Fashion & Style

10 Best Athletic-Fit Dress Shirts For Men – Flex Your Style In 2023

Fancy yourself a V-shaped fella?

Yikes. Super awkward way to kick things off. Let’s try that again, shall we?

If you’re an athletic guy with a slim waist and larger-than-average chest and arm muscles, you owe it to yourself to research the best athletic-fit dress shirts. Or, at the very least, let me do it for you.

Just because you’re someone who can benefit from an athletic-fit dress shirt doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a beefy gym rat. It just means you’re not skinny but you’re also not… not skinny. However you define it, just know that there’s an entire sartorial world out there with your exact body type in mind.

And as fate would have it, here comes that world right now…

Key Takeaways

The best athletic-fit dress shirts for men are designed with ample room around the chest and arms with a tapered fit around the waist. Some are made with bulkier guys in mind, others are made for those with a slim-athletic build.

One of the most versatile options out there—my top pick of Mizzen + Main’s Leeward Dress Shirt—is cut with these details in mind and constructed with an odor-reducing, wrinkle-resistant fabric to round things out. And if you’re looking for many of the same features on a budget, J.Ver’s Stretch Dress Shirt is a strong option.

Our Top Picks

man in a slim fit shirt and khaki pants going down the stairs
stateandliberty / Instagram

Mizzen + Main Leeward Dress Shirt

Dallas-based Mizzen + Main is one of the pioneers of men’s performance dress shirts and their Leeward button-down is the one that started it all. If you can think of a thoughtful detail that caters to the man with an active lifestyle and athletic build, this shirt has it.

The Leeward incorporates a hidden button-down collar, anti-wrinkle properties, and an antimicrobial treatment designed to reduce odor. It’s roomy in all the right places, stretches when you do, and is available in over two dozen colors and patterns.

Another aspect that puts this among the ranks of the best athletic-fit dress shirts is the ability to customize your fit. Choose from trim or classic cuts, regular or tall fits, and sizes up to 2XL.

Material: Polyester/Spandex Blend | Colors: 29 | Sizes: S-2XL

Luca Faloni Portofino Linen Shirt

If you don’t necessarily associate linen with dress shirts, kindly allow me to swoop in and change all that for you. Better yet, I’ll just let Luca Faloni do it by way of its Portofino Linen Shirt. The shirt’s classic details and versatile colorways offer an effortlessly elevated look that’s perfect for warm-weather work trips or paired with the right tie at a destination wedding.

While you’re working with a classic cut here, it’s constructed in such a way that’s ideal for V-shaped bodies—roomy up top with a tapered shape toward the midsection. Something to note: This isn’t a shirt for beefy guys. But if you’re on the thin-athletic side, it’s going to be one of the last best athletic-fit dress shirts you’ll ever own.

Material: Linen | Colors: 21 | Sizes: XS-4XL

L’Estrange All-Day Oxford

Calling all thin-athletic gents who work in a business casual environment and love a good Oxford shirt—this one’s for you. If you’re looking for a versatile garment with classic styling that’s been designed to last for years, it behooves you to check out the All-Day Oxford from L’Estrange.

The shirt’s fabric was spun in an Italian mill in such a way that makes it cozy, breathable, and durable. Meanwhile, the 2% stretch will gladly accommodate any chest and arm bulk, and the tailored fit around the waist completes the athletic fit. You don’t need many traditional, staple work shirts if you’re looking for them in the right place. And hey look at that, you’re in the right place.

Material: 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane | Colors: 4 | Sizes: XS-2XL

J.Ver Stretch Dress Shirt

The J.Ver Stretch Dress Shirt has over 7,000 5-star ratings on Amazon with most reviewers praising its quality construction and outstanding level of comfort. While it’s not reinventing any wheels in terms of aesthetics, this classic dress shirt has been constructed using a wrinkle-resistant and super-stretchy blend of fabrics that caters to an athletic build.

It’s one of the least-expensive quality dress shirts for an athletic build that you’re likely to find, especially considering the level of attention J.Ver brings to the details. And with 33 colors to choose from, this is the perfect shirt to stock up on for anything from weddings to work.

Material: 62% Cotton, 35% Polyester, 3% Spandex | Colors: 33 | Sizes: S-6XL

Coofandy Muscle-Fit Dress Shirt

And then of course we have our beefy gentlemen. I see you. Out there wearing either giant shirts that ignore your assets or too-tight ones that make you look ridiculous. But fear not, because the awfully named Coofandy has a considerably not-awful dress shirt for you.

Over on Amazon, Coofandy’s Muscle-Fit Dress Shirt was designed to accentuate your chest and arm muscles in a professional, elevated way. The stretchy fabric offers an outstanding range of motion while resisting wrinkles and providing outstanding breathability. And with its approachable price and 24 colors to choose from, this is yet another dress shirt ripe for the stockpiling.

Material: 50% Cotton, 48% Polyester, 2% Spandex | Colors: 24 | Sizes: XS-4XL

Rhone Commuter Shirt

You didn’t think I was going to get all the way through a list about the best athletic-fit dress shirts for men without mentioning Rhone, did you? Not a chance.

Rhone’s performance-focused apparel has developed an excellent reputation over the years among those with active lifestyles and for good reason.

One of its most popular dress shirts by far is the Commuter Shirt. It’s ideal for slim body types, so those with bulkier chests and arms need not apply.

But since the athletic build is anything but a one-size-fits-all proposition, this is a solid option to keep on your radar. All the usual moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resisting, odor-eliminating suspects are here, as are plenty of color options and a versatile look that’ll look great anywhere.

