Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It’s All in the SLEEVES! Tees that Look Good and Butch!

Me in Berm and Tee
I am a t-shirt and jeans guy and I’m lucky that I can go to work wearing just that and not subjected to the fuss of wearing a shirt, tie and slacks. Even though you may belong to the latter category for most of the workweek, most if not all men will go for a more casual look on weekends i.e. shorts, berms, jeans with their favourite tees. Today I will want to talk about what is the most important secret in choosing the perfect tees especially for the big size, beefy, muscular and bear-like physique. (Disclaimer: This is my PERSONAL opinion and I am neither a fashion guru nor claim to be an expert in fashion. I am just sharing this information through my own research and trial and error. So fashion gurus out there, be kind! Thanks in advance.)

Men’s fashion has evolved so much during the last fifty years, making men’s short sleeve tees a staple in any stylish wardrobe basics. They are comfortable and versatile and can be worn on their own with shorts, berms and jeans. In addition, for the more fashion conscious guys, they can pair tees with formal jackets or sport the latest LA/Abercrombie men look, wearing the tees under button down shirts or over long-sleeved t-shirts.

While most of the fashion e-stores will tell you that having the right measurements is one of the most important steps in getting t-shirts online, most of us will get confused with the different measurement available i.e. chest, weight, height, sleeves circumference, etc. as well as different parts of the world have different tees sizing. Small, Medium, Large and extra Large gauge is also not very reliable as it depends on the region of the tees that are made from. So for bigger size men like me, please take note that the two most important factors are chest size and probably sleeves size (if you have huge biceps). I will discuss this in a bit more detail in the near future.

Today I want to talk about fit and cut. T-shirts come in a range of styles and cuts according to most fashion gurus, but for bear-like men, it gets a little more complicated in getting a flattering tee for your body shape. There are three kinds of fits that are suitable for bear-like men and I called them: Basic Fit, Muscle with Roomier Torso Fit (MRTF), and Slim Fit.

Basic Fit

 For Muscle bear (not necessary to have six-pack but with no bear belly or big gut and a well developed upper torso), the best tee fit that will flatter your body is the slim cut. This style follows the contours of the body more closely than roomier shirts, and is narrower through the torso area. And for those who don’t feel like showing too much of your silhouette, the MRTF is a great choice as it only shows off your upper torso while leaving the gut to the other party’s imagination.
Slim Fit (see how I'm sucking in my tummy!)
For a slight chubbier muscle bear (with a slight belly but not too big, haha like me), the MRTF with a fitted chest and arms area but with a slightly roomier gut area is perfect for this body shape. The roomier torso will cover your belly while the fitter upper torso will drive the attention to the chest and arms area.
The MRT Fit
For a bigger size men who’s got a bigger tummy than the chest/shoulders area, go with the basic tee. As your shoulders are smaller, go with a size or two bigger to get the slight drop-shoulder look but not too big though. Never ever go with muscle tees or the slim cut cause it will make your tummy stands out and definitely does not look good on you.

Basic cut: Straight from top to bottom: roomier torso area to hide the tummy. (Picture from Asia-Fashion-Wholesale)


At times, you may have wondered why certain models/men looked so good in certain tees and you wished that you can create that look on yourself. Well the biggest secret in getting the perfect tees (besides having the right fit and cut) is the SLEEVES cut. I tried to Google this but realized that not much has been written about this especially in men’s tees.

Again in my opinion, there are three different sleeve cuts: Straight, Tapered, Fitted and Cap.

The most unflattering sleeves cut is the straight cut, which gives you a very poor fit and wing-tip look when you wear it. 

Straight Sleeve Cut: Look at the sides of the sleeves that are protruding out (wing-tip look)
This also creates a sloppier look compared to the tapered and fitted cuts. My advise is always choose a tapered or fitted sleeve cut as this two types of cut looks neater hence creating a more finished look. In addition, if you have great biceps to show-off, the tapered and fitted sleeve cuts will definitely accentuates your upper body and arm giving it a more menacing and butch look! And for those whose arms are not too big, go with a tapered sleeves cut. See the before and after picture (above and below) where the same guy look much fitter on the second picture with tapered sleeves.

Sleeves with tapered cut
The other option is to wear sleeves with ribbing (just like most polo tees' sleeves). The ribbing at the end of the sleeves will create a slight volume to your upper arms thus making it look bigger.
See end sleeves with ribbing
And now the worse sleeve cut of the lot is the Cap Sleeve Cut! Never go with cap-sleeves cut, it is one of the most unflattering look especially for the bigger size men as the cut will make you look more feminine than masculine! Of course no offense to the fashionistas out there, for those who's really into the latest fashion trends, the cap sleeves may just give you the edge!

Cap sleeves are a no-no if you want a butch look (image from
In conclusion, remember always to get tees according to your body shape and size. And never underestimate the tees' sleeves as they are so important to create a fitter and butcher you!

Well this comes to the end of my post and to all the bears out there, happy tees hunting and hope that you will find the above useful. I will feature some of my favourite tees and review them the near future. Till the next time, this is Jimenian signing out!


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