The French Tuck
Tuesday April 16, 2019

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Tan France of Queer Eye fame, the show’s sartorial guide for each of the individuals spotlighted and made over per episode, has brought to the world’s attention the French Tuck. No joke, while you may have been incorporating this simple front tuck as I have for decades, especially in the late eighties and nineties, with the premiere of the second season last year (the third season premiered earlier this spring on Netflix), Google searches for the term soared.

Admittedly, I haven’t “tucked” French-style in a while, so I was appreciative to Tan for reminding me about this simple styling trick. And I will confess, I will be welcoming this idea back with gratitude.

So, what is the trick? What does simply tucking a small part of the front of your shirt do for your style quotient?

“It’s going to balance your proportions and help you look taller and leaner.”

—Tan France, in an episode of Queer Eye

The creation of a taller, slimmer silhouette, spruces up a look without much effort. Vogue Paris‘ Editor-in-Chief Emmanuelle Alt (seen above) has been French tucking for years, well before she became the magazine’s editor in 2011 (note, the many images of her in this post). And according to Mr. Porter, Alt is one of the individuals who inspired the styling tip’s name, you know, being French and all. 😉 While others attribute it to Tan France, thus the “French” tuck (Tan is a British fashion designer by profession). Wherever the name orginated, while it has been a practice by some for decades, with all of the street style photography shared on the web and social media in the past eight years or so, Alt quite regularly is seen with the tail of her shirts untucked and a brief bit of the front tucked into her denim jeans seemingly effortlessly, but Tan has been French tucking for 15 years. Whoever inspired the name, the style trick is certainly a keeper.

 “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.”

Mr. Porter

As someone who is tall, I appreciate this trend immensely. It has been my experience that many button-up shirts simply come untucked in the back or the sides without my intention due to movement, and well, life. Sweaters too can be French tucked, as seen in some of the images in today’s post, and if you watch Madam Secretary, Téa Leoni’s character regularly tucks in the front of her silk blouse and leaves the back out which is covered by her jackets for professional meetings, then looks far more comfortable when she is working with her staff, sans jacket.

Part of the reason I am drawn to this trend is its comfort, yet also its ability to create a flattering silhouette. Tucking my shirt in the entire way around my waist with skinny or slim jeans tends to chop the body in half, but leaving it all untucked looks rather unkempt. Finding the middle ground enables one’s waist to be shown, revealing a svelte physique, thereby elongating the figure as well.

With the Duchess of Sussex, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, yes, even British Prime Minister Teresa May and now Oprah Winfrey on board, the French Tuck has arrived. Thank you Tan!

10 thoughts on “The French Tuck

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I never knew this was called a French tuck (although as you point out, the name seems to have come long after the tuck itself), but I do know that it is an exceptionally flattering way to wear shirts and sweaters. It gives a polished-yet-slouchy-cool look that is often so much better than either fully tucked or untucked.

  2. I’ve never felt that tying a knot with the ends of my shirt achieved the effect I was going for. I’ll make an effort to try the french tuck! Great photos, and love Tan.

  3. I didn’t realize this was a thing with a name! I’ve been doing it for years with all my tops (sweaters included) and never knew I was actually doing something cool — I’ll have to brag to my teenage kids that I’m on top of a trend for once 🙂

  4. Love the French Tuck – thank you. I am petite and it is a perfect way to deal with tops that are too long and to get body proportions right PLUS a great way to case the perfect belt.
    Love TSLL – good basic common sense ideas delivered with style.

  5. A great way to change your silhouette. I’ve been doing this for ages with my long shirts without knowing it . Who would have thought it would would be given a name?

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