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The French Tuck: How to Do it, What it Is, and More

The French tuck is the epitome of laid back, yet polished style. It’s a method of tucking in a short that’s not quite as buttoned-up as a full, tight tuck, but its give more effort than simply letting your shirt hang out.

In other words, it’s the Goldilocks of shirt-tucking.

So how do you pull off the classic French tuck, and when should you do it? Here’s the scoop.

What is a French Tuck?

The French Tuck gained popularity via Queer Eye star Tan France, who claimed it as his signature tuck. However, the look and method have been around for years.

Essentially, the French Tuck is when you just tuck in the front of your shirt. Or sometimes, if you’re wearing a button down shirt, you just tuck in one side of the shirt. That’s it. That’s the move.

The overall goal is to look like you’re trying, but not trying too hard.

If you want to get a look at Tan France’s best French Tuck moments, there’s a lovely YouTube compilation of them here:

How to do a French Tuck?

Achieving the French Tuck is easy, but here are some steps to ensure you get it just right:

  1. Choose the Right Top and Bottoms: The French Tuck works with various types of tops—from loose to semi-fitted. Your choice of bottoms can range from jeans to high-waisted skirts or even tailored trousers. The key is to have a waistband to tuck into.
  2. Tuck with Purpose: Grab the middle section of your top and tuck it into the waistband of your bottoms. The amount you tuck can vary—some like a deeper tuck for a more polished look, while others prefer just a little bit for a breezy feel.
  3. Adjust and Perfect: After tucking, play around with the sides of your top to ensure the look is asymmetrical yet balanced. The tuck shouldn’t be too perfect; the charm of the French Tuck is in its laid-back essence.
  4. Accessorize: To elevate your French Tucked outfit, consider adding a belt or statement jewelry. This draws attention to the waist, highlighting the tuck even more.

Is the French Tuck still in style?

Image via NewChic Stylist

In short: absolutely! The beauty of the French Tuck is its timeless appeal. While the technique has experienced resurgences in popularity—thanks, in part, to fashion influencers and TV personalities like Tan France of “Queer Eye”—its roots are firmly established in the world of chic, relaxed style.

The French Tuck’s enduring charm is its versatility. It can be adapted for various outfits, occasions, and personal styles. Whether you’re heading to a brunch, a business casual event, or a day out with friends, this tuck has a way of making an ensemble feel both effortless and put-together. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a style trick that’s both easy and impactful?

Can you French Tuck a Sweater?

A French-tucked sweater. Image via Kelly in the City
Image via JCrew

Of course! You can French tuck any top you want. A common misconception is that the French Tuck is reserved for button-down shirts or t-shirts. However, the tuck is versatile enough to be adapted for bulkier clothing items like sweaters. Here’s how to perfect the French Tuck with a sweater:

  1. Choose a Suitable Sweater: Not all sweaters are created equal when it comes to the tuck. Opt for one that’s not too chunky; finer knits work best.
  2. Fold Instead of Tuck: Because of the bulk, you might not be “tucking” in the traditional sense. Instead, fold a portion of the sweater’s front into the waistband. Adjust until you achieve a desired look.
  3. Pair with High-Waisted Bottoms: Given the volume of a sweater, high-waisted jeans or skirts can help balance out the look. This ensures that the sweater doesn’t overwhelm your silhouette.

Remember, the essence of the French Tuck is about relaxed elegance. It’s okay if your sweater bulges a bit or if the look is a little asymmetrical—it adds to the charm!