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tucking a t-shirt in
April 19, 2005 11:48 AM   Subscribe

When wearing a T-shirt do you tuck it into your jeans and why?

The question came from a response in a previous question today. Americans are the only race in the entire world that tuck T-shirts into jeans. We don't know why you do it. Also, if wearing a belt will it make an influence on your decision?

Did the Fonz have an influence with us doing it more than others? Being he was "50's" and that is what we think when wearing a t-shirt and jeans.
For me never think to tuck or not tuck since the shirts are usually too long for me. Because the sizing of the shirts for it to fit my shoulders comfortably force me to buy ones that are too long.
So will tuck into jeans.
posted by thomcatspike to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (68 answers total)
 
Part a: No. Part b: n/a.

Shirts with buttons do get tucked (usually), however.
posted by carter at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2005


No, unless I am wearing some sort of outer covering that is shorter than the t-shirt. Otherwise, it just looks silly.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:03 PM on April 19, 2005


I don't tuck in the t-shirt mainly because it's more comfortable. Also, it seems to be a more natural kind of taper into my pants (THAT sounds terrible). That is, the look is more contiguous because you don't see an obtrusive waistline that cuts you in half.

I hope that makes sense.
posted by themadjuggler at 12:04 PM on April 19, 2005


I do not tuck, belt or no belt.

I carefully purchase only those t-shirts which will end at an ideal length, that being just about mid-zipper on the pants.

Also, I don't see too many people rolling their cigarette packs up in their sleeves anymore, so I don't think the Fonz has had a profound influence on the ways we wear our t-shirts.
posted by poppo at 12:04 PM on April 19, 2005


I would modify that quote to read: "Americans over 40 are the only race in the entire world that tuck T-shirts into jeans. We don't know why you do it."

No tuck. Length doesn't really matter too much to me. A tucked t-shirt just looks.. er.. wrong.
posted by Plutor at 12:06 PM on April 19, 2005


Actually, short sleeved shirts w/ buttons do not get tucked - usually. Long-sleeved shirts w/ buttons almost always do though; and then I wear a belt. And I'll tuck a t-shirt if I'm wearing smart trousers, belt, and a jacket. I've often wondered why people tuck t-shirts into jeans.
posted by carter at 12:07 PM on April 19, 2005


rockabillys tuck
posted by fishfucker at 12:08 PM on April 19, 2005


I'm under 40 and a T-shirt tucker when I wear a belt, which I do often so I can fasten my leatherman and blackberry to it.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:10 PM on April 19, 2005


Do people really tuck in T-shirts? I mean, undershirts I understand, but I don't think people tuck in tee-shirts when they wear them as shirts...

Did the Fonz have an influence with us doing it more than others?

okay, well I guess they/you do sometimes, but as a gen x new yorker I don't think I see that in my neck of the woods much. It doesn't go with "t-shirt" to tuck... although, now that I think about it, I don't tuck in many shirts these days, as a lot of contemporary button-down shirts for women are tailored not to be tucked. And I don't tuck turtlenecks. What else is there? Yeah, undershirts are the only shirts that I can think of that make sense to tuck, or certain button down shirts with suits.
posted by mdn at 12:11 PM on April 19, 2005


When I was little, my mom made me tuck in my shirts. I HATED IT, it's so uncomfortable. I vowed to never do it again as soon as I was able.

And (off topic) I now refuse to wear pantihose unless I'm up for a job (cause that's the stupid sexist game, they still say you should wear a skirt and jacket and hose) or am wearing an extremely fancy outfit. It's just unnecessary.
posted by agregoli at 12:14 PM on April 19, 2005


I do right now, but that's mostly because I haven't bought any new tees since I lost a good chunk of weight. I used to where XXLs but now a Large fits okay. Since my current inventory is XXLs, thought, the are very uncomfy and ill-fitting. They seem to stay in place better with a tuck.

When I switch to Larges again, that may change.

(And for the record, I'm over 40).
posted by Doohickie at 12:19 PM on April 19, 2005


I had a roommate in college that tucked his t-shirts. I gave him a hard time about it (jokingly, but with intensity, as was our manly college-guy way), and he said it made his gut look smaller. Don't know if I buy that, but that's one guys view at least.
posted by abingham at 12:24 PM on April 19, 2005


Usually I tuck, since I just think it looks cooler, but my sartorial sensibility leans toward the retro like in the rockabilly picture above. Leaving it hanging out makes you look really sloppy, especially when most shirts I buy are sized too big, thus making it look like I'm wearing a dress. Plus when you're as scrawny as me, leaving it hanging out makes it billow around you thus accentuating the emaciatedness.

