Reader Question Answered: Sweat-Disguising Clothes

A while back, I asked my newsletter subscribers to shoot me some style questions they'd like to see answered. I got a bunch of awesome responses, and one I think everyone could benefit from this time of year is "what to wear when you're obviously going to sweat?"

Here's the thing: we are all human beings and unless you're super dehydrated, you're probably going to get sweaty, if only from schlepping yourself from the car to the AC again. So don't waste your time trying to stop sweating (it's not going to happen without armpit botox, people). Instead, let me share a few ways you can dress so that when you do sweat, it won't be a big deal.

I went shopping for you at Nordstrom & collected all my favorite finds right here. You'll find sweat-proof tops, dresses, layers, and plus size options all in one spot!

Strategic Tops

I've been on the hunt for sweat-hiding tops ever since that fateful day in 9th grade biology when I discovered my awesome oversized Gap v-neck was a different shade of kelly green in the armpits than the rest of the shirt. I soon conquered my terror when I discovered that certain colors, fabrics, and fits of tops are simply not sweat-proof. That magenta silk blouse you love? Forget it if you're a sweaty person. Every single bit of fabric that sticks to your skin in the summer will change an entire shade of color.

Instead, stick to the following sweat-hiding options:

  • Prints. The more complex the print, the less obvious any sweat marks will be. Plaids are awesome sweat-hiders, especially in multi-colors. More abstract florals are great too, as well as my trusty favorite: the stripe. Just be sure your base color is white or black, which won't show dampness as much.
  • Strategic arm detail. Check out the ruffles on the cream blouse below. They're perfect for hiding sweat behind! You can also look for lace detail or bold collars that distract from the underarms.
  • Dolman sleeves. If you have more room around your armpit, you're less likely to show any sweat, since your top won't cling so much. A great dolman top can be better at preventing sweat marks than a tank top, and you wont have to show your upper arms!
  • Sheer fabrics. You'll probably just sweat less, and if you do, it won't show too much AND will dry quickly.

(click on the photo to view each item)


Sweat-Proof Dresses

Basically, the same top theory holds true for dresses, but you can do a little more smoke & mirror action, too. A bold skirt can distract from the top of your dress, and adding fun jewelry can focus the eye away from your armpits as well. The dresses below are great examples:

  • Thin straps can create less sweat-hazards since they allow for more distance under your armpit. This dress's print is also great sweat camouflage print.
  • Embellished sleeves will distract from the underarm, and draw the eye towards your face (where it should be!). A cap-sleeve can also create a little added visual barrier.
  • A halter top with a bright organic print will eliminate any sweat sightings. All anyone will notice is your great shoulders and awesome taste!

Light Layer as Camouflage

I know, I know, the last thing you want to do when you're afraid of sweating is put on a layer, for heaven's sake. But sometimes it's a good idea to have the option, especially if you made the mistake of wearing a sweat-inducing top and need to look fresh, or if you have a profession that calls for covered arms and/or strong shoulders! Look for the following types of layers:

  • Short-sleeved and cropped. This type of jacket wont add too much extra heat and will look seasonally appropriate with a tank in summer or a cute longer sleeved blouse in fall. Bonus if it has a sweat-hiding print like this one does.
  • Unlined and printed. A lot of the unlined blazers and jackets you'll find are made from super sweat-inducing silks and silk-like fabrics, so steer clear unless they have a great print like this one below!
  • Easy & Breathable. For a somewhat more structured classic blazer, look for cotton ones. You'll feel less restricted and the stripes don't hurt here either.

Want More?

Shop my full catalogue of sweat-hiding tops, dresses, layers, and plus size items right HERE