What goes with what

Four unexpected ways to tuck stuff in

Four unexpected ways to tuck stuff in

Tucking seems so simple; shirt in, trousers up, done. Odds are you’ve been doing it since you were old enough to dress yourself. Which is why we’re advocating for something a little different. When everyone else gets dressed the same way, these unexpected approaches will set you apart. They’re wardrobe signatures that make the everyday feel that bit more special.

The military tuck

What is it? A trick to make an ordinary shirt look like it’s been tailored.

Why it works: “It gives you the comfort of a looser shirt but the neatness of something slimmer,” says Thread stylist Luke. “It means it fits nicely under a blazer but also looks clean and slim on its own.”

How to do it: Unbutton your trousers, then grab the fabric at the sides of the shirt and fold towards the back until it’s flush with your skin. Fasten your trousers to hold the fabric in place.

The shirt to choose: “You need something long enough for there to be enough fabric to hold the tuck in place. So it’s better with a formal shirt than anything casual.”

The tuck-and-untuck

What is it? A novel layering move that upends expectations.

Why it works: “It feels a bit more refined and you’re playing with proportion,” says Luke. “It’s a good way to layer under a short jacket because it emphasises your waist and makes your legs look longer.”

How to do it: Tuck in the t-shirt, then just pop an unbuttoned shirt over the top. Easy.

The shirt to choose: “It’s a good way to wear a smart shirt casually because it makes it more relaxed. They’re also longer, so you get a nicer layering effect. More important is the t-shirt, which has to fit really well.”

Tucked-in knitwear

What is it? Tradition says jumpers stay untucked. We say, true style's about mixing things up.

Why it works: “Tucking always makes an outfit look neater, and knitwear’s no exception,” says Luke. “But it’s unexpected, so it’s more creative and interesting. You also create a break between the trousers and the knit, which gives your body a sense of balance.”

How to do it: Jumpers tend to be shorter than shirts, so they can ride up. You’ll either need great-fitting trousers, or a belt to lock it in place. It helps if the waistband sits nearer your actual waist, rather than your hips.

The jumper to choose: “This isn’t one to try with fisherman knits. Light merino or cashmere is best as it won’t bunch up, especially if it’s fitted rather than loose. It’s a great move to try with roll necks as it creates a really elegant shape.”

The tuck-and-unbutton

What is it? The hem’s tucked in, but the shirt’s unbuttoned all the way up.

Why it works: “It’s got a nice, 50s vibe,” says Luke. “It’s a great way to style something like a camp collar shirt because it has more character than leaving it open, but gets around the fact that tucked-in casual shirts can look a bit dated. It’s not something a lot of guys try, so it’s a bit of a style power move.”

How to do it: Button the shirt all the way up, then tuck it in as usual – it helps keep the tuck neat. Now, undo every button above the waistband. Finally, forget about it. Like a pocket square, it should look relaxed, not fussed-with.

The shirt to choose: “This doesn’t really work with a normal short-sleeve shirt. It has to have a deeper collar – like a camp collar or bowling shirt – because then the gap accentuates the shirt’s natural V.”

 

Illustrations: Eric Chow