Tucking in your shirt tails instantly refines your style – you go from sloppy and messy to a stylish finished look in no time at all.  What’s even worse is the half-tuck – with one side tucked in and the other undone. There’s more to it however than simply stuffing the loose bits down your trousers, and gentlemen with impeccable taste know the secrets to perfecting the shirt tuck lies in these four steps which we’ll happily share with you.

1.    Finding the right shirt

Does your shirt have a flat hem at the bottom? Then this isn’t the right shirt for you – tuck your shirt in when there are visible tails or it varies in length the whole way around to a neat finish. Leaving it untucked looks dishevelled and messy, however you do need to have a shirt with a little excess fabric so that there is enough to tuck down.

2.    Work back to front

Start with tucking in your tails at the back. Stand up straight, loosen your trousers (shirt tucks work with both smart dress trousers and dressy jeans alike) and then push the tails right down. If you just scrunch them down at the top they’ll become untucked again as the day goes on and you move around.

3.    Pay attention to the sides

If the sides of your shirt seem to be gaping, you might need to rethink your sizes, or get a professional tailor to fit this to your torso. If there is a small amount of excess fabric, pinch the shirt at the seams and pull them tight so they can be tucked in at the hips in a folded pleat (this is called a military tuck). Your finished tuck should be close to your body, with no muffin top so that you have a streamlined look. There’s no point in having a beautifully tailored shirt if you insist on making it look baggy as it’s more ‘comfortable’.

4.    Belt and finishing touches

When you putting the finishing touches to perfecting the shirt tuck, take a look in the mirror to check that your shirt edge, trouser seam and belt buckle edge are all aligned. If they are off, your look will appear messy and off-centre, which detracts from the overall streamlined silhouette you have created.

So there you have it – a few tips on perfecting the shirt tuck. So now that you know the basics, which shirts should you tuck? As we’re coming into the summer months, polo shirts and t-shirts are likely to be high up on your list of seasonal favourites, and these can both be tucked as long as you pair with jeans, and a stylish belt. Sometimes this can look a bit unfashionable, so make sure it fits with your overall style before you commit and feel uncomfortable – if in doubt, leave them untucked.