The French Tuck Alternative You Should Be Trying

July 2018Mr Porter

Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding

Fashion terminology incoming: the French tuck. Despite what it sounds like, this is not something a Parisian drag queen does when getting ready, but is in fact a particular way to style a shirt. It involves tucking in the front of the shirt but leaving the back out (made popular by French fashion stalwarts like Ms Emmanuelle Alt and Mr Christophe Lemaire, hence the “French”), and it’s currently captured the collective consciousness in a way that trivial style whims are wont to do.

This is thanks to the popularity of Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye. Mr Tan France, the man responsible for revamping the wardrobes of the show’s makoverees – and invariably assaulting everyone with floral shirts in the process – is behind the French tuck’s popularity after styling the men in the show with a French tuck to make them look more polished yet effortless. And hey, that’s exactly what it achieves. In a sense, the French tuck is the ultimate “smart-casual” way to wear a shirt, because it has the sophistication of a tucked-in shirt but with none of the uptightness or discomfort.

However, dare we say it – the French tuck can look a little…sloppy. Don’t get us wrong, it’s something that has been seen on men like Messrs Pete Davidson and Colin Farrell and has been pulled off well. But we have heard it described as the shirt-tucking equivalent of the mullet and, well, it’s an unpalatable image that is difficult to unsee. What’s more, is the French tuck now passé?

Happily, there is an alternative. It’s been spotted on men in the fashion industry more and more over the past few months, and is something that Mr David Beckham has been doing for years – it’s essentially the French tuck rotated 90 degrees, and involves tucking the bottom of the placket of a shirt into your trousers and leaving the other half out.