I was inspired to write this article after having an emotional experience with clothes. I have a history of ripping pants, long-sleeved shirts, and never finding jeans that fit my large quads, calves, and narrow waist. I usually laugh at this. It’s kind of a source of pride: knowing I’ve grown enough muscle to burst out of clothes made for average girls, and having an athletic build that is not the societal norm. But, around 2010, when my mom bought me a dress that made me look like a bulky mini hulk, and thinking that my muscles were too unfeminine to look appropriate in a dress, I knew I had a fashion dilemma — athletically-induced fashion disorder, or AIFD (coined by myself). It was not until I learned that shapes (or the cut of an item of clothing) was my problem and not my body that I again dared to don a dress. I’ve since been able to wear dresses, skinny jeans, long-leaved shirts, anything I wish. I was simply choosing the wrong shapes for my body!
We all know that muscular women look great naked, but finding the right clothing to flatter her physique can be tricky. Some styles can make us look blocky. This is because clothing is designed for the masses: skinny, average, or plus sized people. Below are four guidelines to make shopping for clothing simple. Remember, the secret is in shapes — the cut of the top, dress or pants you want to buy.
***This page updates regularly to keep up with changing trends. ***
Rule 1. Accentuate your shoulders and arms with form-fitting, shoulder-flattering, and/or sloping necklines
Rule 2. Not so tight — look for breezy and/or halter-style tops
Look for tops that compliment your build. The neckline should not broaden your upper body. It should be fitted, flowy, or the neckline should be cut in a way the shows off your muscles and does not smooth over them. This broadens the body. Also, avoid stripes that go across the body. Horizontal stripes create the illusion of broadness.
Rule 3. Feel free to dress up, don’t be afraid of (stretchy) long sleeves, and you can’t go wrong with strapless
Stick with V-necks and straps close to your neck. This will make your muscles will pop nicely!
If you have nice glutes, a form-fitting long dress or short dress/skirt is good. Just don’t go too short. Short skirts/dresses can be flattering on a skinny girl, but a muscular girl is often more of an eyeful than an average or skinny girl when wearing a skinny, little thing. Stay away from mini skirts unless you want everyone staring at you.
Rule 4. When it comes to pants, accentuate your shapely legs and look for fitted and stretchable styles; also try roomy styles
Everyday stretch pants, all colors
Also check out Pac Sun for jeans designed for an athletic build. Most of my jeans and shorts are from the Bullhead line at Pac Sun.
Sports tops, tanks, and pants
Triangle-shaped tops where the straps are close to your neck and not directly on your shoulders flatter muscular traps and shoulders. Racerbacks also flatter an athletic upper body.
Sporty pants are the easiest to buy because they are already stretchable.
What NOT to wear:
For tops and blouses, stay away from wide straps that sit directly on your shoulders. Wide straps or the placement of straps farther from the center of the body often creates a block appearance. For bottoms, stay away from restricting materials. Tight clothing with limited stretchability or elasticity restricts healthy blood circulation — something a fit woman should care about. So, unless your skinny jeans are stretchable, consider staying clear of them.
Take the above four simple rules, and rule the clothing aisles and your closet. If you have some tips of your own, please share with me. Us fit girls have to help each other out on our respective fitness journeys.
I want your feedback. How can this article be improved?
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