Clothes to wear when you sweat a lot
Clothes to wear when you sweat a lot
Looking for a way to dress well when you have uncomfortable armpit sweat?
Hey there, Elizabeth here.
As someone who struggles with excessive underarm sweating, I know how difficult it can be to find clothing that not only looks good but also keeps you dry and comfortable all day.
But don't worry, my pain is your gain. :-)
I have been struggling with this issue since before the internet was around (really dating myself here) and have tried a LOT of products and solutions.
But the real pain the sweat stains caused me was not being able to wear the clothes I felt my best in.
Here's why its important to feel good in your clothes. (insert link to blog post about enclothed cognition here)
It was hard enough dealing with the issue of sweat stains but to have to wear shirts and dresses with all the style of a potato sack was THE WORST.
In this post I am sharing my tips on how to find the perfect blouse for all of you who struggle with heavy sweating.
Click here for the most recent post on solutions for excessive sweating if your'e interested in reading more on other treatments.
But first, let's look at
Excessive underarm sweating 101:
Is there anything I can do about armpit sweat?
So there is an actual medical condition known as hyperhidrosis that affects nerve signals that tell your sweat glands to produce WAY more sweat than is necessary to keep your body cool.
But not everyone who suffers from excessive armpit sweat has axillary hyperhidrosis (the clinical name for underarm sweat due to hyperhidrosis).
Some of us sweat just enough to cause embarrassing sweat stains and leave us self conscious but not enough to warrant surgery or expensive recurring treatment.
Sometimes we know exactly what caused the sweat stain on our shirt ( our laptop crashed, the dog is throwing up and we are running late to drop the kids at school- and it's not even 8 am yet).
But much of the time, we can't even figure out why we have sweat stains.
Like an uninvited obnoxious guest at the party, those sweat stains keep showing up.
Regular antiperspirants and even prescription antiperpsirants do not work and leave us obsessing over our armpits.
An internet search (or thousands of internet searches) for treatments that alleviate excessive sweating and sweaty armpits can leave you overwhelmed by all the treatments that are available.
Effective treatments for "how to stop sweating" can be elusive and leave those with embarrassing sweaty armpits confused and frustrated.
Everything from antiperspirants, injections, medications, and even surgery is available (and this list is just for underarm sweating. There are other treatments that are out there for those who struggle with sweating on their feet, hands, etc.)
There is even sweat proof technology being incorporated into fabrics that promise to keep your skin and underarms cool and dry.
All of these options promise to fix your excessive sweating and get you back into your regular shirt in no time flat.
But do these solutions work??
So after all of my research on solutions such as prescription antiperspirants, sweat gland removal, botox, over the counter antiperspirants, etc., I realized a couple of things.
1: No solution was without side effects.
From dry mouth, irritation of underarms that cause me to itch like crazy, and simply forcing sweat from one outlet to another (for example, from my armpits to my back), I realized I would have to swap one problem for another if any of these were to be my final answer.
2: I didn't actually want to stop my body from sweating altogether.
After all, sweat is our body's way to cool off and detox, both important functions in our overall health.
I just wanted to block my clothes from absorbing the sweat marks.
I simply wanted a solution that didn't create another problem.
What I was looking for was a style that could handle my sweat glands.
So that is what we are going to talk about today, the newest sweat proof technology and how to dress to avoid the discomfort of underarm sweating and block the appearance of sweat stains.
Blouses that beat the heat:
Choosing the right fabric and fit to fight underarm sweat and sweat marks
Sounds easy enough, right?
But even this proved to be frustrating.
One piece of popular advice that always gets on my nerves is: "Wear natural fabrics."
Spoken like someone who has never dealt with this problem of underarm sweat a day in their life.
Natural fabrics, while sometimes more breathable than a synthetic fabric, still ABSORB moisture thus defeats my purpose of hiding sweaty armpits.
BUT technical performance fabrics, translation: synthetic fabrics, have come a LONG way in breathability, comfort and style.
Wicking fabric that touts sweat proof technology is super popular but only helps to wick away moisture, not block its absorption.
