Who Gives a Tuck?

To tuck or untuck, that is the question and concern. How do you know when you should tuck your shirt in, or leave it untucked? Ken’s haberdashers get these questions weekly.

Let’s begin with long sleeve shirts.

A shirt that is meant to be tucked in will be longer. If the shirt falls below your seat line or past the bottom of your zipper, then the shirt is deemed “tuckable”, and should remain tucked in. The extra length keeps the shirt in place, and helps it look better inside the trousers. When a long shirt is untucked not only does it look sloppy, it also creates a silhouette that makes the wearer look shorter and heavier than he actually is.

Tucked shirts look great with any style slacks, khakis, or jeans, and tucking really helps if you’re wearing a sport coat or jacket. A tucked-in shirt always looks more refined, sophisticated, and professional.

A shirt that is meant to be untucked will either be squared off with side vents, or slightly sculpted to enhance the proportions of the wearer. That’s not to say that you can’t leave a shirt with a normal bottom untucked, but only if the length is not past the seat line or bottom of the zipper. An untucked shirt also looks great when the sleeves are rolled. We do have many clients who prefer to wear an untucked shirt with a jacket, but if you’re going to do this, make sure the shirt is not longer than the jacket. Having an untucked shirt also gives a more casual and relaxed look. These shirts look best with jeans, khakis, and five-pocket pants. They do not always work with dress slacks, unless you’re wearing linen for the summer.

In a business situation, especially if you’re meeting a new client, we would always suggest tucking in your shirt. Men began untucking not only for comfort but to hide body proportions, which is ironic because untucking can actually create the perception of extra weight. Think Tony Soprano of The Sopranos. When he dressed up and tucked in he killed it… literally.

Next, let’s talk about short sleeve shirts.

While the trimmer styles of short sleeve shirts can look great tucked in, most look better untucked, but remember the rule about length. You can go as short in the length as is comfortable. Untucked short sleeve shirts look great with jeans, shorts, khakis, or five-pocket trousers. They do not look good, however, with dress slacks.

Polos look better tucked in, and t-shirts look better untucked. Polos can be paired with any pant bottoms, while the tees look best with khakis, jeans, or shorts, unless the tee is a mercerized cotton, silk, or high count blend.

We always want our gents to look their best, so come in and ask your haberdasher about which shirts are best for your style preferences and body type. Ken’s does give a tuck about your comfort and style.

Kory Helfman

Dallas Haberdasher

Ken’s Man’s Shop