Best clothes to wear to prevent chafing tried and tested (2023)


e may have waited patiently all year for summer to arrive, and though we’re thrilled for a chance to top up vitamin D levels in our lunch break, there’s one thing we’re not so wild about the return of. The risk of chafe.

When temperatures soar it’s only natural to want to shed the layers and wear as little as you can get away with - without risking an indecent exposure charge.

However, without the shield of hosiery or sleeves, the skin on your thighs or underarms can rub against itself, causing hellish levels of friction. Add sweat to the mix, and it’s soreness city.

Though it’s mainly a summertime scourge, chafe can happen all year around - especially if you work out often. Cyclists, rowers and runners are prone to it too, feeling the searing burn spreading beyond overworked leg and arm muscles.

The good news is that there are things you can invest in to, quite literally, save your skin.

Whether you’ve had enough of being covered in red raw rashes after a gym session, or you just want to wear that cute festival dress without feeling like your thighs are eating each other (or having to adopt a John Wayne walk to keep them apart), it’s time to take a stand against chafing.

To that end, we’ve found the best anti-chafe pieces that promise to keep you comfortable whatever the temperature or humidity levels.

See our list of the best below.

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Uniqlo AIRism Body silhouette shaper half shorts

If you're yet to try Uniqlo's AIRism range, make summer your excuse to get your hands on some pieces.

The collection has been developed specifically to withstand humid conditions by releasing heat, and keeps you covered and comfortable for longer, without restricting movement. The highly breathable collection feels as light as a feather and has been crafted with special polyester fibres that absorbs moisture like sweat and neutralises them so that you're not left a hot, ripe mess by the day’s end. Stickiness, be gone!

Spanning men's, women's and kid's fashion, there's plenty of choice. But if you're keeping your eye on the anti-chafe ball, these shaping shorts are perfect to slip on under a skirt or midi. Find a men’s version for the same price here.

Snag Stay Cool Chub Rub Shorts - Black

Sizes: 4 – 28

Sunny days are heavenly, but without adequate chafe protection, your thighs could feel hotter than Lucifer’s hot tub. Enter Snag’s shorts, made from a moisture-wicking fabric, cooling yarn, and cotton to keep you cool and comfortable all day long.

The beauty of this option is that the shorts won’t wear off in the way sprays and creams applied directly to the skin will over the course of the day. Bonus points for the silhouette slimming effect given by the high waist lightweight construction. Available in a range of colours.

L'Etoile Sport Mesh-paneled piqué polo shirt

Swing your racket to victory without worrying about rubbing your armpits raw. Thanks to a mix of piqué and mesh panels you'll get air flow and coverage where you need it, leaving you to focus on giving the court your all. It comes in sizes XS - XL.

Runderwear Women's Anti Chafing Shorts

Designed for long distance running, these shorts have been tested against friction to within an inch of their lives. The result? They can withstand hours of continual rubbing without tearing your thighs to shreds.

The common issue with shorts as an anti-chafe method is that the legs have a tendency to roll up under clothes, which means you’re constantly readjusting. Not the case with Runderwear.

Made with a 92 per cent Polyamide and 8 per cent Elastane mix, the breathable long shorts have a non-slip band at the leg’s hem which means they stay put whether you’re meandering around town or running an actual marathon. Wear with or without knickers.

Under Armour Women's UA Run In Peace Short Sleeve T-Shirt

This funky loose-cut t-shirt could become the hardest working piece in your summer leisuretime wardrobe.

It's made from super soft fabric with cotton part of the blend to help with breathability, with side-vents also part of the mix to keep air circulating. The light tee - with short sleeves to protect against chafe - is quick drying, making it one to reach for when packing for festivals, beach trips or a quick run around the block.

It comes in sizes XS - XL.

ASOS DESIGN Maternity 2 pack anti-chafing shorts in golden bronze

When you're in the later stages of pregnancy, it can be tough to tie up your shoe laces, nevermind anything else. A good-fitting pair of anti-chafe shorts can make things marginally more comfortable, protecting your inner thighs as well as offering moderate support to your bump. ASOS's versions are made for maternity wear, and you get a pack of two for a bargain price.

Cynthia Rowley Floral-print long-sleeved rash guard

Rash guards are designed for swimming and surfing, but when it looks this good we're willing to wear it on dry land too. As it's designed for water, this top is blissfully lightweight and is cropped short, making it ideal for summer styling in particular.

H&M DryMove Pocket-detail sports cycling shorts

Anti-chafe shorts aren't ordinarily made to be seen, but H&M turns all that on its head with this party pair, good enough to wear on their own or to the club.

The high-waisted streamlined look is made for cycling which means they'll have a glove-like fit - also a win for wearing under frocks - and feature moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool as a cucumber and thigh chafe a thing of the past.

What we liked best was the little pocket to keep essentials like cards or your phone. Available in sizes XS - 2XL.

Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga cut-out stretch-recycled polyester blend top

Hot yoga devotees know that sweat is part of the workout parcel - but that doesn't mean you can't make it more comfortable. Stella McCartney's collab with Adidas continues to deliver; this slip-on top is lightweight enough to wear in class, as well as afterwards or with shorts for an easy athleisure look. The all-over ribbed texture also feels comfortable against the skin.

Love Luna Period Anti Chafe Short

Period pants have taken off in a big way here in the UK. If you haven't tried them yet, we bet you know someone who has. Not only are they the planet-friendly alternative to disposable pads and tampons, but they completely lock in liquid to give total peace of mind.

Love Luna has transplanted this menstruation tech into a pair of anti-bacterial anti-chafe shorts so you can feel confident in whatever you're wearing when it’s your time of the month. The high waist, seamless design offers gentle slimming and are virtually undetectable under clothing. Hot and flustered; who are they again?

Available in black and beige in sizes 8 - 22.


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