Pin It

How to do the Military Tuck

The Problem

You know you have seen it. The un-disciplined tucking of the shirt, the wrinkles and uneven fabric.  You feel like you want to say “drop and give me twenty” for their offense.

Wrinkled Tuck

The culprit is typically the see-saw like motion most people use to tuck in their shirts. Using this method causes wrinkles and unevenness of the fabric as shown in the picture above.

Previously, we talked about when to tuck in your shirt. Now we are going to show you how to tuck in your shirt military style. This tuck will help give you a fitted look and compensate for enemy number one: regular fit shirts.

This type of shirt is purposefully designed to fit the bell curve distribution to maximize the amount of people that can wear it. In other words, regular fit shirts aren’t designed to fit anyone properly.

Granted, the best answer to dealing with all the excess fabric and shapelessness of a regular fit shirt, or any other cut, is to get it tailored. Nothing looks better than clothing that actually fits you. However, not everyone has the time nor the means to do so. Here is the solution.

Military Tuck

To start off, it’s usually best to put your shirt on first and gently bring your trousers over them and button up.  If the shirt bunches up, try straightening it out as much as you can.

*Note: Keep your pants buttoned up but use the zipper to gain access to your shirt tails to prevent them from bunching up.

Grab the seam of your shirt

Next, use both of your hands to pinch the seam with your index finger in front and your thumb in back as shown below.

Finger placement for military tuck

With both of your hands, pull the back and front of your shirt taunt. Then, in a counter-clockwise fashion, use your index fingers to pull the front part of your shirt back and use your thumbs to pull the back of your shirt forward as shown below.  This will help hide the excess fabric along the seam.  Try to extend the fold past your waistline to help maintain the tuck so that it does not come undone.

Hiding excess fabric in seam

The end result of the military tuck should give you a fitted look.

Military Tuck gives you a fitted look.

This tuck is pretty easy to do, but remember that shirts have nasty tendency to come untucked. You may find yourself doing this tuck often to maintain the fitted look. A tailored shirt that fits you will always be better and save you time in the end.

As a side note, remember that the extra fabric is being tucked in the side seams which can make the shirt billow around your armpit (because that part isn’t folded).  Just remember to keep your arms down and no one will be the wiser.

Stay Classy Men, Jared and the Trendkin Team

  • Ramzi

    Thank you! Very helpful. Best visual guide to the military tuck on the web. The only difficulty I found was holding the fold as I get my pants fastened around it. Thanks again.

    • jsnoble1

      Thanks, I’m glad you found it helpful! It can be a little difficult but a tip would be to have your pants half way zipped up so when you make the fold, your pants are within finger length to pull them up. Hope that helps.

  • Pingback: How to Dress for a Job Interview - Behind the Seams

  • Ginta

    And now I’ve learned how to tuck a shirt, thanks!

  • Pingback: Fit Guide: Military Tuck | Shopp.ly

  • Pingback: The Right Fit For Your Dress Shirts | The Stylish Jerk

  • Michael

    I’m finding a very hard time to comprehend this unfortunately :/ I’m a visual learner and can’t do it from simple still shots.

    • n1ckname

      Youtube is your friend.

    • n1ckname

      Youtube is your friend.

    • Erocitnam

      Here, this might be a clearer angle.

  • asshole steve

    still looks like shit

    • Mystery Man

      classic asshole steve

    • niceguy steve

      that looks incredible

    • sdwrage

      Never understood why people feel the need to tuck in their shirts. Professionalism doesn’t come from the outward appearance but the actions your take in your “profession” that make you professional. To be honest, i’d rather have a meeting with a laid back individual over some stuffy office dweller. Although, 3 piece suits are the exception. Those just make people look damn good.

      • raginSteve

        I disagree. Much rather have a doctor that seems disciplined and has a tucked in shirt than a doctor that looks like he just woke up.

        • sdwrage

          Thats the point. Where in our culture did we start focusing on how an individual is dressing to determine ability and trust? A well dressed doctor could be a horrible doctor who goes on to losing patients left and right. I think it is more cultural conditioning.

          • Junzi

            you’re been naive sdwrage, sure the best dressed doctor could be a bad doctor but i’m almost certain that if you went into a hospital and had the choice between a ‘i’m just hanging-out doctor” and a well dressed doctor you would pick the latter.

            It’s just one of those things in life that allows the customer to make a quick decision off very little information. Character of course is vital but the impression is very important as well. In fact you might not give the person a chance to show their character if that first impression is displeasing. It’s part of growing up man, it’s annoying but understandable.

          • Theo

            Well, first impressions matter. Another fact is that what and how you wear projects and image and sends a message to the world. You don’t tuck your shirt, unshaven, wrinkled clothes, it sends a message that you don’t take yourself seriously. So, why should others? It’s the way society works, like it or not.

