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10 Tips to Stay Cool & Sweat-Free in a Suit

September 29, 2020 5 min read

stay cool in a suit

Sweating is a drag. Sweating in a suit on the day of an important presentation is an even bigger drag. Whether you’re feeling the heat from outside or your sweat glands are amped up, there’s nothing worse than feeling trapped under layers of fabric. Luckily, there are ways to stay cool in a suit and keep your professional image intact. Keep reading for our 10 tips to help you feel confident and composed in the confines of a suit.

1. Start with the Right Undergarments

The type of undergarment you wear can make a world of difference when attempting to stay cool in a suit. Some suggest skipping the undershirt altogether, but we respectfully agree to disagree. While it’s true that you will have one less layer to trap heat, you also risk ruining your dress shirts (and suit jackets) with sweat marks and stains.

Tip of the trade: White undershirts are more obvious under a white shirt. Instead, choose a pale grey.

Instead, we think the key is finding the right undershirt, especially if you are a guy who sweats a lot. Ejis sweat proof undershirts (buy from our shop or on Amazon) are made from high-quality materials and are designed to protect your clothing from sweat marks and odor. Their slim fit design and added length ensures they stay tucked in and invisible under your dress shirt… just like your sweat! 

Using the same logic, we don’t recommend going commando to avoid butt sweat. Instead look to Ejis sweat proof boxer briefs to keep your pants dry and your reputation intact. 

2. Choose the Right Materials

The type of material of your suit is a key factor when you are exploring how to stop sweating in a suit. Natural fabrics bode best because they are breathable and dry quickly. Cotton variations like cotton gabardine and linen are classics. Fresh alternatives to cotton include seersucker (imagine Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird"), solaro, and wool blends. Be sure to consider the weight of the fabric when deciding if your suit is for warm weather only or intended for year-round flexibility.

3. Opt for a Looser Cut

The current fashion trend is slim and sleek, which means there’s not a lot of opportunity for airflow between your skin and the fabric. We suggest a looser cut for your suit jacket and pants. By choosing a looser cut, you increase your comfort level monumentally because heat and sweat won’t get trapped. If you do opt for a more relaxed fit, be sure the suit is still tailored to fit your body to ensure a polished look.

4. Lose the Lining

Most suits are lined with synthetic silk to help you slip in and out easily and to keep your arms from sticking. As useful as that may be, this synthetic material can be a heat-trapping fiend. Luckily, there are suits available with varying degrees of lining so you won’t have to sweat it out.

Consider half-lined suits, which includes lining on the upper half of the back, sides, and sleeves. Another choice is quarter lined, meaning only the sleeves and upper back have lining. Or, you can choose suits without any lining at all… but be aware that your sleeve may stick to you.

5. Wear Summerweight Dress Shirts

Choosing the right fabric for your dress shirt is just as important as choosing the right fabric for your suit. When selecting a dress shirt, opt for one made from lightweight and breathable fabric to allow air to circulate and perspiration to dry faster. For example, natural materials like long fiber cotton or open weave fabrics are ideal. Need help with buying a dress shirt? Check out our ultimate guide for tips, tricks, and information about choosing the right style, cut, fit, and fabric.

6. Style to be Unbuttoned

Who says you can’t pull off a polished look without a tie? You don’t need to needlessly suffer through a staff meeting or happy hour mixer feeling like a pressure cooker from the neck down. Be a trend-setter! Simply keep your suit unbuttoned, undo the collar, and ditch that tie. This allows for much more airflow and helps to reduce the layers that are pressed up against your skin.

Tip of the trade: When wearing your dress shirt without a tie, choose a v-neck or deep v-neck undershirt.

7. Rethink Your Shoes & Socks

Consider swapping out your tight fitted lace-up shoes for fashionable loafers. Believe it or not, loafers are a lot more breathable than your average dress shoe. You can easily get away without wearing socks with loafers, or opt for no-show socks. However, if your feet are prone to sweat or smell, going sock-free isn’t a feasible option. Instead, choose dress socks made to keep your feet cool and odor-free, like Ejis dress socks. Our moisture-wicking dress socks with odor-fighting silver have ventilated mesh zones to improve circulation so your feet feel dry and cool.

8. Optimize Your Diet & Lifestyle

Making small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle can help you manage your internal temperature. One simple trick is to remove your suit coat while you’re eating because your body increases by two degrees while digesting. Fatty foods are good to avoid because they take longer to digest, causing you to sweat more. Instead, consider eating foods with higher water content, such as leafy greens or watermelon. These foods will help to cool you down.

Another tip to keeping your cool is to drink more water, especially if you are having an unusually active day or if you are prone to excessive sweating. Our bodies sweat more when we are dehydrated. By drinking more water, you keep your body's core temperature in balance and your sweat glands at rest.

wearing a suit in hot weather

9. Up Your Personal Hygiene & Grooming

Did you know that shaving your armpits helps sweat evaporate more rapidly? Hair holds moisture and this is no exception for your armpits. When you shave your underarm hair, there is less buildup of sweat and odor-causing bacteria. It also ensures your antiperspirant and deodorant makes direct contact with your skin, making them more effective.

You also want to make sure you're applying your antiperspirant properly. Believe it or not, antiperspirant should be applied at night instead of morning. By applying it at night, you give it the opportunity to take hold while you're sleeping before your body starts sweating again. (Typically sweat glands are less active at night.)

10. Augment with Other Handy Hacks

When considering how to stay cool in a suit, there are a few more nifty hacks to add to your arsenal.

  • First of all, you can trick your brain into thinking you’re cool by chewing mint-flavored gum. This tiny, inexpensive tip is perfect to practice when you’re commuting or working at your desk.
  • The second hack is to use a personal fan. If your body temperature runs hot, you may want to invest in a personal fan for quick, immediate relief. They come in all variations: a discreet table top fan for your desk or one that plugs into your smartphone.
  • To top it off, consider using a cooling chair pad for your times when you’re stuck sitting at your desk. It keeps you feeling fresh and relaxed in places where airflow is usually stagnant.

Whether you’re wearing a suit in hot weather or your body temperature spikes under pressure, we’re confident you can still look and feel fresh by following these tips.

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