To Tuck or Not to Tuck, That is the Question

For years, men have struggled to answer one important fashion question…to tuck or not to tuck.

Tuck in and you may seem square and unsexy. Don’t tuck in and you may seem disrespectful.

If you are one of those men who stays up at night wondering whether to tuck or not, here are some basic guidelines that will give you the answers you are looking for.

What Type of Shirt is It?

The style of the shirt will give you a pretty big clue as to whether it should be tucked or untucked.

A shirt with an even hem that falls around the hip line is meant to be untucked. Longer shirts with uneven hems, such as dress shirts that are longer in the back and shorter in the front, are meant to be tucked in.

The rules can change depending on the shirt you are wearing, but in general, here are the type of shirts that are best left untucked:

·        T-shirts

·        Polo shirts

·        Short sleeved button fronts (as long as the hem is even)

·        Tank tops

·        Muscle shirts

·        Undershirts (unless they are being worn under tucked in items

Any type of long sleeved button front dress shirt or work shirt should be tucked in.

The Style of the Shirt

The style of the shirt also plays a major role in deciding whether to tuck or not to tuck. Here are some style details that will work as a deciding factor.


If the shirt only falls a few inches below the waist, there may not be enough material to tuck it in. Therefore, it should be left untucked.

On the other hand, if the shirt is so long that it will look bulky under your pants if you try to tuck it in, it’s best to leave it untucked.

If the shirt length is somewhere in the middle, tuck it in.


Shirts worn untucked will look best if they are fitted in the waist and chest. If the shirt looks too bulky, tucking it in will provide a more streamlined look.

What Look are You Going For?

Often times you’ll see a model in a magazine wearing an untucked shirt. Stylists may have given him this look to make him look careless and sexy.

However, trying this look in real life may not have the same effect.

If you think you can pull off untucked so it looks stylish and deliberate, go for it. If not, it’s best to play it safe.

How Formal is Your Event?

It goes without saying that tucked in shirts provide a formal look while shirts that are not tucked in look casual. If you are hanging out with your buds, untucked is fine. If you are going to a business meeting, a cocktail party or a wedding, tucked in is the way to go.

Now that you know the rules of tucked and untucked, how will you be wearing your shirts?

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