June 20, 2023 8 min read

While they’re known for their versatility and casual design, t-shirts aren’t always an easy go-to for a simple clothing option. If you’re a muscular guy who’s bigger than the average joe, knowing how a T-shirt should fit your frame is key to finding something that shows you off instead of hiding your body behind a curtain of fabric.

Most athletic men and gym-goers are used to having to settle for clothes that barely fit rather than being able to wear something that’s flattering and comfortable. This is what TAILORED ATHLETE wants to change.

While knowing how a T-shirt should fit is the most important step, you still need to be able to find something that meets those high standards. The average clothing manufacturer is just that: average; they don’t design clothes that accommodate people like you, with wider arms and narrow waists.

So if you’ve ever struggled with this and you’re desperate for a solution, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together this helpful explained to show you exactly what to look for in a t-shirt that fits. We’ve also got a few recommendations we’re sure you’ll look great in.

What this article covers:

Why Proper T-Shirt Fit Matters

We understand better than anyone why the fit of a t-shirt is crucial. It's not only about looking good; it's about feeling comfortable and unrestricted, particularly for those of us who spend a good portion of our time in the gym. 

how should shirts fit

How Fit Impacts Comfort and Mobility

When you're working out or going about your day, you want a t-shirt that moves with you. A well-fitted t-shirt should not be restrictive or limit your range of motion, which is particularly crucial for gym-goers. Because you’re arms are probably larger than the average person’s. You need special accommodation in the sleeves to allow you to move freely without damaging the shirt.

It should be snug where it needs to be, loose where it matters, and never cause any discomfort.

At TAILORED ATHLETE, we know that for muscular men, areas such as the chest, shoulders, and biceps need special attention. This understanding informs our designs, ensuring our t-shirts provide an excellent fit that enhances comfort and promotes mobility.

Impact of Fit on Highlighting a Muscular Physique

As someone who puts in hard work to maintain a muscular physique, your clothes should reflect and accentuate your efforts. 

Too loose, and your t-shirt can hide your muscular definition, making your physique look less toned. Too tight, and it can appear that your clothing is straining against your muscles, creating an unflattering look that might seem like you're trying too hard.

A properly fitted t-shirt, on the other hand, subtly showcases your physique without drawing too much attention to it. You want to show off, sure, but you don’t want to look desperate. 

 how are t shirts supposed to fit

It should lightly hug your biceps, chest, and shoulders, illustrating the fruits of your labor without screaming for attention. At TAILORED ATHLETE, our t-shirts are specifically designed to enhance a muscular build, striking the perfect balance between fitted and comfortable.

T-Shirt Components and How They Should Fit

Collar: Fit and Impact on Overall Look

The collar of a t-shirt might seem like a minor detail, but it significantly affects your overall look. A well-fitted collar frames your face and adds balance to your appearance. It should lie flat against your neck without constricting or leaving too much space. Our t-shirts are designed to maintain their shape throughout the day, ensuring your collar always presents the right look.

Sleeves: Optimal Length and Tightness for Muscular Arms

The sleeves of a t-shirt play a significant role in showcasing your arm muscles. They should hit around the mid-bicep area and hug your arms lightly without restricting movement. They should be snug enough to highlight your muscular build without being too tight. 

The sleeve length and fit on TAILORED ATHLETE t-shirts are specially designed to complement your well-earned muscles.

 how are shirts supposed to fit

Chest and Waist: Determining the Right Fit for the Upper and Lower Torso

For muscular men, the chest and waist areas need to be perfectly balanced. The t-shirt should provide enough room in the chest area to accommodate larger muscles without straining the fabric. 

It should then taper down to the waist, emphasizing the V-shaped torso many athletic men possess. Too tight, and the shirt may restrict movement and create discomfort. Too loose, and it can hide your physique. 

Hem: Correct Length for Various Occasions

The hem of your t-shirt can greatly affect its overall appearance. Too long, and it can resemble more of a tunic, disrupting your proportions. Too short, and it can expose your midriff when you raise your arms or during workouts. Ideally, the hem should hit around the middle of your fly when untucked. This ensures the t-shirt works for both casual and semi-formal settings and keeps you covered during exercises. 

How to Measure for a T-Shirt

The first place to look is to figure out what size fitted shirt you are. And the only way you can do this is by taking accurate measurements.

 how t shirts should fit

Ensuring your t-shirt fits you perfectly starts with accurate measurements. Measuring your body is a vital first step in finding clothes that complement your muscular physique and contribute to a polished, stylish look. Here's how to go about it:

Guide to Taking Body Measurements

Chest: Wrap a tape measure around the fullest part of your chest, under your armpits. Ensure the tape is level across your back for an accurate reading.

Waist: Measure around your natural waistline, usually located just above your belly button and below your rib cage. Don't pull the tape too tight – you should be able to breathe comfortably.

If you’re looking for the size of muscle shirt your should wear, this is the most important measurement to take.

Hips: Stand with your feet together and measure around the fullest part of your hips.

Sleeve length: Bend your elbow and rest your hand on your hip. Have a friend measure from the center back of your neck, over the top of your shoulder, and down to your wrist.

Ensure you write down these measurements and keep them handy for future reference.

