sweat week

The Best Women’s Clothes That Hide Sweat, According to Stylists

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy HBO

Although Labor Day is quickly approaching, summer’s unofficial end (or its later official end, for that matter) doesn’t mean an end to worrying about sweat stains. Putting together outfits that can withstand heat and humidity is really more of a year-round challenge for many reasons, including hot offices, traveling, and living in a warm climate, to name a few. Wherever you are, you obviously don’t want to show up drenched in huge, wet blotches — nor, we suspect, do you want those to emerge halfway through whatever you’re getting dressed for, either.

According to the seven experts we spoke with — including stylists and bloggers, one of whom calls herself an excessive sweater — there’s a two-step approach to dressing for hiding sweat. The first step is finding pieces designed to keep you cool — to prevent sweating in the first place — and from there, looking for ways to minimize the appearance of sweat you can’t avoid. As stylist and personal shopper Dina Scherer puts it: “If it’s hot, you’re still going to sweat, and you’re still going to see the sweat sometimes. But there are a couple of ways to minimize it and be able to feel more comfortable.” When dressing for any hot place where pumping up the air conditioning isn’t an option, Scherer says to generally look for loose, breathable pieces made from natural fabrics like linen, cotton, and even silk. “Natural fibers always breathe more,” she explains. “They will allow your skin to get rid of the sweat as opposed to condensing it inside and turning it into a puddle.” Below, she and our six other experts share their picks for styles that’ll keep you looking cool — even when you may be feeling anything but. We’ve conveniently broken them down by type of clothing, to make it even easier to find the exact sweat-hiding garments you need.

Best undergarments for hiding sweat

Although it’s not on display to the world, an undershirt can be a workhorse in helping you stay dry. If you’re wearing a button-down or another top with sleeves, Numi’s undershirt will keep you free from unsightly pit stains, according to Valerie Halfon, a stylist and the founder of Shop With Val. She says Numi “patented a technology to help absorb underarm perspiration” and lines the underarms of its tops with a proprietary sweat-wicking material to keep moisture from showing though. “I’ve been recommending this product to my female clients for years,” Halfon says. Plus, “they’re incredibly soft and have a reversible neckline — crew or scoop,” that makes them easy to pair with any type of shirt. Scherer told us she likes Numi’s undershirts too because they’re seamless for extra comfort.

Like the Numi undershirt, this one uses anti-sweat pads under the armpits to absorb sweat before it can seep into your top. Maria Thomas, founder of the blog My Life As a Puddle and a spokeswoman for the International Hyperhidrosis Society, told us she suffers from excessive sweating and relies on Thompson undershirts to stay dry. “I do notice a little bit more thickness underneath my arms,” she says, “but it’s nothing that’s uncomfortable or would make me not want to wear the shirt.” These are also cheaper than the Numi top, making it even easier to stock up.

We’ve written about how these Knix shorts guard against thigh chafing before, but Scherer told us they’re just as useful for keeping your lower half dry thanks to their moisture-wicking materials. Thomas agrees that wearing shorts like this can help keep outer layers sweat free; she told us she’ll often wear similarly fitted men’s boxer briefs under dresses or skirts to catch any sweat that runs down her legs before it seeps into her other clothes.