HOW TO | Tuck In Your Shirt

You’ve been doing it since your schooling years and it is hardly rocket science, so you might be confusingly wondering why you may need a guide on shirt tucking, but bear with us. Tucking in your shirt changes your overall appearance. It makes you look more polished and refined and just generally more ‘put together’. But of course you already knew this, because you probably do it every day for work or for any event that requires a more formal presentation.

Experimenting with shirt tucking however, has not been a journey embarked upon by most. It’s always dangerous ground when tampering with an age-old practice. The shirt has been a focal point of menswear in a way only a pair of jeans can imagine – every man, without fail, owns at least one button-up. Read ahead of the latitude of ways you can tuck your shirts and set yourself apart from the pack.

(1)  The Traditional Tuck

The one you’ve been using religiously to smarten up since you were 12 years old. First and foremost, avoid stuffing your shirt into your trousers through the use of moving your hand in a saw like motion around your waist. Nine times out of ten it looks hurried and far from professional. Instead, pull up your trousers around a flattened crease-free shirt. To avoid the unfavourable billowing effect, simply fold all the excess at the back and sides into a small pleat. With your spare hands or fingers. A belt will help keep this fold in place. To present the ultimate in immaculate shirt fitting, align your buttons with your fly in the mirror. Nonetheless, rocking a traditional tuck with your casual wear is very much down to personal preference. Doing so will go a long way in smartening up your looks or adding some Parisian panache that so many of us strive for.

(2)  Effortlessly Untucked

Inspired by the mixing of casual and formal pieces, the untucked shirt rides well with blazers only if the shirt is non-business. An untucked button-down should always fit well on the shoulders and boast a length that cuts mid-way along the fly of the jeans or chinos. There should be no signs of billowing fabric or boxiness, keeping the look clean and trim. Oozing a summery vibe, experiment with prints and colours, and opt for lightweight shirt fabrics, such as cotton and linen. Chucking a blazer over the shirt refines the look, as well as adding a belt, leaving the bottom button of the shirt undone to exposed the buckle. Remember to leave the collar unbuttoned at all times to avoid looking like a hipster. 

(3)  The Half-Tuck

Championed by style-master David Beckham, the half-tuck is a casual solution to the shirt-tuck dilemma that is simple and subtle. The basics of the aptly-titled ‘Beckham half-tuck’ involve the shirt (often layered over tee) worn deeply unbuttoned; one side of its hem nonchalantly tucked behind a belt – almost as if by accident. The look is derived from the concept of the over-shirt being some sort of ‘jacket’ to the common tee, and works well with casual layering. Alternatively, take an even more subtle approach to the half-tuck – only slipping in the front of his shirt, letting the back hang out. Make sure the shirt isn’t too long (more than three-inches past belt) and make sure you only try it with denim, as a flapping shirt back over chinos just looks plain sloppy.