One of the easiest ways to smarten your appearance in a hurry is to tuck in your shirt. A nicely tapered and tucked-in shirt makes you look neater, taller, and skinnier! But how do you keep your shirt tucked in as you move around during the day?
The most popular way to keep a button-down shirt tucked in is to use a military tuck or an undershirt tuck with multiple layers of clothing. Other popular techniques include using a French tuck, a loose tuck, or a jacket tuck to keep a shirt tucked in. Products such as shirt stays and rubber tape can also help hold a shirt in place.
In this article, you will learn the rules for when you should and should not tuck in a shirt. You will discover eight easy ways to keep your shirt tucked in. Finally, you will find simple hacks to make the tucking-in process even easier!
- Why Does My Shirt Keep Coming Untucked?
- Do You Have to Tuck In Your Shirt?
- How to Keep Shirt Tucked In: 8 Methods
- How to Keep Shirt Tucked in for Women
- Hacks to Keep Shirt Tucked In
- Dress Shirts That Stay Tucked In
- How to Keep a Shirt Tucked into Jeans
- How to Keep Shirt Tucked In Skirt
- Best Shirt Stays
- Best Way to Keep Shirt Tucked In
Why Does My Shirt Keep Coming Untucked?
The main reason shirts come untucked is that either the shirt or the waistband of your pants is too big. Fitted shirts that closely outline the shape of your torso will stay tucked in much better than poofy, billowy blouses or too-large button-downs.
Another common culprit for the untucked shirt is the waistband on your pants, shorts, or skirt. If the waistband gaps a little instead of sealing close around your body, the shirt will slide in and out easily. It may also tend to bunch up on top of the waistband.
Of course, you may also have used an inefficient method for tucking in your shirt! In this article, you will learn several handy tricks to help your shirt stay where you put it.
Do You Have to Tuck In Your Shirt?
Most of the time, you have to tuck in your shirt if you want to look more formal. Some fashion experts even claim that you should always tuck in a button-down shirt! While this may take things too far, you should tuck in your shirt for most business casual or formal settings.
Casual outfits often look better with an untucked shirt. If you wear shorts or jeans, for example, you may want to leave your shirt untucked.
If you plan to wear a jacket, blazer, or sports coat, you need to tuck in your shirt. An untucked shirt paired with a jacket or even a cardigan tends to look messy.
If you want to wear a polo with a pair of khakis, you have more options. For a casual setting like your neighborhood picnic, leave the polo untucked. But if you want to wear that same outfit to the office, you may want to tuck in the shirt.
The shape of the shirt can also help you determine whether or not to tuck it in.
First, look at the hem of the shirt or the bottom edge. Does it form a straight line, or do the shirt tails have a curved hem? You should always tuck in shirts with a curved hem.
But if the shirt has a straight hem, you can often get away with leaving it untucked, as this style of shirt has a more finished appearance.
Finally, consider the length of the shirt. Shorter shirts that hit somewhere around the top of the back pocket on your pants look good untucked, but longer shirts often look sloppy when left untucked.
Of course, as with any fashion rule, you can find exceptions to this! You may want to try a French tuck, for example, and leave the back portion of the shirt untucked. But overall, keep in mind that a tucked-in shirt creates a more formal appearance, and an untucked shirt looks more casual.
How to Keep Shirt Tucked In: 8 Methods
You can keep your shirt tucked in with a simple loose tuck, a strict military tuck, or even a few handy commercial products like magnets or rubber tape! If you’re tired of dealing with the bunched-up shirt tails sliding free of your pants every time you sit down at a work meeting, check out these eight simple methods to find one that works for you.
1. Fitted ShirtOne of the easiest ways to keep your shirt tucked in throughout the day is to pick a fitted shirt. If your shirt does not contain a lot of extra fabric, it will not bunch up around the waistband of your pants in that annoying way.
It also helps to wear pants or a skirt with a tailored waist that fits you perfectly. The closely fitted waist will prevent the shirt from sliding free.
If all else fails, you can also wear a belt. This will cinch in the waistband and help hold your shirt in place.
2. Military Tuck
The military tuck will hold any shirt neatly in place for hours. This simple fold-and-tuck method works on t-shirts, uniform shirts, and button-downs. Even if you do not have a fitted shirt, you can create a clean silhouette using this extremely popular tucking method.
- Button or fasten the waistband of your pants.
- Loosely tuck the tails of the shirt into the waist all the way around.
- Next, slide both hands into the front of the waistband, palms facing you.
- Starting at the center front of the waistband, smooth the shirt to the sides by moving your hands toward your hips.
- Find the side seams in the shirt with each hand and hold the seams pulled out to the side as far as they will go inside your pants.
