your clothes could actually harm you. Of all the clothing related injuries one could experience, I would have thought that skyscraper stilletto heels would have been the riskiest or perhaps a too-tight bra. But my beloved skinny jeans? Never. However, with the news this week in Australia that a 35-year-old woman was found lying in the street, unable to stand for several hours and subsequently spent four days in hospital, all because of her slimline denims, medical professionals have been takin against the popular denim style and making the millions that wear them aware of the potential pitfalls.

Doctors down under have issued a health warning about wearing skinny jeans, stating that squatting in them for long periods of time can result in "compartment syndrome". This means that the blood supply to the back of the leg is reduced, causing swelling. In the unnamed woman's case, her calves were so bulbous, the jeans had to be cut off, and there's a new neurological complicaion relating to wearing too tight jeans.

Now, I know I've beaten my body into slightly small skinny jeans on several occasions, but never to the point of medical danger - as far as I know. Yes, I've had to lie on the bed with my bum in the air to work them on over my hips, but I wonder just how tight this mystery lady's jeans must have been to cause such an issue, and how she didn't notice the ill effect it was having on her body before succumbing to the swell?

I for one won't be giving them up, health warning notwithstanding. Skinny jeans have been a wardrobe staple of mine since the mid Noughties, when I became too um, mature (and love-han dle ridden) for the low rise Diesel hipster denims of my teens, and have seen me through everything from job interviews to big nights out.

Depending on the brand, they can be the most comfortable of trousers, and in the right pair you can actually look skinnier. But shopping for them can be a minefield - perhaps that's the denim related activity that should come with a health warning. I've found myself locked in a changing room stuck with a pair of skinnies around my thighs, and tears of frustration on my cheeks. and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty.

However, finding that perfect pair is always an amazing moment, because I know I'm buying something that I'll put on for months to come, rain or shine, and always look decent.

Skinny jeans get a bad rap, when in reality, they're the most versatile thing I own. First, they were deemed the sartorial choice of hipsters, up there with beards, check shirts and unneccessary glasses. And sure, I've seen many a pair of skinny, male legs stuffed into a pair that perhaps shouldn't have been. A friend of mine once fit in to his girlfriend's size 10 Topshop skinnies, which was depressing on every level.

But for girls, they're pretty much worn across the board. It doesn't matter what style category you place yourself in, they'll suit you. You could go for skinny jeans that cut off above the ankle, a la Audrey Hepburn, or high waisted to hug your curves like Kim Kardashian. For boyish figures like that of Gigi Hadid, they cling in all the right places and show off a perfect pair of pins. So sexy or classic, tomboy or sporty, there's a pair of skinnies to suit you. What's not to love?

This season, the trend has moved more towards bell-bottoms and flares, but I never know what shoes to wear with those. With skinnies it's simple - pretty much anything goes, from heels to high tops to ankle boots or sandals.

And skinny jeans don't discriminate when it comes to age either. My mother adores them, and so do the discerning, style conscious teenagers in my life. I don't know if I could convince my 82 year-old grandmother to give them a go, but saying that, she'll try anything Marks and Spencer sell.

So, should we actually be worried about our health when it comes to our jeans choices, or is it simply a case of knowing when it's appropriate to don our slender denims?


Nina Byrnes



Casting my mind back for a non-idyllic skinnies moment, only one springs to mind. Cycling around Amsterdam in my favourite pair, I remember feeling a chill around the crotch area. In horror, I looked down to see that my treacherous trousers had worn around that particular area, and were know revealing my milky white inner thighs to the entire Dutch capital. Perhaps my own faul for wearing them to thigh-rubbing death, but mortifying nonetheless.

Irish Independent

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