Gentlemen’s Guide To Tuck or Untuck

Polo shirts are highly versatile and can be worn tucked or not tucked depending on the occasion. But with so many sizes, fits, and lengths, it becomes difficult to determine whether your shirt looks better tucked or untucked.

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Robin Edwards | Tuck or not to Tuck

Here are a few pointers:

  1. Look at your side vents.  Are they cut even, is the back side longer than the front (aka tennis tail), or are there no side vents at all?  Evenly cut can be worn untucked or tucked and look great both ways.  Uneven side vents or tennis tails were originally meant to be worn tucked.  The extra 1″ or 2″ of length allowed the back of the shirt to stay tucked throughout the day or tennis match.  No side vents are best worn untucked.  Both even side vents and no side vents fall equally in the front and back, thus providing a sharp, uniform look to your outfit.
  2. Be careful not to wear shirts untucked that have too much room around the waist.   The shirt will tend to billow out and you will find that your garment starts to resemble more of a dress than a sport shirt.  As long as the shirt is not belly bulging tight, slim fit shirts will look great untucked.  The narrow body hugs the waist more and provides a clean and elegant appearance.
  3. Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Robin Edwards | Jeans and ShirtIn terms of overall length, the tail of your shirt should fall roughly no further than the mid part of your back pocket.   Any lower and the shirt will look too long in proportion to your legs and body.  The front length of your shirt, when untucked, should be even with your back length, thus should fall a few inches below the belt at most.  And again, best if aligned with the back length
  4. When wearing a polo shirt under a jacket for a casual classic look, tuck and wear with a belt. Lots of room for fun and creativity here!

Some of the same principles will apply to button down shirts as well.  The big difference being that button down shirts have curved bottom hems.  For untucking dress shirts,  look for shirts that have a relatively shallow curve on it, like our J Hilburn custom shirts.  Otherwise, your shirt will begin to look more like a poncho.  When having custom shirts made you can also request a flat bottom.

There you have it.  Let me know if you have any other questions and thanks for reading.  Hope this helps…

The Genie in Your Closet,


Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Robin Edwards | Men's Fashion CornerAs Founder and Executive Director of Suit UrSelf, Robin grew up near the garment district in NY where she first discovered her passion for color and design.  She has been living in San Diego for over 25 years raising her family in the Penasquitos Canyon area.

Robin also founded Pacific Business Promotions, where she worked with many local and national companies including Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Downey Savings and Hendrick Motorsports, to create corporate apparel programs as well as working with non profits such as American Cancer Society and American Red Cross to promote and fundraise with them thru the use of media, promotional marketing and brand awareness.

Spending much of her career in the financial, business and adverting arenas, Robin knows first hand how wardrobe choices and personal style make a significant impact in how clients and colleagues perceive you and more importantly, how you project and feel about yourself in both business and in your personal life.


Carmel Valley San Diego Community | RIDE Cyclery Encinitas

2 Responses to Gentlemen’s Guide To Tuck or Untuck

  1. I enjoyed your post I found your website very interesting nice layout. I was in the fashion business for over 40 years and now retired. I enjoy searching for post-websites. Nice Work!

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