Working out at the gym, getting in shape, and leading a healthier lifestyle are all the rage these days. Maybe it’s due to the Marvel superhero craze, or perhaps the many studies that link exercise to better health, but more people are engaging in body-building activities now more than ever.
The problem is mainstream fashion hasn’t quite caught up with the trend yet. We’ve got tons of styles in sizes built for the lanky and overweight, with just a select few catering to the hunky. The good news is I’m going to teach you ways on how to go around these limitations so that you can show off those hard-earned muscles without sacrificing style.
Clothing Brands for Muscular Men
Before we go into detail about the different style tips for muscular guys, here are some of the best clothing brands that bodybuilders should check out.
Hugh & Crye
This brand of menswear is relatively new, having begun its operations in 2008 with the goal of making better-fitting apparel fo2r men in mind. Compared to traditional size categories such as small, medium, and large, they provide multiple sizes based on your height and body type, offering 12 unique fits in all.
To begin your Hugh & Crye journey, you’ll first need to know which size category you belong to. Find your height in either inches or centimeters, then take a long, hard look at your body. Are you skinny, slim, athletic, or broad?
- You’re skinny if you have a narrow chest and shoulders.
- You’re slim if you have a bit more definition in those areas.
- You’re athletic if you have a tapered waist, muscular chest, shoulders, and arms.
- And you’re broad if you’re on the bulkier end of the spectrum.
With the mission of helping men become the best versions of themselves by starting with the right fit, you’re sure to find something to love in Hugh & Crye.
Ron Dorff is even newer than Hugh & Crye, having been established in 2015. It is a sports brand founded by Swede Claus Lindorff, and Frenchman Jérôme Touron. Like its name, Ron Dorff combines Swedish functional minimalism with French allure to create menswear that can be worn in style both in and out of the gym.
The shop boasts a wide range of clothing in terms of sportswear, swimwear, and underwear. From sweatshirts and jackets, knitwear and cashmere, sports shorts and trousers, and t-shirts and polos. They also have accessories such as hats, bags, socks, and even offer a selection of body care products that include shampoo and body scrub. Have a girlfriend? Check out their His For Her line for something she might like!
Due to their minimalist approach, Ron Dorff prefers to avoid any form of lavish display of their logo on their clothes. They’re more likely to incorporate it in a subtle manner through their buttons. If this style of clothing suits you, you may check out their website at rondorff.com.
Levi’s is well-known for their jeans, and rightly so since they literally invented the much-beloved denim jeans in the late 1800s. Denim is a thick, durable cloth that workmen were able to wear outdoors for weeks at a time without tearing. It became popular then for this reason, and remains popular to this day for its stylish functionality.
They offer jeans in four main styles, namely skinny, slim, tapered, and straight. Skinny jeans sit at the waist and hug your entire leg. Slim jeans are a variation of skinny that begin below the waist. Tapered jeans are a snug fit around your thighs and butt, but narrow down from the knee for a more relaxed feel. Lastly, straight jeans are the original style and provide a more loose fit all throughout.
With this much versatility, it’s clear why Levi’s is such a great choice for muscular men looking to expand their wardrobe. You’ll just need to measure your waist, seat, thigh and inseam before putting anything into your cart, but putting extra effort into getting that perfect fit will be worth it!
Muscular Men’s Fashion Guide
Now that you know some of the best fashion brands for your athletic body type, what actually goes into your closet? Here are some tips for you to consider.
Brands That Work for You
As previously mentioned, there’s a limited number of good clothing brands out there that offer clothes that can actually flatter the heavier build of a burly man. Most brands will give you an extra large shirt that will hang too loosely around your body and make you look fat rather than muscular. Your muscle shirts are good for the gym but you might want something different for when you’re outside.
Once you’ve found the brand that offers sizes and styles that really fit you and make you feel good, stick to it. It doesn’t have to be Ron Dorff, Levi’s, Hugh & Crye if you think they’re too costly. Explore your nearest mall and try on the different clothing brands there.
If you find a really nice shirt, check if it’s sold in different colors and get those as well. After all, there’s nothing wrong with having the same type of shirt in your wardrobe since colors can provide the variety you need.
