How to Tuck Your Shirt to Elevate Your Look

front tuck full tuck partial tuck side tuck tuck shirt tucking shirt

Tucking your shirt is a styling hack that can be a game changer. It can instantly change the look and vibe of your outfit.  It's easy to learn, and is a simple way to instantly elevate your look.  You can take a top or sweater that over whelms your shape and quickly turn it into a casual, confident, polished look.

I used to get frustrated when I first started trying to tuck.  I could easily spend 25 minutes and 3 shirt changes trying to make look casual like it "just happened".  I would give up, irritated at myself that I couldn't make it work.  I would see other ladies in the gym, running errands and at work pulling it off, I was determined I could do it too!

When you tuck your shirt, it adds definition to your waist and elongates your silhouette by opening up the line of your leg.  If tucking isn't currently in your styling game, the below instructions will guide you through it.  With a little practice from the below instructions - you will be a pro in no time!  If you are currently tucking - keep reading - maybe you will see something you haven't tried.    

The first thing to think about is the look you are going for (preppy, casual) and the type of fabric you are tucking (thick sweater to thin silky) and how the fabric drapes.  Stay with me here - we are not going to get too technical - just realize not all fabrics or tops should or need to be tucked. 

Front Tuck

This is a good tuck for the newbie to start with.  You can convert a sweater from bulky to polished, or transform a longer blouse or button up shirt from looking oversized to stylish.   

The front tuck adds waist defining shape without making it the focal point.  It has been described as "business in the front, party in the back" or "mullet" look.  Having side slits separating the front from the back (like a button up shirt) makes it easier to front  tuck, but it's not a show stopper if it doesn't have them.  The front tuck is a relaxed look and you can do a full front tuck or a partial tuck - in the center or to the side - your choice.

 Step 1

Take a thumb sized amount of material and push it into your waist band, starting on one side and continue tucking across the front  to the other side.

Step 2

Pull and loosen the sides slightly so they cascade gradual down around the tuck in a short to long effect, which you can see from a side view.  You can adjust the  amount tucked/amount pulled out.

You can front tuck a variety of different tops - sweaters, tee shirts and blouses.  Your shirt should hit about hip-length.  If it is much longer than this, when you tuck the hem into your waistband, there could be an un-proportional look from the high waistband tuck to the long hem.  Front tucking adds body to a shirt that might otherwise not have shape. As mentioned previously, if the blouse has side slits you can tuck and smooth only the front, and leave the back panel out.

Partial Tuck variations:

Front partial tuck - tuck a thumb sized amount of fabric into your waist band centered with your navel

Side partial tuck -  tuck a thumb sized amount of fabric into your waistband halfway between your navel and hip bone

You can pull a fair amount of fabric out of the waistband for a I "just-woke-up" carefree look.

 This tuck is great for a variety of looks:

  • Jeans - skinny, boyfriend, baggy
  • Trousers
  • Skirts - mini, maxi, pencil

 Full Tuck

A great tuck for a clean, professional and/or preppy look.  The full tuck is like it sounds, tucking in your shirt all the way around.   This tuck pulls your look together for a polished meeting and interview worthy look.

Step 1

Begin tucking in the front, working your way all around.  You want to tuck the fabric in as far down and as even as possible to avoid bulges and bumps. 

Step 2

Raise your arms overhead to un-tuck just the right amount of fabric.

If you are wearing tights or Spanx, you can tuck into them to keep your top where it should be to showcase your silhouette, but you can still achieve this look without them.

An Oxford or office appropriate shirt are best for this type of tuck but  works for all types of shirts.

The full tuck looks great with :

  • Jeans - skinny, boyfriend
  • Trousers - boot cut, flare
  • Skirts - pencil skirts that hit at or above the knee,  and maxi

Half Tuck

A half-tuck is a cool, deliberately undone, effortlessly chic look.  This is a great look for a button-down shirt.  You just  tuck one half of your button-down shirt into the waistband.  The half-tuck opens up the full line of the leg and is a visually interesting, causal look. 

Step 1

A button-down blouse works best for this type of tuck. Starting at the top, button your shirt to the point where it hits the waistband. 

Step 2

Tuck in the button side of the shirt, leaving the other side out. Optional: bunch up a bit of fabric on the tucked-in side for a carefree look.

The half tuck looks great with:

  • Jeans: skinny, boyfriend, baggy
  • Trousers: especially underneath a pullover sweater
  • Skirts: mini or maxi
  • Leggingsgives a little more coverage in the back and  a casual, pulled together look in the front

 Practice with the above instructions with a variety of different tops.  You got this! 

If you are already a "pro" share your hacks below.  I'd love to see how you tuck - be sure to post your picture showing off your style!

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