January 09, 2023 6 min read

If you’ve got a broad chest and shoulders, and a smaller waist, then you’ve probably got an athletic body type. While this is great for your health and confidence, it does make finding clothes tricky.

Some brands have started making athletic-fit dress shirts and pants to cater to the growing market of men who take pride in their body and want to show off the hard work they put into it. However, just because they claim to work for athletes doesn’t mean they necessarily do.

While it’s easier to find athletic-fit clothes now than ever before, there are still some important factors you need to look out for when shopping.

We’re here to take you through everything you need to know when shopping for athletic-fit dress shirts. Once that’s covered, we’ll show you why TAILORED ATHLETE is the go-to option for so many athletes and what puts our products a step above the rest.

What this article covers:

What Does Athletic Fit Mean?

best athletic cut dress shirts

Athletic-fit clothing is cut for anyone who struggles to find clothing to properly flatter their body. Done well, an athletic-fit garment should keep you comfortable, allow free movement, and highlight your best features.

Bear in mind, though, that not everyone who exercises regularly needs an athletic-fit dress shirt. These clothes are best for someone with a slim waist and broad, muscular shoulders.

Athletic fit shirts accommodate the proportions by making room for well-developed muscles while maintaining a slim profile in the waist area. Some dress shirts also have tapered sleeves that make space for muscular arms while staying fitted around the wrist. 

This creates a flattering appearance that avoids the common problems associated with forcing regular clothing onto muscular people.

Best Athletic Fit Dress Shirt For Athletes

TAILORED ATHLETE is raising the standard of traditional formal shirts with our signature True Muscle Fit. 

These are the best dress shirts for an athletic build. This allows for a broad chest and shoulders, and bigger arms but tapers at the waist for a perfect fit guaranteed. 

All our True Muscle Fit garments are created using high-quality Performance Farbci with 4-way stretch properties. This means that the clothes work to fit your body and not the other way around. 

You don’t have to look like you’ve squeezed into your dress shirts anymore, and gone are the days of hiding your body behind a curtain of fabric. Our Essential Dress Shirts come in a range of colors so you can be sure to find one for every occasion.

 best men's athletic fit dress shirts

Not only do these shirts look good, they’re functional too. Thanks to the 4-way stretch fabric, these shirts are crease-proof, so you look good for hours without having to worry about it getting tired throughout the day. 

It’s machine washable and is made from a durable combination of microfiber, cotton, and elastane.

What to Look For in Athletic Fit Dress Shirts


It’s best to choose a dress shirt that gives you the option to tuck it in or let it hang out. Make sure that the shirt isn’t too long as this makes it look baggy when untucked. A shirt that’s too long can also end up making you look disproportional.  

The tail of your shirt should sit just below your back pants pockets when untucked. To test that your shirt isn’t too big, you should be able to easily raise your arms above your head without it pulling too much or coming untucked. 

Chest Space

Your shirt is fitted but not too tight on your chest. You need enough room in your chest for a full range of motion and comfort.

If it’s too tight, you may end up ripping the shirt. The average chest measurement for muscular/athletic men is about 40 inches. This is a good indicator of size if you’re of average height and weight.

When trying a shirt on, there shouldn’t be any pulling in the buttons when your arms are down to your sides. You can also check out the best athletic button-down shirts.

If you can comfortably move your arms around without feeling any major resistance, then the shirt is the right size. 

This is one of the key differences between fitted and athletic fit dress shirts. To accommodate the extra size of your shoulders and upper arms, you need more room in the chest. This is what makes TAILORED ATHLETE’s Muscle Fit Shirts the best option for muscular men and bodybuilders.


A good athletic-fit dress shirt should have a bit of stretchiness so that there’s extra room to move around. 

Stretch is also important when your muscle mass fluctuates since you’re not always going to have the same measurements around your shoulders and forearms. 

This is what makes TAILORED ATHLETE’s clothes so great. If you pick up extra bulk, or if you can’t get to the gym for a week, you don’t have to worry about your clothes suddenly not fitting you anymore. 

best athletic fit button down shirts

The more stretch in the fabric, the more flexibility and movement you’ll have in all directions. If your athletic-fit dress shirt doesn’t have enough stretch, you could end up tearing it if you move too quickly.

Adequate Room In Collar And Neck

It’s important to pay attention to having enough room in the collar of your shirt, especially if you have a muscular neck. You should be able to comfortably close the collar of your dress shirt. Usually, between 15 to 17 inches is a good range to start with.

Test to see if you can fit two fingers in the collar comfortably without too much resistance or extra room. This indicates if the collar is a perfect fit.

Correct Material

Dress shirts that are made from lightweight, breathable material are best when trying to avoid sweat stains. Air will flow freely through the lightweight fabric and cool you down. 

Moisture-wicking technology helps prevent sweat from sticking to you. If the shirt is machine washable, moisture-wicking technology helps with quick drying which will save you time.

Fitted, Slim Waist

best athletic fit button down shirt

A regular cut shirt on an athletic body type often leaves a lot of excess fabric hanging around the waist area. This can make you look sloppy, wrinkly, and bulky. The shirt should have a clean smooth line that contours your body shape. 

Sleeve Length

You want to fill out the sleeves perfectly. Your dress shirt should have a higher armhole, with a more tapered sleeve to allow room for muscles at the top and stay fitted down to your wrists. It’s ideal if the cuff touches the base of your thumb. Although ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference. 

If you’re looking for a long sleeve shirt, check out our best long sleeve athletic shirts.

Choosing The Best Athletic Dress Shirt For Your Body Type


If you’re muscular all over, then you will most likely be more of a square/rectangle shape. In this case, finding clothes may be more challenging. 

Again, this is what makes TAILORED ATHLETE garments the best option on the market. Because of the 4-way stretch properties, you don’t have to worry about looking boxy in your fit. Our True Musle Fit dress shirts will contour around your frame so you don’t have to worry about unflattering clothes. 


If you have a triangular body shape, then you shouldn’t have too many issues finding a good-fitting dress shirt. It may be challenging, however, to find pants that fit well. 

You can look at our men's athletic fit jeans to round out your outfit. Check out our guide to the best dress shirts for bodybuilders if you struggle finding shirts for your triangular body shape.

best fitting dress shirts for athletic build

Inverted Triangle

If you have a larger upper body with a broad chest and arms, and a slim waist, then you will benefit from the athletic fit dress shirts. Athletic fit dress shirts are designed to fit this body type perfectly. 

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