Fact: You’re not spending all that time in the gym just to hide your hard-earned gains under a baggy shirt.
Opinion: What follows are the six best shirts for muscular men. Also, rye chips are the best parts of Gardetto’s snack mix.
Polarizing topics, all. But today, we’re going to focus on the part about shirts. If you’ve got a muscular build, certain aspects of a garment’s construction are going to help you highlight your attributes. The sleeves will typically fall just above your horseshoe-shaped triceps, for instance. The fit should be tailored but never too tight. And don’t forget those shoulder seams—they should ideally fall somewhere between your traps and shoulder muscles.
Most importantly, though, the best shirts for muscular guys should make you feel like a million bucks. Just make sure you’re highlighting your attributes in a classic, elevated way as opposed to force feeding your lats to the unsuspecting public.
And with that, away we go to reup your shirt game…
To find the best shirts for muscular men, I began by researching dozens of garments and analyzing their construction quality, customer reviews, photos, and my own stash of gear. The resulting six are the best of the best based on factors that include but aren’t limited to fit, comfort, breathability, materials, and style. Edging out the competition is my top overall pick of Lestrange’s Kapok Tee 2.0, followed by my budget pick, Gilden’s multipack of crew tees.
Why it’s great: Not only is kapok a sustainable, buttery soft material, it also melds to the contours of your body in a way that’s especially flattering for muscular guys. Lestrange’s Kapok Tee 2.0 incorporates organic cotton and kapok to create your new favorite everyday tee. The tailored fit hugs your torso without being too tight and the sleeve length puts your assets on stage in all the right ways.
How it feels: A large part of what makes this one of the best shirts for muscular men is its cotton/kapok blend that results in silky, lightweight, breathable comfort all day long.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you live an active lifestyle and frequently find yourself outside in the heat, you may be better served by a more casual tee. This is an elevated take on the species that should be treated as such.
Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors Available: 3 | Material: 85% Organic Cotton, 15% Kapok
Why it’s great: A five-pack of quality, comfortable shirts for less than 25 bucks. That’s what you came to this section for, right? Excellent. Because if there ever was a multipack of 100% cotton t-shirts to stock up on, Gildan’s crew tees are the ones. Available in multiple color combinations, these are the perfect summer shirts for your outdoor rec leagues, afternoon beer garden sessions, or casual coffee runs.
How it feels: As with most cotton tees, you’re working with a soft, breathable fabric that feels light and gentle on the skin.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: These aren’t the shirts that are going to last for years on end, especially if they’re in your main rotation. That said, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth from these handsome basics.
Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors Available: 10 | Material: 100% Cotton (Solids); 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton (Heather Navy)
Why it’s great: This long-sleeve crew neck shirt from Luca Faloni is elegant, figure-flattering, and impossibly cozy. That last part is thanks to its silk-cashmere construction that gently hugs your torso and arms in a way that demands attention but does so in a subtle way. You could easily deploy it as a handsome dress shirt under a jacket or on its own with a pair of lightweight chinos. It’s as versatile as it is comfortable.
How it feels: Two words: Silk. Cashmere. If the combination of those to gloriously soft fabrics doesn’t already speak volumes to your torso, I’m afraid I can’t help you.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This style of shirt typically looks the most flattering on guys with medium muscular builds. Bigger guys might find too much of their bulk on display in a way that risks becoming distracting depending on the occasion.
Sizes Available: XS-3XL | Colors Available: 7 | Material: 70% Cashmere, 30% Silk
Why it’s great: True Classic is an excellent shirt brand to consider if you’re looking for fitted tees and other garments designed to accentuate the best parts of every man’s body. Their Classic Crew is designed to hug your arms and shoulders while providing ample room around the chest and midsection. Available in a dozen colors and reasonably priced, this is another shirt to stock up on for any casual occasion.
How it feels: True Classic’s cotton-polyester blend is soft and breathable. And it gets bonus points for the confidence-boosting fit that’s just right from top to bottom.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Though True Classic’s Crew tee has an impressive number of 5-star reviews on Amazon, some reviewers complain of inconsistent sizing.
