Leopard and Layers (& protecting clothes from underarm stains)


H&M; blazer (from 2011, but they have one right now just like this), Asos tulip dress (most sizes sold out)
Target chambray shirt (similar), Calvin Klein leopard pumps (similar)

This outfit comprised of all old garments isn’t anything special, but I wanted to share a quick tip discovered out of it. I’ve been trying to stretch my lighter pieces into this season by layering aggressively for warmth. Perhaps a little too warm…because when I took off this blazer at work, there were unsightly damp spots at both underarms. Such spots are especially noticeable on materials like light chambray or silk. You bet I put my blazer right back on!
I know some will be quick to suggest simple deodorant, but the sweat-prevention aspect of deodorant has never worked for me, and I don’t like the residue. Studies have also showed that some anti-perspirant agents, when combined with your body heat or moisture, actually worsen the stains that result afterwards. While brainstorming for solutions, I remembered designing dance costumes for a friend in college. His special request was something to prevent visible perspiration on the silk, and I had suggested sewing shoulder pads into the underarm area…

Inspired by that notion, it suddenly hit me to use panty liners. They stick easily into clothing, are designed to absorb moisture, and don’t leave stickiness behind. Most women have these lying around the home.
prevent perspiration
I’d recommend this tip only with shirts that will be tucked in, to lessen the risk of a liner falling out of your blouse at the end of a long day (and having to explain that to friends or colleagues!). I’ve been using this trick for chambray and silk blouses, and it’s been working nicely. Even if you don’t really sweat, even the tiniest bit of perspiration can result in stains, especially on white garments, so I see this as a preventative step to protect clothing between washes.

Readers – Please share any of your own tips for preventing and/or caring for unsightly underarm stains!

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Leave a Comment


  1. Use double-sided tape for extra sticking power

    Posted 5.9.16 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    My comment is mostly directed at the critics on the authors' fashion choice to demonstrate the subject at hand: ***You have entirely too much time on your hands*** If you spent that much time meditating or pondering the existence of life, you wouldn't be so caught up in such pointless specks of existence (seriously a random blog on underarm sweat??? This is NOT Vogue, Honey), nor would you choose to try to change someone, but to celebrate them. Wear whatever you want adorable, stain-free authoress. If it makes you happy, then that's all that matters! Besides, it's really none of our business what others think anyway. 😉

    Posted 12.29.13 Reply
  3. Pixie wrote:

    OMG! Ive been doing this for years and my friends laugh at me…but it works. lol

    Posted 10.6.13 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    ok, i read this post way back and thought the underarm stain protector was a brilliant idea. till now… it's been working very well but today i attached a pad under each armpit on a loose fitting silk shirt that I wore not tucked in… and as i was walking thru the hallway I work, I found one of the pads lying on the floor! I must have dropped it!!! I quickly picked it up hoping no one saw me.. but jeeez everyone must have been working WTHHHHH is this doing on the floor, gross!!! And I also noticed that the other one was missing but don't know where i dropped it… at home? at my son's daycare? somewhere in the office building?? omggg i'm so embarressed!!! i hope no one makes the same mistake that i did~~!!!!!

    Posted 8.13.13 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks for the idea!

    Posted 1.3.13 Reply
  6. Melanie wrote:

    The pink colour of the dress and the leopard shoes fit so well together ^^

    Love xx
    Melanie ~ http://www.mlncrd.com

    Posted 12.23.12 Reply
  7. Carrie wrote:

    At JoAnns fabrics stores they carry underarm protector products that do exactly this, but are better shaped and I'm sure are more comfortable. I've used them with formal dresses. Super simple to put in your top! check them out.

    Posted 12.18.12 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    I also use the crystal rock for deodorant – and I'm thinking for pantiliners, the small thinner travel sized ones may be more comfortable and just as effective. I will try them on tomorrow!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Forgot to mention that this is a very effective anti-perspirant/deodorant and lasts for years!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    For deodorant, I use a natural crystal rock. This type of deodorant is scent free and natural. It leaves no residue and is obtainable from health shops.

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  11. Looks very relaxing and have a great look. You look very beautiful in this too.

