How To Tuck In a Shirt: French Tuck

How to Tuck In a Shirt: French Tuck

Any fashion TV show fans will tell you they know all about the French tuck, which became a fashion buzz word after fashion designer Tan France taught the world of its simple styling on the show. But even if you loosely know what it is, do you know which shirts to choose and when and how to do it?

Stylists around the world will tell you that trying new fashion trends is easy if you take it step by step, so let’s do just that with the French tuck. In no time, you’ll be a master of this effortless look.

What Is a French Tuck?

This chic tucking technique simply means only tucking in the front half of your shirt. Style experts may refer to it with other terms, like the “half tuck” or “one-hand tuck.” It’s an especially popular style when you have a slightly oversized shirt that may be sloppy untucked but too long for a full tuck. A French tuck will show off your waistline and keep things casual, making it perfect for those times you want an easy, breezy look.

Step by Step: Perfect French Tuck

If you’ve never tried a French tuck before, it can feel overwhelming to incorporate into your wardrobe. When you’re first learning, you may even look in the mirror and think it looks sloppy or not quite put together. But when you pair the right top with the right bottoms and get that French tuck just right, you’ll achieve a cool, relaxed look any Parisian will envy.

When you get down to it, the French tuck involves simply tucking in the front of your shirt and leaving the back untucked. That’s not where the lesson ends, though. The whole look will only come together with the right shirt, pants, and belt. This tucking method is really only meant for loose-fitting shirts and tight-fitting bottoms. Let’s explore in more detail what that means.

1. Choose Your Pants

When you’re attempting the French tuck, you’ll want slim-fitting bottoms, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to skinny jeans only. This look can work with anything from jeans to high rise pants to women’s shorts and capri pants in the summer. If you want to add some whimsy to your look, you can even try a skort. Just make sure whatever bottoms you choose have a well-defined waistline for you to tuck in your shirt.

2. Add a Loose-Fitting Shirt or Oversized T-Shirt

The French tuck works with so many types of women’s blouses. As long as it is loose-fitting, you really can’t go wrong here. Among the easiest starting points for the French tuck are button-down shirts like flannel shirts or tunics. With button-downs, try tucking just one side of the front for that extra pinch of ooh la la.

Another great way to take advantage of the French tuck is with an oversized t-shirt. You’ll look effortlessly cool with a vintage band tee or striped tee half-tucked into distressed skinny jeans or high-rise jeans. If you want it to look even more stylish, try tucking the t-shirt asymmetrically, or off to one side.

Complete the Look with a Belt 

Because you’re aiming to draw attention to your waistline with this playful tuck, adding a belt will add that stylish pop you need to take the look to the next level. Consider your top and bottom when choosing a belt. Skinny jeans and t-shirts will pair best with a skinny metallic belt while chunky oversized sweaters and distressed jeans will probably benefit from a big, attention-grabbing buckle. In the summertime, slide a braided natural belt into the mix with your shorts and linen shirt. As long as you have a variety of belts to choose from, you’ll be able to pull off the French tuck with any combination!

When to Tuck Your Shirts

A successful French tuck is all about balance and proportions. While choosing tops to tuck, remember that this style really only works with oversized blouses, tees, or shirts paired with tight bottoms like shorts or skinny jeans. A quick check in the mirror after you settle on an outfit will help you determine if the proportions are just right.

When Not to Tuck Your Shirts

How do you know when not to tuck? Again, it all comes down to proportions. Items that may not work with a French tuck include form-fitting tops or pants that are too loose. Tight t-shirts and blouses should be fully tucked. Avoid the French Tuck when you’re styling voluminous skirts or pants, like maxi skirts. Instead, focus on billowy, oversized tops and tight-fitting bottoms to capture those perfect proportions. 

You’ll also want to avoid tops that are too big. If you’re going for oversized, make sure the top is your regular size marketed as oversized or no more than one size up from your normal size. With a French Tuck, a shirt that is too oversized may overwhelm your frame and throw off the balance.

Now that you have all the tools at your disposal, it’s time to experiment with the French tuck. Grab your favorite oversized shirts and high waisted pants, and start to play. Bonne chance!


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