It’s 2018. Fashion trends are changing faster than Hollywood’s political views. Trying to juggle work and relationships and have a life can make it difficult to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing world of men’s fashion.
Like when you should tuck in your shirt or, as the case may be, when it’s OK to untuck.
Edith Head, the infamous Hollywood costume designer once said: “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
We at Savile Row Custom Clothier in St. Louis couldn’t agree more. Every time you leave your doors, do it in your best style because you only get one chance to make a great first impression
In this week’s blog, we’re going to help you solve an important fashion predicament: To tuck or not to tuck? That is the question.
5 Tips for Knowing When to Tuck in Your Men’s Casual Shirt
Any shirt can be untucked. The operative word in that statement is “can”.
What you should be asking yourself when you pull a shirt out of the closet with the intention of wearing it untucked is, “should” it be untucked?
Men take a lot of liberties these days with the untucked look. Too often they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with bad decisions that could have been avoided. And, almost 100 percent of the time, their mistakes come from trying to make ill-fitting, off-the-rack shirts do something they weren’t designed to do.
Custom-made casual shirts are the best way to ensure you get exactly what you want. And, many times they are no more than that expensive off-the-rack shirt that required alterations.
So, let’s dig into the considerations on whether to tuck or untuck.
1. Where Does the Shirt’s Hem Rest?
The first indicator to tuck or untuck is the shirt’s design; it will guide you.
If it has an even, shorter hem and rests between the middle of your zipper up to your belt, then your shirt gives you the choice to tuck or untuck whenever you please.
However, if your shirt has an uneven hem with tails in the front and the back and it hangs below your zipper it’s politely telling you to keep it tucked.
The right look is about symmetry and there’s nothing worse than a grown man wearing a shirt that hangs down to his thighs.
2. Where Are You Going?
When deciding the perfect casual shirt and the right look for your social life, think about the social setting you’re heading into.
Social situations when untucking your casual shirt is acceptable:
- Music venue
- No-reservation restaurants
Social situations when tucking in is the right choice:
- First dates
- Restaurant’s that require reservations
Along with the length of the shirt, another quick way of judging when to tuck or not tuck your shirt is by the design of the pocket(s).
- Two-Pockets = Untuck
- One-Pocket = Your Choice
- No pockets = Tuck It In
Are these hard and fast rules: no. Will they help you not stick out in a bad way: absolutely.
3. What Is Your Career?
There may be no more demanding place than the office regarding men’s fashion, especially the business casual or, even harder, the casual look.
Jobs where it’s OK to untuck your casual shirt:
Jobs where you should tuck in your casual shirt:
- Professional Services
If you work in a formal, corporate setting it’s best you keep a clean and distinguished look. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable. Utilizing the tucked-in look is one of the most handsome appearances a man can have. It’s pure power when your shirt fits correctly.
4. Where Do You Live?
Whether to tuck in your shirt depends a lot on where you live. The styles vary quite differently from Los Angeles to Atlanta to New York.
If you’re working or traveling to the West Coast, you’ll tend to untuck your shirts in most, if not all situations. It’s simply a more laid-back, casual atmosphere.
If you’re in the Midwest to the South, you’ll find yourself in mixed situations. Our best recommendation is to ask.
If you’re competing in the East Coast lifestyle, you’ll want to lean to the more formal look with a tucked casual shirt.
You’ll also need to ask yourself what the rest of your outfit will be like. Are you wearing jeans or khakis? Pants or shorts? Any additional layers?
Traveling any time soon? Here are Savile Row’s tips on how to fit in (no pun intended):
- South: Plain Oxford shirt. Clean. Tucked or untucked works. Sophisticated. Great with khaki’s or shorts.
- Midwest or North: The Plaid Shirt. Great Untucked Look. Rugged. Works well with jeans.
- West Coast or East Coast: The Stripe or Printed Shirt. Tuck In. Bold. Power piece. If you’re looking to spice up your wardrobe with some patterns, this might be the right choice for your look.
5. What’s Your Fit?
Here’s a blinding glimpse of the obvious: make sure the shirt fits!
All of the things we’ve talked about for tucking or untucking to this point can be right, but if the shirt is poorly tailored—whether it’s custom or off the rack—any room you enter you will instantly be the sore thumb.
The second part of “fit” is the type. While there are scores of descriptions for fit, there really are three that we use with our custom clothing clients as a starting point:
- Classic Fit
- Slim Fit
- Contemporary Fit
Here’s our take on how best to show off your style when deciding whether to tuck or untuck:
- Classic Fit: Tuck In for the best look. Traditional. Boxy shape and design. Comfort and versatility trump the look (although that’s not saying a classic fit can’t be stylish).
- Slim Fit: Tuck in or untuck. Less fabric allows for a cleaner look but it’s more restricting in movement. If it has been a while since you’ve been to the gym and are carrying a few extra pounds, we suggest you stay away from this fit.
- Contemporary Fit: Best for the Untucked Look. Fits most body types. Fashion and comfort.
Men’s Custom Casual Shirts Can Set You Apart from the Crowd
As you can see, there are many factors at play when you’re deciding whether or not you should tuck in your shirt. From the number of layers, to the occasion, to what part of the country you’re from.
And, last but not least: get the fit right.
Like Edith said, “you can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
At Savile Row our goal is to help our customers find a look that works for them, then help them adapt that look to any situation. While custom shirts are what we are known for, we also carry a great selection of ready-to-wear casual shirts and sweaters.
If you’re tired of having to constantly worry about your appearance and wardrobe or if you’re not certain on what kind of style and fabrics are right for your body type, contact Savile Row St. Louis for an appointment with your very own style-expert.
Just like you do for your business, you work smarter not harder, you should do same for your wardrobe.