Fashion Dr: Is it safe to go untucked?

Last updated 05:00 11/07/2012
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IN OR OUT: Justin Bieber goes for the untucked look.

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I am a man in my 50s and would like your opinion on wearing shirts loose or tucked in. Wearing a loose shirt does disguise an expanding waistline but it doesn't look very smart. Any thoughts for the Kiwi male with an expanding girth?


Hi Michael,

Not all shirts are created equal.

While there are many different styles of shirt in the world, most can be broken down into two categories: the business shirt and the fitted shirt.

Business shirts are generally wide through the body and are designed be tucked in – hence they are long in length, to stop you from flashing your butt crack at your boss by mistake when bending over to put paper in the photocopier.

Wear your business shirt untucked and you'll look as if you've had a romp at the pub and a brush with a couple of thugs. So unless you're trying to invent excuses for why you're late to work in the morning, keep it tucked safely in your pants.

Fitted shirts are called fitted shirts because they fit through the body. These are generally designed to be worn untucked, although this gets confusing when brands like 3 Wise Men offer both a standard and a fitted style of business shirt for the skinny chaps.

A fitted shirt – in the casual, untucked sense of the word – is to be worn with jeans or chinos to casual events like barbecues, rugby games and movies. Once you have decided whether you're going to the office or the movies, we can look at the belly issue.

Try shirts in dark colours or with chest-level prints to confuse the eye and draw it away from your problem area. A bold pair of shoes or a shiny expensive watch also does the trick. Shirts with panel detailing are also great for slimming down the torso, particularly if there are contrasting colours involved, because it creates negative space.


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