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Sweatiquette Tips for those ‘Not-So-Lazy’ days of summer

It’s summer and it’s hot! But you still have to go to work, meet clients, and at all times look completely cool, calm and dry!

Here are ten tips to ensure you don’t look like a perspiring, nervous, overheated, drenched, summer work slave:

Carry a hankie

If you are prone to perspiring, you may need to wipe sweat subtly from your brow or upper lip. A pocket square does not take the place of a hankie. Gentlemen should carry their hankie in their back pocket. Ladies: have a cloth hankie in your handbag. When you take it out to use it for a little dab here or there, your sweating situation won’t be so noticeable because people will be impressed with you using a hankie instead of Kleenex. The hankie should be replaced with a fresh clean one daily.

Gentlemen: wear an undershirt.

When paired with an antiperspirant or deodorant, an undershirt can actually absorb underarm sweat. This will keep you cooler and eliminate damp circles on your dress shirt. Stay away form colored shirts. For example, light blue shirts are most revealing when it comes to sweat stains. White fabrics do a great job of camouflaging sweat stains.

Dress in weather appropriate fabrics.

Choosing the right fabrics in hot and muggy weather is crucial. Stay with 100% cotton. Rayon has very thin fibers, which allows it to breathe more than other fabrics and gives it a lightness that prevents it from sticking to a body. A lightweight tropical wool is a great fabric for suits and business wear. Linen presents a more causal look. If you are on the ladder to C-Suite, you might want to save your linen for the week-end. Whatever you do in the heated days of summer, avoid polyester and nylon at all costs. Wear undergarments that will wick away the moisture.

Have an extra shirt or blouse at the office.

Be prepared. Make sure it is ironed and has been hanging to avoid wrinkles.

Getting to work.

Be prepared for the un-air conditioned subway or LRT. Bring a change of clothes to change into once you arrive at the office.

Opt to walk. Walking early in the morning will keep you drier than the subway. Be sure to control your pace so you don’t work up a sweat.

Cycling sweats. If your workplace has a shower, the etiquette is simple, come in early get in the line and have a proper shower before you it down at your desk. If there is no shower: cycle slowly, bring an absorbent microfiber towel and do the clean up.

Suit Jacket Tricks.

Never get in your car wearing your suit jacket. Take it off hang it on the back hook in your car. Also, remove it when you are just working at your desk then put it on before a meeting or greeting a client.


A great old fashioned remedy to stop underarm sweating is cornstarch. Cornstarch stops you from sweating and eliminates those pit stains. The product Shower-to-Shower, sold by the deodorants in the super market, has cornstarch as a main ingredient. Be sure to apply the powder well before you put your clothes on, or you will have powder stains instead of pit stains☺

No excuse to sacrifice style.

As the temperature rises, do not give up on trying to be stylish. Pay attention that you are still put together. Make sure the colours of your clothing, shoes and accessories match or at least compliment each other. Ladies, this is not the time to bring out the straw bag or heaven forbid a beach bag to carry your things to the office (unless your office is a beach cabana). And no flip flops, or spaghetti straps at the office. There is nothing flip-floppy about your paycheck. Gentleman, if you are wearing a golf shirt to the office, be sure to wear a dress pant.

Lunch Time Sunshine.

No matter how badly you want to work on your tan, don’t go sun bathing at lunch. Keep yourself covered or stay in the shade. You still have to go work the entire afternoon, and don't want to return to the office over heated.

Don’t lose your cool.

Don’t forget your manners, no matter how high the temperature rises!

What are your favourite summertime anti-sweat tricks? I would love to hear them!

Jeannie Vaage, Etiquette Consultant, VIP Protocol
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