Pity Party

Originally I was going to just try all of the different suggestions you sent in for my armpit problem. I wanted to write back to each and every one of you and let you know how grateful I was that you wanted to help and to let you know how it went.

Well. That was before close to one hundred of you wrote in to explain how you’ve approached your pit dilemma. Now I’m just going to have to address all of you here by showing you a bit of my mail bag.

As we start reading letter after letter, you might notice that it appears it’s only women who have this deodorant-streaking problem. It can’t just be fancy tight-fitting clothes, as I know some of you fancier men read and none of you knew what the hell I was talking about. I’m really thinking it has something to do with boobs, and the deodorant made for women.



I wish I could help you but I am still basically at a loss…Your journal entry today really cracked me up because I have the exact same problem. I’ve always blamed it on being obscenely large-chested (which I suppose I can then blame on bad genetics, blahblahblah) but maybe it’s just me being incompetent. I agree with you that the makers of “clear” deodorants lie to you. They still leave marks. Anyway, if you come up with a solution, please publish it so that I no longer am Ms. Sweaty StripeyShirts.

Like those books we had when we were kids, “Little Miss Bossy.” If they’d had Ms. Sweaty StripeyShirts, we wouldn’t be in this situation, now would we?

Ohhhh man. See, I have no advice. Well, one bit of advice — a damp washcloth scrubbed on the whiteness IMMEDIATELY will sometimes get it off, depending on the fabric and the deoderant…

Won’t that just create a wet spot on my clothes, and when I’m wearing wool or something, aren’t I just making it worse at this point?

…However, I was going to say, if anyone tells you anything useful, can you pass it on?? Because I have the same problem. I’m a little better than I used to be about not getting it on the shirt, but I’m small boobed…

Well, there goes that theory.

…however, I STILL sweat thru any and everything. I live in strappy tanks because those are the only things that don’t get nasty sweat circles under my arms. I hate winter b/c I’m a little southern flower and if I don’t dress for it, I freeze, but I live in the south where they overheat all the buildings, so then I go inside and I get my sweater all sweaty, and it’s just all around gross.

So, yeah, if anyone tells you anything insightful, can you pass it on? :)

Some aren’t so much commiserating, but just commenting…

I can’t imagine you, the Head Princess, asking this stuff. Didn’t you write whole entries on “girl stuff”? Didn’t you teach us how to put on our bras and wipe our butts?

I know. I’m ashamed of myself. Sorry. Now back to the advice.

Pamie, you’re not the only one. I don’t even have big boobs to stretch my shirt over, and I still get them. I don’t know how it happens. The only thing I’ve found that works is to inspect myself after I put my shirt on and wipe all offending marks off with a damp washcloth. I’ve heard that if you take the fabric that has the white mark on it and rub it against itself (white mark to white mark, if that makes sense) that it’ll go away. That never works for me. During the summer I also end up with flakes of deodorant on my clothes if I’m wearing a sleeveless shirt. Sigh. If you find a better solution, please do share.

At least we don’t stink,

That I’d actually heard before, rubbing the shirt against itself to remove the deodorant. Let me tell you, that only works once the shirt is dry. I tried when it was still wet, and I ended up just smearing deodorant everywhere.

You know what else I’m learning? How to spell the word “deodorant.”

You know, I think you’ve written about your deodorant dilemma before. Why do I remember that?

I think that really goes under “Criticism,” but I’m just piling them all in here together.

Deodorant marks are pretty much unavoidable, as far as I know. HOWEVER, they are pretty easily removable. When they are dry, just rub them vigorously with a dry towel and off they come, even off black clothes. I’m not sure what it is about terrycloth that works so well, but that’s the secret.

A towel. Now why hadn’t I thought of that?

I have the same problem with deodorant, if anyone gives you any helpful advice, please please post it for everyone else’s benefit? Oh, and I love pamie.com.

You are so not alone. I have also felt, many times, like a big disgusting sweaty dork because I have a similar lack of ability to keep the smearing from happening all over my shirts. And I’m guessing it’s not your chest, cause I’m a little 36A.

I felt compelled to email you to tell you that you are not alone in the seventh circle of deoderant hell. I too, cannot figure out how to get deoderant to work properly, I find myself bouncing between the very two dilemmas you find yourself in. Risk smelly pits, or white streaks on my shirt? I was reading your entry and nodding to myself. Ours is a terrible cross to bear. Or whatever.

I’m not ashamed of you – I have the same problem. And yes – it’s my chest’s fault too. When I put on any kind of pull-over shirt, it gets sort of caught on the rack, and wads up under my arms. This makes this kind of interesting pattern down the sides of my shirt.

The only thing I’ve found that works is a quick inspection and a damp terrycloth towel. DO NOT USE A PAPER PRODUCT OF ANY KIND. This just lints you all up (is lint a verb?).

Either that, or just buy nothing but button down shirts…..

