The question of whether to tuck in your dress shirt or not can be an important one. Different situations can dictate this choice, as can the style of the shirt itself. Here are a few ideas when tucking in is definitely the way to go.
Long tailed shirts
When wearing a dress shirt with long tails, tucking it in is a must. This is mainly due to the length of the shirt and the style you are looking to create by wearing one. A normal shirt will come to just below your rear trouser pocket and will hang outside the trousers fine. But with a long tail shirt, this lowest point will be lower and therefore, needs to be tucked in.
Additionally, the point of wearing a long tailed shirt is so that it stays in your trousers and doesn't expose skin when you stretch up. So, to allow the shirt to do its job, it needs to be tucked into your trousers!
Tucking in a casual shirt is perfectly acceptable and can give a very neat and classy look. Even with jeans, this can work really well and is also practical if this is a work shirt and you are going to be doing some physical jobs. It keeps you warm and stops your shirt from flapping around, potentially causing a hazard if it was to be caught up on anything.
Tucking in has another advantage in causal outfits - you can show off your belt. There are some really spectacular belts available and the best way to show them to the world is by tucking in your dress shirt. Otherwise, the shirt will cover up the belt and the point of wearing it will be lost.
How to Tuck in a Dress Shirt
When and why to tuck in a shirt are very important but how to tuck it in is also crucial. You are wearing an expensive, high quality suit that complements your body perfectly but if your shirt isn't tucked in right, the whole look is spoiled.
The perfect tuck should see that the front of your body is smooth and flat with no lumps where the folds of material are. Your shirt should tuck in with no wrinkles and there should be no 'muffin topping'. This is where a dress shirt blouses outwards at the waist and makes a doughnut around the midriff.
You should also have what is called a clean gig line - this comes from the military dress standard and is an imagine line that runs from the chin to the crotch. A dress shirt should tuck in so that the area where the buttons are attached runs along this imaginary line. A belt buckle and trouser button should also fall into this line with the zipper of your trousers.
The key to getting that perfect tucked in look is to ensure that your shirt fits you correctly. If your shirt is too large, then there will be too much material to fit into your shirt and your trousers will have unsightly lumps. On the turn side, if it is too small, there won't be enough material to tuck in properly and the slightest move will leave areas of skin on show. So ensure you have the perfect fit of dress shirt to achieve the perfect tucked in look.