athletic fit vs slim fit shirt. White athletic fit shirt by Tapered Menswear

Athletic Fit Vs Slim Fit - What's The Difference?

In a fast moving fashion world, many things are changing; style, clothing options, sizing and fit. Gone are the days where there used to be limited fitting options to choose from. Men now have a demand for more - particularly with shirts.

This demand created our creation of the muscle fit shirt. But the market has a lot to offer and this variety can be overwhelming. In another article we have already explained the difference between muscle fit vs slim fit

Check out our range of athletic fit shirts right here.

The main difference between athletic fit and slim fit shirts is that athletic fit shirts are cut closer to the body. The reason being is that athletic fit shirts are specifically designed for athletic shaped bodies while slim fit is for someone looking for a more relaxed fit. 

To clear up some of the confusion, we are going to explain two options that are similar yet different from each other - slim fit and athletic fit shirts.

Let's look closely at each fit specifically to determine which is best for you.

athletic fit vs slim fit shirts quiz

Athletic Fit Vs Slim Fit

Slim Fit Shirts

A slim fit shirt is exactly what the name implies - slim fit. These shirts fit your body with the help of a cut from the waist and midsection. But because this is made for the masses it allows for more room around the chest and shoulders.

On an athletic, V-Taper physique this results in bagginess around the arms and waist.

The main issue is that the material used to make a slim-fit shirt is non-stretchable, so there are only two possibilities; your shirt would be a bit too tight or a bit loose; there is no middle ground.

Cutting it short, this shirt is specially made for a slender, skinny, slim, or lean body. Another problem with a slim-fit-shirt is that it requires an additional expense of tailoring, especially if you want it to fit well. 


slim athletic fit shirt by tapered menswear in Navy


Slim vs Athletic Body Type

The expansion of the fitness industry, has caused a demand for athletic fit dress shirts. The athletic type body requires a more unique fit than the churned out slim fit shirts designed for the "standard" body shape.

Slim Athletic Build

A slim athletic build features a lean and muscular physique, a fit athletic body type which is a product of regular cardio and strength training, resulting in lower body fat and evident muscle definition.

Athletic dress shirts are recommended for this build as they accentuate their physique, fitting snugly around the chest and shoulders, while providing ample room for movement.

The tapering design minimises excess fabric around the waist, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of their well-conditioned body.

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What is an Athletic Fit Shirt?

An athletic fit shirt is cut closer to the body. They are made using a stretchable material, that allows free motion. This stretchable material hangs to your upper body while providing enough room for it to breathe.

However, these shirts could be a bit too tight for people with a muscular body.


athletic fit shirt in White by tapered menswear


The issue with athletic or muscle fit shirts is that like the slim fit shirt, they are cut the same in the arms - which results in discomfort. Athletic builds with large arms shouldn't have to sacrifice fit for comfort.

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The other drawback of athletic fit dress shirts is that that they can still be baggy around the waist, which results in a less fitted look. This bagginess around the waist is something most athletic builds will want to avoid, particularly if they favour a closer fit elsewhere in the shirt.

Best athletic fit dress shirts

Navy Tapered Fit Shirt

Is Athletic Fit Baggy?

Athletic fit is the opposite of baggy. Athletic fit is fitted and tighter to an athletic shaped physique.

If you prefer a baggier fit then a regular fit will be ideal as this type is designed for the masses and typically doesn't have a tailored shape like athletic fit.

What is Athletic Fit vs Regular Fit?

The main difference between athletic fit vs regular fit is the how it's cut and fits the body. Regardless of the type of garment, athletic fit is cut closer to the body to provide a athletic shaped bodies a much more snug to the contours of the body than a regular fit.

Regular fit is typically designed for the masses so is typically much looser around the arms, waist, shoulders chest and hips.


athletic fit shirt in White and olive green by tapered menswear

Athletic Fit vs Slim Fit Pants - What's The Difference?

The same rule applies for pants, athletic fit pants are generally cut closer than slim fit. But they typically provide more room around the quads and contain stretch fabric for comfort.

Slim fit pants are designed for the masses, so if you prefer a slightly looser fit stick with slim fit. If you have muscular legs, a common complaint is that slim fit aren't comfortable enough in the legs so athletic fit will be the right choice.

Athletic Fit Clothing

Athletic fit clothing follows the same rules as athletic fit shirts and pants. Its designed for guys with athletic shaped physiques.

With the explosion of the fitness industry and active wear, athletic bodies now have the option of athletic fit clothing which in general can be t-shirts, jumpers, jackets, shirts and jeans.

athletic fit vs slim fit infographic

Is Athletic Fit the Same as Slim Fit Jeans

Slim fit is generally looser in the seat and thighs. Athletic fit is always cut closer than slim fit but typically has stretch built into the fabric to provide comfort.

