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.


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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 or tops that don’t fit well around the armpit. 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 accentuates narrower hips.

DO: Midi length skirts with an a-line cut. Just make sure the skirt cut above the knee. If you have extremely narrow hips, wear a belt for added shape. I happen to have small hips, so I love wearing high waisted pencil skirts with a belt. The belt cinches my waist and the tight skirt shows off my bum.

DO: Peplum tops and dresses. As long as the frills fall lower at the the hip, it will give a beautiful hourglass affect. Some peplum sits too high on the waist, so be sure to avoid cuts with peplum that’s too short.


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.

DONT: Wear high waisted jeans if you truly have no hips. This will accentuate that fact. Mid-rise is best, especially if you can find a pair with a light wash specifically across the hip area. The light parts on the jeans make those areas look fuller.


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 a shoe that’s too chunky around the ankle or too bulky. This one you can take with a grain of salt because I’m all for comfort. However, generally speaking, slender silouettes 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 25 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.

  • Xandralee says:

    This article helps!
    Please share more about meso-endomorph body shape. And if it is possible, please share about petite body type with meso-endomorph body shape.

    Thank you 😊

  • Susan Ogazi says:

    Love this !!

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  • Dael says:

    Thanks so much for this article. Ever since I’ve focused my training I found it hard to understand the clothing that will compliment me, and felt strange about he new look of my body. I can’t wait to try some of these out! Such good ideas!

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  • Rachelle says:

    Hey I just want to say that you are a joy to watch! I do all of these things myself, same body type as you but with a defined waist. I love fashion but lately have been getting a bit depressed with mid life gain-is it mid life or is it the weight training I have been doing religiously the last 3 years, or is it the fact that I did synchronized swimming for 4 years and built core muscles I never had? I dunno but my clothes fit differently. I wear a lot of stretch and fitted dresses on top and flowy on bottom (fit n flare) and nip it in with statement belts while using patterns judiciously. Also don’t forget the jumpsuit in stretch fabrics! Get one in black and you can rock it gangsta or dress it up Euro-sophisticate. Super fun. Life’s a journey, my mind doesn’t stay the same so I guess why should my body? Lol Keep up the good work! Rachelle

    • LaToya Ebony says:

      You have such a great attitude! I just had a baby (hence why I am getting back to you so late) and am relearning my body. I think your tips will still work for me even after my weight gain. I own a jumpsuit, but its not very stretchy. I saw a beautiful pregnant lady wearing one in a stretchy jersey fabric. Comfy and flattering. I think its next on my shopping list, if I can find one. Thank you!

  • Amanda says:

    Very nice! These are some awesome dressing styles. I really like this article. Thanks and keep sharing.

  • nrs says:

    Hello LaToya,

    Thank you so much for your posts and Youtube pages. I recently discovered you while I was looking for a better way to look more “presentable” compare to other women out there and you gave me the inspiration. Thank you very much!!!!

    • LaToya Ebony says:

      Wow, your comment really made my morning. I’ve been away for a little while taking care of my new baby and focusing in on my acting career, so I didn’t see your comment right away. Thank you for taking the time to comment and let me know how I’ve helped you. I’m currently in the process of updating my site and will be back with more very soon. If you havent, subscribe to my newsletter so you can get my updates. Also, the Shop My Instagram page has a lot of outfit inspiration that stays current. Thanks again, and I hope to see you soon!

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  • Kat says:

    This was such an amazing article! What fun to stumble across someone who shares my interest in both clothes and science. 🙂 I really appreciate the help and will definitely be remembering your tips on my next shopping trip! All the best!

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