You don’t have to be a professional bodybuilder to understand why guys with a muscular build might want to find the best athletic fit dress shirts.
Whether you have the insanely swole upper body shape of Chris Hemsworth or the svelte-but-strong torso of Chris Pine, muscular guys of all body types tend to face the same two issues when it comes to finding the right fit:
Traditional dress shirts billow out too much and have a lot of extra room, which hides your athletic build and makes you look like just another average joe.
On the other end of the spectrum, slim fit dress shirts offer a trim fit through the arms and a slim waist, but they tend to look best on really skinny guys.
(Unfortunately for muscular men, slim fit shirts can make guys with a particularly athletic physique look more like a stuffed sausage than a strong and stylish man.)
The good news is that today a number of brands offer performance dress shirts designed with athletic guys in mind.
In addition to being cut to fit the body measurements of athletic men, they’re also made from technical fabrics that stretch well and wick sweat, keeping you safe from unsightly sweat stains.
To help you find your perfect fit, in this post I’ve rounded up the best athletic cut dress shirts for guys who want to look sharp while still showing off their physique.
The (Absolute) Best Men’s Athletic Fit Dress Shirts
Breaking Down the Best Dress Shirts for Muscular Guys
- 4.7 Stars
- 300 Reviews
The Leeward topped our list of the best white dress shirts that are non-iron and wrinkle-free, and it’s also one of the best shirts for fit guys.
While the fit might not be quite as focused on V-shapes as State & Liberty, they’re made from some of the best fabric and offer a modern fit that has a lot less excess fabric than your standard dress shirt.
Literally the best dress shirt I’ve ever worn, and I’ve tried a lot of brands.
The stretch, comfort and wrinkle resistance is beyond comparison – it feels like you’re wearing a workout shirt, but has the look of a crisp dress shirt that can be worn with any suit.
– Michael M.
- 4 Stars
- 116 Reviews
Athleisure brands like Lululemon might not be the first that come to mind when you’re looking for something that will work in business meetings or a more formal dress code.
But the Commission is a favorite shirt among many fit men thanks to its four-way stretch fabric that’s as comfy as your favorite t-shirt, and a fit that can be worn either tucked or untucked (depending on your body length).
It comes in what Lululemon calls a classic fit, which has a little more room in the waist than most slim-fit shirts, and can be worn either tucked or untucked (depending on your body length).
Love the fabrication and fit of this shirt. It’s long enough to wear tucked, but not too long to wear it untucked.
Tailored fit without being too tight across the chest, or too loose around the waist. I can tell the construction is going to hold up well. Nicely done!
- 4.9 Stars
- 163 Reviews
Another brand that’s focused exclusively on muscular guys with well-built bodies, Tapered’s dress shirt is modeled after the v-shaped upper body of the Golden Ratio (which I explain as it pertains to suit-fitting here).
It’s tailored specifically to the male form and features a 10″ drop from the chest to waist, which accentuates your physique and all but eliminates the billowy bagginess that often accompanies regular-fit shirts.
In terms of material, the shirt is made from a blend of 96% cotton and 4% elastane, giving it a nice mix of softness and stretch.
This is my second Tapered shirt. The fit is just excellent. I’ve never seen shirts that fit both my chest and my waist so perfectly before. Brilliant.
- 5 Stars
- 151 Reviews
Button-downs offer a decidedly more casual look, but are great options for business-casual environments that don’t call for a full suit and tie.
This one from Western Rise is made with 53% super-soft merino wool and 47% polyester, making it soft, stretchy and comfy as hell, while still offering easy care.
(I’ve had one for years and have seen zero wear or tear after washing it on the “hand wash” setting many, many times.)
I love it because it nicely hugs my shoulders and torso, showing the general outline of my V-shape, but it’s not so tight that it looks like I’m showing off.
While it’s only offered in standard sizes, as opposed to numbers based on your chest measurement, I found the size chart on the website accurate and had no problem ordering one with the right collar size and sleeve length.
Hell-of-a shirt, fits feels loose but looks trim at the same time, very soft/stretchy to the touch, and seamlessly transitions from office to casual.
This is my second color in the shirt, and I’ve had zero issues with the first one that I’ve had for the last year and half.
– Russell B.
- 4.5 Stars
- 554 Reviews
Rhone’s Commuter is a great dress shirt from another athleisure brand that’s moved into the dressier, smart-casual space.