Plus its super hard to find in women's sportswear styles appropriate for the office or social events.
Activewear is designed for the gym and outdoor activity.
And as you may have guessed, I don't want to wear gym shorts for work or hiking pants to go out.
I want the performance of gym attire merged with timeless styles and classic pieces.
The best of both worlds.
(Which, incidentally, is how I came up with the name "Luxure" for Elizabeth Reagan's other collection- luxury styles meet leisure fabrics. I know, I thought it was clever too. :-)
So what was I left to with?
Option 1: Layer Up
How to create a sweat-proof outfit with layering techniques
I have worn an undershirt for years in an attempt to alleviate the sweat stain problem.
But do these shirts work?
Not only did it not help, I created sweat marks on two shirts instead of one.
But now there are women's undershirts that block sweat marks, so if this is a possible solution for you, go for it.
For me, it wasn't what I was looking for.
I tried them and while they were suitable for some of my clothes, there were some drawbacks.
1-I found the extra layer of clothing created more body heat, thus creating more sweat.
2-Many of my clothes are not able to be worn with undershirts.
A sleeveless shirt, a shirt with a deep neckline or a shirt with a short waist all showed an undershirt.
And I was back at square one of having to choose my clothes based on what would cover an undershirt.
Option 2: The Science of Sweat-proof clothes
How brands are innovating to keep you from effects of excessive sweating
There are constant innovations in technology that allow fabrics to have properties we couldn't have imagined a few years ago.
Some brands are using fabrics that have been shown to keep the body anywhere from 2-5 degrees cooler than when not wearing that fabric.
This sounded promising in the fight against excessive sweat.
Words cannot express how excited I was about this innovation.
Like, stupid excited.
But when I tried these cooling fabrics, I realized that either my body was more than the 2-5 degrees above the threshold for sweating or that's not why my body was sweating at all.
Imagine my disappointment.
But this is just the beginning with cooling and sweat proof technology in clothes.
I had some of my previous designs tested in a lab that was also working with Google on body temperature controlling fabric.
This puts me back at the old "I don't want to trade one problem for another one" conundrum.
I don't know about you, but I am not loving the idea of letting Google track my body temperature through fabric.
Too far Google, too far.
Option 3: Elizabeth Reagan
How to build a sweat-proof wardrobe with Elizabeth Reagan's No-Sweat Style collection
So finally I realized the old saying "If you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself" must've been born in a moment like this.
I needed a simple, low-tech solution to a simple, age-old problem.
I was looking for a way to let my body function in a healthy and natural way without ruining my clothes and embarrassing me in the process.
You know, your basic run-of-the-mill "I want my cake and eat it too," issue.
Except I like to think of it as "I want my dress and to wear it too."
Not only do I want to look great, but I want to be comfortable and elegant.
Put another way, I want to "Look Hot and Stay Cool."
I really don't think its too much to ask.
So I came up with a liner complete with underarm shields that is incorporated into the garment at the time of manufacture so placement and fit aren't an issue and you get overall protection, not just in the underarms.
Because let's face it, sweat shows up on our skin in more than one location.
Super hot days when one sweats a lot, backs and torsos show sweat stains too.
So I tested my solution out....in a sauna... at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.
And what happened after 20 minutes in the sauna in each of these shirts?
You can see for yourself in the pics below.
I even wore the standard button up for my first 20 minute sesh so when I put on the Elizabeth Reagan shirt, I was already sweating and had been in the sauna for 20 minutes prior.
By adding these liners to my designs, you can wear more colors and styles without the irritation of prescription antiperspirants, without the pain, cost and discomfort of botox and injections, and you don't have to settle for expensive surgery such as thoracic sympathectomy.
The picture below gives a graphic explanation of my liners.
Plus, you save your shirts from ruin and yourself from the embarrassment.
I have one of my sweat proof shirts for sale now and one on the way!
Check it out at www.ElizabethReagan.com and sign up for my newsletter to get the latest on when I launch the next shirt in the collection.