Most clothing brands cut their clothes for one of two men: the average chap, who starts from narrow shoulders and only gets wider; or the male model, who starts from narrow shoulders and stays equally narrow.
This means that anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the Arnold press is forced to stuff themselves into clothes that are either too tight or too loose – never just right. Unless, of course, you shop from one of those brands that know not all men skip leg day.
Ron Dorff is an athletics brand, so this might seem like cheating – of course, gym kit fits gym bodies. But by working with luxury fabrics and cuts that are trim but not tight, its henleys and cashmere sweatshirts work just as well when you’re not sweating. Think of it as kit that shows off the body that cheaper kit built.
Every season, the Calvin Klein runway bristles with bodies built by discipline with a barbell, not a fork. And what fits the models should also fit you – think more room in the shoulders and chest with cuts that taper to emphasise a narrow waist. Or, if you’ve built that beach body, you could get away with just the underwear. Worked for Marky Mark.
Hugh & Crye
Off-the-shelf shirts and paving slab pecs are not happy bedfellows. Seams stretch, buttons buckle, and around your waist fabric flaps like a sail in the wind. Washington-based Hugh & Crye cuts its shirts to suit 12 different physiques, from scrum half to prop forward. So even if you’ve got Arnie arms, you can get a slim-fit silhouette without troubling your tailor.
What Hugh & Crye does for your upper body, Spoke does down below. If you know the difference between a squat and a lunge, you’ll also know the pain of fitting gym-honed glutes and quads into ordinary trousers. Spoke’s chinos are cut looser in the seat and thigh and taper into the ankle, so you end up with neither split seams nor loose-fit, grandad trousers.
The denim OG’s original jeans were made for cowboys, gold miners and prospectors. None of whom were built like Lucky Blue. Straight-leg silhouettes can come up a bit too straight, but the classic 501 slims down from a roomy thigh. Which makes for comfort, a trim fit and quality that can withstand a bucking bronco. So they’ll weather your lunges just fine.
If you’re built more like a bear than, well, the average bear, you’re often told to go bespoke. But if the pocket won’t stretch, J.Crew has your (rippling) back. The US retailer’s Crosby line is designed for athletic physiques, with extra room in the chest, shoulders and arms, less around your six-pack. As the brand says: “18-inch biceps are hard to come by – a suit that fits them shouldn’t be.”
Clements and Church
If you do have the money to build a suit from scratch, Clements and Church is particularly adept at making bodies that look good naked look equally good clothed. The London firm will also travel to see you, thanks to their travelling tailor scheme, which means you don’t need to make pilgrimage to Savile Row.