I feel/hear your pain. Why not try an aerosol one, sure you’re killing the ozone layer but at least your shirts will be pretty.

I am about to pass on a magical and mysterious deodorant-residue solution (never mind that it came from an episode of MTV’s House of Style years and years ago; let’s pretend it was handed down from my great-great grandmother to her daughter to her daughter to me, ok?) Here it is: Rub another part of the garment over the residue-y spot, e.g., grab the hem of your shirt and rub it against the stripe. Something about the friction of the material over itself just does away with the residue. I, too, am a big spaz with the deodorant, this trick is part of my everyday routine; I use it in conjunction with the apply-after-putting-on-shirt method, which limits the stripes to reachable areas of the shirt.

It appears that many of us are just grinning and bearing it, opting to clean up after ourselves with towels, clothes, water, and lint brushes, or just avoiding any clothing that might rub up against us.

Then there are those who won’t let a little thing like “shirts” get them down.


I put on deodorant fresh out of the shower, then do stuff like towel off my hair, put on moisturizer, examine my eyebrows for wayward hairs, put on lotion, etc. By the time it’s Shirt Time, I’m well into the safety zone.

“The safety zone.” See? I always thought that had something to do with football.

You could, say, take your shower and dry your pits and immediately apply the deodorant. Then, if you’re like me, you wander back to your bedroom and sit on the bed looking forlornly at your closet for a good ten minutes before you ever put on clothes. Takes a bit longer to get ready, but your deodorant would be pretty well dry by the time you were putting on any clothes.

This girl and I have the same closet.

I do the topless thing. I put on my pants and bra, apply deoderant. Then, I make breakfast, drink coffee, and watch the morning news. When food is gone and commercials begin, I go back to the bathroom and make my face pretty. And hair. Just before I am ready to go out the door, the shirt gets put on. I have yet to forget the shirt, so there shouldn’t be cause for worry in that department. =)

I’m sure I’d forget the shirt. And what’s with the leisurely morning where you get to watch the news? In the morning I’m barely brushing my teeth before the tennis shoes go on and I’m out the door to run or I roll out my mat to do an hour’s worth of yoga. If I engage myself with television or even sip one taste of coffee my entire workout will go to hell, so I have to trick myself into working out before my brain realizes I’m up. I have to start working out still asleep.

Yes, the most surefire way is to let the deodorant adjust to your bod for twenty minutes or so. Which is great if you live alone and can wander around in your bra and eat breakfast and stuff, but it requires a most amazing amount of pre-appointment organization and routine. And doesn’t account for freshening events.

Did I just say freshening events?

At any rate, have you tried dress shields?

I’m not even sure what all of those words mean. “Dress shields?” Is that something I wear or use? Do I swallow it? Is it just a fancy way of saying “Put panty liners in the underarms of your clothes.” Because I ain’t doin’ it. That’s a trick, I know it. You’re just trying to see if I’d put panty liners under my arms. Pretty sneaky, sis.

And what are “refreshing events?” Is that the time right after lunch before a meeting? Or right between meetings? Or are you talking about morning sex or something? What’s with all the cryptic talk? I’m so confused.

Anyhow, I’m sorry to say it, but I think that applying deodorant and then traipsing around topless until it dries is the only fool-proof solution. At least, I assume that’s how all of those flawlessly put together/never eat off their lipstick/bra and underwear always match/never too much perfume but always just enough ladies manage to make it through a whole day with nary a sweat bead forming on their hairless bodies covered with immaculate, white-streak free t-shirts.

But I don’t have 20 minutes every morning to walk around half naked. I’ve got just enough time to leap out of bed late, shower, choke down some cereal, put on my clothes and then jam a stick of deoderant under my shirt and wave it around frantically in order to hop in my car fifteen minutes late to brave the 134 all the way to Hollywood.

A girl after my own heart, that one.

I love the group of you who really want to walk around naked, but just aren’t ready to do it yet. Or you have roommates or neighbors or something.


I wish I could help you but I am still basically at a loss. I have resorted to clear deodorant, but I usually have to reapply several times a day. I also wear tank-tops a lot, so I can put it on after I put on my top, and then after the deodorant has ‘dried,’ I’ll put on a sweater. It’s a very complicated process that done in the wrong order can be disasterous. But my problem isn’t my boobs, since they’re basically non-existent. If someone out there has a worthwhile solution for us StinkyPetes, let me know!

Then some of you might just be sponsored by your underarm coverage products.


Now, you can’t laugh at me, but I use Teen Spirit clear gel deodorant, even though I no longer qualify as anything close to “teen”. (Berry Blossom, in case you absolutely have to know.)