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  12. i can't believe how informative this post AND it's comments were. Pantyliners for under arm AND shoes? Wow. I guess it's time to stock up at costco!

    Your outfit is fabulous. I love the way you layer!!! Thank you for so much information on these blogs.

    – Alice

    Posted 11.27.12 Reply
  13. you look stunning!

    x Audrey


    Posted 11.23.12 Reply
  14. barrista wrote:

    Simply superb….The shoes and her skirt looks cute to her…It makes me tempt to wear it..

    Posted 11.23.12 Reply
  15. Guffy Bob wrote:

    I support this idea a lot! For my 3 hour straight dance performance, I used this method for the blouse and it helped IMMENSELEY

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    If you ever have yellow sweat stains on clothes, you can soak that part with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dish soap, and some baking soda. Works like a charm! It would fade the color either.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    I use CERTAIN DRI, recommended by my dermatologist before when I asked her about excessive sweating there. You apply it the night before and don't worry about deodorant the next morning. I love it when I wear sleeves, silk or layers I never have to worry about pit stains. I only use it when needed. http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/certain-dri-roll-on-antiperspirant/ID=prod2303234-product

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  18. I also have the same problem. Deodorant and perfumes are not working for me, I couldn’t prevent from sweat. I should try this panty liner.

    Posted 11.21.12 Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    Haha! and I thought I was original and came up with the pantyliner trick a few weeks ago. I think it's a good idea to use especially with expensive winter coats/jackets that are dry clean only. I may not sweat that much, but it's always good to preserve nice clothes. I love that you weren't embarrassed to blog about this. Everyone sweats but some like to pretend they don't 😉

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  20. lin wrote:

    i agree with the anon whom said everyone has their own taste. i like the outfit as a whole, but i'm not too keen on when the blazer is off. i also like the remixing of old items, different textures and fabrics, and layerings. i always get inspired when looking at her outfits.

    thanks, jean, for the great idea of using panty liners. i would never have thought of that. 😉

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    While I agree with the comment above mine in that Jean is brave, I would have to fervently disagree that the ensemble is a miss. In fact, most of the comments are centering on her ingenuity in dealing with a very common wardrobe dilemma.

    It is important that one evolves, which would include one's fashion sense. If not, some of us may still be wearing hammer pants! Lol. It's definitely not for the faint of heart but Jean has showed us time and time again that thinking outside the box is her mo, for which we have all benefited while reading her blog!

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  22. Anonymous wrote:

    There's an episode of "The Office" where Michael Scott uses that same trick!

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    I agree.. Im a long time reader and i definitely think the outfits from last year seem more polished. I commend u for being so brave and trying new ways to remix old items but this particular ensemble is a miss. I feel somewhat relieved that other readers feel this way about this outfit too.. I usually love your style and tips but perhaps you're style is evolving.. People change and grow. That's ok with me. 🙂 The last time there was this many critical comments was when khatu gave you that crazy bronzed makeover and there was an uproar!

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  24. Elisse wrote:

    That is so clever!

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean – I really love this ensemble you've put together. It's preppy but with an edge.

    Posted 11.20.12 Reply
  26. Erin wrote:

    Awesome advice! I hate those unsightly stains on clothes. And don't say this outfit isn't anything special. I aways love a look that comprises lighter pieces layered for cold weather!


    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  27. Hellen wrote:

    @Phoebe – I don't use it often, but so far they have always removed cleanly with no sticky residue! I don't usually leave it in after an event; I use it for a few heels I wear for events where I'll be in them for awhile and know I wouldn't be taking them off (so people won't see! haha)

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  28. Jessica F. wrote:

    Buy Certain Dri. I began using it in 2006 and never sweat or have problems with ruining shirts. (The liquid roller ball is the best, and definitely follow the directions!)

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  29. PinkLeaf wrote:

    Brilliant idea Jean, thank you!

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  30. I LOVE this dress, awww *w*


    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  31. AnnaN wrote:

    A tip from my friend, she also uses pantiliners when she wears flats because sometimes those no-show socks never quite stay on our feet. Absorbs moisture and decreases the stink factor!

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    True, everyone has their own taste to begin with. Most importantly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  33. Very interesting idea and might have to try it myself.


