How to look more muscular

How to Look More Muscular in Clothes

Spending hours in the gym is the most logical way to get more muscular. However, there are ways to look more muscular without investing in specialist equipment and a gym membership. 

And that’s exactly what we’ll cover here: how to look more muscular using styling tips and tricks. With the right clothing such as a muscle fit shirt and styling options, anyone can look more muscular without investing time at the gym. 

Clothing that makes you look more muscular

What do Muscular Guys Look Like?

This might seem like an obvious question, as the answer would be, “muscular”. However, there is a clear definition of what muscly guys look like from a physical perspective, which is:

  • Large shoulders, chest, and upper back
  • Small waist
  • Large thighs but smaller calves

In short, muscular men are shaped like a V on their upper body. To look more muscular, then, you should highlight specific areas while downplaying others. This is the logic we follow in the tips below.

Look More Muscular in a white dress shirt by tapered menswear

How to Dress to Look More Muscular in Clothes

The key tips for how to look more muscular in your clothes involve balancing outfits, choosing the right colours and patterns, and paying greater attention to your clothing options. So, here are some tips on how to look more muscular. 

Looking for clothes that make you look more muscular? Check out our collection of fitted shirts here.

Clothing Tricks to Make You Look More Muscular

So, once you’ve nailed the basics, there are a few more styling tips you can do to look more muscular. These are less about the actual items of clothing but more about how you wear them.

1. Fit is King - If it doesn't fit right forget it

Never, ever underestimate the power of well-fitting clothes. Fit is more important than any other aspect of picking an outfit and it can make even the ugliest clothes look stylish.

Your choice of fit ultimately depends on your body type and what you want to highlight or hide. Some general tips are:

  • Stay away from super tight clothes if you’re skinny
  • Avoid super baggy items if you’re on the larger side

Of course, many muscular men prefer spray-on tight clothes to show off their physique. However, when you’re trying to dress more muscular, you want to hide as much as show.

2 guys Looking More Muscular in a white and green shirts by tapered menswear
As mentioned, you want to accentuate your shoulders and minimise your waist. You can do this through fitted clothing but also through something as simple as doing up a suit jacket.


It can be difficult to give specific fitting advice, but use the above rules to play around with clothing until you find something that you feel fits properly.


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2. Choosing Colours - Lighter shows, dark hides

What color shirt makes you look muscular?

Typically, we’re told that black is a slimming colour. While this is true, we’re arguably aiming for the opposite of slimming. As such, focus on lighter neutral colours, such as grey, beige, and white.

Lighter colours will highlight your body and make you look more muscular in certain areas. 

Look More Muscular in a polo shirt by tapered menswear

These draw attention to your shape, so you must still be careful with how you wear them. Don’t rely on this tip alone, but balance it against other advice in this article.

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should avoid colour altogether. The most basic rule is that dark hides and light shows. So, providing you stay on the lighter end of the spectrum, you can still have complete freedom over your colour choices.

3. Know Your Fabrics - Try thicker to add bulk

Heavyweight fabrics add bulk, which sometimes isn’t a good thing. But, if you’re trying to look more muscular, it can make all the difference.

Opt for heavier weave fabrics, such as denim or tweed. Almost anything made from leather or wool is a good choice, too. Flannel and corduroy are also good options, as they add bulk and texture but can still be a more tailored fit.  

layer up with a denim shirt to look muscular

Of course, don’t take this too far otherwise you’ll end up looking like a mass of fabric. Keep heavier fabrics for your outer layer, whether this is a shirt, suit or coat.

4. Layer Up - Add layers to enhance the shoulders

Similarly, intelligent layering can add bulk to your frame. Layering can make your overall look more polished, too, and makes it more coherent. Plus, it’s a great way to add contrasting colours and textures.

The easiest layering pattern is:

  1. A t-shirt as the bottom layer
  2. A long-sleeve shirt or t-shirt as the next layer
  3. Finish off with a sweater (ideally cable-knit) or a sports jacket

As always, fit is vital. Baggy clothing has its place, but it’s not in a layered look. Your clothes don’t need to be tight, as this can do the opposite of what you want, but they should be well fitted.

Light blue Denim tapered fit shirt by Tapered menswear designed to make you look muscular

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

5. Balance Your Outfit

A well-curated outfit should have balance, but this is even more important if you’re trying to look muscular. For skinny or smaller men, this typically means going on the baggier side on your upper half and on the tighter side on your lower half.

However, still avoid super skinny jeans. Instead, a nice tapered fit will add some volume to your legs without being too baggy. A slimmer t-shirt with a slightly oversized shirt or denim jacket is ideal for adding bulk to your upper body.