- Finally, fold the loose fabric you’re holding to the back of the shirt, forming a neat triangle of excess fabric that points to the back.
3. Shirt StaysShirt stays may seem like an old-fashioned solution to an untucked shirt, but you can still find this handy tool online or at many tuxedo or tailor’s shops for a good reason! Shirt stays act like the suspenders you may occasionally use to hold up a pair of pants, except they work reverse to hold down the lower edge of a shirt.
The most popular stays, look like the letter Y, with clips on all ends. The top two clips attach to the side of the shirt, and the lowest clip attaches to the top of your sock. You can also find garter-style shirt stays that circle the thigh.
The downside to wearing shirt stays is that they can chafe or feel uncomfortable. For this reason, you may want to reserve them for formal occasions like attending a wedding or to pair them with certain military dress uniforms. Also, make sure you only wear them on occasions when you don’t need to take your pants off in front of anyone else, just in case!
4. Loose Tuck
The most casual method for tucking in a shirt is to use a basic loose tuck. This does not hold a shirt as firmly and precisely as a military tuck, but it also takes less time!
If you have a fitted shirt and plan to wear a jacket over it, you can usually get away with using a basic loose tuck. If you do not plan to wear a jacket or cardigan and your shirt has a looser fit, you may want to use a different tucking method instead.
- Fasten your waistband closed. For best results, either wear pants that fit pretty tightly or wear a belt.
- Starting at your center back, use the flats of both hands to slide the shirt inside the waistband of the pants.
- Work your way all the way around to the center front.
- Raise your shoulders and then lower them to achieve a slightly loose look at the tuck.
5. French Tuck/Half Tuck
The French tuck or half tuck has a casual, stylish appearance that looks great with trendy outfits. Younger people tend towards this tuck more often than older people, and you also see women use it much more often than men. That said, go with what feels right to you!
- Choose a shirt that has a decent length–it should fall at least to the top edge of the pockets of your pants. It should also fit you loosely. A baggy t-shirt, puffy blouse, or loose button-down will work well for this style. Pair this shirt with pants, shorts, or a skirt that has a mid or high-rise, as the tuck will not work well in a low-rise waistband.
- Next, use the flats of your hands to smoothly insert the front hem of the shirt into your waistband.
- Shrug your shoulders to give the tuck a little poof above the waistband.
- Look in a mirror to make sure the back of the shirt tails flounces out behind you neatly.
- For a t-shirt French tuck, use the same steps but tuck in a bit of the side of the shirt as well, leaving a “waterfall” effect to cascade down the back of the shirt.
If you want to get trendy, there is also a style in some corners of the fashion world to tuck in just one-half of the front of a shirt and leave the other half of the shirt tail free.
6. Undershirt Tuck
If you like to wear an undershirt beneath your button-downs, try this technique to securely keep the undershirt and the shirt tucked in.
- Start by tucking the hem of your undershirt into the elastic of your underwear. This will keep the undershirt smooth and flat beneath your shirt.
- Next, put on your pants, shorts, or skirt. Go for a garment that has a nice, secure waistband–an elastic waist or a loosely fitted waistband will not work as well.
- Put on your shirt and button it. If you have a fitted shirt, tuck it in using the loose tuck method. If you have a looser shirt, use the military tuck method.
7. Jacket Tuck
The jacket tuck lets you gather extra shirt material at the small of your back so that the front of the shirt still looks nice and smooth. You may want to use this method if you wore an old, loose shirt to work and then realized you had an important meeting in the afternoon!
- Tuck the hem of your baggy shirt into the waistband of your pants.
- Slide the palms of your hands down your stomach and inside the waist of the pants, smoothing the front of the shirt.
- Push excess fabric towards your hips.
- Next, slide your hands into the back of the waistband, but this time, smoothie eh extra fabric toward your center back. Neatly fold over the extra fabric at your center back and let the waistband of the pants hold it in place.
- Put on your jacket, which will cover the folded-up shirt fabric on your back!
8. Tailor’s/Rubber TapeProfessional tailors often add an inch or two of grip tape or rubber tape to the inside of waistbands to keep a shirt tucked. The rubber tape clings to the shirt and keeps it from sliding up from the waistband.
You can easily order a cheap package of rubber grip tape and use the peel-and-stick adhesive to attach it to the inside of your own pants. The only trouble with this brilliant tucked-shirt hack is that the rubber tape may come off after you wash the pants, and you will have to apply a new strip.
If you want a more permanent version, you can buy silicone or gel strips to sew into the inside of your waistband, like these.
How to Keep Shirt Tucked in for Women
Women can use any of the methods described in this article, like the military tuck, the French tuck, and so on, to keep a shirt tucked in. That said, women may also want to consider a few other helpful tips:
- Try to find pants or skirts with waists that fit you well. Tailored waists will grip a shirt and keep it in place.
