August 26, 2022 7 min read

What's considered to be stylish and trendy in the realm of fashion is accustomed to change as time moves on, and included in this everchanging spectrum of style is the fit of the clothing itself.

On its face, a slim fit can sound pretty appealing if you’ve got an athletic build. It’s a more modern alternative and slimming, so why wouldn’t you want it?

In reality, slim fit clothes aren’t made with muscular builds in mind. The best case scenario is that they’re going to be uncomfortable. The worst case is that you barely fit in them at all and they end splitting at the seams.

TAILORED ATHLETE can provide you with all the benefits of slim fit garments with none of the downsides. Our True Muscle Fit clothes are made with premium 4-way stretch fabric that allow the clothes to contour around your frame without limiting your range of motion.

What this article covers:

What Does ‘Tailored Fit’ Mean?

what is tailored fit

Tailored fit refers to an article of clothing that is made to fit to the body’s measurements and contours in a way that resembles custom tailored clothing. Of course, as this type of clothing is produced and sold to the general public just like any other, it's not exactly a “one size fits all” deal.

Actual tailored clothing is made or adjusted according to one customer's individual measurements so that it fits their own body shape perfectly. It’s fitted exclusively for a specific person. It’s this style that tailored fit clothing is made to mimic.

This is the key difference between tailored and traditional fit clothing that’s made to fit as wide a demographic as possible.

Actual tailoring is time-consuming and expensive. It’s probably worth doing for a suit and tux, but you don’t want to take 20 t-shirts and 10 pairs of pants to a tailor just so it will fit properly.

Tailored fit clothing is characterized by its slimmer, slightly trimmed aesthetic. While not as tight fitting as a slim fit cut, a tailored fit piece will usually come with less of a boxy shape which can often be found in more traditional clothing fits.

what is a tailored fit

Again, because these kinds of clothes are mass-produced, they’re not really going to complement your body in the way you want them to. These clothes are made with the average body and frame in mind, which is an issue if you’re above average.

At TAILORED ATHLETE, we have a wide collection of athletic fit men’s dress shirts and athletic fit jeans that mimic this tailored aesthetic for even the bulkiest bodies.

What Does ‘Slim Fit’ Mean?

Slim fit is a style of clothing that is made to cling to your body, though not too tightly, just enough so that it minimizes any looseness or excess fabric.

This style of clothing is quite popular and is widely utilized by many brands all over the world. The ‘slim fit’ effect is created using different methods depending on the article of clothing in question.

slim vs tailored fit

For example, a slim fit suit jacket is made to hug your body around the waist. This will then work to slightly broaden the narrowness of the upper body that comes with this fit, giving the torso a slight ‘V’ shape effect. 

Like tailored fit clothes, slim fit looks best of men with less muscle mass. Because they’re cut so close to the skin, it’s going to bunch up in areas where you’re wider than the average person. With pants, for example, excess fabric will gather behind your knees which can be really uncomfortable.

If you’d like to know more about the difference between slim fit and regular fit clothes, we’ve got resources on that too.

What's The Difference Between Tailored Fit And Slim Fit?

As we've previously stated, tailored fit clothing is cut a bit closer to the body than more traditional styles while not being quite as tight as slim fit. But what does this mean, exactly?

When it comes to a tailored fit cut, the main difference between it and slim fit lies in the way the fabric tapers at specific ends to wrap around certain areas of the body while still maintaining some breathing room.

Slim fit clothing generally has a bit of a narrower cut, with no sections having too much excess fabric or breathing room in most cases. This is usually compensated by the clothing being made with slightly stretchy material.

Unfortunately for us, the minor ways in which these two fits are different aren’t enough to make up for where they fall short. Sure, you can probably get into a tailored fit pair of pants more comfortably than a slim fit one, you’re still not going to look your best.

tailored vs slim fit

Tailored Fit vs Slim Fit T-Shirts

These days, it would be hard to find a clothing store thatdoesn't include a wide range of slim fit t-shirts. It's become one of the most sought-after t-shirt fits, regardless of the brand.