The key takeaway, though, is never to do a whole outfit in one fitting theme. For example, don’t do tight and tight or baggy and baggy.  

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

6. Go for Long Sleeves - hide your arms if you need to

If your arms aren’t the biggest, stay away from short sleeves. Obviously, if you’re going out in a t-shirt, this might be unavoidable, but you could always go for an oversized option with longer sleeves.

How to look more muscular

Long Sleeve Black Tapered Fit Polo and Grey Tapered Fit Polo Shirt

For shirts, stick with long sleeves. Roll them up to just below the elbow, and the folds and excess fabric will add bulk to your arms.

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

7. Jackets with Bulk - More Layers = Bigger Frame

Where possible, try and style in a jacket that adds weight to your shoulders. By this, we don’t mean going out in an 80s power suit or dressed as an American football player. 

Instead, look for a jacket with epaulettes or slightly wider shoulders. Also, biker jackets are great because they can be very tailored but with some padding in the shoulders.

8. Collars Can be Your Friend - V For Muscular

Muscular men have quite bulky necks. So, what can you do if you don’t have a muscular neck? Hide it, of course!

Polo shirts work well, as do button-up shirts of any kind. Avoid doing the top button up, though, as this will highlight your skinnier neck. 

green long sleeve polo and white henley by Tapered menswear designed to make you look muscular

Turtlenecks are hit-and-miss. They add volume, but tight ones will show that your neck is skinny. Look for ones that aren’t super tight but have decent bulk to them.

What muscles make you look big in a shirt?

The muscles that stand out the most and make you look bigger in a shirt are the delts. These are the front, middle and rear deltoids located around the shoulder.

Having large delts gives a strong and powerful look and is the most noticeable part of a muscular physique in any shirt. 

However, make sure that you find a shirt that fits your shoulders properly. If it sags around the delts and upper arms it doesn't matter how large your shoulders are. A baggy shirt will throw off your proportions and highlight a shapeless body.

Tapered Fit T-shirt by Tapered menswear designed to make you look muscular

How to Make Muscles Bigger Without Flexing

Aside from cutting body fat and hitting the gym, it is possible to make your muscles look bigger without flexing.  

Shop shirts that make you look muscular


How To Look Bigger and Wider

One option is to wear patterns, specifically horizontal stripes or checks. These make you look wider/bulkier, so can make you look more muscular with very little effort.

For example, combine a patterned shirt with a layer underneath and then roll up the sleeves. This can draw attention away from your skinnier areas while adding bulk to your upper torso. Overall, it creates a great illusion of muscle. 

For added points, if you’re particularly skinny, throw in a French tuck, popularised by stylist Tan France. In short, it involves tucking in the front of your shirt around your belt buckle. It’ll make your waist look smaller thanks to the fabric’s drape.

How do I Make My Shirt Look Muscular?

Making your shirt look more muscular again comes back to the fit. Muscular men typically go for a tapered, V-shape shirt that gives them wider shoulders and a skinnier waist. 

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

If you’re not super muscular, the best starting point is a slim-fit shirt. Normal fits can make you look bulky in the wrong way because they’re shapeless. A slim-fit shirt at least has some tailoring to it, providing it’s not very tight, of course.

Also, try to find a shirt where the shoulder seams sit in the right place. This might sound minor, but it’ll dictate how the rest of the shirt falls on your body. If you have the money and the time, consider having a shirt tailored to suit your needs. 

blue dress Shirt that makes you look muscular by tapered menswear


Of course, if this isn’t an option, there are shirts that make you look muscular - the Tapered shirt. Our shirts are specifically designed for men with a more muscular build but will suit anyone wanting a more tailored and defined look. 

Most importantly, they’re V-shaped, so highlight your shoulders and chest while drawing in at the waist. As mentioned, this is the basis of looking more muscular in your clothing. 

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

We make them out of high-quality fabric with 4-way stretch. This means they cling in the right places but still provide enough movement for you to be comfortable. 

How to Make Your Muscles Look Bigger In Clothing

The tips above are an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to look more muscular but doesn’t want to put in time at the gym.

However, you should always spend some time playing around with clothing to see what works best on your body type.

Regardless, fit is always the most important point and should never be overlooked. Once you nail the fit for looking more muscular, everything else will fall nicely into place.

Shop shirts that make you look muscular

 Show Off Muscles

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.


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.

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Perfect for the office. 

With our non obtrusive logo stitched subtly on the wrist makes our TAPERED Fit Shirt ideal for formal occasions.

Tapered Fit Shirts are the true solution to your shirt fitting problem. If you want a shirt that fits your body like it should, check out or best selling shirt here 

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