For the Guys: To Tuck or Not to Tuck Your Shirt?

In or out? When it comes to tucking in button-down and polo shirts, the quick answer is… it depends. So to make the decision easier on you, I’m breaking down the whens, whys, and hows of this day-to-day debate.


The Button-Down

If a button-down hangs below your hips, Esquire says that tucking the shirt in is a must. Guys, it just looks sharper. Whether you’re wearing it with dark jeans, corduroys, khakis, or dress pants – always, always keep the button-down tucked if you’re in dress pants – make sure to use a belt and tuck the shirt in nice and tight. The last thing you want is an anything-but-modern blousy tuck. If you’re wearing a jacket over a button-down, take GQ’s advice and keep your shirt tucked in.

For a more casual look, go ahead and keep that button-down untucked – but make sure your proportions are clean. The shirt should hit above your hips, and take care to avoid pants that are too roomy. This look can easily sway toward sloppy.

If you’re adventurous, try the half-tuck. Tuck in half of your shirt, letting the other section fall over to the side of your belt buckle. The front-tuck, with both sections tucked behind the belt buckle (as seen on The Sartorialist), is another variation. This look falls into more casual territory, but it also has a bit of debonair flair (see David Beckham rock it) and shows that you’re comfortable experimenting. Proceed with caution, though, and trust your gut – the partial tuck can easily go wrong.


The Polo

The polo is inherently more casual, so the general rule is to leave it untucked, but there are a few exceptions. Esquire‘s below-the-hip rule also applies here, so if your polo is on the long side, tuck it in. On the golf course, always go with a nice, clean tuck and be sure to wear a belt – your look should be as sharp as your game. Likewise, if you’re working a polo on casual Friday, tuck it in and pair with a close shave to maintain a more professional vibe.

Looking to push some style boundaries? You can also attempt the front-tuck with a polo, but again, proceed with caution. I would only recommend it with a looser shirt and belted pair of well-fitting jeans. If you’re not feeling 100% confident (and totally nonchalant) about it, this front-tuck is best left alone.

By Chrissy Waters, Staff Writer



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