cool, wicking shirts that don't feel wet?
September 4, 2014 9:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a shirt that has all three of these: (1) feels cool when I'm overheated and (2) made of wicking material that dries quickly and (3) feels dry to the touch even when wet. Polyester and other synthetic cycling jerseys are cool to wear and wicking, but feel wet. Thin merino knits will wick moisture and feel dry even when wet, but I find them very warm.

The third requirement, which I know sounds a bit odd, is because this is to wear during a rather active social dance where other people have to put their arms around me sometimes.

In case anyone suggests cotton T-shirts and changing when they soak through, that would be inconvenient because I sometimes go to festivals where that strategy would require me to pack twenty shirts for the weekend.
posted by d. z. wang to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Try cycling base layers, you can get them in sleeve lengths from tank to long.
posted by rhizome at 9:28 PM on September 4, 2014

My partner and I like the airism undershirts a lot. I haven't put them to the test in summer yet, but they are recommended for hot weather. They're pretty affordable, so definitely worth a shot if you can get hold of one easily.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 9:38 PM on September 4, 2014

I really, really like the very lightweight Icebreaker stuff: They're expensive (but less so if you sign up for their newsletter and wait for an end of season sale), and I like taking them when I travel because you can wear them for days and they don't stink. I get warm easily and find them to be nicely cool, certainly appropriate for 90 degree weather.
posted by kdar at 10:31 PM on September 4, 2014

Columbia's OmniFreeze Zero shirts are very cool and comfortable to wear (I feel pleasantly like I'm not wearing a shirt at all, and definitely don't feel warm in them), and keep me dry even through the sweatiest of days. Whatever magic material they're made out of does an excellent job of not just wicking sweat away from the body, but allowing it to evaporate very quickly, too. Bonus: they tend to look like normal, non-athletic clothing.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:50 AM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

It might be worth it to check out H&M's sportwear. Many of the tops in their women's range behave the way you want them to: I have used them as casual wear a lot, because of that. I assume the men's wear section is similar.
posted by troytroy at 1:27 AM on September 5, 2014

My partner and I like the airism undershirts a lot.

Seconded. And just for a bit more info: Airism is made by Uniqlo and here are the U.S. women's and men's options.
posted by psoas at 6:21 AM on September 5, 2014

Base layers work best when they're thin and tight. If that look is OK for a top, try Airism.

I live in the tropics. Uniqlo's 'Dry Packaged T-Shirt' wicks fine for me, far better than cotton Ts. Also use them for outdoor workouts after seeing how little sweat they retained compared to cotton.
posted by Homer42 at 9:37 AM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

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