Will the fashion police allow you to wear a shirt tucked into shorts? No, they’ll arrest you. But also maybe not. Who cares? They aren’t real police.
Typically, shorts are worn as a casual look, which would imply an untucked shirt. But what you do with your shirt often varies depending on the length of your hems, and the same is true for shorts. The true answer is that it depends on the type of shirt and the type of shorts you wear.
So before you start tucking t-shirts into your gym shorts, let’s break it down and make sure we keep you looking (and feeling) your best.
Can you tuck a shirt into shorts?
Maybe, but it depends on your style. And the type of shirt. And the type of shorts. Lots of variables so hang in there.
We don’t recommend tucking a t-shirt into cargo shorts, but we forgive you for thinking a t-shirt might tuck into a pair of pastel shorts nicely. Some people pull off the look (though we haven’t met any).
Dress shirts, button-downs, t-shirts, v-necks, golf shorts, compression shorts…with so many clothing items to choose from, what are the rules on what you can tuck in?
Can I tuck a t-shirt into shorts?
Nope. You should not tuck a t-shirt into shorts—even if they’re your lucky pair of shorts. Tucking is reserved for formal events, while t-shirts lean toward informal styles. If you do find yourself in the tropics tucking a t-shirt into shorts, wear a pair of boat shoes to complete the look. And get ready to run: we’ve heard the locals believe tucking in is a sign of serious disrespect.
Can I tuck a short sleeve button down into shorts?
Also, no. Short sleeves usually evoke a casual style, but the button-down collar sends semi-formal signals. This makes the look feel mismatched. Too much contrast, too much wrong. Like finding nigiri at a gas station.
Nigiri is high quality, sure, but is a gas station the right place for it? Don’t find out. Avoid tucking a short sleeve button down into shorts.
Can I tuck a polo shirt into shorts?
Yes. An exception to the rule. Especially if you’re playing golf. During high-performance activities, you need to prioritize comfort or the heat will hurt your game. Tucking a polo into shorts makes this easy. Follow the club's dress code and all, but don’t forget to tuck your polo into shorts. We’ll join you, proudly.
Can I tuck a dress shirt into shorts?
Yes and no. See, this is the tricky one. The answer to this timeless debate depends entirely on the length of your dress shirt. If you’re wearing a no tuck length dress shirt, well, the name tells you everything you need to know. Question answered.
But if your shirt is regular length and hangs well below your waist, then it likely needs to be tucked in. Typically, regular-length dress shirts have a more formal look, meaning they’re best worn with pants. If you insist on wearing one with shorts, make sure the shorts have a well-fitting tailored look, and under no circumstances can you forget an everyday belt.
Even still, shorts go best with untucked shirts. And our official recommendation is that you let those hems fly free.
At the end of the day, it’s less about what you wear and more about how you wear it. So if a dress shirt tucked into shorts feels right, do it. Trust your instinct. And if it feels stiff and awkward, don’t do it.
At Mizzen+Main, we believe that it’s just as important to feel great as it is to look great. That’s why we make the most comfortable menswear in the game. Tuck it in, let it fly free, do whatever feels best for your personal style.
They’re your clothes. Wear them how you want.