How to Manage Sweaty Days

Don't let a sweat problem ruin your day. Follow my few simple steps to avoid embarrassment and keep you cool.

Everyone sweats. But, on some occasions, it can get a little out of hand. Presenting, going on a date, attending an interview, or a speech at a wedding, whatever gets your heart rate up can also raise up your sweat levels. The last thing you want to be worrying about is sweaty marks. I've got a solution for you.

I know what I'm talking about. I'm a basically fit guy. I exercise, eat well and I sweat more than I'd like, especially in new or unusual situations. Sound familiar? If it does then perhaps like me you found that antiperspirant doesn't make much difference (apart from leaving nasty white marks on my shirts) and you can't always wear a jacket. You'll also know it can be distracting and a little embarrassing at times. So here's what I do for some basic sweat management.

Start by wearing a sweat absorbing undershirt 
If you've not considered wearing an undershirt before then think again. Undershirt design has really improved of late (in the UK we tend to call an undershirt a vest, but think of it as a technical vest, a vest for the 21st century). These days there a handful of really good undershirt designers, like me, using modern fabrics and good designs. Clever thinking around base layers, which used to be for outdoor activities like winter sports, is now being applied to office wear. However, there is a key difference. Unlike sportswear you don't want a sweat-wicking undershirt, you need a sweat absorbing undershirt. Why? Because you need the undershirt to trap the moisture, not wick it straight onto your dress shirt were it will mark. There's now more choice than the old cheap cotton three-pack from the high street store. Modern fabrics like bamboo viscose, model and mico-modal feel better to wear and are more absorbent.

Depending on how much you sweat that simple step of wearing a sweat absorbing undershirt could be enough. Some undershirts claim to be sweat proof, but really unless they are made of rubber (which would be an interesting choice for the office) it's unlikely they'll really be bullet proof. So if you are a sweaty guy, like me, you need another step.

Take a spare undershirt with you
I don't know why but I tend to sweat more in the morning. I wake up, get ready for work and then I start to heat up. If you recognise that you'll know that by say 11 am you'll be feeling pretty uncomfortable in the armpit zone. Now, if you are wearing a sweat absorbing undershirt you'll already be in better shape than without one. Even so, you will feel damp in the armpits and that's likely to get onto your shirt. So here's the thing. Take a break, go the men's room and change your undershirt. That first undershirt has done its job soaking up your morning heat. You can now slip on a nice new fresh dry layer and no-one will know. You'll feel better for it, I promise. After mid-morning, and for the rest of the day I tend to sweat less and, if I do sweat, the second undershirt takes care of it.

You can apply the same principle if you are running a training day, or doing a presentation. Take one or two spares with you in your bag. Change your undershirt just before your presentation or at a convenient break in the training. No-one will know but you. You'll stay sweat mark free for longer.

Those two steps make a huge difference.

What if you are a really sweaty guy?
All is not lost. Many undershirts, including one of my own design, have added sweat proof features. Some (of my rivals) built in a fixed sweat proof layer under the arm. That sounds good in practice but I believe there are some drawbacks. I designed an enhanced undershirt that allows you to fit disposable sweat pads (dress shields) so you can choose to wear them if you feel you need it. If you're like me, the amount you sweat varies depending on what you are doing. So some days you can choose to fit a dress shield (sweat pad) and some days you might choose not to. Because the sweat guards are removable (and disposable) you stay in control, plus they make the undershirt easier to launder.

Picture of a white Chester Deep V neck bamboo undershirt

What is the Robert Owen Undershirt Company?
I started the Robert Owen Undershirt Company because I couldn't find a decent lightweight undershirt in the UK. There are a few companies in the US but I was keener to get something British made, with a deep v neck so it wouldn't show. I couldn't find what I needed so I made my own. That was three years ago and I now it's a full-time business. Many of my customers are repeat customers (some many times over) because they too wanted the same solution. You are not alone.

What makes our undershirts different?
Our design is unique. The v neck undershirts have a deep v so you won't see them under an open shirt. We use a 95% bamboo viscose 5% elastane fabric which is lightweight, absorbent and super comfortable to wear with 20% four-way stretch. All styles come in a choice of four colours to help you more closely match your undershirt to your dress shirt. White is popular but not always the best choice.

We don't skimp on the fabric. The Chester design comes in classic crew and deep v  and has an extra long body for tall men who want an undershirt that'll stay tucked in.

As I mentioned above, our Oxford Undershirt is designed with an extra feature for sweat management. If you are a sweaty guy and you need a little extra help this design has you covered. Not only is there an extra layer of fabric under the arm to absorb more sweat, there is a pocket between the two layers designed to how a sweat guard (also know as sweat pad or dress shield) in place for added sweat protection. The great thing about that design is that you can remove and dispose of the sweat guard making the undershirt easier to wash and dry. Some of our rivals make their sweat proof undershirts with a built-in sweat guard, which is an OK choice but it does mean it's always there, there's more bulk to dry, and in our experience can be a little 'crinkly' because of the built in impermeable layer. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate any design that works and gives you choice. But of course, we think our undershirts are the best. In fact, I believe we are the best undershirt maker in the UK. But then I would say that, wouldn't I :)