I bought a casual 100% cotton button-down shirt the other day from the brand ESP fashion.
I live in Bangkok, Thailand and it's crazy hot here at the moment (or any moment), so I figured a white one would probably A) not be as hot in the sun and B) not show sweat as easily as other colors.
Anyway, in the fitting room the shirt was really nice, soft and appeared to be a bit moisture-repellant. Got home, put it in the washer to get rid of possible left-over chemicals from manufacturing (it's just something I have a habit of always doing when I buy new clothes). After washing I noticed it wasn't as soft as before, so I figured they had perhaps used some softener on it (which I generally don't ever use).
The next day I put the shirt on, and my back was still a bit moist from the shower. Now the shirt immediately absorbed any moisture it came into contact with, even for just a fraction of a second! My theory that white wouldn't change color when wet got immediately debunked - it looked bad, really bad.
My theory is that the fabric was treated with something to make it a bit softer and to repel moisture, but that treatment/coating was washed away even after the first washing. So now I'm wondering if there are any products one can use to make clothes repel moisture better? Obviously, one can wax them as I have done in the past with hiking gear, but that doesn't really seem appropriate for a nice looking button-down shirt that is meant for urban use. Anything better suited for nice looking clothes? Are there any softeners or other products one can use in the washer to aid in moisture repelling?