Sadly my jeans are often sized too big as well, so my tees tend to come untucked of their own volition. The clothing industry hates me is what it is.
posted by jonmc at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2005


I never tuck my T-shirt in, unless I want to look like a corporate tool.

(yes I know I just in effect called johnmc a corporate tool, but I stand by my sentiment)
posted by falconred at 12:36 PM on April 19, 2005


I'm married to a 36 year old t-shirt tucker who has always been one. The only explanation I've ever been able to get is that he likes his clothes to fit like a glove. Tucking, to his mind, accomplishes this.

Of course, he also pushes up the sleeves on his leather jacket a la Mr. Fonzarelli.....
posted by gnomeloaf at 12:39 PM on April 19, 2005


When I get back to 160 pounds, you can bet that I will be tucking my t-shirts into my jeans, and they'll be a size too small as well. As will be the jeans. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:41 PM on April 19, 2005


Related, but regarding dress shirts - Flying Shirttails, the New Pennants of Rebellion.
posted by ericb at 12:41 PM on April 19, 2005


I myself never tuck, and I get all naggy when my otherwise hot sweetie tucks.

The all-time worst example of tucking is a T-shirt tucked into gym shorts. I actually see this regularly at the gym.
posted by scratch at 12:44 PM on April 19, 2005


yes I know I just in effect called johnmc a corporate tool,

*shrugs*

you're the second person in a week to call me that, y'know.

Actually if a t-shirt fits me perfectly and falls directly at the waistband of my jeans, then I won't tuck it, but that's exceedingly rare. And my t-shirts are either ones that I've inherited from jobs and job-related promotions or very carefully chosen ones with pop cultural logos that mean a lot to me. The ones I buy, like I said, are almost always too big, necessitating tucking. And since I wear the same basic outfit every single day, I have to have a policy on this issue.
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on April 19, 2005


I would modify that quote to read: "Americans over 40 are the only race in the entire world that tuck T-shirts into jeans. We don't know why you do it."

I guess that I've officially entered geezer-hood. Kids are making fun of the way I dress. "Look at that sad old guy, he tucks his shirt in."
posted by octothorpe at 12:47 PM on April 19, 2005


Related, but regarding dress shirts - Flying Shirttails, the New Pennants of Rebellion

That's a gem, ericb! So much better a spot-the-trend piece than Jennifer 8. Lee's inane dribblings about 'man-dates' a few days ago.

I fully support more untucking at the office.
posted by nyterrant at 12:49 PM on April 19, 2005


Yeah, when I see some guy's expensive dress shirt flapping over his ass, I think to my self, yeah, there goes a badass.

Please.
posted by jonmc at 12:51 PM on April 19, 2005


Funny, I was just noticing the other day how no one in their 20s or younger tucks in their T-shirt anymore. I don't either, but I was thinking the other day about bringing the style back. Fashion is cyclical you know.
posted by banished at 12:55 PM on April 19, 2005


unless I want to look like a corporate tool.

I am a corporate tool. I don't tuck in my t-shirt ... unless it's casual Friday, when a t-shirt is acceptable but only if it's tucked. Hey, if I can wear a t-shirt to work, I'll tuck it into my socks if I have to.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:58 PM on April 19, 2005


My father-in-law tucks, but he's a gym nut and he never wear loose t-shirts, and for a man, I think it's not quite so bad to tuck in a tight t-shirt. Now, as I am thinking of it, many of the tuckers I can recall are really muscular men who are flaunting their swole up torsos. A tucked in t-shirt can emphasize your thin waist, so that might be a driving reason for that segment of tuckers. To tuck a baggy t-shirt into jeans, though? So wrong.
posted by brheavy at 12:58 PM on April 19, 2005


No tuck for any shirt except for weddings and funerals.

Well over 40.
posted by bricoleur at 12:58 PM on April 19, 2005


Do people really tuck in T-shirts? I mean, undershirts I understand, but I don't think people tuck in tee-shirts when they wear them as shirts...

I have, at home, a 36 year old t-shirt tucker. However, I should point out that a) he normally wears his t-shirts under a henley or other "overshirt" and b) he's quite tall, and I believe the only way he avoids showing a long stretch of his side/back when he reaches up for things is to keep the t-shirt tucked in.

