How to Know Whether or Not to Tuck in Your Shirt
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if you should tuck in a shirt or not. This guide is going to tell you if your shirt should be tucked or untucked.
This morning at about 10am, I arrived a client’s workplace to discuss new business. As I sat down at the office reception area to wait for him, a particular young man who was “dressed down” in blue jeans and a light pink dress shirt came out from the office area to meet his visitor (who had been waiting at the reception area as well).
I noticed his dress shirt was untucked and was obviously too long. At first, I wondered, why would an employee of such corporate organization dress-down to work today? And then it occurred to me – Today is Friday and in most companies, it’s called Dress down Friday. Some companies that usually require employees to wear suits, dress shirts, neckties and dress shoes every other day of the week, allow either casual or business casual attire on Fridays.
Thank God It’s Friday – but he was rocking his nice jeans with an untucked dress shirt. Don’t get me wrong, you can actually wear a dress shirt with jeans but there are better ways to wear it. That’s a style post for another today, though.
Here was the main issue – his dress shirt was untucked…and this is totally wrong. I wanted to talk to him about it, I hesitated a bit, but as soon as he saw his visitor off at the door and came back inside. I politely called him by the side, introduced myself briefly and that’s how I started preaching the style gospel to him this morning. He told me that while he was preparing to leave for work this morning, he wasn’t so sure if he should leave the shirt tucked or untucked. He eventually decided to leave it untucked since today is Casual Friday.
One of the most common style mistakes I see men make on a daily basis is leaving a shirt that ought to be tucked, untucked.
A lot of times you may be wondering do I need to tuck in my shirt or not? Sometimes it’s really hard for a lot of people to tell when it is appropriate. But there is an easy way to know and this depends on a number of factors. Here are some of the things to consider when trying to decide if your shirt should be tucked or untucked.
1. TYPE OF SHIRT
a) Button down shirts:
There are two types of button down shirts.
Dress shirts: A dress shirt is known as a formal shirt worn with suits and ties. They have rigid collars with collar stays and comes in either barrel or French cuff. Now these shirts are usually too long to leave untucked.
Casual shirts: They might look like dress shirts but casual shirts are usually cut shorter than a dress shirt and fall mid crotch. They don’t need to be worn with a tie and they usually don’t need to be tucked in. It’s possible to find casual shirts with the length extending slightly below the mid crotch. So what’s the best way to decide if you should tuck or untuck? You guessed right – The Length of The Shirt. Check out the next tip below – No 2.
b) For other shirts:
Tank Tops and undershirts (vest and singlet): Should be untucked at all times.
Turtle neck shirts: Tucked in when worn under a jacket. Untucked when worn alone.
Polo shirts: Should always be untucked except if the occasion requires it to be tucked in. See No 4 below.
These ones should be left untucked: Hawaiian and other loud print shirts, Rugby shirts, Guayabera Shirts, T-shirts, Athletic Shirts and short sleeve fitted button-up casual shirts.
2. LENGTH OF SHIRT
If the tail of your shirt is above your wrist or stops mid crotch, you should always leave it untucked. (See picture in No 1: Type of Shirt above). However, if the tail of the shirt is below your wrist or enters the palm of your hand, you should leave it tucked. For dress shirts with very long tails – if it has both back and front tails extending too low when compared to the side, then you should always tuck in.
3. BOTTOM DESIGN OF THE SHIRT
Now some shirts have tails while others don’t have tails. For shirts with tails, No 2 rule above should guide you. Shirts without tails (that have a flat bottom hem that goes straight across) are meant to be worn untucked. The only exception is if the shirt is too long – covering your entire backside, then you definitely need to tuck in.
For formal and business occasions (which usually requires dress pants), you should always tuck in your shirts.
For some sports games like Golf, the dress code requires the polo shirt to be tucked in, so in this case, you should follow the dress codes – the shirt must be tucked in at all times.
And for other occasions, let the rest of the rule 1-3 above guide you.
TIPS FOR BIG, LARGE OR TALL MEN
The same rules apply also to fat men but the challenge could be ensuring the tucked in shirt stays and for that here are a few tips:
- Wearing High-rise pants are advisable as against wearing low-rise pants. These high-waisted pants will hit at least near the belly button and should help ensure the shirts stays in when tucked in.
It’s also advisable that large men should go for suspenders instead of belts so that the pants will sit up on the waist. This will keep the shirt tucked in.
Another suggestion for large men is to throw in jackets and cardigan on top of their shirts. This will help hide the stomach region a bit and will make them look better.
For more style tips for large men, you can check out this Style Tips For Large Men – Big Man’s Guide To Dressing Sharp
When next you are buying your shirt, you should know whether you want to wear it tucked or untucked. Stick to these basic guidelines above and you are good to go.
As always, thanks for stopping by. You will find the social media share buttons at the end of this article below this page. Feel free to share this article with whoever you think would find it useful. Feel free to join/follow us on any of the channels you frequently use. We believe you will enjoy this style ride with us as we continuously inspire you to do well, dress well and live a fulfilling and classy life.
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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