Bring Back
the Tuck

Why you should tuck in your shirts

Bring Back
the Tuck

Gentleman, it’s time to start tucking in your damn shirts

Plenty of traditional sartorial habits have fallen by the wayside with the development of modern fashion. Just look at the proliferation and advancement of performance fabrics and the gradual shift toward relaxed, less structured silhouettes. Or what about ironing your clothes or double-cuffing your jeans? Most noticeably, though, tucking in your damn shirt. Doing so may recall dress codes set by country clubs, fine dining establishments and grandparents at church, brunches and baby showers. But there's really no better way to instantly upgrade an outfit—with the right technique.

Buck Mason co-founder Erik Allen Ford agrees. It's the preference of his retail employees in nearly all 25+ of his stores, too. So much so that one would be fair to assume it's mandated, a part of the top-secret Buck Mason dress code. I did, especially after visiting several locations over a few weeks. (Spoiler alert: It isn't, Ford says.) “We try to teach the basics of proper dressing, then give everyone the freedom to deconstruct it,” he tells us. “Whether or not to tuck is about body type and style. If you're going to do it, it helps to start with pants that make you feel good in your body.”


Whether that's “good-fitting, proper trousers,” as Ford puts it, or five-pocket blue jeans depends on your personal style—and body shape, of course. But he's done both, proof of his mastery of the practice: Posing for photos on the day of his Pittsburgh store's grand opening, he tucked a classic white Oxford into lake-blue, straight-fitting jeans. On a recent company retreat, he tucked a white tee into vintage military trousers. Talk about range.

But the mastery doesn't start and end with the company's head honcho. New York area manager Evan Snode has gone as far to tuck in his hoodie. A bold move, but we're sort of into it. “About two years ago I was obsessed with a white tee and jeans,” Snode says. He smartly started simple. “Which, if you know Buck Mason, isn't shocking. It was something I started doing to add a certain cleanliness to the simple look. It evolved to a fitted hoodie, then sweaters and shirting,” he adds.

Buck Mason braided leather belt

As for why it's become a sort of Buck Mason signature, “We are obsessed over the classics,” he says. “I really started to look at the 1940s-60s for a lot of inspiration for my looks, and I think a lot of our teams out there are doing the same.”

Buck Mason braided leather belt

For those that don't work in fashion, it's an easy trick, too. And it tricks the eye. Tucking makes your legs look longer and your silhouette slimmer. “A simple tuck of the shirt can add a refinement and layer to a look,” Snode explains. “I often tell guys to give it a shot. Tuck in the bottom of a sweater with a high-waisted pant, or a tee with a jacket/overshirt and you instantly look more elevated.”

It makes a simple look a whole lot more interesting, without any unnecessary or even difficult steps, à la tying a tie. To tuck your shirt in, all it takes is undoing your pants, pushing the shirt in, and ensuring none has bunched up, which would create a visible “roll,” or a collection of them, just above your pockets. Smooth the shirt, or slim-fitting sweatshirt, out if there are any, and be on your way. But not without a good belt.

Of course, you don't technically need one if your pants fit right, but a good belt is never a bad thing to have on hand, especially if you want to differentiate your weekday 'fits from your weekend ones. (I, for one, ditch the belt on Saturdays and Sundays.)

Snode is biased and opts for a braided leather belt from his shop on work days, but adds that he bought his extra long so that there's additional material at the end, giving his waistline a little added interest. That's a good tip, and the texture lent from a braided belt helps, too. It makes the look less undone and more classic. If you're struggling to move past satin finish leathers, try suede, patterned, or a brushed, roughout leather. Vintage is always a smart way to go, too, given their patinated nature.


Belts to
Finish Off
Your Tuck

Buck Mason Braided leather belt

Braided leather belt,
$98 by Buck Mason

Red Wing Roughout leather belt

Roughout leather belt,
$99 by Red Wing

J.Crew Braided leather belt
J.Crew Braided leather belt

Braided leather belt,
$60 / $42.50 by J.Crew

RRL Tumbled leather belt

Tumbled leather belt,
$225 by RRL

Our Legacy Leather Western belt
Our Legacy Leather Western belt

Leather Western belt,
$187 by Our Legacy

Anderson's Suede Western belt

Suede Western belt,
$195 by Anderson's

Suitsupply Italian suede belt

Italian suede belt,
$79 by Suitsupply

Belt ≠ Shoes

Contrary to what some store salesmen will tell you, your shoes and belt don't need to match exactly. Especially in an era when fashion rules are loosening up.

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