On the other hand, I never tuck. But I've never thought of him as being particularly un-stylish just because he tucks in his t-shirts.

or, maybe we're just old.
posted by anastasiav at 12:59 PM on April 19, 2005


Someone who looks lean and mean like Jonmc (no, really, that's how he looks in his photos) can tuck and look like a badass greaser. If you're fat or possibly nerdy, keep it untucked, man.

Don't tuck a t-shirt into shorts.

Polo shirts can go untucked. Anything without tails can. But anything with tails, you look like a lardass trying to hide it (Cf. Nicholas Cage in Adaptation).

I don't know the rules for women. Women's clothes are a vast unmapped world not to be explored by men (unless you plan on wearing them too).
posted by NickDouglas at 1:01 PM on April 19, 2005


If you're playing touch rugby then you will want to tuck in your shirt into your shorts otherwise they can get the cloth as it's flapping behind you when you're sprinting as fast as humanly possible away with the ball...
posted by kiwi.es at 1:06 PM on April 19, 2005


If you're fat or possibly nerdy, keep it untucked, man.


Actually, a word in defense of fat dudes in tucked shirts. I recall reading a description of gangsters as "men with bellies," since a well-fed gut is a sign of prosperity and to be prosperous in the mob world one would have to be a bad motherfucker, hence they showed their guts off proudly. I've seen plenty of beer gutted biker/redneck type guys in tucked in tight shirts, maybe they're just flyin' the flag, so to speak.

Also, I should add that I always wear an untucked, open flannel shirt over my tucked t-shirt thus balancing the cosmic tucking order.

BTW, what's a "henley?"
posted by jonmc at 1:07 PM on April 19, 2005


I'm an "Under 40" air- and scare-quote using no-tucker.
Certain Caveats Apply: I will tuck an undershirt in. (I define an undershirt as a subset of the T-shirt family. It is white and form fitting and should not be visible in public unless you roll up a pack of smokes in the sleeve.) I will wear a tucked in undershirt under an untucked shirt. Data Point: whenever possible I will not tuck in a button down shirt. More often than not, I find that the tuck creates an unpleasant visual line unless I'm wearing a jacket and a tie. As an unrepentant no-tucker, I strive to buy shirts that end appropriately: in a straight line, just below the belt line.
posted by safetyfork at 1:08 PM on April 19, 2005


I tuck. I find it more comfortable and the extra shim helps keep pants from sliding around. In my youth, tucking in a t-shirt was wedgie protection. Old habits die hard.
posted by plinth at 1:21 PM on April 19, 2005


BTW, what's a "henley?"

This non-fat (barely) over-50 (who tucks his T-shirts only when worn as the undergarment, with the unbuttoned overshirt flapping wildly) was surprised to see the term here -- in my day (late 60s) the surfer caste at school wore Henley shirts, and I haven't seen 'em since then. Short-sleeve with no collar, and piping along the edges, in white or a contrasting color. I was searching the web recently for a picture, but found none. This was part of a fad which may have been regional (mid-Atlantic).
posted by Rash at 1:39 PM on April 19, 2005


Henleys are collarless shirts with a short button placket, usually long sleeve.
posted by cali at 1:42 PM on April 19, 2005


I tuck my t-shirt into my underwear. Is that so wrong?
posted by docpops at 1:48 PM on April 19, 2005


Oh, and fear of being seen as a corporate tool is the new version of fearing your latent homo-ism by bashing gays.
posted by docpops at 1:50 PM on April 19, 2005


Here's a typical henley.

As for me, belts are required for anything tucked. That said, for me T-shirts are untucked (c'mon, they're t-shirts and this isn't the eighties), polo shirts are tucked ('cause it makes me looke wicked awesome) and button downs are either/or, depending upon the situation.
posted by Moondoggie at 1:54 PM on April 19, 2005


Oh, and fear of being seen as a corporate tool is the new version of fearing your latent homo-ism by bashing gays.

Indeed! *sigh*

And you know I'm joking johmc! Don't ever sell out to the man, or I will loose my faith in humanity.
posted by falconred at 1:56 PM on April 19, 2005


The all-time worst example of tucking is a T-shirt tucked into gym shorts. I actually see this regularly at the gym.