In regards to the pit problem, have you ever tried Lady Mitchum? I’m going to share what may be too much information with you, but it’s to show you I have a bit of “authority” here! I started going through perimenopause earlier this year (at the “tender” age of 40, no less — I’m already on hormones! Yikes!), and something about the hormonal changes totally changed my perspiration. I’ve always been the kind of person who could forget to put on antiperspirant and have it not really be a problem, but all of a sudden my pits were positively toxic! I tried dozens of deodorants, and finally landed on Lady Mitchum clear gel (I like the spring fresh scent, if you care); it’s the kind of gel stuff that you twirl up and it squirts out the holes in the top. It takes a couple of minutes to dry, but I tell ya, even after a long day, I still smell pretty fresh — sometimes even the next morning. To be honest, though, I’ve never had a problem with excessive sweating, just the grody smell, so I don’t know if it will help keep you dry, but I assume that it would. Give it a shot; you might like it too.

I was fine until she said “you twirl up and it squirts out the holes.”

There’s also a product called Maxim that I tried a few times. It seemed to work really well, but I have pretty sensitive skin and it gave me a rash. (That’s also long been an underarm problem of mine — everything I seem to do there seems to irritate me! Except the Mitchum, that is.) It’s a product for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating); I don’t know where you can buy it except the internet. Surely somewhere, but their homepage is: http://www.coradhealthcare.com (I ordered from them and had no problems.) You can even use it on your feet and hands if you have sweaty ones. I highly recommend checking out their web page and at least reading about it.

I, too will only trust the platinum secret. I used to work in a hardware store, and my office was in a portable thing located outside the main store. I had to run around on a forklift in the hot Hawaii sun, wearing jeans and the lovely hardware store pullover shirt. It took me a couple of days to find the perfect deoderant, but eventually the search ended when I found Secret Platinum. I’m sure the co-workers were pleased.

You say you don’t want to use those crystals that close up your pores? A friend of mine who sweats like Niagra swears by them.

Uh-huh. Where’s this friend, living in some hippie cave off the coast of Freelovania? Because I don’t trust those girls who only like to bathe in lakes and streams and then hold rocks under their arms. I don’t care what they say, Patchouli isn’t a substitute for good old fashioned Dial.

Ooh. What’s with me being so touchy about the crystals girls? I don’t know. I think it must come from my fear of The Dark Crystal and a deep worry that using this product will turn me into a Gelfling.

Oh, wait. I remember now:

I am not too sure how i even managed to stumble across and read your article. First of all, i think what you need to do is chill the fuck out (seriously). If you are starting to hate yourself because of a simple armpit situation, then something is seriously lacking in your self-esteem – and its not deodorant. My advice to you is to accept your armpit sweat as a natural outcome of being a human being. Also, it is very possible that your sense of logic is damaged if you think getting alzeihmer’s is worth smelling like a pot of chemicals from a product you willfully apply to your body in order to stop yourself from sweating – a ludicrous notion in light of the fact that sweating is the body’s way of eliminating dangerous toxins. If you can’t deal with holding a crystal to your armpit but you are willing to compromise your own physical health, and possibly your short-term memory, then something is seriously wrong.

My solution? Realize that the superficial aspects of life will no longer be important to you if your health is failing… You may want to try applying essential oils to your pits from a health food store… some essential oils that work include lavender (mild scent and effective), citronella (very effective, lemon-like scent), patchouli (musky scent that blends in to some people’s natural odor in a complimentary fashion), clove (very strong so it is not recommended if you have just shaved – only the tiniest drop for those who chose to use it or burning sensations will ensue), and essential oils in the citrus fruit category (fresh and effective)… i suggest you buy a few different kinds of oils and experiment until you have found your own personal scent combination… essential oils are not only totally natural, but when rubbed in properly, they leave absolutely no trace on clothing.

Look out for the Certain Dri gang —

I used to have the same problem, and I finally found a product that actually works exactly the way that it says it will. Actually, looking at the bottle, its just an anti-perspirant. Anyway, have you heard of/tried Certain Dri? Its a clear roll on that you apply at night, before bed. Most pharmacies carry it, you just have to ask for it. If they don’t have it, they should be able to order it. (I know for sure that Walgreen’s can get it, most likely overnight.) Its a little more expensive than regular stuff, but well worth it. (I pay about six dollars a bottle here, but it usually lasts around six weeks or so.) Its really, really good stuff, and I finally stopped ruining clothes when I started using it. Maybe that’s not the kind of suggestion/solution you were looking for, but I was so happy when I discovered this stuff that I’ve vowed to share the knowledge with anyone who needs it. (And I’d hate for you to become so distraught that you stopped updating. It would be awful if that happened.) Thanks for the site, and for the Gilmore Girls recaps.

I have the same problem. Seriously. Embarrassing. I know. But I found a solution and you can too. I just have to remember to do it. It is Certain Dri. This stuff is amazing. It is so strong that you put it on the night before. See. Problem solved. You out it on before you go to sleep. You still shower in the morning and everything and the next day you will not sweat. I am not a overly sweaty girl but I was getting some sweat through that was totally not cool. This took care of that too. It is insanely strong. And since it like contracts your sweat glands overnight the next day – no mess, no sweat, clean shirts – a miracle. Seriously, check it out. I got mine at Walgreens – so you could probably get it in any pharmacy type place. Seriously, try it and let me know the results!

