How to tuck in a shirt

(so that it stays tucked)

There’s a simple trick for tucking in a shirt that not many men know about. This technique not only keeps the shirt tucked in, but also helps remove excess fabric, making the shirt appear more tailored.

“The Military Tuck” has many variations, used by servicemen to give their standard-fit uniforms a clean, fitted finish. Purists who read this will have an obvious question at the back of their mind – “Why not just have the shirt altered by a tailor?” There are many reasons why a man would choose to tuck over altering; time, expense, hassle. While a tailored shirt will sit perfectly on the body, this 30-second tucking technique gets the job done just as well.

The Method

As shown below, with this method our goal is to take the excess fabric from the front and back of the shirt and hide it in the side-seams.

The Military Tuck - How to tuck in a shirt


  1. Unbutton pants and place the base of your shirt neatly downward. Your shirt should not be scrunched into your pants as they’ll easily come untucked.
  2. Pinch the shirt at the side-seams and pull tight to collect the excess fabric.
  3. Fold this excess fabric backwards.¬†You want both back and front of your shirt to sit flush against your body; no bunching (you haven’t pinched enough fabric) nor pulling (you’ve pinched too much fabric).
  4. Button your pants up, tightly securing the folds against your body.
  5. Adjust if necessary to neaten the shirt.

It helps to think of this method as placing your pants over your shirt, rather than tucking your shirt into your pants. Obviously, this technique only works for shirts that mostly fit, and just have some excess fabric in the body. If the shirt is a size (or more) too large, this method won’t work and it will need to be altered by a tailor to make it fit correctly.

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