If you want to look great as a muscular man, your clothes have to fit well. But finding the perfect fitting t-shirt can often be difficult.
Today, we’ll go over how a t-shirt should fit on the muscular build and look at six of the best t-shirts for muscular men.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best t-shirts for muscular men you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
How Should a T-Shirt Fit on the Muscular Man
First, we need to address what a proper fit looks like. A perfect fit does change slightly based on your build, but the same basic rules apply to everyone.
If you’re a muscular man, there are a few key points for a perfect fit. Let’s take a look so you know exactly what to look for if you have a muscular frame.
Sleeve Length for those with muscular arms is probably the most significant departure from the standard ‘fit rules’. Sleeve length can vary significantly between brands, and this is the one aspect of fit that depends a little bit on personal preference.
If you have defined, muscular arms, my rule of thumb is to have your shirt sleeve end just above the indentation in your triceps (horseshoe-shaped muscle on the back of your arm). This is a touch short generally, but it’s the perfect length for showing off your hard-earned gains.
Any shorter than this and you risk looking self-absorbed. Any longer, and the shirt will start to make your arms look less muscular.
The cut of the shirt is just the shape or pattern the cloth is cut from. For muscular men, a slim fit shirt is generally going to be best, though some brands offer an ‘athletic’ or ‘muscle’ fit, which are both better choices than a slim fit.
Don’t take this to mean you can wear any slim fit or muscle fit. Try each brand on for yourself to make sure the fit works for you.
Quick tip: some brands take ‘slim fit’ a bit further and slim the arms as well as the chest, which will not work as a muscular man.
When looking for the right fit, you want to be able to pinch your shirt and have 1-2 inches of fabric from the bottom of the shirt up through the chest. This is enough room to be comfortable while keeping a nice tapered silhouette.
This can get a little tricky to fit for guys with wider delts. The “rule” is that you usually want the line where the sleeve attaches to the body of the shirt to be where your arm actually meets your torso.
Essentially that means the line should be in the indentation between your shoulder and traps.
The exception here is that when you have broader shoulders, pushing the line outward by up to an inch can sometimes solve fit issues (if the shoulders feel restrictively tight).
Just make sure your sleeve line is in that range and that it is comfortable. If the shoulder seam is down on your triceps, the shirt is too big.
T-shirt length varies a lot between brands. My rule of thumb is to have my shirt end where my back pockets start. That gives enough length to keep your stomach covered when reaching up, but it’s short enough to provide a balanced look.
One mistake muscular men make is sizing up to find a shirt that fits in the shoulders, then ending up with a shirt that’s way too long.
This visually lengthens your torso and shortens your legs, which isn’t a flattering look. So make sure your t-shirt ends right around mid-fly.
The Best T-Shirt Brands for Muscular Men
Here are some solid t-shirts to choose from…
#1: Barbell Apparel
Barbell Apparel is a brand that has been making clothing specifically for muscular men for several years now. I first saw them at a booth in the Olympic weightlifting trials back in 2015, and they have just gotten better over time as they’ve added to their line up.
While they focus on an athletic fit, they also lean heavily on stretch fabrics to make sure even the most muscular men can easily move. This can be a pro or a con depending on your preference in shirt materials.
Barbell Apparel does two things really well: their fit is nearly perfect, and their clothes’ quality is very impressive. As far as fit goes, the only thing I would like to see is a sleeve about .5″ shorter.
Honestly, this is me being picky as it is a great length, but that would put it at a 10/10 for me.
The fabric quality is also amazing. It is a polyester and spandex shirt, but it feels soft like cotton while breathing incredibly well.
- Nearly perfect fit (9.5/10)
- Soft, high-quality cloth
- Selection variety
- Breathes and stretches well
- A touch expensive for a polyester shirt
At $48 for a t-shirt, these are my number one pick as the best t-shirts for muscular men.
#2: Muscle Fit Basics
I first started wearing muscle fit basics t-shirts (10% off with this link) back in 2018, and so far they’ve remained one of my favorite t-shirt brands for muscular guys.
They are made of ‘heavyweight suede cotton’ which is thicker than most t-shirt cotton.
The ribbed collar is the highest quality collar I’ve ever seen on a t-shirt. Overall the material is a step above any other cotton t-shirt I have worn.
The best part about these t-shirts is that the cut is spot-on for a guy who regularly hits the gym.
