How To Combat Sweat (without Compromising Your Style)

If you were outside this past week, you know the humid D.C. summer has officially arrived. The question isn’t if you will sweat…it’s how much will you sweat. When I dress my clients, I am not just about putting together a flattering, stylish look. I am even more about how that look functions for that person in daily life.

When it comes to sweat, we want to preserve the quality and integrity of the clothing you invest in. Sweat stains and visible sweat marks are a very common wardrobe issue we tackle with our clients. Here are some easy ways to manage sweat during these sweltering summer months.


Black and White 

Be mindful of the color you wear. The colors that show sweat the least are on opposite sides of the color spectrum: all the way light like a petal pink and white or all the way dark like black, navy, or charcoal. You can also do a bold pattern to distract from sweat marks. For example, a fun, bold plaid in richer colors hides sweat.


Breathable Materials vs Technical Fabrics

So there are two schools of thought with the best fabric for this time of year. The question you want to ask yourself is…are you trying to stay as cool as possible or are you trying to bypass turning into a sweaty mess in your clothing?

If you are trying to stay cool and sweat less, natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and even a very light wool have been better than synthetic fabrics because they breathe better. Linen is the lightest of the three fabrics and will probably make you feel “cooler,” and light wool, like merino, helps transfer heat away from the body to provide a cooling effect. And of course, 100 percent cotton is a good choice because it’s breathable. However, the downside is that “breathability” means the fabric absorbs moisture.

If your answer is that you need to avoid sweaty clothing, sweat-wicking technical fabrics are your friend. Think workout gear. Wicking fabric pulls moisture from the body to the exterior of the shirt where it can evaporate more easily.


Go Big or Go Home

Go for silhouettes that have a little more volume, drape, or stand off the body instead of cling. Some examples are a cropped wide leg pant, a boxy button-down, or a shift-style t-shirt dress. This will allow for more circulation and breathability.


Outfits, shoes, and accessories, The Hive & The Shoe Hive
Photography by Emma McAlary | Modeling and styling by Marisa Gonzalez


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Founder, Chief Stylist | DC Style Factory
Rosana has 18 years of fashion and retail experience. Her team has worked on more than 1,500 closets and wardrobes since she launched DC Style Factory 10 years ago. She has been featured by the New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Washingtonian Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, and more. Her clients include U.S. politicians, lobbyists, authors, lawyers, and corporate executives.

DC Style Factory is a personal shopping and styling service for men and women looking to add polish and individuality to their wardrobes. We believe personal style is for anyone who wants it — regardless of age, size or budget.

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