With most men overlooking the importance of functionally for comfort or aesthetic reasons, a simple dress shirt can be a burden to find. With every manufacture using a different sizing chart there is no real way to determine what shirt is going to fit you without physically trying them all on.
Solving The Shirt Dilemma: Untucked or Tucked?
Finding the optimal length of shirt in the department stores or online can be a daunting task for any gentleman. The length of the shirt is largely dependent upon the style of shirt and how you want to wear it. For the vast majority of manufactures, they create their shirts to be worn tucked in. With the move towards a more casual work environment, we are slowly starting to see new trends emerge in men’s fashion.
Whether you are in the board room or out to dinner with your family, a crisp tucked-in dress shirt is essential for keeping you looking polished. Shirts that are manufactured with visible “tails,” or hems that vary in length at the bottom, are always meant to be tucked in.
Of course a simple solution would be to have your shirts custom made versus buying ready to wear shirts. This way you can dictate the appropriate length per shirt.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that if a shirt has tails, even if it is a short sleeve or sport shirts, should always be worn tucked in or you risk looking sloppy.
A ready-to-wear shirt that is built to be worn untucked will have a few defining elements. These shirts often consist of square hems (those that are one length all of the way around), shorter cut, slimmer built similar to that of a t-shirt, and most important no visible tails.
The untucked option is largely dependent on personal style and environment. Some popular styles of shirts that can be worn untucked are: the polo shirt, turtlenecks, denim button-ups, Hawaiian/tropical button-ups, t-shirts, and some shirt sleeve button-ups.
For those that want flexibility in their wardrobe, here at Jaxson Maximus we are able to make what is called a “hybrid length” shirt. This hybrid length shirt is a dress shirt cut at a specific length for your body that looks great both tucked and untucked.
It is just long enough so that it will not come out of your waistband when reaching but just short enough that you don’t look sloppy for leaving it out. The hybrid length is very popular when we make custom made shirts for clients at Jaxson Maximus.
What Length Should My Shirt Be?
A key element in deciding to wear your shirt tucked or untucked is the actual length of the shirt. Below is a good guide that will help you when trying on ready to wear shirts:
*Note: As a point of reference, where your Buttocks meets your thigh – we call it the “butthigh” will be the point on your body to reference when trying on shirts. This is a measurement that our we use at Jaxson Maximus in determining the perfect fit of your clothes.
Always Tucked In:
This is a common length for dress shirts where you will be wearing a necktie or bowtie and formal dress shirts. For dress shirts, the shirt tail should fall at least 2 inches past your “butthigh”. The front of the shirt should extend about 1 inch past the front crotch point of your pants. Any longer than that is not needed.
When a dress shirt with tails is worn untucked it makes you look shorter because it extends your torso and simply looks sloppy.
This is a common look for very casual shirts that you could wear with cotton pants, jeans, shorts etc. For untucked shirts, the back tail length should fall no longer than the “butthigh” but can fall up to 2 inches shorter than the “butthigh”.
The optimal length for an untucked shirt would be 1 inch higher than the “butthigh” The front length should fall no longer than the front crotch point and no shorter than 2 inches above the front crotch point. A good guideline would be to have your shirt front length fall right at the bottom of your zipper.
This is a length that allows you to wear them un-tucked or tucked. The tail length of the shirt in the back should fall to 1 inch below the “butthigh” but no shorter than to the “butthigh”. The optimal length in the back should be 1 inch below the “butthigh”.
The front length of the shirt should fall to the crotch point but no shorter than 1 inch above the crotch point. The optimal front length for a hybrid link is to the front crotch point.