Man Repeller's Managing Editor Tests Sweat Levels for Different Shirts
I Put 4 “Sweat-Proof” Shirts to the New York City Summer Test
07.20.18

I’m a sweaty person. Not to the point where I’ve seriously considered getting Botox in my head or arms or whatever, but to the point where I did order some handkerchiefs on Amazon so I can dab my head like some old southern lawyer or Whitney Houston in concert.

I’m always on the hunt for easy, chemical-free ways to not look so darn sweaty all the time, so when the Instagram robot queen served up an ad for these Knix undershirts, I was more than a little intrigued. Could it be that an aluminum-free solution to all of my sweaty woes is here right in front of me? Could I finally join the ranks of white blouse-wearing women without fear? I decided to put that shirt and a few others to the New York City heatwave-test.

Warning that this experiment would not hold up in science court because I do not control the weather so the variables shifted every day. It was always over 70 degrees though, so rest assured that I was sweaty. I wore this natural deo the whole time, so these shirts really had their work cut out for them.

Numi – Signature Seamless 

Man Repeller's Managing Editor Tests Sweat Levels for Different Shirts

It was a balmy 80 degrees, 52% humidity the day I decided to try out this Numi shirt. It is technically an undershirt (as they all are) but I figured I would wear it as a regular shirt to truly test out its abilities and I just so happen to love that neckline. I was surprised to see that it has a pad in the armpit, which is pretty discreet, but still a pad. I paired the Numi shirt with a pair of overalls because 80 degrees always strikes me as not that hot until I walk out of my front door and want to be naked.

I decided to walk to meet my friend for a work-from-home lunch date. Thirty minutes later, I arrived pretty sweaty from direct sunlight and my naturally brisk walking pace. I pretended that I need to pee and snuck into the bathroom to see how the shirt had stood up. There was a tiny bit of sweat but I think it’s because I hadn’t adjusted the arm pad for optimal sweat absorption.

I wore this shirt out with jeans later to a nice-ish restaurant. This is the “cutest” of all the shirts and also the thinnest, so if you want something to wear on its own or under a tight gown, this might be the shirt for you. Bonus points for offering a nude that’s not just beige.

EJIS – V-Neck 

Man Repeller's Managing Editor Tests Sweat Levels for Different Shirts

Yes this is a men’s t-shirt but so are almost all of my men’s white t-shirts. The model on the site is also the inspo for all of my poses here, so many thanks to that dude, wherever he may be. This shirt had the biggest of the armpit pads, so much so that it almost looked like I was wearing a patchwork shirt that then decided to not be a patchwork shirt anymore. Super nice material though.

I wore it with jeans on an 84 degree day with SEVENTY THREE PERCENT humidity. What a nightmare! Anyway these were absolutely prime sweat conditions and the shirt held up really nicely. It made it through a few short brisk walks and hot subway platforms with excellent coverage.

I would say size super down if you want to wear it as an undershirt; it’s a little bit bulky and a men’s cut, but it could work under a blouse. As someone who has never been camping I did think at one point, “This would make a good camping shirt,” which I think means you could wear it for a few days in a row if necessary.

THOMPSON TEE 

Man Repeller's Managing Editor Tests Sweat Levels for Different Shirts

This looks the most like a regular t-shirt. Not super clingy or slick, no super big armpit pads. I wore this on a day that was 82 degrees after the humidity broke (bless it). I wore it with a skirt because I couldn’t fathom wearing pants any longer!! That felt like a bit of a cheat but sometimes you have to follow your heart.

This held up to a standard morning of commuting, a classic 15 MTA train delay at night plus a super fast speed walk to meet my friend at a play. I did not have time to snap a photo post-run but I made my friend Evan look at my armpit and he said it looked fine. This t-shirt is a gift, much like Evan’s friendship.

This seems like a good sneaky way to wear a white tee all summer and have everyone think, “Wow, that person is so cool, both in the personality and body temperature way.” I want to say there’s nothing special about it but duh, there is something special about it because you don’t have to stand with your arms on your hips to try and keep your pits dry before a date or whatever.

Man Repeller's Managing Editor Tests Sweat Levels for Different Shirts

KNIX- DON’T SWEAT IT T-SHIRT 

Ah yes, the one who started it all. I tried this one out on a gorgeous 79 degree day with 35% humidity. In order to be fair to the other ones I wore this under a t-shirt to create a layer of unnecessary heat. Much like the Numi shirt, this is top is tight and sleek and works well as a seamless-ish undergarment. It is basically invisible under a white shirt unless I point it out to you and ask you to look real hard.

It held up to a morning commute and coffee walk. It also kept me sweat spot free after my 25 minute walk to therapy, but I did feel very warm.

With an almost invisible underarm pad, this top could be worn on it’s own but is also great for layering. It stood up to a brisk walk (even under a t-shirt). If I were someone who wore a lot of biz-caj, I feel like this would be a staple.


We truly are living in the golden age of clothing that will whisk away your body’s secretions. All of these worked out better than expected, though Numi and Knix were the clear front runners for layering. Here are the top three situations where these shirts would be most beneficial:

  1. When you have to give a very important Power Point presentation, one that involves a lot of pointing at charts but the screen is located a foot above your head.
  2. At a wedding where the couple hired a super affordable DJ. The DJ is affordable because he only plays songs with the phrase “put your hands in the air” because that’s kind of his thing.
  3. When you’ve joined one of those recreational sports leagues to flirt, but show up and it’s all sports and now you have to pretend you sprained your ankle all summer and crutches are a lot of work.
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