Awesome question from a reader wondering what undershirt to wear to his hot weather wedding!
I just came across your blog and have really enjoyed it, but have a “help me” style question.
I’m getting married in a couple weeks in the Caribbean and am concerned about managing my temperature.
I wouldn’t say I’m an excessive sweater but in extreme conditions under the sun my head gets going (I’m balding… yay!) and my lower back follows “suit.”
I’m guessing it’s going to be very warm, even at 5pm, so I’d like to stay as cool as possible and mitigate the sweat factor as much as possible so I don’t ruin our wedding photos.
I’ll be wearing a lighter-weight wool fabric suit and a cotton dress shirt and want to know what thoughts you have as far as undershirt.
I usually wear a 100% cotton undershirt but have noticed sometimes on warm days i’ll sweat through that on my commute.
Obviously there’s the moisture-wicking approach and a salesman at Nordstrom tried to sell me something made of Modal and bamboo, but I’m not sure what the best strategy is to go with.
What Undershirt To Wear On Your Wedding Day
Thanks for your email and stopping by the site! Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.
I’m sure getting married in the Caribbean will be an awesome experience, but I can completely relate with your concern about possibly sweating through your wool suit due to the heat of the islands.
My wife and I also got married in the tropics and it wound up being over 90 degrees at 11:00am during our ceremony!
Back when we got married I was about 25 pounds heavier that I am now and I found myself overheating in my tux with sweat dripping down my face (as well as my back).
Thankfully, we’re a light-hearted couple and we wound up laughing it up while the minister was doing the honors!
This is a little tricky because you need to find an undershirt that will be thick enough to absorb your sweat, but not too thick that it will make you warmer when wearing it.
Avoid Moisture Wicking Undershirts
I absolutely do not recommend wearing a moisture-wicking undershirt as the whole principle of “wicking” is moving moisture away from your body to the outer layer of the undershirt where it will directly come in contact with your outerwear (your shirt and wool suit).
The result would likely be a lot more sweat soaking through to your suit than if you were wearing a standard undershirt.
Try Cotton and Viscose (Bamboo) Undershirts
That said, I would still recommend you looking at both cotton undershirts and bamboo as well.
I recommend staying away from modal for this event because while modal usually is a little more absorbent than cotton, it can tend to be a little warmer to wear.
As for which cotton or bamboo undershirt to choose, there are two undershirts that I recently came across that might be worth a look.
But before I tell you about those undershirts, I’d say to focus on finding undershirts that will be a little loose on you so you keep some air pockets between your body and your undershirt.
If you need to, consider buying an undershirt a little bigger than you usually wear. By doing so, you’ll allow air flow to pass between your body and your undershirt and it will help evaporate some of the sweat before it reaches your undershirt.
The less sweat that reaches your undershirt, the less sweat that will reach your nice wool suit.
Hot Weather Wedding Undershirts
The first undershirt I was referring to above was the Bamboo undershirt from Silverback Apparel.
This one came to mind because you mentioned that you experience sweating in your lower back area. The undershirts from Silverback have a double layer of fabric in the underarm area as well as on the back.
I also received an email from a guy who is affected by excessive sweating and he had this to say about their Bamboo undershirts.
I was pleasantly surprised with the Bamboo undershirt I tried next and hope the favorable results I received in my initial wearing will carry through to other wearing situations.
Similar to when testing the X-Static, I wore the Bamboo underneath a light cotton t-shirt during a 30-minute fairly intense workout.
When I finished, the Bamboo shirt was drenched with sweat, but the outer t-shirt I was wearing was actually relatively dry.
Interestingly, the little perspiration that did manage to find its way through to my outer t-shirt was on the back, outside of the “double layer” zone.
I think this is further evidence the sweat-proof area did its job.
The other undershirts you should look at are Kleinerts.
The tester quoted above made this statement where he endorsed Kleinert sweat proof undershirts saying that they absorb sweat better than anything else he has found so far.
Also, if I recall correctly, they also have double layer of protection in the underarm and back as well:
Almost by definition/design, “wick-away” will wet an outer garment by way of transporting perspiration from the inner garment to the outer garment.
Contrast this with what I consider to be the best sweat-proof undershirt I’ve encountered to date – Kleinert – where the premise is to retain moisture within the undergarment and not let it pass through to the outer one.
Since this is an important event, I’d recommend buying both and bringing them with you on your trip so you can do some tests in the Caribbean heat before your wedding.
Also, if you do decide to try these, I think it would be awesome of you to send in some wedding day pictures of you and your new bride so we can share your experience with my other readers!
Hope the above information helps make your special day as sweat free as possible, thanks again for writing in, and once again congratulations!
Thanks for the in-depth and congratulatory response!
I’m obviously looking forward to my big day, but I’m also looking forward to the Silverback Bamboo crew I just ordered.
Rather than run a controlled experiment between Kleinerts and Silverback (which would be ideal… if I had more time at our wedding location and/or the cash to buy both). I’ve decided to throw myself in the fire (ha!) with the Silverback and trust that – if nothing else – the placebo effect of covering my torso with a Panda’s favorite food source will get the job done.
I’ll bring some classic cotton undershirts as “back”-up and maybe try those as a test at some point but I’ll save the bamboo for game-time.
I figure if I wait as long as I can before suiting up and stay as cool as possible that’ll give me the best chance of not destroying our wedding pictures…also, handkerchiefs?
I was once a groomsmen in a June wedding in Napa where it was 92 degrees at 8 in the morning.
One guy at the end of the line passed out and the only memory I have is a river of sweat running down my head and something about a dove release – I vowed at that point to have my wedding in a meat locker but obviously I didn’t win that argument…oh well.
The father of the bride told us after he was trying to watch his daughter’s wedding but was distracted by our suffering…what a jerk.
I promise to report back with my findings – I’m 6’1″, 220…linebacker numbers minus the physique – so this will be a trial by fire for sure.
Idea: Use Antiperspirant On Your Back
Hey Matt, I’ll send you a link to another article later tonight.
As a pure temporary solve for the big day, you might also want to try out using some antiperspirant around areas of your torso/back that might sweat a lot.
That’ll suppress some of the heavy sweat areas.