A photo of Jennifer Lopez in August of 2008 that earned her the nickname “Sweaty From the Block.” This does not have to be you.
I sweat like a beast in the summer. How can I avoid perspiring through my clothes in the heat?
Oh, hey sweater! I feel you. We sweaters really do have to manage our naturally occurring perspiration if we want to get invited anywhere other people are in the summer months. Fortunately they really are doing amazing things with antiperspirants these days. Also, fashion trends currently happen to favor the sweaty! So here are some anti-sweat and sweat-hiding things that might work for you.
You have to get this from your dermatologist but if your sweating really is That Bad, it might be worth it to make an appointment and just ask for it. If you wonder if you qualify, consider that people pop anti-anxiety pills like they’re eating a plastic tube of Smarties these days, so it can’t be that hard to get a slip for this stuff. I used prescription antiperspirant a couple of times and I have to say it is AMAZING. You only apply it once a week or so, but it really stops your sweating to the point that it’s actually creepy. (I guess if it’s not coming out under the arms, you might just be sweating more profusely in other places, but at least you won’t have pit stains!!!)
I have a friend who swears by this and has tried everything for underarm sweat-prevention, including Botox injections, which: creepy. Also: apparently they don’t even work, or at least don’t work nearly as well as a prescription antiperspirant like Hypercare.
Before you advance to the hard stuff, you should try over-the-counter prescription-strength antiperspirant. My fellow editor Anna North swears by the kind Dove makes for the summer. However it needs time to dry after application, so air the pits out for a few minutes before getting dressed and then do a spot-check of your clothes before you leave the house if deodorant marks aren’t the kind of fashion statement you want to make.
Alexander Wang, who is like The Hottest Thing in Fashion ZOMG, has been pushing oversized arm holes for a while now. In fact, he’s always talking about sweating and how sweating is so cool and how if he had a fragrance it would smell like “sweat,” etc. So I guess this is a man who knows this bodily function quite well! Anyway, many of his clothes allow the pits plenty of breathing room. If you want to hide a strapless bra under this stuff you’ll want to go for a style that conceals it as opposed to one with totally enormous, sideboob-exposing arm holes. I’ve had success with his racerback styles from his T line on very hot days. (His cotton things are more durable than jersey things, be warned.) But you can find plain racerback tanks anywhere, of course, if you don’t want to shell out for something just because it’s got a T by Alexander Wang label on it. And if you happen to be lucky enough to be near an Alexander Wang sample sale? Then you might want to stock up.
9. 4. Wear mesh.
There’s a reason athletes wear mesh: you can sweat right through it for no one to see, instead of into it for everyone to see. Naturally American Apparel has loads of mesh nonsense available. This sporty mesh tank top is reversible but has ginormous arm holes; to hide a bra under such a garment I recommend layering with one of the bandeau things they also sell. The bandeau bras come in loads of fun colors, so if you want a little surprise flash of metallic pink under your arms (and who doesn’t, really?) you can do that. They also make mesh mini dresses, maxi dresses, and tees that you can wear a bunch of fun ways without showing sweat marks. So remember: mesh! The poor man’s chiffon.
Scuba suit fabrics are on-trend right now, so it’s not hard to find cool things made from neoprene, which won’t show as much sweat as cotton, say. Also you have a great conversation starter: “Is that dress made of scuba suit?”
Who can actually get away with this? No one, that’s who. But what an economical way to dress for summer — Forever 21’s bikini tops are only $4.50 so not only could you wear a new one every day for less than the price of your lunch, but also you wouldn’t sweat through it (unless you have a really unique set of nipples, I guess). See?
No sweat stains!
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