The Best Ways To Tuck Your Shirts No Matter What Look You're Going For

From a classy or casual night out to a lazy morning in bed, how you tuck your shirt in can add an instant air of fashion aesthete. The appearance of a shirt tucked in, tucked out, or halfway in between can express your attributes as a maven of chic apparel while also highlighting your style and, perhaps most importantly, allowing you to indulge in the comfort of a favorite shirt in stylish adornment.

The history of why shirts are commonly tucked in may surprise you. As reported by Today, shirts once served a dual purpose as single garment underwear prior to the top and bottom underwear becoming available on the market in the late 1800s, the modernity of which is honestly a little perplexing because certainly, people before the turn of the 19th century wanted undergarment separates. Regardless, people began tucking in their long shirts with even longer shirt tails as a way to wrap around the groin region and serve as a form of pseudo-underwear. So if you've ever wondered why shirts have historically been tucked in and remain en vogue to tuck in during formal events in modern times, it's because prior to the late 18th century, shirts that were tucked in were synonymous with underwear. In today's world, we have the luxury of separate undergarments and therefore proceed to tuck our shirts in with personal expression and fashionable creativity in mind. Here are the best ways to style your shirts, no matter your desired look.

All the way around

Tucking your shirt in all the way around, meaning front, back, and sides is perhaps the most classic look when it comes to wearing a tucked shirt. StyleCraze calls this look the full tuck and offers tips for how to wear the style in a way that keeps your shirt evenly tucked all the way around. Getting the fabric of your shirt to tuck evenly from front to back can sometimes feel unobtainable, especially if you're trying to tuck in an oversized shirt or delicate fabric, but there's a way to get a smooth, wholesome tuck. 

To achieve an even distribution of fabric, start by folding the front of your shirt into your pants, skirt, or bottom apparel. Once you've initiated the tuck in the front, carefully make your way around your waistline or hips in a continuous pattern. Don't try tucking both sides in and finishing the tuck in the back because that will lead to your shirt unevenly sticking out in some places while being too tight elsewhere. For a clean, full tuck, which is a look that's a good choice for an interview or professional meeting, gently push the fabric into your bottoms as far as you can after you've first tucked your shirt in all the way around. After fully tucking the fabric, pull your bottoms up just a tad to create a slight billowing of your shirt. Once you've done this, you'll have the perfect full tuck all the way around.

Half in and half out

The half-in, half-out tuck is an opportunity to be creative with your shirt fashion, plus you get the best of both worlds with the halfway tuck. When you tuck only part of your shirt in and leave the rest of the fabric hanging out, the options are endless. You can tuck your shirt in on one side and leave the other untucked for an asymmetrical look, choose to go with the fabric partially tucked in a forward or backwards fashion, or opt for a small tuck somewhere along your hips. According to Who What Wear, the half tuck is a popular street style at the moment, and it can give you an iconic look that's easy to put together. 

Button-down shirts are a favorite choice for a halfway tuck, especially if you leave the bottom buttons of the shirt undone and then tuck one side of the shirt into your pants or skirt while leaving the other half hanging out. Oversized shirts are also great picks for a half-in, half-out tuck and provide the chance to be creative in the placement of the partial tuck.  For the perfect half tuck, give your shoulders a shrug to loosen the shirt's fabric after you've tucked in the partial amount in the placement of your choosing (via FashionBeans). This technique can effortlessly even out the distribution of fabric so the tucked portion isn't awkwardly tight.

The front tuck aka French tuck

Similar to the half-in, half-out tuck is the front tuck. However, whereas the halfway tuck can be placed anywhere along the waistline of pants or bottom apparel, the front tuck is specifically executed by tucking into the front of the bottoms and leaving the fabric in the back hanging out (via Who What Wear). 

In a way, you can think of the front tuck as the shirt version of a mullet, with business in the front and casual in the back. The style of a front tuck is also referred to as a French tuck, per the likes of celebrity Tan France. Any type of shirt can make for a stylish front tuck, from t-shirts to oversized tops to button-down shirts with long shirttails that hang from the back. You can even try the front tuck with a sweatshirt or sweater for some creativity with outerwear. 

The layered tuck

The layered tuck is a style that can be put together by pairing any type of tucked shirt with a blazer or outer piece on top, such as an open button-down shirt. Common techniques for wearing layered tucks include partial or slightly tucked shirts covered by outerwear and the combination of a full tuck with a crewneck sweater or tailored jacket (via Ready Sleek). For an instantly polished look, go for a full tuck with an open blazer — a classic look favored for business casual and quickly dressing up a casual look. As a general rule of thumb, the more formal or tailored a shirt is, the more appropriate it is to tuck it all the way around.

Dress shirts worn under layered pieces should almost always be tucked in, though, of course, you're free to play with fashion and be creative with how you style your clothing. Female, male, and nonbinary fashion pieces that are layered beneath outerwear and hang below the hem of the outer apparel should be tucked in so that the blazer, sweater, jacket, or other apparel you choose to layer on top is the longer of the two. The style of wearing a blazer or tailored jacket over a fully tucked shirt, often with a belt to cinch the waistline, is a favorite of public figures such as Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales (per Hello! Magazine). In fact, the layered tuck makes for a good winter wardrobe staple.

Rolled, reverse, and knotted tucks

Unlike other ways to tuck in a shirt, a rolled or reverse tuck is a way of tucking your shirt in above your waistline. Rather than slipping the shirt into pants or other bottom apparel, the reverse tuck is rolled upwards and either tucked into the apparel worn under the shirt or tied for a knotted tuck. There are a few tricks you can add to your fashion repertoire to wear the rolled tuck (via Miss Malini). If you're a fan of sports bras, then you're in luck because rolling a shirt upwards and tucking it into the lower band of a sports bra in a full, all-around tuck can give you a DIY crop top. Additionally, you can create another form of a cropped shirt by rolling the fabric upwards and then twisting it to tie a knot meant to hold the fabric in place for a seamless reverse tuck. 

Using hair ties, scrunchies, or any form of string to keep a rolled shirt tied up are hacks for fashioning a self-made tied shirt. Some shirts are even sold in cuts meant for knotted looks, but you can also create your own by taking advantage of the excess fabric of oversized t-shirts to curate your own knotted tuck. Button-down shirts are another option for a seamless, easy-tied shirt if you leave the lower buttons undone and then tie the two flaps of fabric together for a rolled, knotted tuck around your waist.