Don’t Sweat It: How to Stay Cool in a Suit
Suits never go out of style in business — even when the dreaded 90-degree weather hits. Between your undershirt, dress shirt and suit coat, these layers create a recipe for embarrassing sweat in the summer. So like most businessmen, you might be left wondering how to stay cool in a suit.
But fear no more. With these 10 tips, you can look fresh in a suit all year long.
1. Buy Dress Shirts Made From Natural Fibers
Natural fibers like cotton are the best fabrics to keep you cool. But the type of cotton you choose also matters. Dress shirts made from long fiber cotton are more breathable, durable and softer than those made from cheaper, short fiber cotton.
By investing a little more in longer fibers, you also avoid that itchy feeling you've probably experienced with cheaply made cotton shirts. Next time you're out shopping, use these six easy tests to assess the quality of your dress shirts.
2. Choose Blended Wool Suits
If you’re worried about staying cool in a suit, wool might seem like your worst enemy. But wool is actually super absorbent and quick-drying — a perfect option for suits, sport coats and slacks. Plus, wool doesn’t wrinkle easily or show wetness like lightweight linen.
For more breathability, opt for clothes that blend wool with another natural fabric like cotton or linen. “Cool wool” or tropical weight wool is also a great suit option for summer. Looking for more fashion advice to beat the heat? Check out these tips to dress for summer.
3. Shield Sweat With a Thompson Tee Undershirt
Sure, ditching your undershirt might seem like an obvious way to cool down. Few layers equals less insulation and heat. But by forgoing an undershirt, you’re asking for sweat marks and stains that wear down your expensive dress shirts, especially in the scorching summer heat.
Keep your dress shirts looking newer longer by protecting them with a sweat proof Thompson Tee undershirt. The patented underarm sweat shield traps moisture and releases it as vapor —so you can sweat all day long without clients and co-workers having to see the evidence. Learn more about the best undershirts for sweat and take 20% off with code TEES20.
4. Keep a Portable Fan at Your Desk
When dressed to the nines in your suit, it doesn't take much to work up a sweat on the commute to work or when rushing from meeting to meeting. Keep a portable fan at your desk or in your briefcase to cool down on the go or before a big meeting.
5. Apply Antiperspirant Before Bed
If you’re a savvy sweater, you know that antiperspirant works better than deodorant at protecting you from sweat. But if you’re not applying antiperspirant at night, you may be missing out on some serious sweat-absorbing action.
Swipe on antiperspirant before going to bed (but after you've showered) to give the aluminum time to settle into your glands and block sweat all day long.
6. Rethink Your Eating Routine
What you eat — and the act of eating itself — affects how much you sweat. In fact, eating raises your body temperature two degrees, and as your body works to digest fat-laden foods, it also raises your body temperature, causing you to sweat even more.
Take off your suit coat when eating to avoid overheating. By skipping desserts and fried food, you can also keep your body temperature lower and your suit looking fresher.
7. Shower at the Right Temperature
There’s never enough time in the morning, so your pre-work drill might go something like this: Shower, get ready and rush out the door. By this time, you’re sweating bullets, and drowning in heavy layers of a suit doesn't help. So how do you prevent the inevitable morning sweats?
For starters, shower with lukewarm water. Extreme hot and cold temperatures disrupt your body’s heat signals. Cold water makes your body think you’re cold — preventing you from cooling down. To wrangle sweat even more, wait 10 minutes after showering to put clothes on.
8. Use Oil-Free Lotion
It's impossible to moisturize in the summer without feeling slimy all day long. Avoid this feeling by applying body lotion that evaporates quickly and doesn’t contain mineral oils. Aloe is a safe option, but if you’re looking for a more moisturizing lotion, try Shea Moisture.
9. Hydrate With Lukewarm Water
Like your shower temperature, drinking cold water will cool you down temporarily, but it also interferes with your ability to cool down. When hydrating, choose room temperature water to avoid excess sweating and look sweat free in your suit.
10. Condition Your Body to Take the Heat
Acclimatization is the process of adjusting to the temperature around you. If you avoid the heat, you’ll have more trouble cooling down when exposed to it. To better handle the heat and stay drier, set your thermostat a little warmer when it’s hot outside. That way, your body can more easily adjust to the hot outdoor climate.
Braving the heat on the weekends with a run or walk can also help condition your body to handle the heat when the work week hits.
These are just a few tips for how to stay cool in a suit. What other advice do you have for fighting sweat in the summer? We’d love to hear in the comments!