Sweaty armpit marks and sweltering situations can make us run to the closest air conditioner nearby, but the right clothing and fabrics will help you survive summer's hot curse. Whether you live in a humid climate or simply sweat no matter where you are, feeling hot and sticky in your clothing is always dreadful. Luckily, you can avoid that uncomfortable feeling entirely by wearing moisture-wicking fabrics, all while staying cool and dry regardless of how steamy your surroundings are.
Unfortunately, not all fabrics and summer clothes are made to withstand excess moisture, but after scouring the market, we were able to find the best clothing picks that do. From breathable materials and innovative technology that traps your sweat, these items are designed to handle wetness and perspiration no matter what.
What fabrics are best for moisture-wicking?
Certain environmental and weather conditions require the use of different textiles to keep the body warm and dry. According to a study conducted by the Synthetic & Art Silk Mills Research Association, some fabrics known to help fight heat, condensation and uncomfortable sweat are silk, nylon, Dri-release, merino wool, polyester and polypropylene.
These fabrics are known to pull away moisture from the body while regulating body temperature and evaporating the moisture. However, some of these fabrics don't have quick-drying properties such as silk and require special extra fibers for better moisture absorbency.
Which fabrics don't absorb moisture?
While some fibers like linen and cotton are super breathable, these are not great at absorbing moisture. Garments made from cotton are soft, but are not recommended for use as base layers as these retain liquid. Viscose rayon is another textile that's known to hold water by 13 percent in sportswear. Instead, you should look for clothing made with Lycra and polyester that are easy to care for and have great sweat absorption qualities.
To make shopping easier, Shop TODAY compiled a list of the best moisture-wicking clothing in the market for a sweat-free summer.
Best moisture-wicking clothing for women
The four-way construction of this shirt will help you to move around better. It's made from polyester fabric to allow moisture absorption and breathability during excessive sweaty moments. Amazon users particularly rave about its cool and comfortable feel.
With a combination of comfort and fashion, this tunic cover-up will make your summer pool days more fun. The printed dress features moisture-wicking fabric and poncho sleeves to protect your arms from the sun's strong beams.
Another comfortable option to wear on the trail during your run, this long sleeve top from Target comes in four different hues and features UPF 50+, moisture-wicking fabric and thumbholes to protect your hands.
Nobody can stand underboob sweat — that's why this bralette from Wacoal is as essential as your outerwear. The sporty piece wicks away moisture and is designed for low-impact activities. You can trust this bralette when your want to give your other undergarments a rest.
If tank tops are not your thing for the heat, you can stay cool and dry with this broadcloth shirt from Lands' End. The style comes in 10 different bright colors to match your summer wardrobe.
Whether you go hiking, swimming or strolling around your neighborhood this summer, these L.L.Bean pants will secure your legs and keep them dry when the heat turns unbearable. The pants feature UPF 50+ fabric and wick moisture quickly so you can feel comfortable all day long.
Cover up your swimwear in this chic cover-up from Columbia. The dress is built with UPF 50 sun protection and Omni-Wick technology that allows you to stay dry during extreme hotness.
For the athletic that needs to get in her daily workout, these leggings will keep you dry and comfortable through every session. The pants are made of an ultra-soft, quick-drying fabric that will make you run long stretches with ease.
This summer dress is affordable and stylish enough to keep you fresh throughout any heat. The style comes in four different prints and is made from UPF fabric to protect your skin from the sun.
These pants from Forloh will elevate your outdoor style, no matter how treacherous your trek is. The pants are lightweight to help you flex with ease and feature cooling minerals to keep you fresh through any heat. With a hyper-wicking fabric that dries the pants in minutes and antimicrobial properties, these are the ultimate pants to withstand any weather condition.
As one of Lululemon’s most popular shirts, this sweat-wicking top features a mesh construction for improved breathability. It’s also designed with the brand’s patented Silverescent technology which inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
One of the reasons this shirt receives a glowing five-star rating is for its buttery feel and stretch. The comfortable piece also comes with secret pockets and features reflective details in the lining to keep you safe in low-light scenery.
Not only are these leggings the perfect classic style for any activity, they’re also specially created to keep you from developing any dampness throughout the day. They also contain an interior waistband pocket that’s great for storing your phone during workouts.
Whether you’re ready to work up a sweat or relax at home, these leggings will keep you comfortable and dry. As a bonus, the four-way stretch fabric provides extra flexibility with every movement.
Bra sweat is, to put it simply, the worst. When you find one that’s able to combat all that extra moisture, it can feel too good to be true — until now. This sports bra features a flattering scoop neck design and a special moisture-wicking fabric that’s engineered to keep you dry all day long.
Athleta designed these cushioned socks with their specialized iWick fibers to wick moisture and rid your feet of any dampness — stat. Each sock also utilizes a mesh top that provides extra ventilation to keep you drier for longer.
Moisture-wicking and quick-drying, this hoodie will keep you warm and dry when facing low temperatures. This UPF shirt feels like cotton and the antimicrobial treatment will give you an odorless experience.
Not only will this moisture-wicking underwear be virtually invisible under any pair of pants, but they also tackle moisture and odor to ensure you feel fresh and comfortable with every wear.
Best moisture-wicking clothing for men
In addition to being sweat-wicking, these boxers are ergonomically shaped for the ultimate comfortable fit. Unfortunately, this pack only comes in a set of three, so you might want to buy more than one (yes, they’re worth it).
Created using sustainable materials and Nike’s Dri-Fit fabric, these shorts are good for both high-intensity workouts or a day relaxing on the couch. Either way, comfort is guaranteed.
Available in four different colors, this moisture-wicking polo shirt is a crowd-pleaser and designed to keep you cool all day long. One reviewer even called this shirt the “best golf shirt I have ever owned."
Need a casual crew neck for everyday use? This moisture-wicking shirt is the perfect option. It uses moisture-wicking technology to combat wetness along with a stretchy fabric to ensure a proper fit along the chest and body.
For a sweat-wicking shirt that’s on the classier side, try this popular tropical-inspired shirt. Not only is the fabric ideal for humid days, but the lightweight material will inspire you to grab some cocktails after.
The Omni-Shade sun deflector in this shirt disperses heat away from the body for a cooling effect while the Omni-Freeze technology activates a cooling effect that evaporates the swear. Because of these sought-after features, it’s safe to say this shirt a top choice for many.
This undergarment brand is made for men that want to beat the heat. With odor-resistant properties, friction-free support and a patented BallPark pouch, this underwear will become your favorite for any season. The briefs are made for any recreational activity thanks to their breathable and moisture-wicking fabric. Also, this is the perfect underwear for any sport and summer adventure.
This fitted long-sleeve shirt uses the brand’s DriLayer fabric that’ll keep you from getting too sweaty. It also has a pocket sewn into the shoulder for easy storage of keys and cash.
Created using polyester and spandex, this fabric stretches four ways for extra mobility. It also features a zippered pocket to make sure your belongings stay secure while on the go.
For more stories like this, check out:
- I'm an experienced runner — here are 15 running shoes for every kind of runner
- 5 must-have fitness essentials for anyone over 40, according to a personal trainer
- This half-gallon water bottle is all the motivation I need to stay hydrated
- 10 award-winning sneakers for walking, running and training
- Cute, cozy and affordable — why I'm wearing this Amazon romper on repeat this summer