The athletic build is seen as the pinnacle of what a man’s body should look like. Whether you are naturally built like a Roman God or, more likely, spent a sizable amount of effort to look so fit, dressing to your form presents a bit of a challenge. For one thing, because most men don’t have super cut figures, most men’s clothing is not made for a super cut man. The good news is that you already have your most important fashion checklist item under control: your silhouette. These tips will help you pick suits that emphasize the peak shape of your body to help you look your best.
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1. Befriend A Tailor
If you have a relationship with a personal trainer, you need to have a relationship with a tailor. It’s nearly impossible for an athletic man to buy an off the rack suit that shapes his body. A tailor will fit your jacket and trousers to accentuate your thinner waist while leaving space for muscular shoulders, biceps, and thighs.
A tailor should know about your plans to get bigger or smaller in certain areas of your body. By planning in advance, a tailor can sometimes hide extra fabric in your suit to make it easier to let out down the road. Little tricks like this can help you get more mileage out of your clothing instead of having to buy new pieces every couple of weeks. Similarly, if you plan to slim down, a tailor can prevent you from becoming oddly-shaped in your suits.
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2. Suit Shapes
To capture the best silhouette of your body, you should consider buying a made to measure or bespoke suit designed specifically to your shape. In the event that you have to buy off the rack items, you have a few options. Some suits are athletic cut, which allow for a more developed upper body and thighs while keeping a trim waistline. The problem with athletic cut suits is that they are not always easy to find, much like a man with an athletic physique. Boxy cuts can also look good on an athletic frame if you struggle to find off the rack athletic cut suits.
When purchasing off the rack, it’s important to buy pieces large enough to fit your widest and thickest body parts. You tailor can easily bring in clothes that are too large, but they can’t make more fabric magically appear to fix clothing that is too small. Buy a jacket that fits your shoulders and biceps and trousers that fit your developed thighs. The tailor will also fix the length of the clothes, so don’t worry about pants or sleeves that are too long.
3. Avoid Skinny Fit
Every blog with advice for an athletic man says to size down. This is called an “instant fix.” While there is a lot of truth to this statement because men routinely wear clothing sized too large, it’s a bit misleading and can lead to the faux pas of wearing clothing that is too tight. You want your clothes to follow your shape closely and thinner fabrics should show definition in your chest and arms. But the fabric should fit a little looser around the waist.
That’s why having a good tailor is more important that buying clothing that fits you. Never reach for an item that has a “skinny” cut. Being muscular and fit is a lot different that being skinny and you will end up looking like a marshmallow stuffed into a Cheerio. Or, people will picture you in Spandex and oil, which may or may not be the look you are going for.
4. Colors and Textures
As we said above, the athletic man’s best accessory is his body. To let your shape be the star of the show, suits with darker colors and muted patterns will go a long way. A solid color focuses the attention on the shape of your body. Many men would rather avoid this, but an athletic man can be proud to show it off. If you love color, you can incorporate a bigger range of colors as long as you stick to solids or micropatterns. Suit fabrics should be light or medium weight to avoid adding extra bulk with a heavier fabric. The lighter suits won’t compete with your diligent tailoring.
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The finer points of suit design are those little details that indicate you know what you are doing. For a man with an athletic build, vents are one such detail. There are three options for vents: two, one, or none. The more vents in your suit jacket, the greater range of flexibility and movement you’ll have.
A man with an athletic build will want to avoid a double vented jacket because his challenge is to showcase how small his waist is in proportion to his shoulders, not putting leeway in that space. One vent can work well but a ventless suit is the best option to show off a trim and fit physique.
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Another fine detail is the shape of your collar. A spread collar (where collar tips point toward the shoulder) will make you seem even more top heavy. A better choice for an athletically shaped man is a straight collar where the tips point to your belt.
An athletic man has the most options when it comes to accessories. A watch, belt buckle, or jewelry all look great on a man with a great physique and a classic dark-colored suit. When it comes to tie and pocket squares, any combination of patterns, colors, and textures is on the table. An athletic man even has an appropriate build to rock a pair of suspenders instead of a belt.
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To wrap it all together, choose classic, dark-colored suits with accessories that pop. To master a great fit, make friends with a tailor and talk with him about your bodybuilding goals. If you must buy off the rack, select pieces that fit the widest part of your body and have them tailored to fit. Although you want to accentuate your shape, don’t let your clothes get too tight. You don’t want people to picture you in Spandex.
And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.