I have the same problem. Over the summer I switched to Certain Dri. It rules.

You put it on at night and you don’t need to do anything else. It really works. Don’t ever put it on right after shaving or you will die. I only need to use it every other day.

I am with you in your struggle for dry clean pits. :)

Is anyone else starting to get a little scared of this stuff? It doesn’t wash off in the shower and burns when I put it on? Is it made of acid? Am I burning my armpits shut?

You must try this stuff called “Certain-Dri”. It’s a roll-on…it’s clear…the only weird thing is that you have to apply at night. And you can’t apply immediately after shaving or you’ll regret it. But, it works so amazingly well you’ll never sweat again. I swear by this stuff. You may have to ask at the pharmacy how to get it because it’s not always on the shelf with the other deodorants. But, no skunk stripes, and no sweating ever. Promise.

Now if you are looking for industrial strength deodorant that is guaranteed to give your Alzheimer’s, I recommend Certain Dri. It can be found on the shelves of your local drug store. You put it on at night and don’t wear anything during the day. Basically, it seals any gland within a 5 inch radius and guarantees you won’t sweat. To be honest, it does sting a little when you first apply it, and I wouldn’t recommend you use it after shaving, unless that level of pain is your thing, but you will NOT sweat. At all.

Yeah, I think I’m a little scared of this. It’s the only suggestion that came with so many disclaimers. I don’t want my underarm products to come with warning labels. It’s just a little sweat, right?

Obviously not. This is serious business.

First off, no, you are not the only one with this problem. I understand completely. I know about the white stripes on the side of the shirt, and the lovely white ring that forms under the arms of all dark shirts. I know the pain of never being able to raise your elbows above waist level while the temperature is higher than 75 degrees. Nerves do it, heat does it, everything seems to cause (or worsen) the problem. But see, you’re in luck, because your readers fix everything. Secret Platinum stopped working for me about a year after I started using it and I found another anti-perspirant called Certain-Dri, a true gift. I get it off drugstore.com, but I’m sure that some real drugstores carry it. This stuff is stronger than Secret, but I think it poses less of an Alzheimer’s risk because you only use a couple strokes every couple days. Sounds weird I know, but if you follow the instructions, it works. Really really works. No more stains, no more lines (it’s a roll-on so no white lines), no more very embarrassing dark circles. It worked for me, and it’s definitely better than what you have now.

Man, how great is this product? I’m going to have to try it, burning skin and all. I can really wear it at night, get up in the morning, run for two and a half miles, take a shower and stroll into a morning meeting without one squiggle line floating up from my pits?

I have the same problem of most deodorants not working that great, and even Secret Platinum doesn’t work as well for me as it used to. What I use now is called Certain Dri. You can get it at the drugstore. It’s different from other deodorants because you put it on the night before, just before you go to bed. Then in the morning you don’t have to put on anything at all and you won’t get it on your clothes. It really works! It’s some kind of amazing superantiperspirant for excessive sweating. Some people say it stings a little bit but I don’t have that problem.

I guess it’s worth a try.

Others of you suggested less acidic/permanent alternatives:

Ever since you said you used Secret Platinum, I tried it out (I’m always searching for a deodorant that works) and I used it for a while, but I found out that I have to use a lot of it (just a little doesnt work), it takes too long to dry and it stains my clothes. Some months ago I discovered the new Dove Invisible Solid and it’s really good. It’s drier and you can use just a little of it and it still works. Dove invisible solid is goood.

If you like Secret Platinum, you’ll LOVE Lady Mitchum. It works even better and I’ve never sweated through it, and I do perspire a lot here in Atlanta.

I don’t normally do this, but you asked, so I’m a-tellin’. First off, I have the same pit issues and Secret Platium Protection is also the only thing that works for me. So I feel your pit pain. Sometimes the Platium Protection doesn’t even hold up. I mean it’s not like I’m gushing from the underarms, but it’s not delicate dewiness either.

Anyway, here’s some information that you’ve probably already gotten from umpteen people by now: they make Secret Platinum in a clear gel now. Yep. It’s true. I’ve been using it for a month, and it’s the same deal only invisible. So slather those pits and go undampened and unsmudged into the world.

That’s what I’m using right now. And you know what? It’s still getting on everything. Goes on clear, dries up white. Sucks!

And, um… “Delicate dewiness?” Ew.

I just wanted to let you know that I have found that Dove solid deodorant goes on sheer and works really well (I used to use Secret Platinum and thought that was the only thing that would work, too.) But, if you don’t want to switch, baby wipes will remove the deodorant marks on your clothes and won’t harm most fabrics (they will leave a yellow mark on white clothes until you wash them, but that’s neither here nor there.) Baby wipes also work well for make-up, toothpaste, ink, etc. Just a tip.

