Returning once again to the ‘Fashion Faux Pas’ series, today we are addressing untucked button-up shirts. Fellas, once you’ve graduated from college, this is almost always a no-no. And it’s one that I notice all the time, all over the place. No joke, the biggest one that bothers me is Ted, from How I Met Your Mother. There’s a lot more wrong with this outfit (mostly those ridiculous-looking jeans), but he is constantly walking around in a baggy shirt, untucked, under a blazer, and it makes him look like he’s playing dress-up in his dads clothing.
So, here are the rules when it comes to button-up shirts: Button-up shirts come in two basic cuts when it comes to the bottom of the shirt. Sport shirts are cut straight across the bottom, while dress-shirts are rounded to give the shirt ‘tails.’ Both can be worn tucked, both can be worn with a tie, but obviously dress shirts tend to be the more formal of the two. I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that you should always tuck in a dress shirt. The extreme exception is some oxfords, chambrays, or more casual shirts, as well as some short-sleeved dress shirts, but even with these you want to be careful. The deciding factor here is going to be the length of the shirt. The best rule of thumb is to check how far the front hem of your shirt falls below your waistline. If it is less than halfway down your zipper, you can consider leaving it untucked. Anything that falls more than halfway down your fly will just look sloppy untucked. Sport shirts tend to give you a little more leeway, because a well fitted sport shirt, with a straight hem, will usually fall less than halfway down your fly. Dress shirts on the other hand are purposefully cut longer in order to keep them from coming untucked while you are wearing them.
Finally, if you are wearing a blazer, ALWAYS tuck your shirt in. Otherwise you get, at best, this 90’s professor look that is just…well….frumpy. Think Ross from mid-run Friends. At the very least, it’s extremely difficult to put together a physically flattering, slim fitted outfit without tucking yourself in.
Note: This obviously only applies to button-up shirts. Polos are hit-or-miss, but please don’t ever tuck in your T-shirt. We shouldn’t even have to say that.
Photo courtesy of fanpop.com