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Dress Shields: How to Save Your Favorite Shirts from Sweat Stains

Between the scorching summer months and stressors at work, sweat is an unavoidable fact of life. But when underarm perspiration starts to wreak havoc on your clothes and confidence, you need a creative solution — and fast. That’s where dress shields come in.

What Are Dress Shields?

Dress shields are underarm sweat pads applied to your body or shirt to absorb armpit sweat and prevent sweat marks from seeping through your clothes. Dress shields are not a modern sweat prevention tactic, but actually date back to the mid 1800s.

There are a few types of dress shields:

  • Pads you fasten around your torso
  • Dress shields sewn into your shirt
  • Adhesive pads that stick it directly to your shirt or skin
  • Pads that are taped, pinned or snapped into your shirt

Dress shields were originally used as an alternative to antiperspirant. However, for heavy sweaters, they’re an additional source of protection against sweat stains. When looking for dress shields or a similar sweat-blocking alternative, there are a few important questions to ask:

  • Does it contain sweat-blocking materialsNatural fibers like cotton and bamboo soak up moisture so it doesn’t show through your shirt.
  • Is it adhesive, sewn in or pinned? Always find out what you’ll need to attach the dress shield to your body or shirt before purchasing. If you’re a heavy sweater, adhesive can lose its stickiness overtime, causing it to shift and feel uncomfortable and may need to be replaced throughout the day.
  • How much area do they cover? Matching the size of your dress shield to your armpit area can be tricky. Do your research to find the appropriate size.
  • Are they reusable? While most dress shields can be washed and worn multiple times, some are disposable. If you're looking for long-term use, verify that it's reusable.
  • What do the reviews say? Always read real customer reviews before purchasing dress shields to make sure it’s the right option for you.

Pit Stains and Clothing

Most people think of sweat as a passing phase. Giving a presentation. Working out. Stress sweating when you’re running late. But pit stains and wet marks aren’t just a stressor in the moment. They can also show up as permanent yellow stains, ruining your clothing.

The first line of defense against heavy sweating is a strong antiperspirant, which not only masks the odor, but is designed to clog your pores to stop sweating at the source. However, most antiperspirants also contain aluminum. When the aluminum reacts with your odorless, colorless sweat, it causes yellow staining. The more you use antiperspirant, the higher a chance you’ll find yellow sweat stains on your clothes.

Will Dress Shields Work for You?

While dress shields typically work best for the everyday sweater — people who get small armpit sweat stains — for heavier sweaters, they pose a few problems. For instance, dress shields can:

  • Leave a permanent residue on your shirt. The adhesive on dress shields can rub off on your clothes, leaving a sticky residue that is difficult to remove.
  • Shift around throughout the day. As the dress shields soak up sweat, they become heavier. The heavy weight and loosening adhesive can cause them to shift throughout the day.
  • Become noisy with movement. Some dress pads are made with a scratchy material that causes embarrassing noises when you move your arms.
  • Cause rashes or irritation. Depending on the material and how you wear them, dress shields can become increasingly irritating after rubbing against your skin all day.

Most of these problems can be solved with dress shields that are native to the shirt. When dress shields are built directly into the shirt, it saves extra effort to clip, snap or sew it to your shirt and eliminates the uncomfortable side effects of dress shields.

A Better Dress Shield: The Thompson Tee

Instead of attaching a loose dress shield to your clothes, Thompson Tee offers a seamless alternative to sweat protection.

Thompson Tees are made from 100-percent premium combed cotton and natural bamboo, a high quality fiber that holds up through at least a year’s worth of washes and intense sweating sessions.

They also have a patented sweat proof barrier built directly into the armpit of every shirt. No readjusting scratchy dress shield pads or replacing them throughout the day. This lightweight layering system traps heat and moisture and allows it to escape as vapor rather than seep through your clothes. Because the sweat proof properties are native (not made with chemical treatments found in many water-repelling fabrics), they won’t wash off over time.

Unlike traditional sweat shields, Thompson Tee’s sweat proof technology stays put throughout the day, so you don’t have to reposition the pad or worry whether it’s visible to others. Most importantly, you eliminate embarrassing wet marks and pit stains.

Try Thompson Tee risk-free today.


Men's Sweat Proof Shirts


Crewneck / V-Neck / Deep V-Neck

Crewneck / V-Neck

Women's Sweat Proof Shirts


Scoop Neck

Scoop Neck / V-Neck