Neither here nor there? Why would I want a yellow mark? How is that better than a white mark? Yellow means old sweat!

It’s true about baby wipes, though. They fix everything. You could survive on an island with duct tape and baby wipes.

I guess you’d have to eat the baby wipes… never mind.

Almay’s Clear Gel Deodorant & Antiperspirant Hypoallergenic Unscented. With the complete lack of scent emanating from it, you’d never imagine how well it works.

A deodorant I recommend is Lady Mitchum. It is the only thing that works for me. Get the clear gel kind, not the roll-on powdery stuff. I’m partial to the powder-fresh scent.

I use clear Mitchum deoderant which works really well. Then, I take my hairdryer and put it on the cool section until it dries.

You think we’re done? Oh, we’re not done. Part two, over here.

Then some of you have more money than others, also known as “We Brake for Drysol!”:


The easiest way is to bag deodorant altogether. I know that sounds nasty, but let me explain. I used to have similar problems (sweating, only one super deodorant seems to work, not the putting it on like a lady part). Anyhow, I was at the doctor one day for bronchitis (fun!) and I mentioned this to him. He said he’d write me a prescription for an antiperspirant that you put on at night. Granted, it was sort of embarrassing to pick up at the drug store, but it was only $10, it lasted for a year, and after a few weeks of regular use, I only had to use it once in a blue moon and now I can wear whatever deodorant I want (one that smells good).

Anyway, I know it’s kind of a hassle, but it’s been great. I don’t have to worry about this issue at all anymore, and I’m never stuck in a meeting with embarrassing sweat stains (even if it’s hot). So, that’s my advice, and I’m so glad I got to share a somewhat embarrassing fact about myself to give it to you. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t think you were idiotic on the news program, and you and Sars both looked nice.

Here’s the secret weapon. It’s called Drysol. It’s the miracle amazing no sweat concoction of the gods. You put it on at night when you go to bed. You wake up the next day and no sweat. No need for all the super cakey weird white ruin your clothes anti-perspirant. No sweat all day. Amazing.

Also, I find drysol very helpful. You put it on overnight and then you can go without normal deodorant (or one of those clear ones that’s more deodorant than anti-perspirant).

I’ll put in my two cents anyway while at the same time revealing my own dirty little secret: I am the worst sweater (producer of sweat?) ever. Seriously. Like an Atlanta whore in the summertime.

UNTIL I started using this nifty little stuff called “Drysol”. I got it from my dermatologist and I’m not sure if you can get it without a perscription but let me tell you, that stuff works! I used some under my arms and then went to the gym–I was dripping everywhere else but my armpits were as dry as a bone. I was so amazed I almost asked the woman on the treadmill next to me to feel how dry I was (fortunately I realized last second that isn’t the best way to go about promoting a product).

So, yes. Drysol. It works. Upside: you only have to use it once a week. Seriously. Downside: it stings like a bitch when you first put it on. (Hey, everything’s got a price, right?) Hope that helps!

I was upset enough to go to my doctor, who prescribed Drysol for me, and I gave it a try. I applied the Drysol that night and in the morning, voila, I was dry as the Sahara. You only need to use the product about once every ten days, or on an as need basis – like, right before a big interview. My brother used it for his wedding, and he is hooked. It is also very affordable. I think it is ten bucks for a bottle that lasts several months.

How come all of the “good” deodorants also hurt like a bitch?

Some of you have turned this into a ritual —


It’s simple, really:

Put on your deodorant. Before you put on your shirt, you roll up your shirt (rolling inwards out) halfway. Then you put on your shirt. Then you roll the rest of your shirt down, confident that any deodorant streaks are caught on the fabric that’s on the inside, not the outside.

Really, you should have come to me with this sooner.

Take the bottom hem of your shirt and fold it about half of the way up the shirt. The hem of the shirt will be right below your breasts. The shirt will be about half-way inside out. Then put it on. Any deodorant will only hit the inside of the shirt rather than the outside.

Or you can put the deodorant on and put your shirt on while it’s in the ‘pre-folded’ position to prevent dragging the outside of the shirt over the deodorant.

Does that make sense? It’s hard to explain in words. Much easier to demonstrate in person. Sorry if this just makes it more confusing!

Lay the shirt you plan to wear on the bed, and fold up the bottom so it’s kind of inside out for about 6 inches. Pick it up from the folded edge and put it on. Voila! It actually works. No shit.

