How to Tuck a Shirt
Most men have a tough time tucking in their dress shirts because they don’t have a system in place to manage the appearance of their shirt tuck.
The only thing worse than a ballooning dress shirt is perhaps having to bear witness to someone trying to re-tuck their shirt every fifteen minutes of the day. Not only is shoving your hands down your pants a distraction to others; it broadcasts a sense of insecurity.
COMMON REASONS FOR A SLOPPY TUCK:
1) Putting on pants before shirt and just shoving the excess shirt material into the waistband without much thought results in a sloppy looking shirt, guaranteed.
2) Dress shirt tails are commonly not long enough for a proper tuck
a) In order to achieve a proper tuck, your shirt tail should extend beyond your ass. When you sit down, you should be able to sit on your tail (this should actually pull your shirt back into your pants a little and help re-set your tuck).
3) The accepted rise on men’s pants has been getting progressively lower
a) It seems that (for a while, anyway) it was considered cool for normal guys to wear “skinny jeans”, regardless of size or shape.
HOW TO ACHIEVE A CLEAN TUCK:
Here are 4 methods
1) BASIC TUCK (1)
i. Order of dress: Shirt > Pants > Adjust “Gig Line” > DONE
ii. You want your shirt to lay smoothly over your body, with minimal wrinkles (if any) and minimal “muffin top”. Ideally you are getting dressed and doing this for the first time in the day.
iii. Adjust your Gig Line - Military handbooks on dress code will all refer to the line formed by the alignment of your front shirt placket, belt buckle, and pants fly as the “Gig Line”. Making sure these elements sync up will make help your shirt and pants move and drape harmoniously.
(1) TIP: If you are re-setting your tuck, always make sure you can undo your pants and make sure your shirt tails extend all the way down your seat and legs as far as possible. More contact between your body and shirt tails = longer lasting tuck.
2) BASIC TUCK (2)
i. Repeat the same order as the BASIC TUCK, but instead of smoothing the tails in the back flat against your backside, DO THIS:
(1) Pull the excess material in the back between your hands and make a shirt “rudder” - fold that rudder over flat against your back and put on your pants and belt to secure the tuck.
3) MILITARY TUCK
This is the standard method that the U.S. military instructs troops to tuck in their shirts.
a) Pro: It makes the front panels look very smooth and clean
b) Con: Its a bit awkward for some body types, and won’t work well on lower rise trousers.
i) Order: Pants > Dress Shirt
ii) Pull at the side seams of your shirt once your pants and belt are on. Take that excess material and fold it back (like side darts, essentially) according the the photo below:
4) UNDERWEAR TUCK
If you are partial to undershirts, then this is the tucking mechanism for you.
i) Order: Undershirt > Underwear (tuck shirt tails front and back into underwear) > Dress Shirt > Pants > Check Gig Line
(1)Tucking your undershirt into your underwear might seem a bit odd to some, but it keeps your undershirt from bunching up and blousing under your dress shirt. This way, you’ll have a bit of air circulating between your undershirt and dress shirt.
5) CREATIVE TECHNIQUES
a) Shirt Stays:
i) The oldest and most common shirt tucking device, shirt stays are elastic bands with clips that attach the top of your socks to your shirt tails.
ii) Pro: Your shirt get pulled in automatically and you will never need to reset it.
iii) Cons: Super awkward to sit down in these and they can imprint through your pants. Clips pulling at your shirt tails is also an easy way to accelerate fabric wear
b) Rubber/latex waist bands:
i) A lot of makers are not sewing a thin band of rubber into the waistband of trousers, keeping your shirt in place with friction.
ii) Pro: A minimally invasive way to keep your shirt in place.
iii) Con: The rubber will eventually become slick and wear out over time. Depending on the material used, it may leave an undesirable mark on your shirts.
c) Magnetic stays/keepers:
i) There are several options on the market now that are essentially magnetic shirt stays for your waistline.
ii) Pro: It should keep your shirt from spilling out over your pants most of the time.
iii) Cons: The rare earth magnets used in these are super powerful and will definitely destroy your shirt faster over time. Also walking around with rare earth magnets attached to your hips creates a problem for electronics/small metal objects in your immediate area.
No matter which method of shirt tucking you choose to master, keep this in mind:
If your shirt doesn’t cover your ass and/or your pants’ waistband is below your natural hips, keeping your shirt tucked will be a bit of a chore.
For that reason, we at Sebastian Ward like our pant rise high, and our shirt tails long!
Think we’ve made a mistake? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below, we’d be happy to make an update.