Dressing For Athletic Guys: A Primer

Last updated: January 25, 2020

Look, everyone gets it. Having broad shoulders, a huge chest-to-waist ratio, muscular thighs, or just generally looking like someone who works out regularly is usually a good thing.

You get to have higher stamina, feel comfortable with yourself and are eye candy for the ladies.

One aspect of this wonderful way of being is that it is generally hard to find clothes that both fit and suit you – you have special needs when it comes to various sizes and cuts, which makes it hard to go for a more elaborate or unique style – and depending on what kind of sports you have trained your body with, your situation might be less or more dire.

Anyways, here are a few general tips and tricks to make the best out of the options available to you – do not take them as directions written in stone, but rather use them as a general set of guidelines that tend to work in the overwhelming amount of the cases:

A lot of my examples use MMA fighter Conor McGregor because he has a very good foundation on how to dress for an athletic physique. (Broad shoulders, big legs, etc)

Shoes With a Solid Body

Bulkier Footwear Works Great

It is especially important if you have relatively smaller feet to pick shoes that are prominent and wide enough.

If you don’t want your legs to look like carrots, it’s best to opt for boots with open laces, and that is thick on your shanks.

Combat-style or workboots like Red Wings Iron Rangers might be the best option for you, but it is possible to consider bulkier sneakers as well.

The Slimmer Jeans, The Better

Slimmer Fitting Jeans That Accentuate Your Lower Half

Depending on how bulky your legs are, different varieties of skinny jeans with stretching qualities tend to give you the most comfort, as well as the stylish look you are craving.

Levi’s 511 and 514 are good products to start with, especially if you want to experiment with pseudo-skinny jeans – meaning ones that have a sharp taper that fits sort of like a carrot.

Some Naked and Famous products, such as Slim Guy and Weird Guy, are regarded also trustworthy for the purposes detailed above.

However, though, if your legs are incredibly massive, then skinny fits will definitely not work.

If this is the case, it is best to opt for looser fits that still have some taper, even if it’s not as pronounced as with skinny jeans.

The most well-known pants to fit these criteria are Levi’s 501s, but the company has some more recent releases as well that will satisfy.

One more thing about pants to remember is that you do not need to go for a tight fit on the waist area and the top block.

Since quads tend to be the biggest limitations here, it is easy to get away with some room in the waist area where you can comfortably tuck your shirt in and that you can adjust a bit with a belt.

Always Wear a Belt

And a thick one at that. Just like with shoes or any accessories in general, avoid everything that looks unnaturally slim on you. Opt for a high quality belt.

Tuck in Your Shirts

Talking in a shirt to go from ill-fitting to perfect fit!

Chances are that due to your wide shoulders most of the tees you can find that fit you will be way too long in the waist area.

So do not shy away from tucking them into your pants. Speaking of sizes and proportions: always make it your number one priority that the shirts you buy fit your shoulders, especially if you have a big drop.

It is easier to work your way down from that, either through tailoring your shirts of just simply tucking them in.

Always go for quality over quantity and don’t be afraid of spending more than ten bucks on a shirt, especially if it’s of a thicker variety.

No matter if it’s a shirt or tee, stretchier ones will make them more comfortable to wear.

Especially if you are going for some less formal t-shirts, comfort should be of utmost importance. And that, with your body type most definitely equals stretchiness.

Polo Shirts Will Make Your Guns Pop

Polo shorts – the ultimate shirt to show off an athletic physique

If you want to let everyone you see know just how seriously you take working out, polo shirts are surely the best choice – they highlight your triceps and your biceps, and the stretchier, slim fit varieties will look good on you while being comfortable too.

Beware of Knitwear

Knitwear works – Only when fitted properly or tailored! Otherwise looks too bulky.

Stylewise knitwear looks better if it’s properly tailored.

Feel free to walk around in those chunky regular fits, but if you want to make a sweater like this work for you, you might need some very specialist tailoring to make the most out of it truly.

Outerwear is Generally up to you

Denim Jackets, Leather Jackets, Overcoats – They all work.

When it comes to overcoats and jackets, practically any style will work for you.

A lot will find denim jackets and leather stuff to be the best fitting for them, but really there is only one rule: avoid puffy coats since more bulk is the last thing you need.

It is also worth considering tailoring your coats, but it should be noted that this may be much more expensive than tailoring shirts.

Some Final Words

Most of these tips are for casual wear, but it does not mean that a lot of them don’t translate to formal clothing.

You should go for wider, bulkier shoes and accessories when you are putting your formal wardrobe together, and you may take advantage of some tricks like collar extenders or custom-tailoring.

It’s perhaps needless to say but avoid padded shoulders altogether as you definitely cannot take advantage of what they have to offer.

The most important thing, either way, is to be yourself and express your style both casual and formal in a way that you are most comfortable with.