Should I tuck in my shirt or leave it untucked?

To tuck or not to tuck, That is the question

To tuck or not to tuck. A question that a man often asks himself when donning a shirt. Luckily there are a few easy guidelines to follow that help you to answer this question. 

Formal or Casual

It goes without saying that any formal event or any formal shirt is to be tucked in. This grey area is purely for the more casual shirts and events. The best way to approach it is to assume you’re going to tuck it in and then find reasons to untuck it - that’s if your preference is to have it untucked. If you’re happy with a tucked in shirt; job done. Enjoy your night. 

Let it flow

The reasons you may want your shirt tucked in is because it looks neater, creates a flow from the top to the bottom of your outfit, compliments your body, formalises what you’re wearing and you generally can’t go wrong if it’s tucked in. The reasons you may want it untucked might be to break up the flow of the outfit, de-formalising it, comfort and if the waistline is low on your trousers - so tucking makes you look a little disproportionate.


Firstly, how is the shirt cut. If the bottom of the shirt is flat like a T-shirt then you can get away with not tucking it in. You’ll probably also find that it’s too short to get a good tuck on it anyway. If the bottom is curved then you’ll want to tuck it in. You’ll notice all dress shirts have a curved hem. The straight bottom shirts afford you a neater finish to the bottom of your shirt. 


The length of the shirt is a big giveaway as well. If the shirt goes well past your waist then it’ll probably needs tucking in. After all, the long shirt dresses look best on women and I’m not sure us blokes can quite pull it off quite as well, or maybe you can, who knows. If this is your look, then read no further. Enjoy your night! 

Don't forget the bottom

What you wear on your legs will also have a say as to whether or not it’s tucked in. Suit trousers, or anything that resembles them, you shouldn’t even be contemplating. Tuck it in. Chinos, if they’re low waisted then you might want to leave your shirt untucked. Because the waist is a little lower the might not get a decent enough tuck to make the shirt sit nicely and you’ll also create the illusion that you have a really long abdomen and short legs. Jeans, will depend on the shirt but generally look better untucked or tucked in with a jacket over the top. The points about how it’s cut have a big bearing on how they sit with the bottom half.


If you’re wearing a jacket then tuck in your shirt. Simple.

Waste no waist

Lastly, something to consider is your waist. What you don’t want is to look like a church bell where your shirt is baggy at the waist and you look like a lolly stick propping it up. If the shirt is a little loose at the bottom, tuck it it and consider donning a waist coat to show your body shape a little more. 


Oh, and if your shirt is silk then you don’t need to tuck it in as it will drape very well over your body and the tucking will pull on it ruining its flow. 

So, check the bottom, check your trousers, check your waist and then step back and make sure the flow of your outfit is what you want. Enjoy your night!