Fashion Bomb 101: How to Dress for an Athletic Body Type

Michelle writes, “I work out regularly and have a fairly toned body. It’s easy for me to gain muscle definition quickly. I’m conscious about wearing things that can help me to look more feminine. Can you give any advice on how to dress sexy and classy if I have an ‘athlete’s body.’?”
For tips on do’s and don’ts, I thought: why not look to red carpet regular Serena Williams?

As we all know, sometimes she gets it spot on, and other times…well. Let’s peruse her hottest looks to see how you can dress it up yourself.

1. Do wear draped dresses that nip in at the waist:

Draping and ruching can add just a bit of volume, while a cinched mid section gives the illusion of a supremely feminine hourglass shape.

If your dress isn’t already snatched, a simple belt will do…

No need to go all ‘gladiator. ‘

2. Don’t go for a clunky shoe:

If you have athletic legs, a chunky wedge, for example, will only accentuate your muscular build. Opt instead for something more streamlined and delicate, like a sleek pump or strappy sandal….

…just make sure they fit:)
3. Do opt for sleeves if you’re self conscious about your arms:

Put the guns away by opting for a full or abbreviated sleeve. There’s nothing at all wrong with a muscular arm, but you could give off a ‘body builder’ essence if you’re not careful.

4. Don’t be afraid of excess fabric.

If your goal is to appear curvier, opt for a tulip skirt or a silhouette that adds some volume to your lower body.

…even a floor grazing maxi skirt can work wonders.
If you’d consider your shape more ‘boxy’ than bodacious, then the same rules apply…
5. Add volume with faux fur, ruffles, and other wardrobe tricks:

If you want to create curves, a bit of bulk won’t hurt.

6. Balance your frame by draping fabric at the top, and showing off your legs (or vice versa):

Don’t be afraid to flaunt your assets, but don’t overwhelm with both arms and legs. Choose one to show, and one to cover.

That does it for my tips!
Do you guys have anything to add?


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style blog in the world.