May 02, 2023 4 min read

A muscle shirt is quite simply a loose shirt with no sleeves. The material is usually quite floppy, so these shirts are comfortable. They don’t look great though, despite the comfort.

The problem with most muscle shirts is that they look—well—trashy. Sure, you’ve spent hours in the gym and want to show off your arms, but there are better ways to do that than ripping off your sleeves and walking around like the hulk.

So what does look great on your body type if it’s not the muscle shirt? Stay with us to discover your next closet staple.

What this article covers:

The Muscle Shirt Cut

Muscle shirts are emblematic of the ‘80s. The trend has seen its ups and downs over the years, most recently being used widely at bodybuilding competitions. 

The muscle shirt cut leaves quite a bit of room between your skin and the material it's made of. The neckline is similar to a regular shirt cut – not too tight or loose. The shirt is sleeveless, showing off the wearer’s arm muscles. The material doesn’t cling to the torso at all, making them a comfortable choice.

what are muscle shirts for

These shirts were designed to show off arm muscles and gained popularity in the 1960s. They reached peak popularity in the 1980s and have recently become popular among athletes again.

Are they the right choice for your athletic body type, though?

Does the Muscle Shirt Work for Athletic Body Type?

We know muscle shirts are a comfortable choice, but we’re not convinced they look great on athletes. They’re a good option for when you need a shirt that’s easy to move around in at the gym, but you can do better for a day or night out.

Muscle Shirt vs. True Muscle Fit

The True Muscle Fit is one of the best types of athletic fit shirts. At TAILORED ATHLETE, we spent years researching what people with your body type need from a shirt. 

what's the point of muscle shirts

There’s no need to wear a shirt with cut-off sleeves or size up a few times to find a normal shirt that fits your arm muscles well, only to be left with excess material around your torso. We created a shirt that accommodates your arm muscles, whilst providing a fitted look around your torso to show off your hard work.


There are a few types of muscle shirts available in the True Muscle Fit range. You can find V-necks or round necks, whichever your preference is.

The neckline is positioned slightly higher than that of a regular-cut shirt. This gives your shirt a more polished look.

what is a muscle shirt


This shirt is designed to accentuate your physique, and your arms are an important part of that. The sleeves are designed with extra fabric to accommodate your arm muscles. The sleeves are Raglan Cut sleeves.

This avoids having sleeves that feel like they’re suffocating your arms, and the need to size up once or twice to get your arms through the sleeves. This is the main difference between this athletic fit shirt and a regular fit shirt.


The True Muscle Fit is made using a high-quality cotton blend. It’s the best men’s athletic fit T-shirtyou can find. Wondering what these athletic shirts are made of? The shirt is 95% cotton and 5% elastane. 

This blend ensures the luxurious look and feel of the shirt, whilst maintaining some sense of flexibility. The elastane content is the reason these shirts can move with you throughout the day. 

muscle shirts

These shirts are machine washable and don’t wrinkle easily. At TAILORED ATHLETE, it was important to design shirts that look good and feel good, and feeling good goes beyond how they fit you.

They should fit in with your lifestyle too. That's why our True Muscle Cut shirts can easily be washed, dried, and worn. No need to spend the time you don’t have ironing them before heading out for the day.


The True Muscle Fit shirt can be dressed up or down. For a casual look, wear them out with some sweatpants and trainers. Pop a cardigan over the shirt for a down-to-earth look, or a pullover for a more Metropolitan look.

point of muscle shirts

For a night out, this shirt pairs well with a pair of jeans or athletic fit dress pants

The Perfect Pair: True Muscle Fit Tee and Athletic Fit Dress Pants

Part of the TAILORED ATHLETE dress pants range is the athletic fit chino trousers. They’re the perfect option for those dinners that are fancy, but not too fancy. They pair perfectly with the True Muscle Fit tee.

These pants are a versatile staple in any athlete’s closet. They’re made from premium 4-way stretch fabric with reinforced seams so that the pants move with you throughout the day. They’ve also got functional back pockets, so your wallet is always within reach.

The athletic fit chino pants are also made using our high-quality cotton blend of 95% cotton and 5% elastane. This means they’re also easily machine washable and can air dry without needing to be ironed.

best muscle shirt

So I Should Rethink the Muscle Shirt?

You should absolutely rethink the muscle shirt. It’s a good, functional choice for the gym, but it should stay there.

Beyond those gym walls, take pride in the body you’ve built. Wear a shirt that was designed to accentuate your athletic shape. The True Muscle Fit range ensures you don’t need to size up to fit the larger parts of your body into clothing, leaving excess amounts of material around other parts.

Choose the True Muscle Fit. Designed for athletes, by athletes.

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