How do you deal with the heat and humidity?

So 15 years in Asia and I still can't figure out: "how does one deal with the heat and humidity?"
I'm a sweaty dude. Come April I can't even walk around in Hong Kong or Singapore without looking like I just took a shower with my clothes on. Nothing says professional like a disheveled sweaty dude. I've long since given up wearing a suit jacket to work. So yeah, drop down in professionalism right there..
I bring cloth hand-towels to work, to dab sweat off my face all day long, but I'm going thru 2-3 per day.
So how do you guys in humid climates deal with this? I'm thinking NYC and Boston are similar.
It gets a tad better once we get to office due to AC but I'm still out and about walking to meetings (we don't drive in HK much).

Comments (29)

May 4, 2020 - 8:46pm

There are anti-sweat powders and sprays on amazon that you can put on yourself, which prevents you from sweating.

Having low body fat worked for me. I sweat much less than I did when I was slightly fat in college from my permabulk.

May 4, 2020 - 9:51pm

Don't work there. Simple. Had an offer at a fund in SG, went there to check it out. Got the fuck out of there.

  • 4
May 5, 2020 - 2:34am

damn SG is my favorite place on earth, but ive never worked there. in all seriousness why did you not take the offer?

May 4, 2020 - 10:27pm

Practically, there's no real way to get around how hot Asia can be from my years of experience there too, but:
* Losing weight definitely helps unless you're already pretty slim
* The fabric or weight of clothes you're wearing may also be contributing (try linen or seersucker)
* A handkerchief could be a functional addition that could help dab off the sweat
* A smart hat could also work
* The shower idea per CHItizen is genius, especially if your commute is the primary culprit and you'll be air-conditioned the rest of the time at work


Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • 1
  • Incoming Analyst in S&T - Other
May 5, 2020 - 5:14am

I grew up in one of those places and always wondered how the older folks didn't break a sweat in their pitchdark suits.

I'm pretty sure there's no way to deal with it, but I do look forward to evening swims and iced tea. I guess in colonial times you could have gotten away with a seersucker/linen suit or something... nowadays maybe ask your shirtmaker to play around with fabrics/weaves (or go for something like a 40/60 linen cotton blend) and roll up your sleeves.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 5, 2020 - 6:30am

man i was born and live here and even i still bitch about it some days

that said, most areas are air conditioned - even the commute, so just try to stay indoors as much as possible

use an alum block for deodorant it works great

Most Helpful
May 5, 2020 - 7:14am

lived in the swamp my whole life, it's mitigation not prevention. no gray suits, period. just no.

compression shorts as undies are a godsend, last thing I want are soaked napkins for boxers

I've noticed some of my dress shirts with micro patterns rather than just a flat weave tend to stay off my skin when it's sweaty (like this…)

while we're on that subject, always white shirts, always. when you're back in the office, take off the jacket, put it on a cedar hanger to absorb the moisture and let it dry out

moisture wicking undershirts are necessary too, change those out frequently.

finally, the sauna. my first 5 or so years post-college in the south (even though I grew up here) I was a sweaty mess, sometimes opting to bring my lunch just because I didn't want to venture outside with 100% humidity and the heat index over 105 whilst in a suit. this could be anecdotal, it could be because I'm healthier in general now, but I noticed frequent sauna trips have made me more heat tolerant, even if I'm a bigger bitch in the winter now. sure I still sweat, but it's tolerable

May 5, 2020 - 8:26am

YouTube videos of the ocean the Kygo loops of pubescents dancing, you know which ones I mean. Collin McLoughlin – Titanium (Anton Ishutin Edit) Music video HD

May 5, 2020 - 8:34am

I grew up in Alabama, through years of inbreeding we've created a race impervious to severe humidity and heat! But on the real like thebrofessor said compression shorts for underwear are huge for keeping swamp crotch in check

May 5, 2020 - 8:41am

Living in the South, Air Conditioning is always the answer. I imagine Singapore and Hong Kong have AC.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
May 5, 2020 - 12:02pm

most places have AC. it's the 8 minute uphill walk every morning from the subway station to your office that will leave you soaked

May 5, 2020 - 12:04pm


Another part of living in the South is that effective public transit isn't a thing. Unless I'm on a jobsite or walking to my car, there's no real reason to be outside during the week.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
May 5, 2020 - 3:03pm

Not sure how many of you actually have either lived in various parts of Asia, or experienced the weather there in a constant capacity vs. just visiting.

Singapore is hot and literally tropical all year around. December is like Florida, but way more humid.

There are things you can do to cope with any situation. But applying a permanent band-aid to life isn't a fulfilling way to live.

Also, this opinion is under the assumption you are that's miserable like me in the humidity ie if OCD sweaty, and schedule workouts in mornings.

May 5, 2020 - 3:09pm

Yeah the humidity in SG is really hard to deal with. I wanted to move there for a long time then visited and noped that idea.

May 5, 2020 - 3:27pm

thebrofessor seems to have it down, but I'll add some comments. From what I'm told Hong Kong is NOT like Boston or NYC at all (I've lived in both). Boston and NYC are not that humid (relatively speaking), though NYC does have it's days in the summer. I have a customer, a Hong Kong native, who says HK is more humid than Houston, where he now lives part time. I don't see how that's possible, but true or not that's quite a statement.

All of that to say, there's not much you can do. Don't drink hot coffee, and lose weight if necessary can help a bit.

May 5, 2020 - 3:34pm

I've been in SE Asia for a few years now and I've definitely gotten better since I arrived. I can probably do around 15 minutes in midday sun without breaking a sweat compared to 15 seconds when I first got here. I think it's mostly to do with acclimatization and forcing yourself to go without AC for longer periods of time. Failing that you could always get one of these bad boys if you have no shame:

Neck fan

  • 1
May 5, 2020 - 7:04pm

Speaking from experience because I sweat a lot, I find that doing exercise first thing in the morning and taking a shower after depletes some of the sweat glands; I tend to sweat much more in casual settings on days when I don't exercise. Also, I recommend moisturizing your body by using cold water the last few minutes of your shower. Using a water-based moisturizer like Cetaphil on my hands and feet have decreased sweat there too. One other thing that's helped a lot is body trimming - torso, underarms, and private parts are a must. You don't need to be hairless but you shouldn't be rocking a rain forest down there. Also, being slimmer/leaner helps a lot

I’m a fun guy. Obviously I love the game of basketball. I mean there’s more questions you have to ask me in order for me to tell you about myself. I'm not just gonna give you a whole spill... I mean, I don't even know where you're sitting at
  • 2
May 5, 2020 - 11:11pm

I hate humidity so I moved to Denver to enjoy the high plains climate with almost no humidity.

May 6, 2020 - 1:22am

I am from Asia and we just drink hot tea in summer. Yes, hot tea. YES, HOT TEA.

MM IB/Retail brokerage - Sell-side ER Generalist and Capital Markets IB (ECM, DCM), Eastern Europe and Central Asia region
  • 1
Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

IB Sucks. I'm out
+121IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Generalist">Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
IB is not intellectually challenging
+57IBby Intern in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Intern in IB-M&A
Janet Yellen - Unrealized Capital Gains Tax. WTF
+28OFFby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Generalist">Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
VP Lying
+27IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A

Total Avg Compensation

January 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (31) $349
  • Associates (141) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (89) $151
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (19) $150
  • Intern/Summer Associate (91) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (351) $132
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (300) $82

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
Addinator's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
Edifice's picture