    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote:

    If you looked up "neutral" color palette you'd see the potential is huge. Jean had the right idea… her tulip dress is of a neutral color. A neutral color is not "too plain" at all… it's actually exactly what Jean did… a neutral pink. My only suggestion was the fabric of the dress (polester-ish?) seemed to mismatch with the outfit in its entirety.

    Matchy match went out 12 years ago? I meant no offense at all to Jean. I thought she as well as her readers would be open to mature discussion of putting together pieces to make and outfit. I just happened to notice lately she's been experimenting a lot with patterns upon patterns AND textures upon textures all in one outfit… gingham, lace, leather, + patent bowtie heels… lace, leather Hermes belt, fur + red leather gloves.

    I concur with m(?) I love Jean's blog and learn a lot all the time… which now has become especially useful as I too learn to build upon my professional stables and look more "adult" and less like a minor. I actually don't dress "matchy match" conservative and experiment quite a bit as well but was just wondering if anyone felt the same way as far as having too much different pieces assembled to make a polished outfit. I too love Jcrew and their assembly of outfits! I think layering different patterns is tricky and to add upon that different textures can really make the outfit look fashionably contrived.

    Also, "all in the spirit of debating and not to criticize………. we all have different tastes so be it."

    – long time reader

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  35. You are the master of layering!!! The entire outfit looks great!!!


    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  36. Bethany wrote:

    Hi Jean:

    I have one more question about interview. Can I wear a pearl necklace or a tiny silver necklace or less is better for a interview for a engineer scientist position?

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    Believe it or not, but there are actually underarm shields (a little bigger and rounder and better-sticking than panty-liners) that are manufactured just for this purpose. My favorite kind are made by Hollywood Fashion Tape and they're called "Garment Shields Sweat Protectors". You can buy them on Amazon, ten pads for $2.99. They're really terrific.

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  38. LOVE!

    Enjoy $25 off your order (and free shipping!) in the next 24 hours from Sole Society/The Glitter Life! http://cb.solesociety.com/x/92RY9

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  39. Rachelle wrote:

    adorable outfit I love that dress.

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks so much for always posting such practical and budget friendly advice. You are living proof that you can mix high and low price points and have great style and poise.

    P.S. I bought the velcro hair bump and I love it! Thank you!

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  41. JDBW wrote:

    Kleinerts.com sells disposable and reusable shields. They also sell camisoles with the shields sewn into them. Well worth the investment.

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  42. Absolutely love this look! The blazer with the dress is perfect! And those leopard heels are amazing!! Love your style and your blog 🙂

    The Style Storm

    xo, Christina

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  43. Gizmo Wang wrote:

    Thank you for having practical advice!

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  44. Regular antiperspirant/deodorant don't prevent perspiration for me either. I started using Certain Dri a few years back and it has been great!

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  45. hahaha that's pretty cool but it looks uncomfortable.

    Have you ever tried crystal deodorant? It's natural, 100% bio and doesn't have any chemicals in it (it's a rock which you wet with watter then apply on your underarm area). Plus it lasts forever! I've had mine for at least 4 years!

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  46. Julie wrote:

    Great post! I laughed out loud about the panty liner falling out! I am so jealous of the elbow patches on your H&M; blazer. I bought mine a couple months ago and it doesn't have them. I wonder if elbow patches are DIY-able? Any thoughts?

    xoxo, Julie @ OBSESSED

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  47. Anonymous wrote:

    Great idea though IDK if I'd be able to focus, I'd just giggle every time I remember that I have a pad on my underarms lol.

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  48. Sabrina wrote:

    What a great idea with the panty liners! And I just love the girly dress paired with the chambray shirt. Your style is fabulous!


    Posted 11.19.12 Reply
  49. Sofia wrote:

    This is an interesting idea. Though you should be extra careful when taking off the blazer in public.

    I used to live in Cyprus. And it's not only hot there but also humid, so the sweating problem is huge especially when going out in the evening wearing something nice. A friend told me this trick and it worked so much better than anything else: before you go, you should apply a small ammount of shaving foam (your's or your bf's) and rub it to your armpits and let dry. That really works. So I thought it's worth mentioning.

    Posted 11.19.12 Reply

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