If you have more muscular thighs and glutes always opt for an athletic or tapered fit over a slim fit.

What is the Difference Between Relaxed fit and Athletic Fit Jeans?

Relaxed fit and athletic fit jeans are designed to cater to different body types and comfort preferences.

Relaxed fit jeans offer a roomier and more comfortable fit, with ample space around the seat, thighs, and legs. They're ideal for those who prioritize ease of movement and a casual style.

athletic fit jeans in black by tapered menswear

What is Athletic Fit Jeans?

Athletic fit jeans are tailored for individuals with a more muscular build, particularly in the thighs and seat. They feature a slightly tapered leg, providing a balance between comfort and a slimming silhouette.

Athletic Fit Jeans Meaning

Relaxed fit jeans are looser and more casual, while athletic fit jeans cater to muscular physiques with a snug yet comfortable design.

Black athletic fit jeans by Tapered Menswear

What are Athletic Fit Chinos?

Athletic fit chinos are chinos designed for those with a more muscular legs. Similar to athletic fit jeans, they are tailored to accommodate larger thighs and seat while maintaining a tapered, polished look through the leg.

Typically the fabric is fitted and infused with elastane to freedom of movement which is essential for those with larger legs. 

Athletic fit chinos by Tapered Menswear

Tapered Fit vs Athletic Fit - Is Tapered the Same as Athletic Fit?

As established, athletic fit is the same as muscle fit. But tapered fit is where the fit is wider at the chest and shoulders but narrower at the waist. So although these are similar and they are very different. 

If you were to take your shirt to a tailor then a tapered fit will often be the result if you have a v shaped physique.

Athletic Fit vs Tapered Fit Pants

Athletic fit and tapered fit pants fit very similarly. For example in jeans, athletic fit will be tight and stretchy. Tapered fit will have more room at the top around the quads and hamstrings and taper sharply at the ankles. 

What is Athletic Tapered Fit?

No matter the type of garment an athletic tapered fit is essentially the same as both an athletic fit and tapered fit. It just has a hybrid name! Both are designed for athletic shaped guys with a v shaped body type.

athletic tapered fit shirt in olive green

Best Athletic Fit Dress Shirts - TAPERED Fit

So now we know the difference with athletic fit vs slim fit. Finding a shirt that fits muscular body types can be very difficult.

After all, most people with a muscular build want a shirt to be both fitted and comfortable, a combination that until recently was almost impossible to find.

Slim Fit Athletic Shirts

With the introduction of TAPERED fit shirts, men now have the option for athletic fitted shirts, but have enough stretch to provide comfort for all day wear in comparison to slim fit.

Available in both long sleeve and short sleeve muscle fit shirts.

A perfect fit for a V taper physique. So why not show off all that hard work in the gym with a TAPERED athletic fitted shirt, and be comfortable as well as fashionable? The best dress shirts for bodybuilders.

athletic fit shirt in light blue by tapered menswear


Athletic Cut Shirts

Our TAPERED fit has been developed by leading Tailors and industry experts to provide you with a revolutionary fit, you won’t ever need to take your shirt to a tailor again or give lots of different measurements.

Athletic cut shirts and muscle fit denim shirts that perfect for those seeking a muscular fit, or bespoke tailoring - ready to wear! The best shirts for a muscular build or if you have a crossfitter body. 

athletic fit shirt in black by tapered menswear

Fitted Dress Shirts For Athletic Build

Our fitted dress shirts for athletic builds ensure the following...

No more:

❌ Boxy off the rack slim fit shirts that creates pooling at the waist

❌ Heavy, restrictive fabrics causing discomfort and stiffness

❌ Squeezing into a shirt too small with buttons ready to pop

❌ Expensive and time consuming tailoring just to get a button up shirt to fit your form. 

Our revolutionary cut provides a 10" drop from chest to waist.
Fully fitted in chest and shoulders whilst tapering sharply down, giving a tailored look. No more bagginess in the waist.
white athletic fit shirt by Tapered Menswear

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Enhanced Darts

Expertly tailored darts at the back, for the perfect fit.


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Stretch Cotton

Super soft, breathable and allows complete freedom of movement. 

white athletic fit shirt, fitted around bicep by Tapered Menswear

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Athletic Button Up Shirts

Perfect for the office. 
With our non obtrusive logo stitched subtly on the wrist makes our athletic button up shirts ideal for formal occasions.
white athletic fit shirt with tie by Tapered Menswear

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Athletic Fit Casual Button-Down Shirts

We also have a range of athletic fit casual button down shirts that will make you stand out in any casual setting.

athletic fit casual button-down shirts by Tapered Menswear

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