Find Your Perfect Fit
Naturally, to look good you’ll have to feel good. This means getting clothes that actually fit you. There’s no point in walking around in baggy clothes, or clothes that are too tight that you can barely move in them. This is why finding a good clothing brand and sticking to it is so important. Don’t be afraid to accentuate your best qualities by putting those sizable muscles on display under the right clothes.
To know if a shirt fits you, check how well it falls on your shoulders. A shirt that’s too loose will drape over you, while a shirt that’s too tight will bunch up and make it hard for you to move. The same applies for your chest area. Your shirt should not stretch your buttons out even when you sit down.
When it comes to jeans, measure your waist, which is the narrowest part of your torso. Next, measure the seat or widest part of your hips, and your thighs. Lastly, measure the inside of your crotch to your ankle to know your inseam. Once you’ve got all these measurements, you’ll be able to determine which size is right for you.
Tailor Your Clothes
If you have a few favorites in your closet that you’re not ready to part with yet despite them now being too loose or too tight for you, don’t fret because you can still use them. This is where tailoring comes in. It’s great for making your clothes feel like they were made just for you.
You might have found a shirt with a great color and design and realized it doesn’t fit you like a glove. Or maybe you found a dress shirt that sits really well on your shoulders, but the sleeves are too long. Take these to a tailor and let him work his magic! And just like with clothing brands, once you’re able to find a really good tailor who’s able to make you fit into even the trickiest of clothes, stick with him.
One important thing to note is that it’s easier to tailor from big to small as the other way around might require extra fabric to be sewn into the garment. So when buying clothes you plan on having tailored, it’s better to go for the bigger size.
When it comes to what kind of pants to pair with your outfits, you can never go wrong with denim. Denim jeans are classics that get better with use and age. A good pair can last you for up to a decade, or even more if you take really good care of it.
Classic, straight cut and tapered jeans work better for athletic men. These types of jeans not only ensure that your legs have room to move around, but they also don’t look awkward sticking to the bulging muscles of your thighs and calves, the way a pair of skinny jeans might.
If you’re the type to focus more on your chest and arms when exercising (because screw leg day!), then straight cut jeans will still work for you as they’ll be able to hide the muscles—or lack thereof—in your legs. Seriously though, don’t skip leg day. It’s just as important as everything else.
Keep It Natural and Neutral
The whole reason you’re working out is to be healthy and to look good, so when choosing an outfit, there’s no need to go for those loud, bold colors. What you want is to let your muscles do the talking for you. Your body should be your statement piece. Don’t undermine your efforts by hiding behind bright colors and patterns.
That being said, I strongly suggest that you grab some shirts in natural and neutral colors. Neutrals range from the classic white, gray, black and brown, while natural colors are recurring in nature such as blue, green, and even a dark red. Try to avoid shirts that are too bright, as well as those donning large, colorful prints. These coupled with your bulk might intimidate others.
Lastly, stay away from overly bright shirts such as neon colors. Your hulking bod will amplify these colors and turn you into a beacon open for much scrutiny.
Take Advantage of Stripes
I know I said to avoid prints, but stripes are different. For a long time now, they’ve been known to help break the monotony of a long torso, or aid the vertically-challenged into appearing taller than they actually are by drawing our eyes upward. In short, stripes are friends, not foes, and we must use them to our advantage.
In the case of you gym rats, you tend to have broader chests because of your workouts. This isn’t a bad thing, but if you have a naturally wide ribcage that’s only gotten even larger from muscle bulk, then you might want to look into striped shirts to help even out your look.
There are many kinds of stripes out there, depending on the width and the colors. Some stripes are a combination of white and another color, while others are a combination of two or more different colors. Some stripes are evenly spaced, while others may alternate between thin and thick lines. One thing is for sure though, and it’s that stripes can easily be worn both in formal and informal settings, so feel free to experiment with them.
Dress Shirts for Muscular Men
One of the biggest challenges muscular men face is the lack of formal wear options, such as in the case of dress shirts. This is because dress shirts are typically made from non-stretch fabric and have long sleeves. Even if you get your regular shirt size, there’s a good chance your arms might not fit through the sleeves, or the buttons might pop out around the chest when you sit down, or the collar will feel too tight around the neck. And if you get a size bigger, it might billow too much at the waist.