But if you’re most concerned with just the white marks on your clothes, the thing that works the best is a lint brush. Put your clothes and deodorant on whichever way you fancy, and then just brush away the marks with the brush. But not that sticky type; it can only be the kind with the really short, stiff (but still a little soft) fibres that feel a little like profuse synthetic stubble. You can get the bigass kind that are ajustable for either left- or right-handed people, or the tiny kind that you can keep in your purse (these are good for when you might not end up sleeping at your own place. Ahem). And with a few strokes, the brush’ll take the marks off ANY fabric, I swear. AND you’ll be lint-free. I swear I’m not a lint-brush salesperson.

Practice with a t-shirt. Turn it inside out and lay it out on the bed, with the collar end facing you. Got it? Lay it so that it is front-down, tag-up. Now. Wait. Apply deodorant, and then continue. Pick up the shirt by the collar end, and stick your head in it. Yes, stick the head. Now reverse the “skin the cat” shirt removal technique your mother used to use on you when you were a toddler, and put the shirt the rest of the way on, turning it right side out.

There you go. You’re done. Any deodorant marks are safely on the inside of the shirt and are few to begin with, because there was no sliding or skidding or slithering into it. And with minimal stretching.

I think I’m gonna need a diagram that I tack onto my wall to get it right. What if I hit myself in the face with the lint brush?

And everyone’s got some magic move.


Roll your shirt up from the bottom hem to the sleeves before you put it on. Then, once it’s over your head and your arms are in the sleeves, unroll it. Any deodorant smears end up on the inside.

Roll the shirt up from the bottom, to sleeve level. Keep it rolled up while you pull on the shirt over your head. Get it to about boob level, and then unroll. Just make sure you’re past your pits when you unroll. That way, the stripes may get on your shirt, but they’ll get on the inside, where it doesn’t matter. And if you do get deodorant on the shirt, don’t fret. Shout wipes usually gets it off pretty quickly. Just take a hair dryer to the spot the wipes leave.

Love your column. I too, have the same wannabe streak free underarm issues and this is what I have found. Put your deodorant on before getting dressed. Then roll the bottom of your shirt up to the sleeves as if you were rolling down a paper bag to drink a beer. What you’re left with is a neck, sleeves and a donut roll. Now when you put your shirt on, any deodorant, whether put on 2 minutes ago or 20 minutes ago, will come off on the inside of your shirt. Then just roll down the rest of your shirt. Streak free!

Okay, so today I did The Roll. And let me tell you the problems with “The Roll.”

First of all, it takes time. I’m standing there, holding the shirt in my mouth by the collar, rolling up the bottom of the shirt like some kind of dough, and the cat’s getting worried that I’m about to put the shirt on his head. Then I put the shirt on, but I still have to unroll the shirt, and guess what? The rolls are at my underarms.

Then I, of course, didn’t like the first three shirts I put on, and this rolling really cuts down on my patented “Fling and Pick” move where I’m tossing one shirt over my head while selecting another. I was giving every shirt an additional fifteen seconds of thought, because I didn’t want to roll up a shirt only to change my mind halfway through the roll. It’s clumsy and awkward to roll up the fabric and then flip it over my head. Maybe it just takes more practice. I don’t know.

Next time I’m trying:


Fold up the bottom about 4-6 inches — that should catch most of the streaks. But it doesn’t catch them all (it’s mostly us well-appointed types who have this problem), so buy a good lint brush with really stiff bristles. It won’t do shit for cat hair but it’s the only thing that works on deodorant streaks.

As for your deodorant on your shirt, try folding your shirt bottm up so it’s sort of half way inside out. That way when you pull the body of the shirt over your head, the outside is protected, then you just fold it down after it’s over your boobs.

I’m starting to think you guys wrote in just to talk about my boobs.

Before I pull the shirt over my head, I fold up the bottom half of the shirt over the exterior of the shirt. So, when I pull it over my head, it’s the folded over inside part of the shirt that rubs against my armpits. When you flip down the bottom half of the shirt, the deodorant that rubbed off will then be on the inside of the shirt. Can you picture this? It might be a little hard to imagine, but it works!

I also of the large-breasted club recommend that you fold the shirt up when you put it on. You flip the bottom up so that when you shimmy into your shirt only the inside of the shirt is getting touched. Then you delicately fold it back down into its proper place. As for sweating through the shirt? I have no idea. I’ve never had that happen with deodorant.

I find that if I fold up the bottom half of the top then put it on, (and pull it back down), any residue that might have gotten on the outside of my shirt, will get on the inside instead! (I’m not too sure how clear that was….)

My mom taught me the method I use to this day (although putting it on before you even brush your teeth in the morning and then putting your shirt on last helps some). Fold up the bottom of your shirt so the inside is outside, and the hem doesn’t quite reach the arm holes. Don’t fold it up too high because then you’ll just get white marks on the hem. Then put on the shirt and fold the bottom half down. Voila!

I realize that might not make any sense, but it works for me. I have white lines all over the insides of my shirts, but not on the outsides. I wish I could draw a little diagram, but, well, I’m not adept with the ASCII art. Nor do I have a scanner.

