Clever styling tricks, like the way you tuck in your shirt, are the key to looking modern and chic. Right now, the half-tuck (half in/half out) is all the rage. While it looks easy, it can be a bit tricky to get just right. Here’s a guide to the different types and how to master the half-tuck like a fashion pro.
Front tuck, one-hand tuck, French tuck; no matter what you call it, this is the most popular type of half-tuck. It’s great because it keeps a flowy shirt from overwhelming your body by defining your waist. This makes you look slimmer and more youthful.
How To: The key to a great front tuck is to make it look effortless. Start with a flowy shirt, and with one hand, push a couple of inches of the shirt down the front middle of your waistband. Next, pull the fabric on either side out and downwards, so it loosens and flows on a diagonal at or above your hipbones.
Dos: The front tuck is easiest with thinner materials because there’s no bulk. Use this method with t-shirts, lightweight blouses, button-downs, or thin sweaters. A front tuck instantly elevates a basic t-shirt and jeans into a more put-together and flattering outfit. You can wear it unbelted or belted with pants or a skirt.
Don’ts: Lightweight knits like cashmere work fine, but chunky sweaters, heavy fabrics, and tunics tucked in to create an unflattering front pouch.
A variation on the front tuck is the side tuck. Instead of tucking in at the front middle, you tuck in at the side and let the opposite side drape down on an angle. This green blouse shows it well. It’s just a preference, in the same way as a front part or a side part to your hair.
Serious Half Tuck
The half-tuck is definitely a more dramatic tuck. This is when you undo the last button or so on a button-up shirt, tuck in one side and leave the other out. It’s a very intentional look, and some might say weird. It works best with heavier fabrics that lay still, like denim, for example, but some tuck this way with silky fabrics too.
Is a good old-fashioned full tuck with no excess fabric hanging over still in style? Sure it is. A full tuck is classic and ideal for looking very professional or dressed up like at work or for a formal occasion. This plaid blouse tucked into these high-waisted pants is a good example. Note: Unlike the half-tuck, a full tuck will instantly call attention to your waistline and make it the focal point of your outfit. That’s why it’s not so popular with gals our age who often have to deal with the dreaded menopot.
How To: While this type of tuck seems self-explanatory, here’s how to make it look chicer. Start by fully tuck in your top tightly. Then, slightly loosen the fabric by raising your arms over your head, untucking just a slight amount of fabric from your bottoms.
Dos: This style looks especially good with bottoms that hit your natural waistline. High-waisted jeans, trousers, and skirts will instantly look more pulled together when you tuck in. Also, consider adding a belt, as it ties this look together perfectly and further defines the waist.
Don’ts: Low-rise jeans or too-short tops may easily come untucked with a full tuck, so it’s best to steer clear of those. Just like with the front tuck, you’ll also want to avoid bulky tops with too much excess fabric – not good for tucking in!
The Front Tie
While not technically a tuck, the front tie is another flattering way to get the look of a front tuck top and define your waist.
How To: The easiest way to execute this style is with a button-down shirt. Unbutton one or two of the bottom buttons and knot the ends, leaving two tails on either side.
Dos: Do use the front tie to jazz up a button-down shirt. This style especially works well with lightweight cotton or silk shirts and is perfect for spring and summer outfits.
Don’ts: Don’t use this method with heavier fabrics like denim. This will make the knot too big and bulky. Also, make sure that your shirt is looser-fitting, as a slim-fit top won’t allow the excess fabric you need to make a good tie.
Other Half-Tuck Options
A high low top ( higher in the front and lower in the back) gives you that flattering, waist-defining effect and makes it easier to do a front tuck since there is not as much to tuck in.
A pre-tied top, button-down, or a knotted tee often have the look of a half-tucked top. The front tie or knot is already sewn in place, making it much easier to wear the front tie style.
Front Tuck with a Belt
Trying something new like a half-tuck look like this may feel a little funny at first, but you are sure to nail it with a little bit of practice. It’s a simple way to Tweak Your Chic and look Fabulous at any age!