They aren’t cut for an in-season bodybuilder (which requires a more extreme taper), but the sleeve length, waist, chest and torso length are perfect for more muscular men.
These are the best ‘muscle fit’ t-shirts I have seen, and they also hold up incredibly well.
I’ve had my original three shirts for almost two years, and they’re still going strong. They’re not the cheapest tees, but you get what you pay for!
- The fit on these is perfect for those with muscular physiques (9.8/10).
- The cotton on these is top-notch and really can not be beaten at the price point.
- You can expect premium quality durability and garment lifespan.
- You only get free shipping to USA on orders of 3 shirts or more.
One minor downside to this brand is the fact that the shirts are shipped out of the UK.
This is great for UK and EU residents, but for Americans, it means slightly longer waits for shipping and returns.
#3: Wool and Prince
Wool and Prince is doing some fantastic things. A typical t-shirt is made out of cotton, and while that does work, Wool and Prince believes wool is the superior fabric.
There are a few things that make wool a better choice for clothing. Wool is an animal fiber, so it can do things plant-based fibers can’t, like cooling you when it’s too hot, but also warming you when it’s cold.
Wool shirts also can help reduce odors as well keeping you smelling fresh. Plus, wool fibers can bend nearly seven times more than cotton before they break, making a wool shirt one of the most durable shirt fabrics you can buy.
Now, these shirts don’t fit as well as the Barbell Apparel or Muscle Fit Basics shirts (mentioned below), but they also don’t claim to be made for the muscular man.
Given that they’re not made specifically for athletic builds, I’ve found that they do fit very well on me. The body could be a bit slimmer, and the sleeves could be a touch shorter.
- Wool is superior to cotton for durability, climate control, and odor control.
- They have a large variety of colors and styles of shirt.
- These can be washed less and last much longer than a cotton t-shirt
- The fit could be better for a muscular man (7.5/10).
- They are the most expensive t-shirts on this list
- Slim fit is also slim in the sleeves (this is only available on the button-downs, not the t-shirts, but do not buy the slim fit if you have large arms!).
Overall, I’m very happy with how Wool and Prince tees fit on me. If you’re interested in trying on a wool t-shirt, definitely check out Wool and Prince.
#4: True Classic Tees
True Classic Tees offers a slim fit t-shirt at a great price. Of all the options on the list, they are the most budget-friendly coming in at $16 for a single shirt or just under $13 if you buy a pack of six.
These t-shirts are slim fit but not ‘muscle fit’. They have a nice profile in the body and are a touch longer than the average shirt, a pro or con depending on your preference and build.
Like the body, the sleeves are also on the longer side.
But, they’re the only shirt on our list under $20, so if you’re looking for the best budget option, these are certainly it.
The cotton on these shirts is soft and lightweight, making it a great choice for the warmer months. Also, the selection is actually quite good with 10 colors in everything from tank tops to sweatshirts.
- Amazing price
- Decent Fit (8.5/10)
- Very Soft Cotton
- Free Shipping Offered
- Shirts are just a touch long, as are the sleeves (my personal preference)
Personally, I think the Muscle Fit Basics t-shirt is a better option if you can stomach the higher price tag.
#5: Alternative Apparel
Alternative Apparel is making some interesting t-shirts. They have shirts made from hemp and organic cotton in plain and slub textures, which makes them one of the most unique brands on this list.
It’s been a few years since I purchased a tee shirt from Alternative Apparel, but my cotton navy slub tee is still going strong, and the fit is nearly perfect for my athletic build.
The sleeve length is dead-on, and the lightweight cloth is perfect for spring and summer. I put them at #6 on the list because, frankly, I’m not sure if they’ve changed their t-shirt fit over the past couple of years.
I know that they still offer an extensive range of styles, materials and colors, and they’re probably still worth checking out.
- Vast style variety
- Several different materials (hemp, organic cotton, etc.)
- Not sure if the fit is as perfect in the current line of clothing
- Some trendy styles, but balanced with classic ones as well
T-shirts are a staple for any man, but especially for the muscular man. A perfectly fitting t-shirt is a great casual look that can show off your impressive physique.
If you are a muscular man any one of these brands are a great place to start.
Of course, you can always get your t-shirts tailored for a more tapered fit (see our clothing alterations guide for more details).