I think I might be able to handle the folding. The rolling gets out of control, since I’m rolling a tube into a donut. Coincidentally Rolling a Tube Into a Donut is the name of my first jazz fusion album.


I have to admit, Pamie, that I put deodorant on and walk around in a bra. I’m big-busted, for what it’s worth. The routine tends to be:
Shower (cleanse face), get out, dry, put on moisturizer
Put on underwear
Put on deodorant
By this time the moisturizer has soaked in, so I put on all clothes except a shirt.
Take coffee back into bathroom and do makeup – all except powder
By this time the deodorant has dried, so I pull shirt over head. Put powder on face, leaning forward to avoid shaking all over shirt (which I am totally capable of doing otherwise)
Brush hair.

It works even better with button-up clothes that you don’t have to pull over your head. Less safe-guarding needed.

Anyway, here’s what I do… Apply deodorant. Give it some time to soak in a little. Brush your teeth or apply mascara or something. Before putting your T shirt on, fold the bottom half up on the outside of the shirt. Does that make sense? I mean, bring the hem of the shirt up to boob level, being careful not to have the hem go over the arm openings. *Carefully* put on your shirt, then pull the hem back down into place. That way, if deodorant gets on the shirt it gets on the inside and none can see it when you pull it back down. Works for me.

I know she added that “*carefully!*” because I’m such a klutz.


when I’m really in a rush and can’t wait in the tank top, I put on my top just around my neck and leave it hanging down my back, apply the deodorant, and then sneak my arms into it very carefully. Which really only works with stretchy things that will snug back down, but if you really wriggle, like when you’re taking off an underneath layer while keeping an outer layer on? a little less stretch.

Here’s what I do: apply deodorant as normal. Put your head through the neck hole first, then shrug shirt over your shoulders, with your arms clamped down. Gingerly take the hem of your shirt, yank down past armpit area, wrestle arms into sleeves. The main thing is to move very slowly, because that deodorant on your pits is like a frigging shirt magnet. Plan on wearing loose t-shirts for the rest of your life. Or button downs.

Personally, I give up. I either wind up with deodorant stripes anyways, or I tear the sleeves off with this method.

Have you ever tried lowering the deodorant DOWN your shirt and applying it? Instead of coming up from the bottom?

I’m pretty sure that one will ruin every collar of every t-shirt I’ll ever own. I already get enough cleavage shots out of my v-necks.

So, after reading your last entry, I started contemplating how, for the past few months, I have largely avoided the evil deodorant stains. I think it comes down to upper-body contortion. I put my arms all the way through their holes first, then, holding onto the sides of the shirt (I bunch the shirt up a bit so there is no chance of pit contact with any part of the sides of the shirt) I pull it over my head and then down. The brests usually get in the way — they act as a shelf so the shirt is usually most of the way down in the back and not down very far (if at all) in the front. Then I pull the shirt down in front. I haven’t had many noticable stains in a while now, and I do wear black frequently. The tighter the shirt, the more contortion is involved, but perhaps this will help you a bit.

Yeah, I had that problem too, I find what works best is to put the deodorant on directly after getting out of the shower, let it dry while doing my hair and put my shirt on last. Failing that, I put it on after I put my shirt on but I go through the sleeves rather than the bottom of the shirt, of course that only works with short sleeves.

It also helps if you’re missing joints in your elbows. Isn’t that hard to cram the deodorant bottle in there?

you could put the shirt thru your head, wear it like a necklace first, apply deodorant, then put your arms thru the other holes. hmn. what do you think?

Again, I think some of you are just trying to see how far I’ll go.


Put the deodorant on after you put on the shirt. I admit, you’re going to stretch the shirt out if you do this. But, while the odds are that you could still mark up the shirt with deodorant, the odds are better that you’ll do it on the inside of the shirt.

My latest thing is to put on the deodorant when I first go in the bathroom to brush my teeth. I am still wearing my sleeping clothes. That way, by the time I am ready to get dressed, the deodorant (which is supposed to be clear, but isn’t) has soaked in and stays off my clothes.

And these are my favorite. Since we’re already talking about a personal situation, it’s only natural that we’ll come across some serious TMI.


I’ve never had any kind of luck w/ the “sheer” stuff. Either it’s not really sheer, or it doesn’t work worth a crap. I have the body chemistry of a 45 year old chain-smoking appliance repairman (aren’t you glad I emailed you?).

On deodorant, I have this THING about what I call “deodorant chunks.” Yuck. Any deodorant residue whatsoever grosses me out completely. My boyfriend sometimes uses this stuff that leaves big chunks in his very long armpit hair and he thinks we’re going to hop into bed and I’m going to cuddle up under his arm with chunks in my face and I’m standing there looking at the chunks peeking out from his underarms with what must be a look of absolute horror on my face because he always says, “Oh..chunks?” Heh.