At first glance it looks like the kind of classic white shirts you’d get at Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers or another legacy brand.
But it performs a lot better thanks to the extra durable flex-knit fabric, and a hidden collar button that keeps your collar from flapping about aimlessly.
Plus, Rhone allows you to choose not just the right size (small, medium, etc.) but also the right style:
They offer both a classic and slim version, which makes it easier to find the best fit for your body type.
It’s been really hard to find a stretch slim fit dress shirt.
I’ve tried countless brands but this is hands down the best fitting shirt ever. And the comfort level is amazing
- 5 Stars
- 7 Reviews
Another option from Mizzen + Main, the Monaco is basically a lighter weight version of the Leeward shirt listed above.
It might just be your best bet for guys who live in warmer climates, or for guys in places like New York or Chicago, which tend to get muggy in the summer.
This was my 5th M+M shirt I have ordered and this one’s fabric is actually lighter and softer than the others. I love and so does my girlfriend.
– Eric R.
- 4.5 Stars
- 328 Reviews
In addition to offering great stretch and a better fit than standard off the rack dress shirts, Ministry of Supply’s Aero Zero shirt is the best choice for those who are environmentally conscious.
It’s made from 100% recycled material and milled under solar power, making it way less impactful on the environment than custom shirts, which end up wasting way too much extra fabric in their construction.
Excellent feel and fit for business casual environment… Fabric is smooth to the touch without being too thin.
Stretch in the elbows and back are also good. Great shirt, will pickup some additional colors.
– Michael N.
- 5 Stars
- 34 Reviews
The Tie Bar has long been known as one of the best places to get accessories like ties, socks and (duh) tie bars.
But they’ve also introduced a line of actual clothes that’s more than worthy of your attention.
The only shirt on this list made from 100 percent cotton, their Pinpoint shirt is specially treated to be non-iron and wrinkle free, offering the perfect mix of comfort and practicality.
It’s not cut quite as trimly as some of the slimmer fit options on this list, which makes it one of the best products for bodybuilders and other bigger guys who need a little more room for their muscle mass.
I have nothing but good things to say about this shirt!
The fit is perfect, the material is great and comfortable, and overall is a great shirt for a sharp, put-together look!
– Tommy I.
- 4.5 Stars
- 125 Reviews
Made from a blend of cotton, polyester and spandex, this shirt from Van Heusen has just enough stretch to make it form-fitting, without looking like it’s painted on.
It comes in Van Heusen’s slimmer cut, with higher arm holes to accommodate your lats and tapered sleeves that will help accentuate the guns.
So it’s great for guys who want a shirt that shows off not just their style, but their commitment to their workout routine.
I like this shirt a lot. The material and pattern are outstanding and the fit is accurate as sized.
Van Heusen has done a great job on this shirt.
– Amazon Customer
- 4.5 Stars
- 1,310 Reviews
This is the favorite shirt of many an image consultant, and with good reason:
Made from 96% cotton and 4% spandex, it’s got a great blend of softness and stretch that nicely complements it’s svelte, trim cut.
While it’s called a slim fit, it’s not quite as skinny as some of the other slim fit options on the market, making it great for guys with strong shoulders and chests, who also have a bit of “muscle” in the midsection.
Plus, the sizing is pretty precise, because instead of just choosing from small, medium or large, you can select both the neck size and sleeve length that best fits you.
Fits great on my guy. He’s 6 ft, has broad shoulders with an athletic build, so he needs a slim fit or else the waist area is swimming.
More Resources ↓
More Men’s Shirts Advice From Irreverent Gent:
- The Most Stylish Men’s Dress Shirts Colors
- The (Absolute) Best Wrinkle-Free & Non-Iron Dress Shirts
- How to Measure Sleeve Length for Shirts and Jackets
- The 7 Best Shirt Stays & Shirt Garters for Guys
More Advice on How to Look Good & Live Well:
- The Definitive Guide to How Your Suit Should Fit
- 9 Stylish & Comfortable Dress Shoes That Feel Like Sneakers
- The 35 Most Comfortable, Supportive & Overall Best Underwear Brands for Men
- The Most Stylish, Stretchy & Comfortable Suits for Men
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- The Best Peaky Blinders Suits for Sale Online
- The Best Suit Brands for Men of Every Shape, Size & Budget
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- The Best Athletic Fit Suits for Muscular Men
Banner image: State & Liberty; Illustration: Irreverent Gent