Sizes Available: S-3XL | Colors Available: 12 | Material: 60% Cotton, 40% Polyester
Why it’s great: This shirt from Phoenix-based sunwear brand Somewhere Sunny thought of everything. Most things. A lot of things. For starters, the bamboo viscose construction is soft and durable. Then there’s the fact that it’s outfitted with UPF 50 sun protection. And that the four-way stretch fabric is also breathable, sweat-wicking, and odor-resisting. Oh, and it looks great, too. If you can think of an occasion that involves the sun and looking great, these thoughtfully appointed tees will be ready.
How it feels: Bamboo viscose is exceptionally soft on its own. But when you throw in the Everyday T-Shirt’s four-way stretch and outstanding breathability, you’re working with one of the most comfortable shirts out there.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: You could get away with wearing these tees pretty much anywhere, but know that in terms of aesthetic, they do lean into activewear more than some other options on this list.
Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors Available: 4 | Material: 66% Bamboo Viscose, 29% Polyester, 5% Spandex
Why it’s great: Niche brand The Resort Co does resort wear and does it damn well. Their shirts beg for you to find the nearest Mediterranean resort and traipse around it like you’re leisure royalty. Exhibit A: The Resort Co Knitted Tee. The ribbed collar, sleeves and bottom hem elevate this super-soft organic cotton shirt well above the standard-tee level and help accentuate muscular builds with a tailored look. It’s one of the few t-shirts I’ve seen that can be dressed all the way up or all the way down without skipping a beat.
How it feels: Buttery soft knitted cotton and a generous, figure-flattering fit make this shirt as easy and breezy as your vacation should be.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This is a luxury shirt that comes with a luxury price tag. While adding a niche piece or two to your wardrobe is never a bad idea, it lacks general versatility and the price won’t be right for everyone.
Sizes Available: XS-XXL | Colors Available: 3 | Material: 100% Organic Cotton
Buying Considerations For The Best Shirts For Muscular Men
Size & Fit
The best shirts for muscular men should have a fitted, tailored look. That said, they should never look tight in a way that draws the wrong kind of attention. Sleeve length should accentuate your horseshoe-shaped triceps and there should be enough room up top to accommodate an ample chest. As for length, shirts for short guys, tall guys, and everywhere-in-between guys should end right around where your back pockets begin.
Color & Style
Lighter colors cast shadows around the contours of your body and can be more flattering for muscular builds, while darker colors tend to hide your build. Similarly, solid short or long sleeve crew necks highlight your attributes better than polos or button-downs. If your goal is to turn heads with your gym gains, it’s generally best to avoid distracting patterns, colors, and buttons.
Certain fabrics drape over the body in a more form-fitting way than others. Cotton is always a comfortable, durable, and reliable material, but others like cashmere and silk work overtime to highlight muscular builds. Your best bet is to try on multiple options to see what looks and feels best for your unique shape.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a fashion and grooming writer at FashionBeans, I compare, test, and research the products that make a gentleman a gentleman. If it can be worn, carried, or used in a way that elevates your look and feel, I’m into it. For this review, I pored over trusted sources, dozens of brands, materials, customer reviews, and my own closet to understand what makes the best shirts for muscular men. After comparing over 40 garments, I chose the resulting six based on considerations like fit, style, comfort, materials, and cost. Ultimately, I want to see everyone find great-looking, great-fitting shirts for their build.
Finding the right shirts for muscular guys is by no means difficult, but there are a few things you should look for. Sleeve length is key, as is hem placement, length, and how the shirt fits around bulkier chests. If you’re looking for a great place to start, Lestrange’s Kapok Tee 2.0 is a fantastic option.
Generally, crew neck shirts in solid, lighter colors look the best on muscular guys. These attributes help highlight the contours of your body without introducing any distractions like buttons or bold patterns.
Sleeves should end just above or at the point where your horseshoe-shaped triceps begin. To highlight both your traps and shoulders, sleeve hems should land right between them. Length-wise, the shirt should not be so long as to cover your back pockets (or even half of them).
There’s a huge visual difference between fitted and tight. Avoid the latter and instead focus on shirts that hug your body in the right places and provide ample room elsewhere.