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I can’t believe I even have to make this argument, but the folks over at the WSJ style section clearly have a vendetta against the simple beauty that is the untucked shirt. Why, you might ask? They blame untucked shirts for the scourge of the casual dress code, lazy apparel choices and a rash of wrinkled tail ends. They even blame it for covering up the Dad Bod.
I know a lot of guys my age, and no one willingly wants to tuck in their shirt these days. The negatives far outweigh the benefits. I mean, if you’re not asking for a raise or visiting a client, the business impact between tucked and untucked is nearly zero. Rocking an untucked collared shirt that drops a bit below the belt works in 99% of social situations and also provides you with a myriad of other benefits that your apparel-restrained brethren can never enjoy.
Eliminates Constant Adjustments
As soon as I tuck in a shirt, I already begin to think about the next time I’ll have to re-tuck. There’s nothing worse than the gradual feeling that your shirt is starting to turn you into a walking air balloon. Having a shirt that’s puffy on the sides and improperly tucked is a huge confidence suck as you know you’re not looking your best. Keeping a shirt tucked in is both a mental and physical time drain. Yeah, you can cover it up with a sweater or blazer, but what’s the point. Keeping your shirt untucked throughout working hours gives you unlimited freedom and one less responsibility to take care of during the day. Look good, feel good; feel good, email good?
It’s Way More Functional
In most offices today, especially in tech, dressing to impress typically means not looking like a slob and showering every day. Tucking in your shirt is definitely overkill. And while I agree that you should dress for the job you want, the flexible dress code that many workers now demand has even infiltrated the C-Suite. I feel for the poor saps I pass in The Loop who are basically mandated to the blue oxford and slacks lifestyle, I really do. Because keeping your shirt untucked gives you added freedom in your other apparel choices as well. You’re no longer regimented to slacks and dress shoes. Keeping the shirt untucked draws less attention to your pants and even less eyes to your shoes, so things like denim and sneakers become much more accepted. Headed to a happy hour after work? Instead of the awkward, upward pull release of the shirt to signal that you’re ready to let loose, your shirt is already situated that way, so you can shift from bus to boardroom to bar with ease. I feel that the younger generation of workers value this type of functionality over flare when it comes to their clothing – look no further than athleisure – and the popularity of the untucked shirt is yet another example of this.
Makes Actually Dressing Up More Meaningful
I will admit, there is absolutely a time and a place for tucking in a shirt, rummaging around your desk for that skinny tie clip and getting your shoes waxed. Donning a suit or even a nice blazer with dress pants is a valuable weapon for the modern worker when they’re making a value ask of their peers or trying to impress a higher-up in an important meeting. But don’t overdo it. Bunching up your shirt into the refinements of your waistline on a daily basis is soul-crushing, and it also loses the potency typically associated with nice dress clothes. When you tuck-in your shirt everyday, people are going to expect you to one-up that apparel choice every time you enter a potentially higher-impact situation. You’re already in a pressure-filled meeting, you don’t need other people mercilessly critiquing your clothes as well. Keeping a standard, untucked shirt portfolio lets you keep equilibrium in your wardrobe and keeps the expectations of others reasonable. You can dress down and dress up with ease…let’s keep it that way.
If there’s anything that the millennial has killed, it’s the constant need for tucking in your shirt. I’m more than okay with that. Cheers!.