I tuck my t-shirt into my shorts at the gym so it doesn't ride up when I'm doing certain machines. I don't go to the gym to look fashionable, I go to get healthy. And I mean, really, would you rather see my t-shirt tucked in or my flabby abs?
posted by jacquilynne at 1:59 PM on April 19, 2005


I couldn't sell out, nobody's buying. ;>
posted by jonmc at 2:00 PM on April 19, 2005


I was just out in the park and specifically on the lookout for tucked in t-shirts :). I saw one older guy with a belt and jeans and a tucked in t-shirt, but he was wearing an opened collared shirt over it, so it was semi-undershirtish. And I saw one workman type guy who had just the front of the t-shirt tucked, like to make sure it didn't get caught on anything. Everyone else was untucked, though. But again, I do think that tucking in shirts in general is less common these days.
posted by mdn at 2:11 PM on April 19, 2005


The funniest thing I ever saw was a guy in his 20s with a nice professional haircut and glasses wearing a Marilyn Manson t-shirt tucked into his bluejeans.
posted by angry modem at 2:12 PM on April 19, 2005


I tuck because I'm allergic to the metal waistband stud you get with Jeans. You've all no idea how jealous I am of you non-tuckers. (And, no - that aint rhyming slang)
posted by seanyboy at 2:24 PM on April 19, 2005


People who tuck in t-shirts aren't emotionally healthy human beings. Don't even get me started on people who pull their socks up all the way. I want nothing to do with these nutzoids.
posted by nixerman at 2:41 PM on April 19, 2005


Whether or not I tuck depends on the length of the t-shirt. If it's short -- just to the top of the jeans or an inch below the waist -- and "form fitting", I'll leave it untucked. Longer t-shirts I'll usually tuck, then pull 1/2 way out again so it's not tight, but I'll not have extra material hanging about. I also try to wear a belt regardless of whether or not I tuck to have a place to hang my Palm.

In my school, most girls don't tuck because there's not enough material to the shirt; the guys are hit and miss either way. (BTW, I'm a teacher not a student).
posted by aedra at 2:52 PM on April 19, 2005


he said it made his gut look smaller.

As someone who has used this reasoning, let me explain: Obviously, it doesn't make the gut look smaller as such, but if I thought people could see under my shirt to my pasty-white beer belly (or, worse-yet, that the shirt would ride up to expose that belly), I felt very "sloppy". Tucking it in made me feel neater.
posted by Doohickie at 2:57 PM on April 19, 2005


I tuck, and I'm a youthful 28. But I always wear a belt, and often clip my iPod to it, so ... that's my excuse. That, and I'm a nerd.
posted by Acetylene at 3:14 PM on April 19, 2005


I think I've never tucked a T-shirt in my entire life, not even once. I just don't like the way it looks. (99% of the time, I only wear T-shirts with jeans or cargo pants). same for polo shirts (I don't like polo shirts much, though).


Because the sizing of the shirts for it to fit my shoulders comfortably force me to buy ones that are too long

why don't you cut the extra long part, it's usually a few inches, then re-sew it -- I do it sometimes if the T-shirt is too long, which doesn't happen often. if you have access to a sewing machine, it's faaaaaaaaaast. but yes, I generally wouldn't buy a t-shirt if it's too long.
posted by matteo at 3:15 PM on April 19, 2005


I started tucking in my T's when:

Stopped having spontaneous erections in middle school and was therefore no longer fearful of an unprompted tent-pitching episode in public

Realized most men over 25 were getting fat and had to untuck to cover a developing gut, and I was/still lacking same.
posted by docpops at 3:19 PM on April 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


The flying shirttails thing in the NYT is brilliant. Cuz, see, if I say you look like a fashion victim/dipshit/slob, then I'm part of the whole establishment, the MAN, dude, so of course I'm gonna say that.

Wish I could be a fly on the wall when these twits are cringing at their sartorial stupidity in two years.
posted by docpops at 3:38 PM on April 19, 2005


T-shirts? You're discussing the proper way to wear a T-SHIRT? Good grief. Next you'll be wanting to know the correct length to wear your mullet...
posted by blag at 4:11 PM on April 19, 2005


I never tucked until I started juggling clubs, and the knobs would otherwise catch in my shirt. Initially I hated it, as it didn't feel right. Now it feels right, and untucked feels wrong. (No tucking until age 19, now age 35.)

Nice one blag!
posted by Aknaton at 4:18 PM on April 19, 2005


Tight Tee, Tight Pants: probably won't tuck
Tight Tee, Baggy Pants: probably will tuck
Baggy Tee, Baggy Pants: definately won't tuck
Tee under buttoned shirt: tuck if buttoned shirt is
Tee under open button shirt: almost certainly won't tuck

For reference, the correct length to wear your mullet is anywhere between awesome and totally awesome
posted by ThePants at 4:24 PM on April 19, 2005


Generally a non-tucker. If I'm wearing a pullover over a T, and have a belt, and it's cold then sometimes. Button-ups with tails get tucked with a belt, anything else just rides in the wind.