          • sdwrage

            Maybe I am a bit biased here as a freelancer. I tend to work in whatever I want to wear. I have worked in a 9-5 but usually (as a programmer) you aren’t meeting with clients. When I do meet with clients, I just wear a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. That’s it. I am not saying dress like a hobo. I am just saying the whole idea of dressing in slacks with tucked in shirt seems a bit too steeped in ceremony for getting shit done :)

          • Pat

            so you’re saying that if you went in a restaurant and everything was a
            mess, it would make no difference to you whether the food you were about
            to eat was prepared properly?
            As a medical student, I can tell you that the doctors I’ve worked with who are neater and more organized in their appearance usually also have those same traits in their personality where it matters ie keeping your health records in order, making a differential diagnosis, etc and the patients do better as a result

          • Guest

            I think the analogy went off the rails there a bit. Of course I wouldn’t walk into an establishment and eat off of a dirty plate but that is in the bleeding red end of the spectrum than what I was getting at. I am not saying a doctor comes in with feces in his hair, urine soaked shirt and dressed like hobo under a bridge. If the doctor came in dressed casually, I wouldn’t mind. I personally look at personality, confidence and how one holds themselves over how one can throw on clothes in the morning. On the flip side, you could say the same thing about the guy who knows nothing about what he is doing but throws his clothes on in the morning acting like he does. He looks good enough from the outset but visual appearance does not always indicate good professional work. THAT is what I was getting at :)

            Just because you are dressed well does not necessarily mean you are good at your job and not dressing well does not necessarily mean you bad at it :)

          • sdwrage

            think the analogy went off the rails there a bit. Of course I wouldn’t walk into an establishment and eat off of a dirty plate but that is in the bleeding red end of the spectrum than what I was getting at. I am not saying a doctor comes in with feces in his hair, urine soaked shirt and dressed like hobo under a bridge. If the doctor came in dressed casually, I wouldn’t mind. I personally look at personality, confidence and how one holds themselves over how one can throw on clothes in the morning. On the flip side, you could say the same thing about the guy who knows nothing about what he is doing but throws his clothes on in the morning acting like he does. He looks good enough from the outset but visual appearance does not always indicate good professional work. THAT is what I was getting at :)

            Just because you are dressed well does not necessarily mean you are good at your job and not dressing well does not necessarily mean you bad at it :)

      • Daniel James

        Yeah I’m not gonna lie, you don’t understand professionalism. What you’d personally like doesn’t matter. Things do end up becoming causal after you’ve developed a relationship with someone, but no one gives a shit if you’re a “cool dude”, they care if you get your shit done and don’t fuck up. Dressing yourself is a prerequisite to that

        • sdwrage

          Maybe I am a bit biased in this. I work in web development, a field where most of the individuals I did work with dressed casual, even when meeting with clients. Now, I am not saying wear a shirt 2 sizes above what you wear with a slipknot logo stamped on it, ripped up jeans and shoes that are duct taped together. I personally don’t see any harm in a decent tshirt (even button up is fine), with some jeans and a decent pair of shoes. Shows you are still dressed decently but doesn’t have to follow the mantra of tucking in ones shirt into your pants for what? to show that you didn’t leave the ends of your shirt on the outside? What purpose does that serve? Are we trying to ensure that floor vents don’t create an updraft and blow our shirts above our heads? I have known quite a few people who act professional right out of the gate without the need to stereotypically dressing what most people label as “professional” dressing. Yes, I would trust a doctor that came in with normal clothes because I can tell by his demeanor and stance how confident he is in his work. I don’t need to see a doctors outfit to know that. I guess most people need visual proof I guess. Personally, I never had an issue with any of my clients and always met dressed as I was and they seemed to as well (most of the time).

          By the way, I never had the tone of aggressiveness in these posts :) I just like to get into the head space of most people and throw out paradigm shifting posts that may shake things up a bit. Again, I may be a bit biased because of the field I work in ;)

  • Know it all

    Wear a belt! Always wear a belt!!!!

    • I know more

      Unless you’re wearing suspenders!!!!

  • Indignico

    This feels useful. I owe you one.

    And I like to pay my debts super quick so I’ll give you something useful in return right now. The word you meant to write was ‘taut’ not ‘taunt’ Dunno if you’ll use that as much as I’ll use your tucking tip, but in case it feels a little light to be a full payback, lemme add another word use tip that might help you in the future or someone you know… Imply & Infer… think of that pair of regularly misused words a little like the never confused pair of words pitch & catch… It’s not exactly analogous but it’s close enough that you can use them to check whether you have just used the correct term or not next time you are about to imply or infer anything publicly… Hope that helps. Someone. Because I can’t stand sloppy word choices like I can’t stand sloppy shirt tucks.

    Irrelevantly yours,
    A New and Improved Shirt Tucker

  • chirag

    would be helpful to have a video too…