Sweating is just one of those natural things that we all deal with when the mercury rises and the season turns to summer. However, there are those of us who are prone to heavy sweating, which is referred to as primary hyperhidrosis, which occurs when the nerves that are responsible for triggering your sweat glands become slightly more overactive causing you to perspire when you don’t need to. The Mayo Clinic points out that primary hyperhidrosis is partially hereditary. However, if there is an underlying medical issue, it’s called secondary hyperhidrosis. Some health conditions that may cause excessive sweating include diabetes, endocarditis, obesity, and generalized anxiety disorder to name a few.
Though you may sweat more than others, there’s nothing wrong with sweating as all us regular Joe’s (and Jane’s) do — in fact, sweating is good for you. It opens up your pores to release toxins and regulates body temperature. It’s just that when it happens on your way to work, at a party, or on a first date that it can be inconvenient and feel pretty gross. Fortunately though, your wardrobe choices can help keep your perspiration at manageable (or at least less visible) levels. Here are 3 great clothing options if you sweat a lot.
1. Clothing with natural fibers, including cotton, pima cotton, linen and tropical wool
If you’re prone to excessive sweating, carefully consider the fabrics you choose. Try working the following warm weather fabrics into your summer clothing rotation.
One of the most obvious, adaptable, affordable, and readily available of all of the fabrics that you already have hanging around in your wardrobe is cotton. In fact, it’s one of the most widely used natural fibers in the world and you’ve probably already worn it every day this year. What makes it so great for warm weather is its great capabilities, such as the plain ‘ol fact that it’s incredibly breathable. Cotton is very well known as a breathable fabric. That means it won’t trap hot, moist air between you and what you’re wearing. In addition, its moisture-wicking properties will actually help to draw moisture away from the body. It’s also lightweight, soft, and retains its structure.
Linen is probably one of the best known warm weather fabrics, in fact, you probably only associate the fabric with warm weather. Similar to cotton, linen is a natural fiber and equally adept to keeping you cool in hot weather. In short, it’s way too useful of a fabric to not utilize during the warm weather months of the year. In addition to its warm weather association, linen is actually a pretty strong natural fiber with staying power, so feel free to purchase linen pieces like a linen blazer that’s muted enough to wear for warmer seasons to come.
Linen has been around for a long time, which means its heat-beating credentials are pretty hard to beat. The main benefit of the fabric is its low thread count, which means fewer fibers and more of that breathability that you need when the temperature considerably rises. Its hollow fibers gain up to 20% moisture before the piece even begins to feel damp, which means that if you’re sweating profusely, you won’t get soaked. Wearing linen is the closest you’ll get to not wearing anything at all.
Yes, you read that correctly. However, it’s not the cold weather fabric you know and love, rather, it’s not as dense or heavy and it deserves a place in your fair-weather wardrobe. Tropical weight wool is woven less densely than cotton, and happens to be thin, and just as breathable as other warm weather fabrics. One really big reason to utilize tropical wool — it’s a great suit fabric. Just because the summer hits, doesn’t mean you don’t have to go work or not have to wear a suit (unfortunately). Most of your suits are made of wool, which happens to be one of wool’s main draws. It gives a sense of structure to your silhouette. Sure, your linen suit is going to look and feel just as cool, but it may be slightly too casual in a corporate atmosphere.
2. Wear darker fabrics
Have you ever been to a crowded concert or stood waiting for the subway and didn’t realize the guy in head-to-toe black was drenched in sweat until he bumped against you? Dark-colored fabrics simply make moisture much less visible, and bright white is actually equally effective at hiding sweat stains. It’s the in-between, light colors, that are bad news for those who sweat a lot. Light blues, pale greens, any shade of grey, and lighter hues of any color will show moisture right when it hits. So stock up on dark and white natural fibers for the warmer days ahead. When you’re looking through summer photos, or just genuinely wanting to avoid any embarrassment, you’ll be really glad you did.
3. Consider layering
While this may sound counterintuitive initially, here us out: All that excess sweating can not only lead to skin problems, but layering with clothing made of natural fibers like cotton, having them as the first line of defense against your skin is not only beneficial in protecting your skin and absorbing sweat, but it may also in fact be a cheaper option if you’re unable to purchase a new summer wardrobe. Medical and cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto explains to Fashion Beans that, “If sweat is trapped against clothing or fabrics you can develop problems with spots or folliculitis,” she says. Which in turn can introduce you to a whole host of skincare problems.
This means that your first line of defense is found in your wardrobe. Mahto suggests switching up your fabrics and layering shirts over a thin cotton or any of sweat-wicking fabric to keep any grease off your skin. Consider them a base layer that does the job two-fold: Absorbing excess sweat and keeping your skin clear and fresh.