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Tucked or Untucked

September 25, 2017


My timing has always sucked. The Internet is filled with tests designed to determine which time period you should be living in. I’ve taken many of these tests and evidently I should have lived during the Renaissance. So there’s that….


When I headed off to college in the 70s to study art, abstract and non-objective painting were the vogue and my professors weren’t interested in teaching classical painting techniques. So there was that….


When I decided to become an illustrator I spent time and money mastering the airbrush, just in time for computers to wipe out the airbrush business. So there was that….


When I decided to write novels, I waited until computers made research and corrections easy and millions of Americans started penning novels, making it nearly impossible to find an agent or publisher. So there’s that….


Now it seems I’m again behind the eight ball when it comes to timing. Here in Portland, stores are springing up to sell men’s shirts designed to remain untucked. What the F#@!K? I’ve spent two years exercising my ass off, walking and playing tennis so I could tuck in my shirts. For the past twenty years I’ve left my shirttails hanging. I thought an untucked shirt hid my protruding belly, even though untucked shirts don’t look good on short people; descending lines accentuate shortness. I was proud to tuck in my shirts after my significant weight loss and now, because my timing is once again off, I’m again swimming against the current.


As I write this, another commercial is airing for untucked shirts. The left side of the screen shows a sloppy guy with messy hair, rumpled pants and an untucked shirt. What a loser! The right side of the screen features a model waaaay more handsome than the fellow on the left, someone straight off of a Gentlemen’s Quarterly cover. The fellow wearing the new untucked shirt exudes confidence, an aura of masculinity and success, particularly with the ladies; the poor fellow on the left looks like he has BO. On the right we see tailored pants, a crisp haircut and a megawatt smile, unlike the frowning fellow on the left. Someday I’ll write about the penchant in our culture against “left-ness,” its use as a tool for demonization that stretches back to Medieval times when it was thought the devil sat on your left (sinistra in Latin) shoulder, giving us the word “sinister,” but that’s for another post.


To my eye, the shirts in this commercial look surprisingly alike. I thought men’s shirts without tails—cut straight at the bottom—were designed to be untucked, but the cut of these new shirts still have curved bottoms. I just don’t see much of a difference, certainly not enough to warrant the excessive price tags on these new shirts. 






Guys, what about you? Do you tuck in your shirts? Ladies, do you like your men’s shirts tucked or untucked? Will any of you seek out this new fashion trend?




