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We are deep in summer now and all of my shirts know it. From the ever-growing sweat stains to the brutal trapped in heat, I am cooking alive outside even when I’m wearing a t-shirt and shorts. With no layers left to strip, it was time to start upgrading my shirts. This meant seeking out shirts that I could still wear casually, but offered all the great moisture-wicking and breathability of more high-performance apparel.
Moisture-wicking and breathable shirts are an absolute necessity to survive this summer heat, but with literally hundreds of different brands (if not more), it is near-impossible to choose which ones are best for you. This is especially true considering the radically different price points and quality variations of the many different options available. So, instead of spending the better part of your day debating between one of 50 different shirts all claiming to be the best and keeping you cool, check out the list below of the best cooling and moisture-wicking shirts to beat the summer heat.
Arctic Cool Men’s Cooling Polo
While many brands offer excellent, breathable shirts, only Arctic Cool has made it the entire focus of the brand. Equipped with the patented HydroFreeze X Technology, which is designed to cool fabric as you wear it, the Arctic Cool Men’s Cooling Polo is both breathable and actively cooling down as you wear it. In addition to moisture-wicking materials, the shirt has a UPF protection of 50+ to protect you from the sun and an antimicrobial material to keep you smelling fresh even in the hottest and most humid climates.
Nike Dri-FIT Trail T-Shirt
If you are looking for something a bit more casual that still shows off your fashion sense, the Nike Dri-FIT Trail T-Shirt is the right choice for you. The shirt comes in four bold colors and has a large Mont Blanc graphic design on the back. Additionally, the shirt is designed with Nike’s Dri-FIT technology which works by continually wicking away sweat and keeping the shirt dry even in humid weather. The shirt can be worn in casual outfits as well as for heavy workouts or hikes without a problem.
While not quite as technologically advanced as many of the other options, the Alex Crane Sun Tee might be my favorite. Made of light 100% sustainably grown French linen, the t-shirt is built to be light, breezy and completely comfortable. In fact, after wearing the shirt during a brutal summer day, I was completely surprised to feel actually cool with the Sun Tee letting in the breeze without trapping any heat. The shirt is not an athletic apparel option, so it is just meant for casual wear, but despite the lack of poly-blend materials, it still offers great breathability.
Lululemon Evolution Short Sleeve Polo Shirt
When it comes to athleisure which can also be worn as non-athletic clothing items, nobody does it better than Lululemon. The Lululemon Evolution Short Sleeve Polo Shirt is another great option from the company. The polo shirt is created with all the same sweat-wicking technology and flexible, durable fabric. As a result, you can wear the polo for an active round of golf or just out to a dinner without any issue. Beyond this, Lululemon offers eight different colors and designs so you can choose the one that best suits you.
Ten Thousand Versatile Shirt
If you want a shirt that can be worn to a workout and casually with a pair of shorts on a hot day, make sure the check out the Ten Thousand Versatile Shirt. Meant to handle literally any potential activity, the shirt is chock-full of incredible features including a silver ion anti-odor treatment, strategic perforations to increase breathability and of course high-level sweat-wicking technology. The shirt also comes in 10 different colors, so you can choose which one fits your style or even buy a few to fill out your wardrobe.
Adidas Aeroready Designed 2 Move Sport Stretch Tee
Another performance shirt, the Adidas Aeroready Designed 2 Move Sport Stretch Tee is perfect for athleisure looks as well as higher-level training. The shirt comes in five unique colors and of course has some of the best moisture-wicking technology in the polyblend fabric. Additionally, the shirt is made mostly of recycled materials, so if you are looking for a more sustainable choice in your wardrobe, this is it.
ALO Yoga Triumph Crew Neck Tee
Built for casual wear and active movement alike, the ALO Yoga Triumph Crew Neck Tee is the best of both worlds. With the obvious yoga focus of the apparel, moisture-wicking and breathability are a massive priority yet at the same time, the simple style and clean look means you can easily wear this shirt out without it standing out as not a part of your regular casual wardrobe. The shirt comes in a number of core colors as well as several limited-edition colors that will not always be available so make sure to check those out while you still can.
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