Oh, and socks waggle around my ankles.

/boxers/boxer-briefs kinda guy for the full disclosure
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:27 PM on April 19, 2005


People who tuck in t-shirts aren't emotionally healthy human beings. Don't even get me started on people who pull their socks up all the way. I want nothing to do with these nutzoids.

Too late! Mwahahahaha!
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on April 19, 2005


T-shirts? You're discussing the proper way to wear a T-SHIRT? Good grief. Next you'll be wanting to know the correct length to wear your mullet...

So it just touches the shoulders.

And people who make fun of mullets, generally speaking, used to wear the even more embarassing asymmetrical new wave cuts back in the day. At least mullets got you laid.
posted by jonmc at 5:29 PM on April 19, 2005


yeah, but with whom
posted by matteo at 6:13 PM on April 19, 2005


And people who make fun of mullets, generally speaking, used to wear the even more embarassing asymmetrical new wave cuts back in the day. At least mullets got you laid.

Only if you're over the age of 30. Otherwise, the worst one of us had was a bowl-cut. When I was 13 anyway.
posted by angry modem at 6:19 PM on April 19, 2005


And people who make fun of mullets, generally speaking, used to wear the even more embarassing asymmetrical new wave cuts back in the day. At least mullets got you laid.

Way before my time, Cusack - I went for indieboy curtains. And, no, they probably didn't. Not for me, anyway.

OK, then: to rephrase. This question is akin to saying "I'm wearing Speedos to my brother's wedding next week. Should I go for the brief style or would a thong be more appropriate?" T-shirts are not a sartorial item to agonise over - they're what you put on when you go to the gym.

I'm 90% joking here, chaps. But next time you're tempted to put on a t-shirt, try a proper shirt instead. You're far more likely to get laid, if that's your motivation.
posted by blag at 6:32 PM on April 19, 2005


yeah, but with whom

The hot big haired tight jeaned gum chewing chicks you secretly lusted after.

You better turn me loose
You better set me free
Cause I'm hot young running free
A little bit better than I use to be.

Cause I'm alive
Live wire


*devil horn salute*

caveat: I just bought tickets to see Paul Westerberg, and have been doing the dance of joy around the pad ever since. but Paulie used to do Lizzy and AC/DC covers back in the day. they were the perfect indie band for smart mulletheads
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on April 19, 2005


No tuck. Hides the beer gut.
posted by MrZero at 7:15 PM on April 19, 2005


The husband is over 50 and tucks. Howsomever, there a lot of tuckers in Canuckville. I used to, now I don't.
posted by deborah at 8:20 PM on April 19, 2005


I'm a female, and I never tuck shirts into jeans. I don't think I could even if I wanted to- a lot of women's jeans are cut so slim, tight and stretchy, there isn't room to tuck in.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:30 PM on April 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


I never tuck solitary t-shirts.
I tuck undershirts with polos and button-downs sometimes...regardless of whether i tuck the overshirt.

Have fun Jonmc!
posted by schyler523 at 9:46 PM on April 19, 2005


Prior to this thread I never tucked it in because I'm fat. Now I'm not tucking it in because I'm stylish. Boo-yah! Thanks, thomcatspike!
posted by jewzilla at 9:58 PM on April 19, 2005


32 (in two weeks), and unless I'm feeling _really_ lazy around the house, I generally always tuck.

To me, leaving shirts untucked looks sloppy.

Of course, these days, unless I'm having to abide by work dress codes (which, sadly, is five days out of the week), I just ditch the pants in favor of a Utilikilt, in which case tucking is pretty much mandatory (leaving a shirt untucked hides the distinctive 'V' snaps and waistline, suddenly making the kilt look decidedly feminine -- admittedly, as to many eyes a skirt's a skirt, whether masculine or feminine, it probably shouldn't bug me, but it's enough of a difference to be very noticeable to my eyes).
posted by djwudi at 10:18 PM on April 19, 2005


Utilikilt?

*boggles*
posted by veedubya at 6:14 AM on April 20, 2005


*checks out djwudi's site and ogles the Utilikilt photo*
posted by deborah at 12:29 PM on April 20, 2005


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