Parenting is messy business. But fighting back doesn’t mean wearing only old tees or accepting that your favorite clothes will be forever-dotted with stains. Because the latest stain-resistant and stain-repellent shirts are more versatile than ever. The best ones feature durable stretch fabric, moisture-wicking qualities, and the construction of a classic button down. And they’re damn near stain-proof.
What’s the difference between stain-resistant and stain-repellent? Well, stain-repellent shirts are usually treated with a coating meant to repel liquids (or just about anything else you can think of), and stain-resistant shirts commonly have material woven into said shirt to prevent stains from setting in. You’ll occasionally see the term “stain-fighting” as well, which is another way of referring to either type of shirt. The ones you’ll see here are “stain-resistant” or “stain-repellent,” but they all fit the right criteria in terms of style and performance.
There’s no need to fear with these shirts: You’re not sacrificing style and zipping up a hazmat suit when you wear a shirt designed to protect against stains. Stain-fighting shirts are actually more stylish and versatile than you might think. In fact, they’re simply stylish shirts that have tech to keep them free of stains. Here are five to consider.
Call it a miracle: Worrying about stains on a crisp white polo shirt is now a thing of the past. This teched-up shirt’s 100 percent cotton fabric is hydrophobic as well as stain-resistant meaning the stain-proof shirt is a reality. Special powers aside, this is a comfortable, wear-anywhere short-sleeve shirt that fits without feeling sloppy or baggy. You'll want to buy five.
Remember what we said about shirts that blend both style and functionality in your quest to rid your wardrobe of stains? Lands’ End delivers in that regard quite handsomely with this amped-up performance twill shirt. The brand transformed its Chino fabric into a sport shirt with stain-repellent qualities, and it’ll also fight wrinkles at the same time. It’s available in nine distinct and versatile colors.
When you think of a performance shirt you likely picture a gym shirt or other type of activewear. Western Rise’s AirLight shirt is turning that notion on its head. Made with lightweight, breathable fabric finished with a durable water resistant coating (DWR), the smartly tailored button down (also available in a short-sleeve style) is both water and stain-repellent. It’s a style forward shirt that just so happens to have incredible tech behind it.
Ably Apparel’s version of a long-sleeve shirt check a lot of the right boxes. It’s stain-resistant, sure, but it’s also designed to fight odor and dry quickly. It’s all thanks to the brand’s proprietary activated fabric, which turns any natural fiber into a stain-busting wonder while repelling liquid. The brand claims the ttech can even stand up to wine, coffee or ice cream.
Consider this the classic dress shirt, upgraded. Thanks to a proprietary fiber infusion, it's both stain-resistant and liquid-repellent to keep you looking sharp. A slim cut and front buttons covered by a placket, provide some nice style points.