'Sweatiquette': How to avoid looking like a stinky summer mess at the office

Stress at the office can make anyone a little hot under the collar but how can you avoid looking like a sweaty mess when the weather gets uncomfortably hot?

From clammy palms to pit stains, the sweat struggle is real

Don't be this guy: A few old tricks can keep you from looking like a hot mess at the office. (Shutterstock)

Stress at the office can make anyone a little hot under the collar but how can you avoid looking like a sweaty mess when the weather gets uncomfortably hot?

With sweltering heat of summer taking hold, Edmonton AM asked Jeannie Vaage, the owner of VIP Protocol — an Edmonton company that specializes in etiquette training — for a lesson in "'sweatiquette."

From pit stains to smelly duds, the sweat struggle among is real, Vaage said in an interview Wednesday.  But there are ways to keep your cool.

A little dab'll do ya

The biggest concern Vaage hears from her cubicle dwelling clients? Sweaty palms.

"We always worry about it because, if we are going to approach someone, the first thing we do is break into a sweat," she said.

No one likes a sweaty handshake, said Vaage, but in the heat of the moment, there isn't much to be done. 

Try to remain calm and breathe slowly so your sweat levels can "simmer down," Vaage recommends.

Then, discreetly wipe your palms.

"Put a hanky in your pocket and get a little touch up."  
From glowing to glistening, to greasy. Tara asked some Edmontonians how they stay cool in the summer heat. 6:31

When it comes to appropriate summer office attire, do sweat the small stuff, she said.

Like any good politician, always be armed with a cloth handkerchief to dab off excess sweat. Office workers should also opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics.

'It is foolproof'

If all else fails, an old household remedy can help workers withstand the heat. Sprinkling a little cornstarch under stifling fabrics like polyester will keep things fresh.

"Take some cornstarch and it put it in your armpits," Vaage said. "It's an old one. I learned it from my grandmother and I tell all my clients that.

"It is foolproof."

No matter how hot it is — or how many spoonfuls of cornstarch might be required  —  always dress appropriately for the job, Vaage said.

How much more relaxed can we get?- Jeannie Vaage

Managers, colleagues or potential clients might be left hot and bothered by beach-bum attire.

The city is already dressed down enough as it is, Vaage added.

"We do already have a relaxed dress code here in Edmonton, first of all. How much more relaxed can we get?"

Shorts should never be worn in the office and workers should keep a sharp jacket on hand to dress things up for important meetings.

"There is nothing relaxed about someone's business," Vaage said. "You can't drop the ball just because it's hot. You still have to be stylish."

Office workers can also avoid a sweaty, crumpled look by placing their sport coat or jacket on a proper hanger during their morning commute.

"You're in traffic, you get angry at traffic, especially with the construction, and you're there working up a sweat.

"You will stay cooler … you will look really fresh."

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