The 'French tuck': How to nail the style trick that'll improve any outfit.

Figuring out how to tuck in your shirt all fashionable like can be tricky.

How much do you tuck? How tight should you tuck it? What if you stuff it up and then your top’s all wrinkled? Do I tuck it all in or half in?

Much questions.

It’s at this low point of contemplation that we’d like to remind you of the ‘French tuck’, the foolproof way to wear a shirt tucked in brought to the masses by Tan France from Netflix’s Queer Eye.

Side note – want more fashion inspiration? Check out the gorgeous real world outfits in our style street video below. Post continues after video.

Video by MWN

After first casually dropping this intriguing term during the franchise’s second series, the Queer Eye fashion expert sparked somewhat of a fashion phenomenon.

Sure, people have been lazily tucking in the front of their shirts for years, but Tan was the first person in recent pop culture history to give it a name (and a fancy name, at that).

For anyone who missed the trend or needs a quick refresher, here’s an explainer on exactly what a French tuck is and how to wear one:

What is a French tuck?


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A French tuck is a fancy way of describing what it looks like when you only half-tuck in your shirt. But, deliberately.

According to Tan, fixing yourself a French tuck is the easiest way to:

a) Fake the effortlessly chic air of a Parisian.

b) Balance your proportions and look taller and leaner (thanks to drawing in your waist).

c) Feel ‘pulled together’ and zhoosh your outfit.

How to do a French tuck shirt.

Normally when people say things are ‘simple’, it’s just condescending. But honestly, guys, styling a French tuck is simple.

As in, two steps simple.

  1. Choose your French tuck outfit.
  2. Tuck in your shirt.

Here’s exactly how one does that.

1. Choose your French tuck outfit.

There are two things you need for a French tuck outfit:

  • A shirt long enough to tuck in – this could be a t-shirt, jumper, blouse, singlet, whatever you like!
  • Bottoms of some description i.e. pants or a skirt (please note this is compulsory).

High-waisted skirts, jeans, pants or culottes make for a flattering silhouette when paired with a  tucked in top as the French tuck part draws the eye to your waist, or creates the ullusion of  waist.


You can see some example below of a French tuck worn with a loose jumper and  high-waisted skirt.

Behold, french tuck out in the wild. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

2. Tuck your top in.

To do a French tuck, all you need to do is tuck the front-middle part of your top/shirt/jumper into the front of your pants/jeans/skirt, leaving the back hanging out.

The idea is to tuck just the very bottom of the shirt in to allow the material to fold over at a more flattering length.

Rather than tucking your top in all the way around (which is very hard to do without it looking bulgy), the French tuck only requires the front bit to be tucked in for a relaxed but put together finish.

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A side-by-side of no tuck versus a French tuck. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

The more you practice your French tuck, the easier it will be to find the perfect amount of tuck for the shirt, but also your own shape.

For example, if you have a straight-up-and-down shape, a dramatic French tuck can create the illusion of a waist, whereas a more draped French tuck is great if you want coverage over your tummy area, without wearing the shirt completely out.

Here are some real-life examples from some Mamamia staffers (some of whom wished to remain anonymous, despite looking fantastic with their French tucks).

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And this is my friend Jess, she loves a French tuck too.
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This French tuck is a little bit shy.
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As is this one, bless them. Images: Supplied.

Ways to wear a French tuck.

The best thing about the French tuck is you can do it with almost anything.

Although I had a heated exchange with one of my colleagues about whether her black, high-necked top was 'tuckable', honest, you really can French tuck almost every kind of top.

To prove it, here are some ways to wear the French tuck thanks to various fashuuun weeks around the world:

  1. A loose T-shirt tucked into a high waisted midi skirt.
  2. A crisp shirt tucked into fitted jeans.
  3. An oversized knit tucked into a pant or skirt to create shape at the waist.
  4. A floaty or straight cut blouse tucked in to soften the hemline or highlight waist detailing on your pants/belt.
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Images: Getty.

Now, go forth into the world with your French tuck looking fabulous and chic.

Have you been doing the French tuck for ages? What's your favourite style tip right now? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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