Shirts: To Tuck or Not to Tuck?


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July 20, 2004

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There's something I love about New York Times fashion articles that I just can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the way they call everyone "Mr." and "Mrs." Or how, for them, all fashion trends begin and end in Manhattan. Or maybe it's the way they can make 1300 words on the latest "untucked shirt" trend sound fascinating. Leaving your shirt untucked -- we're talking dress shirts here, not just polo shirts or those poofy tropical shirts people trot out on "casual Friday" -- is one of the summer's big looks, combining dressed-up style with a rebellious, "I don't really care" attitude.
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"Draped over khakis or jeans or expensive dress pants, the tails-out look appears to be the default for a generation still searching for a middle ground between the traditional coat-and-tie uniform for the workplace and the Internet-era alternative of outfits best suited for mowing the lawn."


If you aren't brave enough to let your shirttails fly completely, you can still get in on the trend -- just try the half-tuck. Already common in fashion magazines and New York City nightspots, it's the best of both worlds:

"Gustavo Rangel, a salesman at Saks, who was wearing his own shirt neatly tucked in front and hanging loose behind, explained the style. 'It's a little bit more of a statement,' said Mr. Rangel, referring to the custom of scrunching a bit of shirt behind a belt buckle and leaving the rest of the tails to drape. 'You have to learn how to show it in a clean way. You don't want to wear an oversized shirt, or it's a little too much.'"


Of course, I don't have to worry about whether to tuck or untuck -- I never wear a shirt in the first place.

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