Comparing Body Measurements to T-shirt Sizing Charts

Once you have your measurements, the next step is to compare them to a t-shirt sizing chart. Each size corresponds to a range of measurements. Find the range that your measurements fall into – this is your optimal t-shirt size.

Remember, our t-shirts are specially designed for muscular builds, so they might fit differently than other brands. Always refer to our size chart to ensure the best fit.

how shirts should fit

Identifying and Resolving Fit Problems

At TAILORED ATHLETE, we're committed to helping you find the perfect fit, but we also understand that sometimes, issues can arise. Identifying and resolving fit problems is crucial to maintaining a sharp, muscular appearance. Here's what you need to know:

Recognizing Too Tight/Loose Areas

Understanding how a t-shirt should fit is key to recognizing problems. If you feel discomfort or restriction in movement, your shirt might be too tight. This is often evident around the chest, shoulders, and arms for muscular men. Conversely, if there's a lot of extra fabric around your waist or the shirt looks boxy when worn untucked, it may be too loose.

How to Fix Fit Issues: Resizing, Tailoring, or Different Styles

Once you've identified the problem, you can begin to address it:

Resizing: If the t-shirt is uniformly too tight or loose, you might simply need a different size. Refer back to your measurements and TAILORED ATHLETE's sizing chart to find the most suitable size for you.

Different Styles: If the fit issue is specific to a certain area (e.g., the t-shirt fits well around the chest but is too loose around the waist), consider trying a different style. TAILORED ATHLETE offers a variety of cuts to suit different body types and preferences.

Tailoring: Minor adjustments, like taking in a loose waist or adjusting a sleeve length, can often be handled by a professional tailor. This can be a good option if you love a t-shirt but it doesn't fit perfectly off the rack.

 how are t-shirts supposed to fit

When to Consider Professional Tailoring

While TAILORED ATHLETE strives to provide a superior fit with our off-the-rack options, sometimes tailoring can provide the final touch for a perfect fit. However, if you’ve bought something off the rack and it doesn’t fit, you need to find an alternative.

First, you should consider the price. Tailoring is a useful way to get a t-shirt to fit, but it’s going to cost you both time and money. In most cases, it’s better to just get a new shirt from our catalog that fits and donate your old one instead of taking it to a tailor.

There’s also the question of whether what you want to change can even be done. There’s a limit to what tailors can do, which means it’s not always possible to fix problems. If it’s a small change, like bringing in the sleeves or bringing up the hem, you can probably get away with it.

However, you can’t really add fabric to a shirt without it looking odd, so if your shirt is too small, you’re going to need to move on.

how to buy shirts that fit

The Different T-Shirt Styles and Their Ideal Fits

At TAILORED ATHLETE, we understand that not all t-shirts are created equal. Different styles can enhance your muscular physique in different ways. Knowing the impact of these styles on your overall look will help you make informed decisions. Let's take a look at some of the common t-shirt styles and their ideal fits:

Crew Neck vs V-Neck: Impact on Physique and Style

Crew Neck: This classic t-shirt style features a round neckline and is a staple in any man's wardrobe. It's versatile, timeless, and can suit almost any casual occasion. For muscular men, a crew neck can help broaden the shoulders and create a balanced look.

V-Neck: The V-neck t-shirt has a more modern appeal. The 'V' can help elongate the neck and give an impression of a slimmer physique. It's ideal for men who want to accentuate their chest muscles, as the 'V' draws the eyes down.

Short-Sleeve vs Long-Sleeve: How to Choose Based on Event and Weather

Short-Sleeve: The short-sleeve t-shirt is the ultimate casual wear staple. It's great for showing off muscular arms and staying cool in warmer weather.

Long-Sleeve: Long-sleeve t-shirts are perfect for colder months or transitional weather. They can also be a more formal choice compared to short-sleeved options. For muscular men, a well-fitted long-sleeve t-shirt can highlight the arms and chest.

 how to find shirts that fit well

Another popular option is the muscle shirt. Since muscle shirts aren’t supposed to be tight, it’s easier to find one that fits.

If you’re curious about what muscle shirts do, we’ve written a whole article to fill you in.

By understanding how these different t-shirt styles and fits can enhance your muscular physique, you can make smarter choices for your wardrobe. At TAILORED ATHLETE, our wide range of options ensures that every muscular man can find the perfect t-shirt to flaunt his hard-earned physique.

TAILORED ATHLETE’s Best T-Shirt Selection

Now that we know what we should be looking for in a T-shirt, it’s time to look at some options. If you’ve put the time in on your body, these are the best clothes around to highlight you and your hard work.

TAILORED ATHLETE Essential Crew Neck T-Shirt

OurEssential T-Shirt in Soft Pink is the perfect choice for a casual garment with a little bit of flair. The soft coloring draws the eye to your form, without the shirt taking center stage. You can wear this on its own for something comfortable around the house, or style it up with a scarf or jacket for when you feel like going out.

Like all our clothes, it’s designed with our True Muscle Fit to contour around your frame rather than trying to stuff you into something that will make you look like a marshmallow.

Our Essential T-shirts fit your muscles rather than your assumed skeletal frame, which is how most off-the-rack clothes are designed.

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