I dressed the one and only Lewis Black for the better part of 2 years. Custom suits with his initials in the lining, bespoke dress shirts, the whole 9 yards. I love him for a million reasons, but mostly because he is a screamingly hilarious, kind person. Generous beyond belief. And he has amazing taste in clothes -- I mean duh, he hired me.
He also would not give 2 shits about the personal secret of his that I’m about to spill: He exclusively wears socks and boxers made of bamboo! !
When he first asked me for bamboo underthings almost 6 years ago, they were a little bit hard to find. (Oh, Lew, you are SO cutting edge.) But the intervening years have seen an explosion in the use of bamboo, one of the world’s most renewable resources, in fashion.
It’s no wonder -- not only is it eco-friendly as hell, it’s soft, silky, moisture wicking and totally breathable. The 5 pairs of bamboo socks I pinched from Lewis (which I still wear all these years later!) always remind me of the ski silks of my childhood. Bamboo somehow combines the luxury of silk with the practicality of cotton. But bamboo helps keep you cooler than regular old cotton, and it takes dyes beautifully, resulting in richer, longer lasting colors. It also has anti-microbial qualities -- making you stink less if you sweat while wearing it. Plus did I mention that bamboo will be running for office in the 2016 presidential election?
All this bamboo blather brings me to the real reason for this post -- I recently heard about a pretty stellar new product called--
(ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?)
It's a quite hilariously named mini-line of 95% bamboo/5% spandex ultra thin undershirts with a reinforced armpit layer for extra absorption, keeping sweat away from delicate fabrics. The company's founder, Michelle, (who is Canadian!) originally started working on the line as a personal solution to constant perspiration stains in her expensive work clothes.
Not only does the armpit layer stop sweat stains in their tracks, it allows you to stretch the time between dry cleanings by forming a breathable barrier between your body and your fancy duds.
Sweat stains ruining blouses is the #1 problem I'm asked how to solve by readers, and the simple (yet annoying) solution is to never let them happen in the first place. (A side note here -- many experts agree that it's not actually the sweat that causes stains, but the aluminum in your antiperspirant.)
I always recommend these stick-in moleskin armpit guards to fight pit stains, but they really aren't very compatible with lightweight, slinky lady clothes -- as they can cause silky shirts and dresses to sag and hang under their weight. And if you are a person who tends to sweat in places other than your underarms (hello, between the boobs and back/stomach area!), the stick-in pit guards aren't much help.
Remember that part up top where I mentioned that bamboo is a naturally anti-microbial fabric, therefore cutting down on odors? That works in Nudy Patooty's (and yours!) favor by neutralizing the smell of stinky sweat. That plus the fact that it's naturally cooler than cotton makes bamboo the perfect undershirt material. Bamboo is also 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton, so that reinforced pit pad is going to be able to take all the sweat abuse your underarms can dish out.
The Nudy Patooty undershirts are micro-thin and made to be invisible under clothes. They have a super low scooped neck so you can wear 'em with unbuttoned/low cut shirts. All seams are trimmed with tiny lace that lies flat on the body.
It's really such a great idea -- men wear undershirts under their dress shirts every single day for the same exact reason. I looked around to see what other sort of lady-centric anti-sweat undershirts are available in the world, and this is what I found:
Which is PERFECT for wearing under your nun's habit. The only bummer about these miraculous Nudy Patooty undershirts I've just sold you on is that you can't exactly get one yet. Yeah, great, huh?
The Nudy Patooty hasn't been produced yet beyond the sample stage, but they are currently taking pre-orders through IndieGoGo as of today. I am pretty staunchly anti-crowdfunding campaigns, because most of them are insanely irksome. (See: Those Mamet sisters.) And don't EVEN get me started about the budding costume designer who reached out to me for advice through her uncle, a business contact of mine, failed to return my call for a month, and then sent me a link to her fundraising page so she could "fly to LA and visit film sets as research." ACK.
Mercifully, I get very few pleas for money -- because I am the last living human being who doesn’t have Facebook. The only crowdfunding schemes that don’t mortally offend me are when it’s basically a discounted pre-order for an awesome product that 1) you can’t get anywhere else and 2) is something that you’d buy anyway. The retail price of the Nudy Patooty will be $49.99 once it's in production -- but you can pre-order yours now for just $35.00.
Nudy Patooty estimates delivery times in the 2-3 month window, and you're going to see my name as one of the first funders as soon as it goes live. The shirts are available in XS-XL. (And yes, you best bet I mentioned to Michelle that the FAT-shion crowd needs some undershirt love too!)
Sadly, as of now, I don't think there is a real solution to sweat stains on sleeveless blouses. I've had some luck with these half moon shaped sew-in dress shields, but they always somehow manage to still peek out from your sleeve and you still have half of your sweaty underarm flopping around, still ruining your shirt.
For the record, Nudy Patooty paid me nothing and gave me nothing for this post -- as a matter of fact, it's costing me money to write this, because I'm ordering one for myself! I just know a good idea when I see it.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison.