My fashionista roommate has been urging me to start tucking in my shirts on a more regular basis to step up my style game. And I was going to, but then I read this article by some guy who says different.
This article totally feeds into my predisposed attitude of remaining in the world of the untucked. I’m so confused!
My roommate brought this article to my attention and I think it’s worth discussing.
First, they don’t give four reasons why one shouldn’t tuck in a button-down dress shirt (or sport shirt, for that matter). Instead, they give four different shirts that they think guys shouldn’t tuck in.
Frankly, I agree that T-shirts, sweaters and sports jerseys shouldn’t be tucked into your pants if they are your main outer layer. As for button-down shirts, I still maintain that they should be tucked in a majority of the time.
I completely disagree with their logic here:
Unless you’re 6’3” and 200 lbs. or less — let the panels loose. The way button down shirts are cut; they simply do not flatter most male physiques. Especially those of the average American male in his 30’s. Yes, this means you. You have to be a lean, mean fighting machine to get away with the ultra tight tuck. And even then it rarely looks great.
First off, if you’re a heavier guy, then you definitely need to tuck your shirt in. If you don’t do that, then the ends of your shirt will drape over your midsection like a dress.
Secondly, if your shirts are cut too big, then either buy shirts that are cut more trim or take your shirts to a tailor. The idea that baggy fabric will “hide” your physique is a myth. Instead, it’ll add visual pounds because your body has no shape beneath it.
Third, and this point didn’t really even come up in the article’s argument, but tucking your shirt in just will look better. It looks less sloppy and more put together.
Can you ever have your shirt untucked? Sure. Typically, I’ll leave my OCBDs untucked if I’m running around outside of work or just lounging around the apartment. But most times if I’m making the effort to go anywhere to meet someone specific, sit down to eat or out to an event of any sort, I’ll tuck my shirt in. The lines are cleaner and the belt acts as a visual separation between the upper and lower body. I feel the lack of a visible waist often gives a person a shapelessness look.
Anyone else have thoughts? Chime in and I’ll add your comments to this post.
ADDING from acuteobtuse:
The length of the shirt is also an important consideration in the tucking/not tucking debate. If it’s too long, you look like you’re wearing a dress. If it’s too short, you look like you’re wearing a girl’s shirt.
Agreed. I think the rule of thumb is if the shirt tail hits or goes past the crotch of your pants, then it needs to be tucked in.
The thing about that untuck article is that he doesn’t specify what type of pants he’s pairing it with. And since he’s also talking about sports jerseys and t-shirts, I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume he’s talking about jeans.
I don’t think it’s impossible to pull off a button-up with jeans, but I’d say it’s harder than with slacks or chinos. I’m seeing his audience as the people I see around the mall, the 30-50 year old dad wearing BLUE jeans, with a button-up or t-shirt tucked in, and I will say that it would absolutely look better untucked.
This is true. I think if the dress shirt’s tucked into jeans and a sport coat or blazer is worn over it, then you’re good. But by itself, it can look a bit odd, like you’ve not executed the high-low look very well. I think a more casual shirt looks better tucked into jeans.
evolvingstyle chimed in:
I don’t think you can make a blanket statement either way about whether being tucked or untucked is more flattering to a man’s physique. It seems to me that it depends on at least three factors: 1) where excess weight is carried; 2) the cut of the shirt; 3) the rise of the pants. Overweight men don’t all carry the fat in the same places. I have love handles, rather than a gut. I find that untucked, they are more concealed. However, that also requires that the shirt is taken in a bit and doesn’t simply blouse from below my pits. If the shirt has some shape, then I don’t just look like a dumpus. Finally, it seems to me that rise is the great unconsidered factor here. Untucked, it doesn’t really matter. However, tucked in, on a very low rise can look bad if the shirt pulls out of the back, creating a blousing effect.
Ultimately, I think the choice needs to be made for each individual guy, with each combination of shirt and pants. Ideally, you have someone in your life with a good eye and honesty who can tell you which looks better.
Good point about the rise on the pants. Hadn’t occurred to me to think about that.
And next up afistfulofstyle:
I know I’m late to the party, but I thought I’d add my $.02.
I’m surprised this is so contentious because I think it’s fairly simple. I stick to pretty much one rule, if the bottom hem is more than halfway down my fly zipper I always tuck. If it is shorter I might tuck, but might untuck depending on how casual my look is.
If my shirt is blousing, it’s probably a bit baggy anyway (I can’t afford to get everything tailored, so sue me) and won’t look any better untucked, just more shapeless and less blousey. Usually, if I’m having this problem, I just wear a jacket or vest over it.
Also, on a sidenote, none of his arguments have any merit. Nobody who’s the slightest bit interested in personal style tucks in t-shirts, jerseys or sweaters (unless they’re doing something extremely deliberate). Also, he’s talking about sports jerseys as being acceptable outside of a sporting event, how would you ever take this guy seriously?
Nothing to add to that, because I tend to agree with everything said.