Testing Our New Sweat Block Design, as Best Man at a Wedding

We've designed a new sweat block undershirt. I took our prototype on a road test, as the best man at my mates' wedding. Here's how it went.

picture of best man and groom talking at a wedding

It's four in the afternoon. The starters are done, and the wedding party has settled into customary chit-chat between the courses. The wine is starting to flow. Everyone is settled - everyone it seems but me.

You can imagine the feelings. Will the speech land OK, can I do it justice? But I'm not evening thinking about that right now.

Instead, I've got just two thoughts battling for supremacy. One is "Christ it's warm, and I'd really love to take my jacket off" the other is "it's too late mate, you are already sweaty, you've just gotta keep your jacket on and deal with it".

This is not what I need, not at all.

The chit-chat rolls on. I tap my trouser pocket for the notes I already know are there. Blimey, I'm getting hotter. "Is this room getting hotter?" I think to myself "Take your jacket off" say's my mind-reading girlfriend. I look up, I am in fact the only chap still wearing one. Damn it. If only …

You see, sweat has always been an issue for me, especially when I'm nervous. I naturally run hot anyway, and adrenaline only makes it worse. However today I have an ace up my sleeve - literally. Today I am road-testing the new sweat-block undershirt design. A prototype that is fresh from the design-lab with some nifty built-in sweat-blocking fabric under the arm.

OK - time for the truth - I've cracked, I've got to take my jacket off and see how this baby has performed—time for a quick exit to the gents.

In front of the posh hotel mirrors, I whip off my jacket. Ta-da - Nothing! I lift up each arm tentatively looking for the telltale dark patch under the arm. Nothing! Wow.

I know I'm sweating for sure. But it's going straight into my undershirt, so there's no visible sign on the dress shirt, even under the arms. I check again just to make sure... Still, nothing. This is great (queue embarrassing fist pump).

I must admit to a little swagger as I returned to the wedding party. No jacket, no problem.

OK, not long till showtime. A reassuring tap of my trouser pocket and I smile. Bring it on.

About the design

This new Oxford Sweat Block undershirt is a revved-up version of the current Sweat Protect Design. The most significant improvement is the incorporation of a sweat-blocking layer built into the armpit zone. This zone has also been widened in the new design.

The fabric is the same bamboo viscose that performs so well in the existing shirt. That fabric absorbs regular sweat really well. The difference is that the water-impermeable layer blocks the excessive perspiration you often get under your armpits. It's that new layer which makes all the difference.

How it works

The fabric captures your sweat, then allows it to evaporate over time, creating a cooling effect - imagine wearing a wet tee shirt but less so. When I took my jacket off in the gents, I gave the undershirt a bit more room to breath and thus allowed the evaporation cooling process to begin.

The magic is in the bamboo viscose fabric, which is highly absorbent. It captures sweat and spreads it out across the fibres of the material. In effect, it dilutes it, so there's not enough to make a mark on your outer shirt.

This works well over most of your torso, but under the arms, if the sweating is rapid, it can soak the material and so form a pit stain. The bamboo fabric is literally overwhelmed. That's why the new water-impermeable layer makes such a difference. It literally blocks the excessive armpit sweat from reaching your dress shirt. It prevents embarrassing pit stains, no matter how sweaty you get. Yes, you'll still feel a bit sweaty under your arm, but it won't show. No one will know, but you.

Best of all, you can take your jacket off, confident there'll be no pit stains and allow the evaporation and cooling to kick in.

This design is now on sale.