For decades, a style debate has raged among men, creating a divide even among colleagues and close friends over a seemingly simple question: tucked or untucked? While this debate doesn’t concern cosmetic surgery or shedding beer-belly fat, it does revolve around the rules dictating when and where to tuck in a button-down shirt versus leaving it untucked. With the exception of a few avant-garde creatives who dare to challenge workplace norms, the shirttails of button-downs should always be neatly tucked into your pants. Disregarding this rule risks projecting a clumsy and unkempt appearance in the office, undoing the effort you’ve invested in curating the perfect business attire.

However, this time, it’s not necessary; if your button-down shirt extends more than 3 inches below your belt, tuck it in. And, the nature of the jeans, serving as a smart casual bottom, means the shirt looks great tucked, giving off a European feel.. With the exception of a handful of hipster creatives attempting to spark workplace trends, button-down shirttails have always been and should be tucked into your pants. Disregarding this norm risks projecting a clumsy and dishevelled appearance in the office, undoing the effort you’ve put into putting together  the perfect business look..

This rule extends to trouser separates without a jacket and business shirting, even those who opt for sweaters must be reminded: allowing the shirttails to hang below the knit may seem like a deliberate attempt at fashionable dishevelment, but it often appears contrived, akin to a private school boy attempting rebellion, while embracing the blend of casual and formal elements, the untucked shirt pairs well with blazers only if the shirt is non-business. An untucked button-down should fit snugly on the shoulders and have a length that falls midway along the fly of the jeans or chinos. Avoid billowing fabric or boxiness to maintain a clean and streamlined look and experiment with prints and colours for a summery vibe, and choose lightweight fabrics like cotton, seersucker, and linen. Layering a blazer over the shirt refines the look, and adding a belt while leaving the bottom button of the shirt undone to expose the buckle adds a stylish touch.

Still unsure about how to tuck a shirt? Remember to leave the collar unbuttoned at all times to avoid a hipster-esque appearance. However, avoid exposing too much chest, as excessive unbuttoning can be equally unattractive and while its definitely not for the average bloke, being aware of it can help you incorporate some different shirt pieces into your weekend wardrobe. Ensure that this type of shirt fits snugly in the shoulders, arms, and torso, maintaining a streamlined appearance. Stick to monochromatic color schemes to enhance the minimalist aesthetic of this trend. Pair it with skinny or slim jeans, as well as cropped ankle trousers in a straight fit.

Not confident to pull it off? Skip it. The half-tuck is all about effortless style, with the shirt, often layered over a tee, left deeply unbuttoned. One side of the hem is casually tucked behind a belt, giving the impression of a spontaneous gesture, this look is inspired by the idea of the overshirt serving as a kind of “jacket” for the tee, making it ideal for casual layering. It pairs perfectly with vintage wash jeans, allowing them to showcase their front scars, while avoiding the formality of a fully tucked-in shirt. Meanwhile, for a more subtle approach to the half-tuck, only tucking in the front of his shirt and letting the back hang out. This style requires a delicate balance, as it can easily appear contrived if not executed carefully.

 It’s essential to ensure that the shirt isn’t too long, extending more than three inches past the belt, and to reserve this look for shirts with bold prints, such as checks or tartans, to avoid veering into “cowboy” territory when fully tucked into jeans.