Should I Wear My Shirt Tucked In Or Out?(with Tips)

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What are the rules on wearing and tucking shirts? When is it ideal for you to tuck in your shirt, and when should or can you leave your shirt untucked? Are the rules on tucking/ untucking shirts still necessary today?

Well, we’ll start by noting that even though some of these rules may seem outdated, they are quite necessary; otherwise, we’ll keep seeing and going on dates with men who look unkempt.

This is also important because a good number of men have absolutely no system when it comes to their shirts and when to keep them tucked or untucked. So, to end all the confusion regarding (un)tucking shirts, this article gives you some important guidelines to follow.


Should I wear my shirt tucked in or out?

Ideally, whether you should tuck or untuck your shirt will depend on the type of shirt worn and its design details.

Generally, the shirts that feature flat-bottom hems are meant to be worn untucked, but if the shirt is designed with visible tails, so to speak – the tails mean that the hem of the shirt has varying lengths all around, then this shirt should always be tucked.

should i wear my shirt tucked in or out

This does not mean, however, that wearing an untucked shirt with tails is a completely forbidden look; it’s just juvenile. Think of it this way – when you’re wearing this shirt with a tail with nothing else going on your upper body, you only end up looking like that teen rebel that showed up at a wedding. But at the same time, wearing this untucked ‘tail’ shirt under your suit or jacket will just make you look like you are trying a little too hard to look stylish. When it’s all said and done, however, some men will stick to the untucked shirt, regardless of the design of the shirt.

Whatever your style preference, just know that tucking in your shirt with tails always leaves you looking sharp and mature.

Without any visible tails, the shirt will, however, give you a little more leeway, whether you wear it tucked or untucked.


When and How-To Tuck In Your Shirt

In most instances, it is ideal for a man to tuck in their shirt – this should be the case 4 out of 5 times. Of course, this might not be ideal for you, but if you have several collared dress shirts in your wardrobe and work or find yourself in more formal settings than casual ones, you should still to the tucked shirt look.

should i wear my shirt tucked in or out

How then do you tuck in your shirts?

For starters, it’s important to keep in mind that a nice, tucked-in shirt will leave the front side of your body looking smooth and flat. This means that if your waist tends to taper below the ribcage, this form is noticeable when you have tucked in your shirt. There shouldn’t be any visible wrinkling or the annoying muffle-top look.

In other words, you should have that clean gig-line, as is referred to by the military – this is the imaginary line that runs straight down your body’s front from the chin down to the crotch. More specifically, the shirt should be sitting in a way that allows the shirt’s placket or the rectangular section of the fabric where you have the front buttons to be lined precisely with your fly. The centered line look also applies to the trousers’ button and the belt buckle.

Confused? Let’s break it down further!

First, you need to get shirts that fit right, especially if you want to keep the shirts untucked. For the tucked shirts, however, you can go with something looser but fitting. Keep in mind the following when getting dress shirts, for instance.

should i wear my shirt tucked in or out

  • Length of the shirt

The length of the shirt is what determines if you can wear it untucked. The rule of thumb here is that if the shirt doesn’t fall to or below your beltline, then that shirt is too short, and it will be flashing your belly if you make a wrong move. If the shirt is too long, however, meaning it covers the body down to the crotch or lower, it’s just too long, and it will make you look shorter. So, what’s the ideal shirt length? Well, the shirt should be long enough to cover the belt but not too long beyond this.


  • Chest and Shirt Waist

Always go for a close-fitting shirt – one that fits close to your torso so that your body’s shape doesn’t drown in the shirt.


  • Wearing a tailed shirt, untuckes

These shirts often have a sloppy edge, which some people find appealing. But to pull off this look easily, you need to get a right-fitting shirt and be confident.

However, you shouldn’t wear the shirt untucked if attending a formal event; well, unless you are wearing a guayabera. Generally, a formal look/ event equals a tucked-in shirt.

So, how do you tuck in your shirt properly?

should i wear my shirt tucked in or out

Basic tuck

This is the ideal way of tucking that has been taught since childhood.

  • Just unzip your pants, wear the shirt, then tuck it under the pants.
  • Zip up, button the pants, tighten the belt and just hope the shirt won’t balloon.


Underwear tuck

If you want your shirt to stay tucked.

  • First, tuck the undershirt into your underwear, then tuck the dress shirt into the trousers.


Military Tuck

  • Wear and zip up your pants the tuck the shirt in the pants – the button undone.
  • Spread your legs (evenly) to keep the pants on.
  • Next, pinch down any excess fabric from the side seams going towards your back with the thumb and the index finger, forming a very neat, folded pleat on the sides of your hips and for the shirt’s pleat to line with your armpits. Do this on both sides in a smooth, continuous motion.
  • Now button the shirt and even out creases or folds, then buckle the belt for extra grip.


Using shirt stays

Also known as the shirttail garters, the shirt stays will always keep the shirt tucked, especially if you will be dancing, reaching up and down, running, or bending. To use these garters, follow these steps:

  • Attach the first clip to the front and the rear of the shirttail
  • Anchor these clips to the fabric by pulling down on them
  • Now clamp the lower clip to the corresponding sock, then fasten the clop by pulling it up. You could also adjust the slide bar so that it looks like the letter Y.
  • Repeat these steps for the other leg,  
  • And finally, wear your pants, then belt up accordingly.


Your Shirts Traditionally Worn Untucked

Some shirts can be worn untucked, though. These include polo shirts, T-shirts, rugby shirts, Henley shirts, tank tops/sleeveless tops, short-sleeved and front-buttoned sports shirts, undershirts, vacation/ Hawaiian shirts, and Breton tops.

Your Shirts Traditionally Worn Untucked

The shirts that are to be worn tucked are dress shirts, wool/ lumberjack shirts, flannels or chambray work shirts, and long-sleeved, front-buttoned sports shirts.



And there you have it – all the tips and tricks you need to look stylish, whether with a tucked or an untucked shirt.

Read more useful tips here or here


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