Fashion Magazine

How to Dress Strong Athletic Body Types

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

In a r ecent Facebook Live, a reader asked if I could advise the best styles to wear to highlight athletic curves as many clothes don't fit properly to accommodate a small waist with strong glutes and finding tops to fit over shoulders and back muscles as they tend to have no shape around the waist is difficult.

If you've worked hard to build and sculpt your muscles, you want to show them off but finding the right clothing to flatter an athletic physique can be tricky.

Watch My Guidelines for the Best Clothes to Wear for a Strong Athletic Body

Our bodies are unique and it's impossible for mass market clothing manufacturers to make garments that fit all of us. This is because most clothing is designed for the masses: skinny, average, or plus-sized people. Clothing manufacturers are making clothes that they can fit on to the maximum number of bodies. In mass market retail, fitting does not always equal flattering. Smaller brands are a little bit more aware of the importance of figure flattery, not just fit but big mass market retailers are focused on moving the most amount of stock.

Just as many clothing styles worn on television and in movies have been tailored to the actor, your unique body will need alterations as these mass market garments are not being made for your body shape. As much as buying a wardrobe full of stretchy items is easy, there are times when a properly fitted garment is going to be best.

You may find some brands are definitely catering more towards your shape. Look through your wardrobe and find the best fitting clothes. All brands have a fit model and you may find a brand with a fit model shape that's more related to you. Despite this related shape, you may find these items may still need to be altered.

When considering garment size, you need to ensure that it fits your broadest part - shoulders, hips, waist - then have the other areas taken into fit you in a way that flatters you.

How to Dress Strong Athletic Body Types

For Waisted Body Shapes - the X, A, 8 (some Vs)

Buy to fit your booty and thighs (your widest points) and then have the waist taken in if it swims on your waist.

For Undefined Waist Body Shapes - the H, O, I and Some Vs

Buy to fit your waist and then have the bottom, hips and thighs taken in if there is too much fabric in them.

Buying Tops

Make sure your tops fit your trickest to fit and widest point. It might be shoulders (V shape), bust (if you have a generous one) or waist (O shapes and some H shapes) and then tailor the top to fit the rest of you in a flattering way. You may need additional vertical darts under the bust, or even in the back of the top to shape the top to your waist and take out excess fabric.

Whatever your shape, fashions will also dictate the silhouettes you see in stores. There will be seasons where the shapes don't suit your body shape. Don't despair; there will be new shapes and silhouettes in only a few months that may flatter you. Forcing your body into clothes, just because they fit, will most likely be a waste of money. If you don't love how you look, those clothes as they have no lifespan for you, you'll ignore them and they will languish in your wardrobe unworn.

Body shape is just one small element of the whole style puzzle and it's a great place to start. If you want to discover your body shape and how to dress to flatter it, then take the body shape calculator quiz and discover what you should wear to look great. It's a simple test to help you discover which of the 7 most common body shapes you may be. There are no measurements required as measurements are not a reliable indicator of body shape as a circumference doesn't tell you how your shape is distributed.

Further Reading

Your Guide to Tailoring and Alterations
The Best Clothing Alterations Based on Your Body Shape
Want to Figure Out Your Body Shape? Try My Quiz

How to Dress Strong Athletic Body Types

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