How to Tuck in a Dress Shirt: 5 Pro Tips

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You’ve probably been tucking your dress shirt in since you were a kid, but that doesn't mean that your technique is perfect. If you find that your shirt comes untucked at inopportune times, like right as you stand up to deliver a meeting, here’s what you need to know about how to tuck in your dress shirt so that it stays tucked. 

History of Tucking in Shirts

Tucking in shirts is surprisingly important in men's fashion. Men who tuck their shirts in at work tend to earn more money than men who don’t. They also tend to be happier and have more optimism for their future. How did shirt tucking become so important in our culture?

In the very earliest days of their history, shirts also served as underwear. Shirts had long shirttails that protected the outer clothing from the body. They came to the knees and were tucked up between your legs before you put on your pants. 

Shirts actually didn’t lose their purpose of being underwear until the second half of the 19th century. As time went on, shirts turned into outerwear, but the custom of keeping shirts tucked in remained. In time, people who kept their shirt tucked developed a reputation for being more on top of things than those who didn’t. 

1. Choose the Right Shirt

  • Shirts with uneven hems that have tails in the front and the back are designed to be tucked in. 
  • Sometimes, button down shirts that have a short hem all around the waist are meant to be tucked in as well. 
  • A wrinkle-free shirt makes it much less likely that your shirt will show having been tucked and untucked throughout the day. 

2. Make Sure Your Shirt Is Long Enough

If your shirt length is too short, you won’t be able to tuck it in properly. It’s also more likely to become untucked over the course of your day and evolve into the dreaded half tuck. Your shirt should have enough extra fabric to reach at least 3 inches below your belt line. If your shirt has an uneven hem, the shortest parts should still reach at least an inch below your belt line.

3. Don’t Get Twisted

When your shirt is tucked in properly, the buttons on the shirt should line up with your belt buckle, which should also line up with the buttons of your pants. It can be difficult to fix your shirt if it gets a bit twisted, so be careful to keep the alignment in mind as you are tucking in your shirt.

4. Watch for Excess Fabric

If you tuck in your shirt and notice that there is a bulge or bunching where your shirt is tucked intoyour pants no matter how carefully you distribute the material, this may be a sign that the shirt fit isn't right for you. You can choose a different shirt or have a tailor add darts in the back for a slimmer fit.

5. Pants That Grip the Shirt and a Belt

Not everything regarding keeping your shirt tucked in is about the shirt. It is very important to choose the right pants as well. Pants that are equipped with a shirt-gripping waistband like the Performance pants by Twillory can do a lot to keep your shirt in place. 

Regardless of whether or not you need a belt in order to keep your pants up, it is helpful to use one in order to keep your shirt tucked in. Tightening a belt is an extra layer of protection in order to ensure that your shirt remains firmly in place. 

Methods for Tucking in Your Shirt

Tucking your shirt in is pretty straightforward, but that doesn't mean that there isn't some skill involved. Most of us have tucked in our shirts since we were kids being yelled at by our parents during formal occasions, but that doesn't mean that we've mastered the skills to make our shirts look sleek and attractive when we tuck them in. 

Here are some methods for tucking in your shirt. Take into account whether you typically wear an undershirt or not and just how secure you need the shirt to be and you are sure to find a way that works well for you.

Straightforward Tuck

This is the tuck that you probably learned when you were a little kid, hurrying to get dressed for a formal occasion. It isn’t the best way to tuck your shirt into your pants, but it does form the standard for more advanced techniques so it’s worth learning if you don’t already know it. 

  • Unzip and pull down your pants
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants
  • Pull your pants back up
  • Close the zipper and button

While easy, this technique has a few shortcomings. Shirts may be more likely to untuck on their own when tucked in this way, especially if you bend over or stretch. Shirts can balloon out unattractively as well. Therefore, even though this technique is simple and likely what you're used to, it's worth checking out some other options.

Military

This way of tucking in your shirt is often used as part of the military dress code. It adds a few more steps to the Straightforward Tuck to create a way of tucking your shirt into your pants that is less likely to come untucked or bulge out.

  • Start with your pants unbuttoned
  • Tuck in your shirt and close the zipper, leaving the button open
  • Spread your legs evenly to keep your pants from falling down
  • Pinch towards the back of your waistline to collect any fabric from the side seams
  • Fold fabric simultaneously to create a neat pleat on either side of the hip in your midsection
  • Fasten the buckle and even out creases or folds

This technique creates a very clean and uniform appearance. Since the fabric is pleated on the side, it has extra resistance to coming loose compared to the Straightforward Tuck. This is especially true when you bend over or stretch your arms back. 

This is a great technique to utilize since most people already know a Straightforward Tuck and this only requires a couple of extra steps.

Layer Tuck

If you really want to ensure that your shirt doesn't come untucked, the Layer Tuck is a good choice. This is the perfect tuck for you if you usually wear an undershirt with your dress shirt.  This method relies on tucking each item of your clothing into the layer below in order to keep everything in place 

  • Tuck your undershirt into your underwear. Take care that the undershirt is evenly tucked all around.
  • Tuck your dress shirt into your pants. Use a Straightforward Tuck since the Military Tuck requires that you pinch and may pinch the undershirt.
  • Fasten your buckle and enjoy a secure tuck.

This is a great tuck for anyone who wears undershirts because it keeps your dress shirt and your undershirt from interfering with one another and makes it much more difficult for your shirt to come untucked.

Shirt Stays

Shirt stays may not be well-known, but they may be used more often than you realize. This simple device serves double-duty by keeping your socks up and your shirt tucked. If you really don't want to worry about keeping your shirt tucked in, shirt stays can do the trick. 

These are a great choice for anyone who moves around a lot while wearing a dress shirt or for times when it is essential that your shirt stays tucked, like when you are wearing a tucked-in shirt on stage.

  • Clip shirt stays from the back of your shirt to the back of your socks
  • Clip shirt stay from the front of your shirt to the front of your socks 
  • Adjust the shirt stays until you have a comfortable, secure fit

Whether you want to dance the night away without worrying about your shirt coming untucked or you have a speech to give on stage and you want to keep your shirt tucked in to be the last thing on your mind, shirt stays are a very effective tool for keeping dress shirts tucked no matter what.

What If You Don’t Want to Tuck It in?

Sometimes you want a little bit of the formality of a dress shirt in your everyday wear, but you don't want to tuck it in. An untuckable shirt is perfect for a night out or going to a nice dinner. It is cut so that it will look great when untucked and worn with a pair of jeans and tennis shoes. 

How to Tuck in a Dress Shirt?

If you've been wondering how to tuck in a dress shirt, it is a good idea to try a few techniques and practice until you know exactly what works for you. Tucking in your dress shirt properly can be important, and it's not as difficult as you may have thought. 

Picking a high-quality shirt that is designed to be tucked in and pants that are designed to help keep your shirt tucked in, like those designed by Twillory, is a great way to set you up for success in a dress shirt and pants that look great and stay in place.


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