To tuck or not to tuck, that is the question! One would think it would be an easy decision, but personal preference often gets in the way. Some men feel they must always tuck their shirt, while others prefer not to tuck. So how do you decide which option is stylishly correct?
When Should I Tuck My Shirt In?
In general, shirts that have an even hem line are not designed to tucked. Shirts that have varying lengths in the hemline – also known as “tails” – should be tucked into your pants. Some prefer and are successful at pulling off the “sophisticatedly rumpled” look of an untucked shirt with tails. But most of us just end up looking silly!
When Your Shirt Has No Tails…
As we said earlier, a shirt that has no tails does not generally need to be tucked. However, some shirts with even hemlines deserve to be tucked.
- Undershirts: It’s just sloppy not to tuck in your undershirt, especially if it will show underneath your untucked shirt.
- Polo Shirts: Short-sleeved polo shirts are often tucked. It gives a neat, clean appearance. Conversely, a Rugby shirt – which is basically a long-sleeved Polo – you should never tuck.
- Hawaiian Shirts: These brightly-colored, button-down shirts are not designed to be tucked. Even if the hem is uneven, you should leave them untucked. The big patterns just don’t look good when tucked into pants.
- T-Shirts: If you’d like to make a fashion statement, then err on the side of the tucked T-shirt. Otherwise, keep it untucked and blend into the crowd.
How to Successfully Tuck Your Shirt
If you’ve done a good job tucking your shirt, the front will be smooth and flat – it won’t be billowing out around your waistline. The rectangle of buttons should line up with the fly of your pants.
- The Easy Way: The easiest way to tuck your shirt is to put it on before you pull on your pants. Put your shirt on, button it up, and make sure it’s hanging straight and smooth. Then pull on your pants, making sure they come up and over your shirt. If your shirt is tailored and fits correctly, you should be able to button and zip your pants while your shirts stays straight and smooth. This is the easiest tuck.
But, what if your shirt billows out?
- The Military Way: If you have extra fabric when you tuck the easy way, you’ll need to unbutton your pants and try again – military style! This means that you’re going to pinch that extra fabric at your sides, fold it towards your back, then quickly button your pants to hold your shirt in place. It may take some practice, but the time is worth it when you’ve mastered the perfect tuck.
An Extra Note…
If you’re wearing an undershirt, tuck your undershirt into your underwear. That way, your dress shirt is much more likely to stay tucked securely into your pants.