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Whether they're caused by hot summer days or hyperhidrosis, we can all agree that pit stains really are the pits.
I don't have hyperhidrosis, but I am on a high dose of a medication with sweating as a major side effect. Even if I wear the best women's deodorant, I'm still going to produce visible sweat stains. Unless, that is, I'm wearing the perfect shirt.
Much like there are shirts that work for all body types, there are shirts that work well for women who sweat. From tops made of high-tech fabrics to blouses with breezy sleeves and distracting bold prints, here's what I plan on wearing this summer.
- 1. Lock and Love Women's Dolman Top, $16, Amazon
With nearly 5,000 reviews and a four-star rating, this shirt has been vetted. Reviewers love it because the drapey sleeves fully cover the upper arms while allowing for plenty of airflow in the armpit region. It also has a ruched bottom that one reviewer says is a "clever way to help camouflage my stomach." It's made of a lightweight jersey fabric and comes in 38 colors. Choose from a crew, boat or v-shaped neckline.
- 2. Pack-and-Go Travel Top, $49-$69, Orvis
This wardrobe staple takes the classic white T-shirt up several notches. Not only does it have Polygiene odor protection, but it's also rated UPF 50, so it's perfect for dangerously sunny days. The fabric is so lightweight it doesn't wrinkle easily, and it dries almost as fast as you can handwash it. (It's also washing machine friendly). It currently has all five-star reviews and comes in a beautiful blue wash for $69.
- 3. Royal Robbins Spotless Traveler Blouse, $75, Zappos
This blouse is an investment. It's the piece that always has a place in your luggage. Thanks to its four-way stretch HeiQ soil release fabric, there's freedom of motion and you don't have to worry about stains or static cling. But the best part is you can adjust the sleeves from elbow-length to short. And there's a zippered-side pocket for valuables!
- 4. Patagonia Women's Glorya Tee, $49, Backcountry
I bought two of these stylish yet technical tees in 2014. I still wear them so often I sometimes feel like a cartoon character who never changes her look. And I'm not alone. The Glorya is so popular it's sold out at Shoes.com, REI and Moosejaw, among other retailers. What I love most about this top are the delicate flutter sleeves. The Capilene Cool Lightweight Shirt is another best-seller from Patagonia. It's the fastest-drying shirt I've ever encountered and boasts Polygiene permanent odor control.
- 5. Thompson Tee Sweatproof Undershirt, $27, Amazon
Today Liz Jeneault is the VP of marketing at Faveable, but when she was a news anchor, she wore this T-shirt under dress shirts, cardigans and blazers. She also wore it by itself. "As a reporter in Texas, these were key," Jeneault said. "One summer, I was pregnant and lugging around camera gear daily in 100+ degree weather. I definitely needed a special shirt to help prevent myself from looking drowned in sweat during live shots!" Featuring underarm pads equipped with patented Hydro-Shield sweatproof technology, Thompson Tees claim to "stop 100 percent of all underarm sweat."
- 6. Breeze By Short Sleeve Squad, $68, Lululemon
Though this shirt isn't part of Lululemon's incredible sale, it's a must if you want maximum ventilation. All but one online review gives this shirt five stars. My biggest complaint is that it comes in only three colors. Like many of Lululemon's pieces, it's made of anti-stink, four-way stretch fabric. (If you're looking for something less see-through, consider the Swiftly Tech Breeze top which features Silverescent fabric that prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria.)
- 7. Mammut Women's Calanca Shirt, $49 (originally $65), Moosejaw
Made of moisture-wicking, anti-microbial fabric, this smart shirt from Mammut is a great option for the hottest of days. It comes in three colors and features UPF 30+ sun protection. There's also a handy, hidden chest pocket.
- 8. Draped Faux Wrap Top, $35 (originally $52), Nordstrom
Originally $52, this top is more than 30% off right now. It's loose enough that the fabric doesn't rub up against problem areas, and thanks to the flattering wrap design, it's still pretty and feminine. It comes in seven colors and has a four-star rating from 146 reviews.
- 9. Icebreaker Cool-Lite Sphere Short Sleeve, $33+, Amazon
Once you've experienced Icebreaker's Cool-Lite material, it's hard to go back to cotton, especially if you live in a hot and humid region. It's costly (this shirt normally retails for around $80), but you get what you pay for. The fabric is a mix of merino wool and Tencel — a wrinkle-resistant natural fiber. This tee is so odor-resistant that one reviewer says she rode her bike while wearing it three times in one day, and it still didn't stink. Another review says it's "like wearing air."
- 10. Viishow Short Sleeve Chiffon Top, $20, Amazon
The tunic-like cut of this top is as forgiving as it is flattering. The extra-wide sleeves allow for plenty of airflow, while the chiffon material is about as lightweight as fabrics come. It's sheer, but you don't need to wear a camisole underneath. It comes in 11 colors and prints, and has a 4.1-star rating from more than 800 reviews.
- 11. Flounce-Sleeved Top, $10, H&M
This adorable top has several things going for it: It comes in solid black and fun prints (floral and stripes); it also has "flounce" sleeves, which don't constrict your shoulders and look flattering at the same time. Short slits on the side allow for better airflow. And, finally, it's made of artificial silk, so it's super soft.
- 12. Ruffle-Sleeved Linen Top, $18, H&M
Celebrity stylist Samantha Brown told me she often gets asked which shirts are best for not showing perspiration. Her tip? Look for natural fibers like linen, because they're more breathable than synthetics like polyester. This affordable top is made from a lightweight linen jersey and features cute ruffle sleeves. It comes in black, white, khaki green and beige.
For more spring essentials, check out:
- The best spring jackets for women 2019
- Cute, affordable outfit ideas for spring
- 16 best spring shoes for women