Sometimes even the best clinical strength antiperspirants can’t keep the sweat at bay. For those of us whose overzealous sweat glands work overtime, wet underarm patches (and thus, stains) are a very real, very unsightly problem, especially when temps climb to all-time highs.
When you can't stop sweat from pooling at the pits, the best thing to do is take preventive measures and at least do your best to mask the situation at hand. That means, seeking out tops that make those embarrassing patches inconspicuous. "First and foremost, it's important to be sleeveless—for your armpits to be free," says Hayley Atkin, Hollywood stylist, calling out underarm sweat shields if sleeveless tops aren't an option. "Sleeveless allows your body temperature to regulate, and you're able to cool down when you can feel the breeze on a hot day."
Make that sleeveless and loose. Stay away from skin-clinging fabrics, like jersey, and gravitate toward breezier pieces that encourage movement and air. "It's all about getting the breeze to your body," Atkin continues. "Or what breeze there is." Lightweight fabrics cut from cotton, linen, and light silks can help with that. Even textured pieces, like knits, work, as well, which may seem counterintuitive, but Atkin insists that a light open-knit is incredibly breathable.
And finally, color logic applies here, too. The lighter the color (white being the optimal shade), the cooler you'll be, since darker shades tend to attract and absorb heat. "But definitely stay away from the color gray," Atkin cautions. "That's an instant sweat stain. White is definitely the least noticeable." But that's not to say you should stay away from color entirely. Integrate shades with busy prints and distracting loud patterns, which can help draw attention away from the pits.
We heeded Atkin's advice and rounded up 15 of the most stylish summer tops that work on multiple levels. Below, shop the best tops, grouped by category, that are up to the task of hiding any signs of perspiration.
Shop for Whites
Shop the pieces (clockwise from top left): French Connection, $70; frenchconnection.com. Topshop, $95; topshop.com. J. Crew, $60; jcrew.com. Rebecca Taylor, $225; rebeccataylor.com. Zara, $40; zara.com.
Shop for Prints
Shop for Textures