Open Thread: What is the best antiperspirant or deodorant to wear with a suit?

Today’s reader mail is a good one, and in lieu of a poll we’re going to run this as our open thread today…

What is the best antiperspirant or deodorant to wear with a suit in these hot summer months???

Great question because, face it, on the days when it’s boiling outside everyone shows up at work all sweaty and nasty. Apparently, the difference between the two is that a deodorant stops odor, while an antiperspirant stops sweat. For our $.02, we wear Lady Mitchum gel — it goes on clear, it dries quickly, it doesn’t smell too funky, and it works for us (both to reduce sweat and odor). (Lady Mitchum Clear Gel Antiperspirant & Deoderant, available at for $3.59.)

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Readers, any favorites? Any other tricks for staying dry and avoiding sweat?

Further reading:

The Best Antiperspirants [Real Simple]
Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers []

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  1. what is it with the personal hygiene topics of discussion the past 2 days? I thought this was a fashion blog. what’s next “which maxi pads do you prefer”?

  2. I think I’ll need to anonymously e-mail this thread to a coworker.

    Anyway, I keep a stick hidden away in a desk drawer with some other personal items. It’s a godsend on days when I have to sprint over to the courthouse and back. Brand doesn’t matter to me; I have to keep switching because they seem to become less effective if I use the same type for too long. My pits are strange.

  3. I wouldn’t mind hearing some suggestions for an antiperspirant or deoderant that won’t rub off onto the underarms of my tank tops.

  4. Anonymous :

    Casey- LOL. was wondering the same thing myself. That being said, I swear by Dove. I’ve been using it for years, fresh or original scent. very cheap, never stains my clothes, smells “fresh” and I cannot stand gels or creams or sprays.

  5. Barbara Ann :

    I found that none of the over the counter products worked and asked my doctor for a prescription. It works quite well and I use a Tom’s of main deodorant for any odor.

  6. my favorite deodorant is Secret’s soft solid (? it rubs on from a solid bar, rather than a roller ball or through little holes). Although not clear, it lasts muchlonger for me (and because I don’t wear sleeveless to the office, it doesn’t matter if there’s a little white on the inside of my top).

    I also only wear blouses under suits (never shells) so that it’s easy to slip my jacket off and not look too bare (and to avoid getting my suits either sweaty or deodorant-y).

  7. I love the Secret Clinical Waterproof version.

    It has passed the silk blouse under a suit jacket test on days well over 90.

  8. Last I checked “visible wet patches under arms” fell under the realm of general attire, Casey.

  9. I like Secret Clinical, but it works better if you use it at night, and I always forget to do so.

  10. My third year of law school I was working as a prosecutor and was going through this absolutely terrible spell where I could not stop sweating. I never took off my suit jacket, even if it was hot as hell, for fear of what was going on underneath. I tried probably ten different deodorants, talked to my doctor, everything until I rant across the Degree Clinical Protection and I have not had a problem since. You put it on at night and it literally soaks into your pours and stops everything (TMI?) Anyways, I just had to share because its been a lifesaver.

  11. I personally LOVE Dove Clinical Protection! It’s the best I’ve ever used. As for today’s topic, I don’t think it matters so much WHICH one, just make sure to USE one!! And maybe keep a spare in your purse if you live in a super-hot climate like FL :)

  12. With the antiperspirants that people mentioned wearing at night — Do you put it on at night and then again in the morning? Or just at night and then you don’t have to reapply it in the morning?

    I usually use the Secret soft solid that someone else mentioned, but sometimes I sweat through my top, so I’m in the market for something else!

  13. TGEmpress :

    After ruining more than my fair share of silk blouses I started the hunt, and found a very unsexy but workable and over the counter solution. Certain DRY. Walgreens and CVS carry it. You do apply at night (which is very hard to get used to doing). But it works well enough that it is worth working to form the habit. I do put on some regular old degree during the day (can’t help myself) especially since I don’t need to use Certain dry every day.

  14. I tried Secret Clinical Protection but the scent with which it came was a bit offputting (and it was the “original” scent!). It also seemed to get stronger with sweat. Now I use Dove Clinical Protection and it works great, and the scent is less obnoxious. But I still can’t seem to avoid the white stains on my tops.

  15. Delta Sierra :

    Used Mitchum for years, works good. Also works for my husband, for whom everything he eats comes out his pores, he’s not allowed to eat garlic anymore except Fridays. TMI? Well, now you know how effective it is. It also takes the sting out of mild bug bites.

    I think the personal hygiene stuff is very appropriate, I’d say this blog is not just fashion, is about looking right at work, and avoiding pit-marks is totally part of it. I keep a few baby wipes (you can get them in individual packs) in my bag, for emergency freshen-ups on hot days. Good for hot sweaty feet, too, mmmmm, cool.

  16. I swear by Lady Mitchum. If I’m going barefoot with dress shoes, I put some on my feet to prevent sweaty feet and smelly shoes – works great.

  17. This weirds some chicks out, but I swear by Old Spice Red Zone and High Endurance (both work equally well although Red Zone can leave some white marks on your clothing if you aren’t careful). I borrowed some from my boyfriend a few times when I was rushing out the door after a sleepover and have been hooked ever since. I’ve tried all the super strong women’s deoderants and have yet to find anything that works as well.

  18. Agree with Certain Dri. I had already booked myself an underarm Botox appointment but I cancelled once I started using Certain Dri.

  19. Dove Roll-On Deodorant.
    No white marks, good sweat control. I also wear perfume.
    Odor is not as much of a problem for me, visible patches I am more worried about.

  20. Amber – the Clinical protection stuff is made to be used just at night. You put it on right before bed and do not have to reapply it in the morning. The best part is that is works REALLY well and all the issues with leaving white marks is a non-issue because it’s applied at night – so by the time you get dressed in the morning you don’t have to worry about it :) You can alway reapply it during the day if you feel extra “icky” but you don’t have to.