- Alternatively, use your tights, stockings, underwear, or shapewear to hold the shirt in place. Simply tuck your shirt into the undergarment, and then pull on your skirt or pants overtop! If you worry that the pants could slide down to expose your underwear solution, try using two small safety pins to pin the shirt to the outside of the undergarment instead.
- Try the folding tuck: Fold under the bottom edge of your shirt hem. Then tuck it neatly into the waistband, letting the extra thickness of shirt fabric hold itself in place.
Hacks to Keep Shirt Tucked InIf you need a quick hack to keep your shirt tucked in instead of a life-changing tucking method like the ones described earlier in this article, check out these easy tips! You can buy a wide range of products that help keep your shirt in place with very little effort on your part.
- The most popular shirt-tucking hack is to use two tiny pieces of ldouble-sided fashion tape. Simply attach the tape to the inside of the waistband, and press the shirt into place! The tape will keep it there all day.
- Another hack to keep your shirt tucked in is to use fancy magnetic shirt stay. This way, you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness of old-fashioned stays, but you can handily keep your shirt in place anyway!
- You can even find special belts that go inside your pants to keep your shirt tucked in! These belts, called rubber belts, tailor’s belts, or shirt stays, may offer an easy, everyday solution to your shirt-tucking problem.
Dress Shirts That Stay Tucked In
You can buy specialized shirts with elastic tails that stay tucked in or search for tailored shirts that fit you perfectly.
Some brands offer “stay tucked” shirts with an elastic section at the hem. This clings to your lower torso and prevents the shirt from sliding up as your raise your arms or sit and stand during the day.
The more popular method of finding a dress shirt that stays tucked in is to get your shirts tailored to fit your body. Close-fitting shirts do not poof and bunch as easily as ill-fitting shirts. This makes it easier to keep them tucked in all day long!
Most tailors only charge about $25 for this service. You could also buy your shirts from a high-end brand that provides a fitting as part of the purchase if you prefer.
How to Keep a Shirt Tucked into Jeans
A few of the best ways to keep a shirt tucked into jeans include using a military tuck, a French tuck, or selecting the right pair of jeans.
You can use any of the tucking methods or hacks described earlier in this article to keep a shirt tucked into jeans. It is easier to keep a shirt tucked into most jeans, as they tend to fit more tightly at the waist than other pants such as trousers or dress pants.
That said, the military tuck offers a no-fail method to keep a shirt looking sharp inside the waistband of your jeans. You can use this on a t-shirt or a button-down.
If you want a casual look, try using the half-tuck or French tuck method with your jeans. While this style may not work for everyone, it does go well with the more casual appearance of your denim jeans.
Finally, pick the right pair of jeans. Find jeans that fit you snuggly in the waist and lower torso. If possible, wear jeans that have a mid or even a high rise.
How to Keep Shirt Tucked In Skirt
You can keep a shirt tucked into a skirt by wearing control-top undergarments, using a hair-tie knot, or wearing a belt with your skirt. Of course, you can also successfully try the methods described earlier in this article, such as the military tuck or wearing a tailored shirt. You can even use a simple hack like fashion tape to easily glue your shirt into place all day long!
Control-top undergarments, boy shorts, or pantyhose all offer a super-secure place to tuck in the tails of your shirt. This strong elastic will hold onto your shirt much more securely than your skirt’s waistband!
If you don’t like the tight grip of this undergarment, try this hack instead:
- Use both hands to smooth all the extra shirt fabric toward your center back.
- Gather this material in one hand, and use your other hand to wrap a ponytail around the handful of the shirt.
- Tuck that “shirt ponytail” right inside your skirt!
Best Shirt Stays
The best shirt stays tucked in and feels comfortable beneath your clothing.
A few of the best shirt stays include:
- Fancy Boy shirt stays use a traditional, secure Y-shaped structure to hold your shirt to your socks.
- NV Holders use a unique thigh-circling approach to give you an unobtrusive stay that still holds your shirt quite firmly.
- World’s Best shirt stays have a simple, single strap that connects the side of your shirt to your socks.
Best Way to Keep Shirt Tucked In
The best way to keep any shirt tucked in is to use the military tuck. For a more stylish approach, try wearing a fitted shirt or using a French tuck. If you need your shirt to stay in place for a formal event or while in uniform, try wearing the traditional shirt stays.
The easiest way to keep your shirt tucked in is to use special products like fashion tape, rubber grips inside your pants, or even special belts that go beneath your pants and hold your shirt in place! For women, you can use a hair band to neatly secure extra shirt fabric at your center back and hide it beneath your skirt or pants.