How to Dress for Athletic Body Types: 5 Flattering Outfit Ideas

In this style guide, Giedre will be giving you some tips and tricks on how to dress for athletic body types as well as pointing out the things to avoid. An athletic body has a quite straight, up-and-down appearance with a somewhat muscular build and not much curve.`

Outfits for athletic body types

1. Minimize shoulders & define the waist

In the before look, the model’s blouse silhouette and horizontal stripes make her shoulders appear wider. Another feature of the athletic body shape is broad shoulders so we don’t want to make them look any broader. The pleated skirt also adds volume to the hip area.

Giedre transformed the look by adding a blouse with a busy print, a collar, and vertical lines in the form of the bow, which draw attention away from the shoulder and make them appear smaller. The tucked-in waist, combined with the high contrast of the colors in the outfit, define the waistline and helps to create an hourglass look.

How to balance an athletic figure

2. Balancing top and bottom

Here, the model began with a cropped, straight blazer which adds bulkiness to the upper part and makes it look a bit top-heavy.

Giedre switched out the blazer for one with rounded edges which helps to define the hip area. The belt accentuates the waistline and shorter jeans balance out her look.

What to wear for a slim athletic body

3. Accentuate curves

In the before look, the model is wearing a straight dress silhouette which does nothing to accentuate her curves and instead gives her a straight up-and-down look. The dress also has a lowered shoulder line that makes her shoulders look more droopy, and the wide sleeves add bulkiness.

Giedre changed the dress for a different, more flattering one. The fitted upper part of the dress and the A-line on the bottom create a feminine, fit-and-flare silhouette. It brings her in at the waist and looks complementary on her hips.

Dressing to flatter an athletic female body

4. Narrow sleeve & waist areas

Here we started off with an outfit that has batwing sleeves which add volume to the shoulder and waist areas.

Giedre rolled the sleeves up to make them narrower. The new narrow sleeves and defined waistline flatters her body shape and makes her look a lot more proportional. 

How to dress for athletic body types

5. Switch out bulk for structure

Lastly, in this before look, the model is wearing a soft sweater which adds bulkiness to her torso.

Giedre swapped out this sweater for a structured blazer which gives more of a defined body shape and waistline.

How to dress for athletic body types

I hope that you learned something from this tutorial and it helps you to understand the dos and don’ts of dressing for an athletic body type. When styling clothes, it’s important to be aware of what body shape you have and be mindful of the pieces that will look flattering on you and accentuate your best parts.

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