Tucked or untucked? Of course that depends on the occasion but a little back story first.
Men’s shirts have a shaped hem based on need. The longer front and back keep the shirt tucked-in when we bend forward and back. The shorter sides reduce the bulk over our hips, and we don’t really bend sideways that often do we? Trivia fact: this longer front, longer back, and shorter sides design is referred to as a "shirt tail."
Now, let’s review shorter length shirts purposely designed to be worn untucked. Even though there is not a functional need for this shape on an untucked shirt the shirt tail design still exists as it has become the expectation on men’s shirts. A shirt that is intended to be worn untucked is often just a slightly shorter version of a "normal dress shirt." But what is normal today? Men are increasingly wearing their shirts untucked 7-days a week.
Why even wear shirts tucked-in?
- First, it communicates respect that you have taken the time to cleanly tuck your shirt in. Tucking a shirt in is a formality. If you care about your style and dress, in turn you must care about the rest of your life. When we show respect, we get respect.
- You look put together with little effort, such a small difference creates a positive impact.
- Your proportions are more formal and thus you mean business. Regardless, if you are actually conducting business - who does not want to mean business at all times?
- It is a simple cue to ourselves that we are out of shape. I know that I tell myself to get to the gym when I tuck a shirt in and my stomach is protruding.
- You look great, thus you feel great, and being great is the name of the game.
Why wear shirts untucked?
- It is just plain easy.
- Being carefree in life is a great way to live.
- It is cooler when you’re living in a hot climate.
- No worries about becoming untucked.
- They are designed to be worn that way. (see above intentions)
At the end of the day, we love shirts worn either way. Just pick the right shirt for the right occasion. That means if it is cut long to stay tucked-in please keep it tucked-in. If it is cut short to be worn untucked, please do not try to tuck-it in. That is a battle that you just don't need to wage.