Slim fit t-shirts stick to the usual design used by other slim fit clothing. The sleeves are higher, and the fit is tighter and tapered towards the waist area to accentuate the outline of the wearer's physique, with some extra fabric thrown in there for good measure.

Slim fit t-shirts, compared to athletic fitsit close to your body, but they don’t give a wide range of motion. 

Slim fits are currently the more dominant style when it comes to t-shirts, as tailored fit t-shirts haven't quite made the rounds yet.

If you want to get the benefits of a slim fit without the downsides, have a look at our True Muscle Fit t-shirts. Our moisture-wicking fabric alongside smart design means you can work hard without feeling uncomfortable.

what does tailored fit mean

Tailored Fit vs Slim Fit Dress Shirts

At first glance, tailored fit shirts won't look all that different from a slim fit shirt.

However subtle, though, the difference is most certainly there. It's the kind of difference that you can be made aware of by trying on both types of shirt, and feeling the difference for yourself.

The main difference will be found in the arms, specifically in the size and height of the armholes. The armholes on a tailored fit shirt will be wider, and placed a bit lower than that of a slim fit shirt. 

Slim fit shirts are made to have that slender, modern look, and accomplishes this by having their sleeves be as thin as they can make them without causing any pressure to areas like your shoulders and elbows.The narrower armholes are the biggest issue larger men are going to have with slim fit dress shirts.

They’re going to cut into your armpits and it’s the most likely place your shirt is going to tear if you move too much or too quickly.

Additionally, while both slim fit as well as tailored fit shirts are slightly tapered towards the waist area, slim fit shirts will have less excess fabric around the chest and waist area like a tailored fit shirt does.

This also makes slim fit clothing unattractive on athletic men. It won’t contour around your frame properly and will hang awkwardly from your chest.

tailored fit vs traditional

Tailored Fit vs Slim Fit Suit Jackets

We've touched upon the topic of suit jackets earlier, but now we'll go into a bit more detail.

On top of tapering towards the waist area, slim fit suit jackets are slightly narrower at the shoulders and will be more of a tight fit because of this. The armholes on a slim fit will also be located at a lower point than the armholes on a tailored fit jacket.

The tapering on the tailored fit suit jacket makes it tighter around the waist area than a regular fit, but at the same time the tapering is not as pronounced as that of a slim fit.Generally speaking, tailored fit more or less toes the line between the two styles.

The higher armholes cause the tailored fit jacket to look sharper at the shoulders, whereas the shoulders on a slim fit suit jacket will look a bit more relaxed.Again, this is a problem for more muscular men.

Both tailored fit and slim fit suit jackets have narrower lapels than that of a regular fit, but this is usually more so on the slim fit. The sleeves on a slim fit suit jacket will be tapered towards the wrist area, with the cuffs being more elevated than the tailored fit’s cuffs.

Tailored Fit vs Slim Fit Pants

slim fit vs tailored fit

Again, you probably wouldn't notice much of a difference between tailored fit pants and slim fit ones at first glance.

A tailored fit pair of pants will have a structure that is similar to a regular fit pair: slightly slimmer down the leg but still made to have enough breathing room. 

Slim fit pants, on the other hand, will be on the slender side and sit lower on the waist. There will also be some slight tapering around the knee to accentuate the shape of the wearer's legs.

Both of these styles can be incredibly limiting when it comes to mobility. This is because the fabric often doesn’t allow you to stretch properly, which is made all the worse if the clothes are already too tight.


No matter which style you choose, if you go with TAILORED ATHLETE, we’re confident you’ll be happy with your purchase.

With that in mind, it’s important to point out that we’ve barely scratched the surface on all the various cuts and fits are available to you, both on our store and out in the wild world of brick and mortar. If you want to find out more about the differences between fitted and slim fit t-shirts or even what a trim fit dress shirt looks like, we’ve got you covered. 

Our blog section has loads of useful information we’re sure you’ll find helpful. 

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