One way to address this is to shop at brands that cater specially to athletic builds, such as Hugh & Crye. They have a wide range of selections to choose from when it comes to dress shirts. If you don’t want to do this, then you can always have your available shirts tailored to fit. That, or have them custom-made just for you.
Your dress shirt fits you if you’re able to easily insert a finger or two between your collar and neck, and if the tail ends around the back pockets of your pants. Also, make sure you can move your arms freely. Your shirt should not untuck when you raise your arms overhead.
Try Sizing Down
Yes, you heard that right. You might argue that the reason you work out a lot is to get bigger, as evidenced by your muscles. But if you try on a great shirt and it ends up hanging over your body like a poncho, don’t hesitate to go for the smaller option, which might fit you better. Don’t feel bad about this as different brands have different sizing options. If you’re in an Asian market, for example, the sizes offered will usually be smaller than you would find in a western boutique.
Again, your shoulders will determine best if a shirt fits you or not. They should rest snugly on them, and not go below shoulder level nor bunch up on top, and they should allow you to move around freely. Ultimately, what matters most is not the size of the garment but how it looks on you, and how you wear it.
Layering your clothes applies to the colder months, when it’s too cold outside to show off skin. The challenge here is that if you put on too many layers of thick fabric, they’ll completely hide your hunky frame and make you look chunky instead. Puffer coats, for example, will keep you warmer but also fluff you up and make you look huge… and not necessarily in a good way. I’ll wager this is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.
The solution? Add more layers made of thinner fabrics. A long-sleeved cotton shirt, or a henley underneath either a leather or denim vest, or maybe even a nice Merino wool sweater topped with an elegant trench coat or leather bomber jacket might do the trick. Mix and match different fabrics to achieve the style you want, or whatever you think looks good. The layers will help keep in your body warmth, despite their thinness.
Don’t forget to incorporate scarves, gloves, and turtlenecks into the mix as well. Gotta make sure your appendages don’t fall off from the cold!
You might think your outfits are pretty boring and limited, what with the neutral colors and no prints, but this is where the accessories come in. These are your shoes, watches, jewelry, bags, socks, and handkerchiefs. Now, anything goes when it comes to the latter three, as they really depend on your personal preference, but with the others, I’ve listed a few tips on how to wear them.
Wear black leather shoes for formal occasions. For regular outings, I highly recommend sneakers for athletic men. They’re very comfortable, will look great with your muscular physique, and can be paired with just about anything except extremely formal attires.
Watches are great for adding that extra debonair flair to your look. Dark leather straps, especially black ones, are reserved for formal occasions, but the rest, whether they be plastic, rubber, nylon, or metallic, are free to be worn anywhere else. When wearing one along with a leather belt and shoes, try to have them in the same color though not necessarily the exact shade.
Lastly, the color of your jewelry should match your belt buckle and the metal on your watch, if any. This means pairing gold with gold, silver with silver for an overall cohesive look.
Frequently Asked Question about Muscular Men’s Fashion.
How should muscular guys dress?
Muscular guys should dress in a way that shows off their bulk without having to wear tight-fitting shirts all the time. Their athletic body is their best asset and should be flaunted as such.
What should I wear to look muscular?
Wear clothes that fit you well. Avoid those that hug your body too tightly as they will accentuate your skinny frame. Instead, go for ribbed clothing, like jackets that taper towards the waist since these will make your shoulders look broader than they are. Also, feel free to experiment with horizontal stripes as these will give off the illusion of a wider torso.
Are tight shirts suitable for muscular men?
Tight shirts can be suitable for muscular men looking to show off their muscles. They can be worn at the gym or even at a fashion show. It really depends on the event, activity, and location. If you’re going to an intimate dinner party, I’d recommend ditching the tight shirt in favor of a looser alternative.
A Final Word From The Trending Man
Fashion for muscular men is all about showing off those pecs, biceps and quads in the best way possible. Do this by wearing clothes that draw attention to your muscles, instead of to the clothes themselves. This means getting clothes that fit you well, that will make you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. Tailor your clothes if you have to, and stick to a brand that has proven to work for you.
After all the time you’ve spent working on your body at the gym, you ought to flaunt it when you’re outside. We know you look good without clothes, so why not put in that extra effort to look good with them on as well? As the maxim goes, you only live once!