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I prefer shirts with 'tails' to be tucked in, t-shirts or straight hems, untucked. the guy on the right in the pic is just wearing a sweater. why would you tuck that in?
By: Ellen Abbott on September 25, 2017
Trends are meant to be bucked. Tuck away mister. R
By: Rick Watson on September 25, 2017
I think it depends on the man and the shirt. Some look sloppy untucked others look uptight and not comfortable tucked in. But for you I'd show off my healthy and fit physique! Tuck it in!
By: Kathe W. on September 25, 2017
I always tuck in public.
By: PT Dilloway on September 25, 2017
What fashion trend? I wear them tucked at work and usually untucked everywhere else.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 25, 2017
Luckily, in my capacity as an Environmental Services Associate (aka 'janitor'), I don't need to tuck my shirt in. Although, having my shirttail drag into the toilet is a bit offputting.
By: Al Penwasser on September 25, 2017
IMHO we live in a time where style is no longer constrained to a particular look. Define your own style(s) and comfort level and you'll be as chic as anyone else.
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 25, 2017
Okay, the reason that untucked shirts are gaining popularity in the country is because America is more obese than ever. That's just the plain truth of it. Fashionistas are trying to embrace the trend by designing shirts in a way that doesn't shame fat people. But if you have the body to tuck in your shirt, you should always buy those kinds of shirts. Sometimes it helps to understand the reasoning behind something so that you can make an educated decision.
By: Michael Offutt on September 25, 2017
I'm sure in a fashion ad you'd be on the right--& looking good!!
By: fishducky on September 25, 2017
I thought the newest trend was the half-tuck - have a closer look at the pictures! and it beautifully solves your dilemma - tail in at only the front, or even just the front on one side. Genius.
By: jenny_o on September 25, 2017
Ohh man I can identify with this 100%. For years I've been un-tucked and now that I can tuck that is not the fashion. I could have written this post, though not as well, you have done it for me...thank you! On the plus side of the curve, I have always hated shaving every day and often let the growth go for a day or two and looked like a slob, now the clean shaven look is for the shirt tuckers and i only shave a few times a week.
By: cranky on September 25, 2017
It all depends on the occasion and the amount of belly. Hey, flaunt that flat tummy Stephen and relax. What goes around will come around.
By: Arkansas Patti on September 25, 2017
O.K. I screwed up again. Just delete that above non-comment by "C". Now what were we talking about? Oh, yes. I favor t-shirts or black turtlenecks, neither of them tucked.
By: Catalyst on September 25, 2017
I wear mine untucked to cover my protruding belly, which is a recent development due to my required use of medical steroids for an immune system condition. I told my Dr I hated these steroids and asked her to switch me to something else. She said for my condition there WAS nothing else. *sigh*
By: scott park on September 25, 2017
Always untucked, for me and on other guys.
By: LL Cool Joe on September 25, 2017
Men have been wearing their shirts stylishly untucked for years. I don't know why it's suddenly important to sell shirts DESIGNED to be worn untucked. I mean, please! I tuck or don't tuck depending on my food... and how good I'm feeling about my butt on a given day.
By: Mitchell is Moving on September 25, 2017
Sweetie tucks regular button down shirts, and leaves straight across the bottom shirts, like Polo style and Aloha shirts, untucked. Tucking or untucking doesn't matter much to me unless you are going into a very formal situation.
By: messymimi on September 25, 2017
Would never have thought of untucked until we moved to California. Now I love to opt for untucked. Untucked over a t-shirt had always been a style, but now I find I even wear T shirts alone..never would have done that before Cali. Button down collar shirts however still get tucked. I just rarely wear them anymore.
By: Tom Cochrun on September 25, 2017
My 82 year old husband came out of his room untucked. I asked why. He said because it covered his belly better. I said maybe so, but he looked pregnant, just as I did sixty years ago in my maternity smock. He tucked it in, the shirt, at least, and I was thankful. The old smock memories are still embarrassing, especiaily when they are walking at my side on the way to Safeway.
By: Joanne M. Barney on September 25, 2017
I wear my shirts tucked in although right now my shirt is untucked but when I go out it will be tucked in.
By: red Kline on September 25, 2017
I tuck in a blouse with one skirt that I have because it has two triangular-shaped openings near the top that allow the color of my blouse to show. If I don't tuck, the shapes are covered up. It's not all that important to me, but I do think my pink, silky blouse showing through the cut-outs on the skirt looks nice. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on September 25, 2017
Untucked for the most part, tucked for weddings and such...
By: Jimmy on September 25, 2017
My son Genius is pretty fashionable, and he's always untucked. My husband Hick is not the least bit fashionable, and he always tucks, even t-shirts.
By: Val on September 25, 2017
I think that fads are fads. They usually mean nothing except an attempt to get you from your money. The young do not realize this and therefore, spend their money. Remember the fidget spinners? They are no almost available to give away.
By: tabor on September 26, 2017
I must say, I think tucked in looks better, but I have seen folks (guys and girls) look fine either way. I think, personally, t shirts look better untucked, and dress shirts look better tucked, but I have never been, and most likely never will be, a fashion icon, so take that as you will... Oh, and related to your "Sinister" comment. One of the renaissance groups I hung out with would march in time, right, left, right, left, calling out, "Dexter, Sinister, Dexter, Sinister" as they marched! :) Cat
By: Cat on September 26, 2017
Untucked!!! Tucked in is too uncomfortable and as soon as you stretch or reach, it comes untucked anyways.
By: Pixel Peeper on October 1, 2017

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