Currently I’m using Dove Invisible solid, and I like it, but halfway through the day I start smelling the funk. It’s like it just stops working. I have a suspicion that the deodorant is rubbing off, but it would be inconvenient to have to do a reapplication in the middle of the day. I’d like to know what all the cool pamie.com readers are wearing on their pits.

I also get pit stains. I sweat like a son of a bitch, and every white shirt I have has yellow armpits, because my sweat is toxic. I once knew a person, a fellow musician like myself, who had the same problem, but with her spit. She was a clarinetist, and went through a reed every time she played for longer than two hours, while the rest of us could make one last for at least a week. It happens, bodily fluids are different for everyone. That’s why we all have different blood types.

I also use secret platinum since I am a hairy, sweaty fool of a woman. although most of the time I just use herbal stuff or go without since I am also a hippie fool, but when I have to, only secret platinum works.

what happened to you also happened to me at a wedding (!) a few months ago on a nice black linen dress (!!), so I feel your pain. what I do is put on the deoderant (only 2-3 clicks, btw, more than that won’t dry) 10 minutes (not 5, 10!) before I put on my clothes. so I do that and then brush my teeth or do my hair or whatever and then the deoderant is dry by the time I put on my top.

I opt for the “apply thin layer, wait 5 minutes, then pull shirt on” strategy. I used to apply waaay too much, and I got it everywhere, and it never fully dried enough to pull a shirt on w/out making a mess. So, maybe you’re applying too much? I reduced my normal amount by more than half, and there were no complaints from friends or co-workers. And Austin (as you know) gets pretty sweaty in August. Or… if you’re not diametrically opposed to aerosols, they usually dry faster than other types, allowing you to pull a shirt on w/out messing it up.

I also use Secret Platinum and I have a set of DD’s, so we’ve got the same factors in play here in the equation. Unfortunately, I don’t have all that big a problem with stains and stretching. I don’t really mind stretching that much, though, which is why my two alternatives probably won’t work for you. But why not write, really?

you are so not alone. I have also felt, many times, like a big disgusting sweaty dork because I have a similar lack of ability to keep the smearing from happening all over my shirts. And I’m guessing it’s not your chest, cause I’m a little 36A.

the only 2 tricks that I’ve had some success with are –a) keeping an old tank top around that I only wear while waiting for deodourant to dry — that way I dry faster, I’m wearing something (as opposed to giving the neighbours a show), but I don’t care about getting the top dirty (like period pants; they live in the same drawer).

I still cannot understand why such a tiny little woman like me can sweat as much as a 300-lb football player, especially when the other women in my family don’t sweat. Life is simply not fair.

I was the victim of a very embarrassing sweat through situation a few years ago. We’ll just say that at the end of the night I had balls of that newspaper-like public bathroom paper towel stuffed under my arms.


Just a quick note to let you know that you aren’t the only one out there with deodorant issues. I asked my hubby, my mom, my pets, and nobody had a solution for me either. My mom was baffled about the issue — she couldn’t believe that a person could have such a hard time getting dressed — and, when pressed, said the solution may be breast reduction or much larger shirts. I’m not huge, but a D cup fits comfortably, so I guess that’s above average and definitely out of pretty/sexy bra territory. I like wearing clothes that fit, however, because the baggy look tends to make us busty people just look fat. I’m not talking skin-tight-street-walker-wear here, just clothes that fit.

And finally, file this under:


You need to get Botox injections in your pits to stop the sweating and eliminate the need for deodorant. Very simple.


I also use the Secret Platinum Aluminum Death, but I recently got married and the dress was sleeveless and I knew I’d be sweating buckets and I wanted something different. I saw an article in some horrible woman’s magazine about a woman who’d gotten Botox injections in her underarms and how fabulous it was blah blah blah and I said, what the hell, and gave it a try.

Anyway, it’s really worked–I don’t wear anti-perspirant anymore (though I do wear deodorant still–one without anti-perspirant in it) and I can finally wear all those shirts that have been hanging in my closet that I never wore because I sweat through them all.

The doctor who did my injections has some more info on his web site:

Anyway. Now the bad news, which is that it’s really fucking expensive, and is not currently paid for by most insurance companies. But it’s been going through more FDA trials recently, so maybe someday it’ll be affordable. Maybe you could swing a deal with some doctor’s office and tell them you’ll mention them to your audience of thousands.

And no, I am in no way affliated with the doctor I mentioned, or producers of Botox, etc etc.. just wanted to share a solution from a fellow sufferer.


Or just Botox your pit sweat glands. You’re in LA, it’s suddenly an option.

Oh, man. Can’t I just roll a tube into a donut? Fold an outer edge? Try the overnight stick sensation? Maybe I should work out less, or keep to meetings where I know everything that’s going to happen. Maybe I should stay out of sunlight and keep from laughing too hard. Botox my pits? Jesus Pete, it’s hard to be a girl.

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