Material: Italian fabric blend with stretch | Colors: 7 | Sizes: S-2XL

Vuori Long Sleeve Bridge Button-Down

Of course, not all dress shirts need to conform to traditional dress shirt standards. There’s some wiggle room in there depending on where you work, what the occasion is, or how you define “dress” in the first place.

Vuori’s Bridge button-down has a classic look that you can take to the office but is also designed in such a way that it can be dressed down with a casual pair of pants or shorts.

As you’d expect from Vuori, performance is at the heart of this handsome button-down. It’s a lightweight, athletic-cut shirt with thoughtful details like anti-odor properties, 30+ UPF coverage, and 8% elastane to provide a wide range of motion.

You won’t want to run any marathons in this thing, but it’ll happily stand up to a strenuous workday. Or, you know, happy hour.

Material: 71% Polyester, 21% Cotton, 8% Elastane  | Colors: 3 | Sizes: S-2XL

State & Liberty Solid White Tuxedo Shirt

State & Liberty specializes in athletic-fit clothing and has outfitted thousands of professional and collegiate athletes since its humble beginnings in 2015. So if you’re looking for classic button-downs where every stitch is focused on the V-shaped body, you’ll find them here in spades.

What you may not have known, however, is that the shirt brand also makes some outstanding formal garments, including its Solid White Tuxedo Shirt. Like State & Liberty’s entire shirting lineup, this one features a four-way stretch fabric that’s breathable and wicks away moisture.

It’s also got a tapered waist and ample room up top. But beyond these standout bells and whistles, this dressier version includes hidden under-the-collar buttons, stainless steel collar stays, and accommodates tuxedo studs to complete the look.

Material: Stretch Polyester/Spandex Blend | Colors: 1 | Sizes: XS-3XL

Appearance Oxford shirt

Of the many types of shirts out there, the short sleeve dress shirt is one of the most overlooked. It’s likely not the style you’re going to wear to the office, and it’s probably not going to make it into your wedding or dinner-date rotation either.

But there will be times when a standard T-shirt just won’t do and a long-sleeve dress shirt risks being too hot.

And for those times, there’s this short-sleeve Oxford shirt from Appearance. While short-sleeve dress shirts are certainly more forgiving around the arms, you’ll still need room in the chest area, and you’ll still need a tapered cut around the waist. Check and check.

This is nothing more and nothing less than a handsome option to keep on hand for elevated-casual summer events and social gatherings. A humble workhorse indeed.

Material: 100% Pima Cotton | Colors: 1 | Sizes: XS-2XL

Bonobos Tech Button-Down Shirt

It’s true. Slightly boring, but definitely true. White and light blue are two of the most important colors to keep handy when it comes to dress shirts. And while there’s certainly a time and place for them, there’s also a time and place to mix it up.

The Tech button-down from Bonobos comes in 32 colors and patterns and is far and away one of the more affordable and versatile shirts out there for athletic guys.

It comes in slim, tailored, standard, and athletic fits, making it one of the more customizable options out there. This is especially useful if you’re working on bulking up or your torso is conflicted about what it is and who it wants to be when it grows up.

Either way, you’re again working with a lightweight, comfortable fabric that wicks away moisture, offers plenty of stretch, and resists wrinkles.

Material: 93% Nylon, 7% Elastane | Colors: 32 | Sizes: XS-2XL

man in shorts walking down the stairs
lestrangelondon / Instagram

What To Look For In The Best Athletic-Fit Dress Shirts

Fit

Yes, the fit of an athletic-fit dress shirt is important. Crucial, even. In order for this type of shirt to do the job of making your larger-than-average torso look great, it needs to be constructed with ample room in the chest area and around the arms.

This roomier top should then give way to a tapered fit around the waist. But keep in mind that some athletic-fit shirts are made with muscular guys in mind, while others cater to more of a slim build.

Material

The best athletic-fit dress shirts are not only designed to accommodate your body’s unique contours, they’re also designed to accommodate an active lifestyle.

Look for shirts that are made with soft, breathable fabrics designed to wick away sweat, reduce odor, and resist wrinkling. A good athletic-cut shirt will also incorporate a small percentage of elastane to support a wider range of motion.

Style & Color

Though there’s very much a place in the sartorial conversation for, say, Hawaiian shirts and the standard-issue T-shirt, a rundown of athletic-fit dress shirts isn’t it.

If you only plan on having a few go-to dress shirts, stick with staple colors like white and light blue. If your workplace or semi-casual leisure activities support it, feel free to then experiment with patterns and colors that show more of your personality.

man in a slim fit pink shirt leaning on a counter top
mizzenandmain / Instagram

Final Verdict 

When shopping around for athletic-fit dress shirts, make sure they not only look great but prioritize a roomy fit around the chest and arms and a tapered cut around the midsection. My top pick, the Leeward from Mizzen + Main, is the total package.

FAQ

    • Athletic-fit and slim-fit dress shirts are not the same. To accommodate bulkier frames, athletic-fit shirts feature more room around the chest and arms than slim-fit shirts. One similarity, however, is that both styles have a tapered cut around the waist.

      • Athletic-fit dress shirts should conform to your body and its unique contours without looking stretched or anywhere near skin-tight. There should be ample room up top and a slimming effect near the waist.

        • No, athletic-fit shirts should be neither too loose nor too tight. The best athletic-fit dress shirts work with V-shaped torsos instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach to the cut.

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