Everyone does it — some more than others. Sweating probably felt great before we invented clothes. Sweating just makes your clothes cling to you and is very slow to cool you off. Sweating also can sadly wilt your style aesthetic. Sure, sweating keeps us from getting overheated, so we sweat when we’re physically active, like during exercise, and when we are nervous, like on a date or job interview. Sweat is your body trying to cool itself down, so logically, the cooler your body is, the less sweaty you become.
But if you live in a hot and humid climate like me, no matter how sweaty a person you are, you’ll end up soaked in minutes when outside. When the body overheats, blood flow increases closer to the skin, and sweating starts. Energy input is needed for the water in sweat to change to a gas (evaporation). In this case, the energy does come (at least partially) from your body. The energy from your body is transferred from the water, leading to its evaporation. This, in turn, cools you down, leaving you dealing with the sweat-soaked style aftermath.
I have learned in my adult life, after trying to hide sweat throughout various times, that who cares. Sure, manage it the best as you can, but embrace the fact that it’s hot as Hades outside and stop expecting not to sweat when the temperatures are sweltering. We’re ALL HOT. It’s sweat, it’s natural. But we can take some steps to mask, mitigate, or even stop sweating to some extent.
So, to the meat of this topic. How can you stay stylishly sexy amid the hottest part of the sweaty season? You want to wear clothing that breathes. Typically, these clothing items are made of natural material like cotton, which allows airflow to circulate from your skin to the outside of the clothing and vice versa. Breathable fabrics will keep you cooler and allow perspiration to evaporate. Also, look for athletic clothing made of wicking materials that are water resistant and wick sweat away from the body.
Some lighter fabrics are made for hot weather. Go for lighter-weight fabrics like linen, chambray, hemp, and summer-weight oxford, or weaves like seersucker and poplin. Some tees are made partly from merino wool, which is temperature-regulating, sweat-wicking, and odor-resistant. Try Uniqlo or Thompson.
Silk is a natural fabric, but it doesn’t easily hold up to moisture and stains. Although they’re made of cotton, two other fabrics to avoid are flannel and corduroy. These hot fabrics will cause you to sweat too much. Synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, & poly-blends should also be avoided because of their inability to breathe, thus causing even more sweating than typical.
Some sweating is expected no matter what, especially in the middle of the back and pits. A good undershirt can absorb and disperse sweat before it gets to your shirt. Try Uniqlo’s Airism series and Thompson Tees.
Specific colors and patterns can disguise sweat stains or make them less noticeable. Choose pure white, black, navy, and dark colors. Patterned clothing masks sweat and stains because of the pattern’s various shades and textures, which makes moisture less obvious.
Swap your cotton underwear for something more sweat-wicking, like modal, tencel, or merino blends. Swap ankle socks for breathable cotton no-show socks, and wear low-cut shoes. Also, use foot deodorizers, corn starch, baking soda, and charcoal odor-eaters to help eliminate foot moisture and odor. I also recommend rotating shoes, allowing shoes to breathe between being worn.
To top it off, regulate your body temperature before putting on clothes. For example, if I was doing something active, I cool off before showering. Then, I take a cold shower to get myself into stasis. I also don’t move around too much before putting my clothes on. These seemingly little steps help a lot.
A couple of final but crucial steps to being stylish in sweltering weather are to use deodorant and body & balls powder. Also, drink lots of water to control your body temperature and reduce sweating. Likewise, avoid drinking hot beverages during hot, humid weather because you will sweat more.
And one last note. When outside running and doing activities in the summer weather, I have learned to keep something like a hand towel folded in my pocket. When I sweat, I pull it out and wipe the sweat away so you’re not using your hand or sleeve. No one is going to judge you for wiping your sweat away. Just wash that shit every day because if you don’t, I will judge you.
Dealing with sweat can be very challenging, but you’re not alone! Take a breath, relax, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Sweat does not have to get in the way of living your best life. Just own it and figure out how to look good while sweating. It’s super feasible and will make hot weather style less stressful.
Above all, don’t sweat it (pun intended). Everyone is out there walking around and sweating, too. When you see someone else sweating, how long do you focus on it? 2 minutes, maybe? Then you go home and never think about them again. People do the same to you.