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What the Tuck? When Men Should Tuck in Their Shirt

Okay, Artvictus men, we’ve got something that has been bothering us lately and we really need to get it off our chest. We’re oh so happy to shed the heavy winter coats for lighter spring jackets, and we’re seeing more than a few men who don’t look like they know how to tuck their shirts in properly or when it’s appropriate to go untucked. So, being the sartorial fashion connoisseurs that we are, we thought we’d take a few minutes to put fingers to keys and let you all know exactly when you should tuck your shirt in and when you shouldn’t.

Artvictus - When Should Men Tuck in Their Shirts?


Proper Tucking

Before we get started, let’s cover some basics.

First, either you’re tucked in or you’re not. Let’s not see any more of this half tucked in business. Wayne Gretzky tucked half of his shirt in when he played hockey, but he’s the greatest hockey player in the history of the universe, and he was playing a sport, so he can get away with that. Unless you’re some movie, music or fashion icon you’re probably just going to look like a vagrant who doesn’t care enough about how you look to properly tuck your shirt in.

Second, tuck in straight down and evenly. If your shirt is all bunched up when you tuck it in, or if it’s off center then you’re going to look like to got dressed lying down. And then people will wonder what you were doing lying down when you got dressed. Not what you want. The point is, make sure your shirt is tucked in straight down and evenly around your waist.


To Tuck or Not to Tuck? That is the Question …

Okay, we’ve got the basics covered so we can start getting into the more advanced stuff.

Let’s start with t-shirts. T-shirts should NEVER be tucked into your jeans or pants, unless they’re an inner layer. It makes our inner fashionista sob quietly when we see guys with t-shirts tucked into their jeans or shorts and they’re not wearing anything on top. If you’re wearing a t-shirt under another shirt or sweater you should tuck it in; if you’re wearing it under a blazer with jeans you could go either way.

Polo shirts are a little trickier because sometimes you should tuck it in and sometimes you shouldn’t. There’s no hard and fast rule here, so we’ll leave you with a couple of pointers:

  1. Look at what pants and shoes you’re wearing. If you’re wearing jeans and a pair of casual shoes then you should probably go untucked. If you’re wearing slacks, khaki’s or more formal pants then you should probably go with the tuck.
  2. Look at people around you. Chances are you’re going to be around other people, unless you enjoy hanging out alone at home wearing a polo shirt. If people around you are tucked in (and you don’t break any of the guidelines above) then tuck in, too. If they’re untucked then go untucked, too.


Tucking In Your Buttoned Shirt

Buttoned shirts are a special case (and are near and dear to our well-dressed hearts) so they get their own section.  Here goes.

The biggest factors in whether or not you should tuck in your shirt are the cut and length of the shirt.

Let’s talk cut first. To pull off an untucked dress shirt look, you need to wear a slim fitting shirt. A lot of the off-the-rack shirts you’ll buy are straight cut through the body, so they hang like a curtain around your mid-section if you leave them untucked. If you do buy off-the-rack shirts is probably a good idea to keep them tucked in.

If, on the other hand, you wear slim fit shirts or if you buy tailored dress shirts, then you’re one step closer to being able to wear your dress shirt untucked.

When it comes to length, you can only get away with the untucked look if you have an ideal length, which would have the bottom of your shirt falling around the middle of your zipper. If you are wearing your shirt untucked and it’s too long then it’ll look like you’re wearing a dress. Wearing it too short will look like you’re wearing a woman’s shirt, and will probably show off your belly if you’re sitting or standing in certain positions. We’re guessing this isn’t what you’re going for, or is probably something we’d appreciate being spared from because we don’t need to see your hairy belly button.

Finding the perfect length and cut in a dress shirt to wear it untucked is probably not the easiest thing to find in most stores that sell men’s clothing, but if you head on over to our shirt configurator you can customize the perfect dress shirt to exactly the look and feel that you’re looking for without compromising on any of the details.


The Final Word

We see lots of men with questionable tuck jobs but we get that it’s not always easy to know when you should and shouldn’t tuck. In a nutshell, you shouldn’t ever tuck in a t-shirt unless it’s an under layer, polos can go either way, and you have to have the right cut and length to get away with the untucked dress shirt look.

Stay sartorial, Artvictus men!

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