For men’s casual wear, the biggest question is whether to tuck in or leave the shirt. While dress shirts are meant to be tucked in, casual shirts like polos, linens, and Oxfords have more flexibility. Choosing to tuck or untuck depends on the shirt style, fit, occasion, and personal preference.
Button down collar shirts
The button-down collar shirt is a popular style for casual clothing. It is typically made of comfortable woven fabrics like cotton. This type of shirt works either tucked or untucked based on its length and fit. For a more polished look, opt for a properly fitted shirt that hits just below the pant waistline to tuck in cleanly. Wear it untucked for a more relaxed vibe, provided the shirt falls no lower than mid-zipper.
Flannel shirts are inherently casual with cozy combed cotton fabric and rustic plaid patterns. Choose a flannel shirt that hits at hip level or slightly below for the most flattering untucked fit. Size down if the shirt is overly long. Flannel looks great styled open over a basic tee or henley, or buttoned up with rolled sleeves. Leaving it untucked helps balance the shirt’s loose comfort with a tidy bottom half.
Linen & chambray shirts
Lightweight linen and chambray shirts have a breezy, vacation-ready vibe. The nature of their wrinkle-prone weave and lightweight feel makes tucking them in seem overly formal. These shirts look and feel best when worn untucked in their oversized, relaxed state. For the ideal untucked fit, look for a straight or gently tapered cut that falls to mid-zipper length or below. Avoid tucking linen shirts with bold patterns or distressed details let them hang loose for that casual shoreline style.
Sleeve woven shirts
Short-sleeved button-ups in woven fabrics can be solid, striped or printed with aloha prints. They are comfortable tucked or untucked due to their short hem lengths. For a casual untucked look, size up and wear the shirt open over a plain tee. For a sharper, more pulled-together style, opt for a properly fitted short-sleeved shirt and tuck it cleanly into the pants. It allows the belt to define the waist for a polished appearance.
The polo shirt is a menswear staple that straddles the line between casual and smart casual attire. A properly fitted polo is worn tucked or untucked. It prevents the shirt from riding up and looking sloppy. Wear it over jeans or shorts for a casual weekend look. For a sharper tucked-in style, go with a slim or tailored fit polo made of performance fabric like pique cotton. Tuck into chinos or trousers paired with loafers or oxfords.
Key factors for untucked vs. tucked shirts
- Fabric – Lightweight fabrics like linen, flannel & and knits suit untucked style
- Details – Open collars, distressing, and patterns suggest untucked intent
- Occasion – Tucked-in looks more formal and polished
- Body type – Covers heavier midsections when untucked
- Confidence – Wear styles you feel most comfortable and confident in
While most casual shirts today are designed to be worn untucked, both options offer an easy, versatile style. Choose patterns, fabrics, lengths, and fits that naturally suit your preference. Opt to tuck or untuck depending on the occasion, your comfort level, and the impression you wish to give. With some versatile shirts and style awareness, you build casual looks perfect for any situation. If you need more information, read the Menswear Blog.