If looks could kill is one thing, but what if style itself could be the killer? A look back at history shows how people were dying to be trendy.

Dressing for success can be expensive. The price for being fashionable has never been cheap, but throughout history humans have gone to great lengths and put their bodies through enormous strain to sport a look that makes them stand out in a crowd. It’s been happening for centuries and continues to this day, although the argument can be made the fashion industry is doing a much better job avoiding things like lead in their makeup and flammable materials in their dresses.

Today, tight-pants syndrome (yes, it’s medical terminology dating back to 1993) seems to pale in comparison to aristocrats in Elizabethan times purposely letting their teeth rot to prove to the huddled masses they were wealthy enough to afford sugar. The corset has been around since the 1500s, although before the start of the 19th century it was more commonly known as a bodice. It was ridiculously uncomfortable and didn’t do those that wore them any favors when it came to not having their abdominal innards crushed. The corset is still around today, with the Kardashian girls singing the garment’s praises for helping to “train” their waists. Corsets still don’t do the wearer’s ribs much good and make breathing difficult, but when you want to look good today you can’t sweat the details…

Story by Jay Moon