How To Dress Athletic Body Types

By August 11, 2016 4 Comments
how to dress athletic body types


For a very long time I’ve felt ashamed of my athletic body type. I build muscle very easily, have always had bigger arms, shoulders, and calves than any of my female friends. I struggled finding my personal style in a sea of photos with beautiful petite and curvier women. Fitness pages give me inspiration, but I see a void in how to style that body type beyond workout clothing. This post is for all of you ladies who feel the same way and want a little inspiration. I’m consistently working on my fitness goals and don’t have the body I aspire to yet, but I’ve learned to appreciate what I have and feel proud of my muscles along the way. Thank you for recognizing my differences and appreciating them anyway.


My body type is athletic. I build muscle easily (when I commit to my workouts), I have a little bit of hip, and not much curvature in my torso. My somatotype is mostly mesomorph with traits of an endomorph (meso-endomorph). Mesomorph body types build muscles easily and tend to gain and lose weight easily. Here’s a great article, a quiz, a guide , and another article that explains somatic body typing in case you’d like to know yours.


If you have an athletic body type and are looking to shop for new clothes, here are my personal tips that can help you find clothing that compliments your body. As you go through these, sound off in the comments and let us know if I forgot something or you’ve tried any of these and found success.

NOTE:  These tips are geared toward creating a more hourglass appearance.


DO: Buy quarter length sleeves to make your arm appear slender. Go sleeveless to show off your defined arms, or get a sleeve that cuts right above biceps.

DON’T: Buy Bat Wing Tops (Left). They don’t offer much shape and can make your muscular arms appear larger and less defined.


DO:  Racerback and Halter Top Cuts. They mimic the cut of a sports bra and show off defined shoulders and arms.

DO:  V-neck and scoop neck shirts. This cut draws the eye down vertically and give the illusion of more length.

DON’T: Buy short sleeves that cut horizontally across your deltoids. It accentuates large shoulders and may make your body look disproportionate. Caveat: If you love your shoulders (like I do) and want to make them stand out, there’s nothing wrong with that!


DO: Cinch waist with a belt. This give the illusion of a waist with more curvature on the sides. This helps make your figure appear closer to an hourglass shape.

DO: Wear shirts tied around waist. This accentuate narrower hips.

DO: Midi length skirts with a high waist. Just make sure the skirt cut above the knee. High waisted skirts with a belt are a plus.

DO: Peplum tops and dresses. As long as the frills fall lower at the the hip, it will give a beautiful hourglass affect.


DO: Wear high-waisted or mid-rise jeans.  It will lengthen the look of stocky muscular legs and hug the smallest part of your waist.

DO: Pair crop tops with high waisted pants and skirts. The bit of skin the shows is usually at the smallest part of your waist and will make you look even more fit.

DONT: wear tops that are too wide or have boxy shapes. It will hide the curves you work hard to build and at times make you look bulky and less put together.


DO: Wear thin ankle straps or no straps at all. Wearing styles that are opposite of your physique can help tremendously in the shoe category. If you have wider angles and calves, opt for shoes that balance the look.

DONT: Wear too chunky of a heel. This one you can take with a grain of salt because I’m all for comfort. However, generally speaking, slender heels and pointy toe shoes give legs a more slender dainty appearance. For practicality I’ve included shoes that have the best of both worlds. They offer some more girth in the heel to support stockier muscles, but have a feminine silouette.


The most important thing is confidence. Acceptance is Queen and if you accept what you have, it will shine brighter than any “trick” you can pull off. Have fun, give these tips a try and share your own tips in the comments below. We all are here to help each other!

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Adria says:

    Great tips. You’re spot on about a void in the marketplace for us athletic body types. Looking forward to your future posts!

    • LaToya Codner says:

      Adria, I’m glad you agree! I’m very much looking forward to sharing as much as possible. Lets fill that void, hunny! 💪🏾 Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see your beautiful comments again!

  • Biancastella says:

    Muscular build feet require an appropriate shape shoe to match.

    The shoes promoted here are not for muscular build women. Try promoting more of a box toe shape, or partially tapered box toe shape.

    Slight build with muscular physique may wear shoes promoted here. Some of the shoes on the visuals shown are for posers only. As in they do not provide utility to actually be worn at length.

    • LaToya Codner says:

      Margaret, Thank you. I appreciate your constructive feedback! It’s been a while since I’ve looked at this post, and I must admit that my previous suggestions in shoes were solely based on look and not practicality. I have updated the shoes to support women with stockier muscles by promoting shoes with a chunkier heel in conjunction with a traditionally feminine silhouette. As for the toe box shape, I still prefer the length a pointy shoe gives, but one must choose a toe box that suits thier own foot shape. Thanks again for the feedback. I think it’s very valuable for any who come across it.

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