The least fun thing about fashion faux pas is how confusing and divisive they are. Some people might say it’s fine, while others say it’s not. The question is, should you ever tuck your tie into your shirt?
In general, the tie should not be tucked into the shirt as it looks awkward and suggests to people that you don’t know how to tie one. Exceptions would include temporarily tucking it in to prevent a hazard or getting it stained.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it.
After going through the main reasons why it’s usually not a good idea, I’ll give you some alternative solutions you can try as well.
Then, I’ll go through the exceptions where it may be OK to do. Exceptions are always worth being aware of.
Let’s get to it.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Tuck Your Tie Into Your Shirt
These are the main reasons why you should avoid it. Consider all of them before making your decision.
1. It Suggests To People That You Can’t Tie A Tie
These are the main reasons people feel tempted to tuck their tie into their shirt:
- The back tail dangles longer than the front
- The tie won’t stay in place
There are solutions to both of these problems, as you’ll see in the “alternatives” section lower down.
One of the simplest solutions to the back tail (i.e back blade) dangling too long is to tie a thicker knot.
We’ll go through this in more detail later on.
But the point here is that tucking the tie into the shirt will always be seen as taking the easy way out.
It suggests to people around you that you don’t know or simply couldn’t be bothered to tie your tie properly and have resorted to tucking it into your shirt.
It’s not a great look.
2. It Makes The Shirt Look Bulky
Tucking the tie into your shirt will make the shirt bulge as the tie bunches up underneath it.
This ruins the silhouette of your outfit, especially from a side-profile.
While the difference may be subtle, it’ll be easily noticeable even if you were to wear a sweater over it.
It’s possible to minimize the bulkiness and puffiness that tie-tucking usually leads to by keeping it as straight as possible behind the shirt.
But you’ll usually find the tie bunches up as the day progresses in any case, no matter how hard you might try.
3. It Becomes The Focus Of Your Outfit
This is arguably the most important reason why it shouldn’t be done.
Tucking a necktie into a shirt just isn’t a very common look. It’s definitely not something you see everyday as it’s pretty widely regarded as a fashion faux pas.
Doing it is actually quite attention-grabbing for this reason alone, but it’s not the type of attention you actually want.
No matter how dapper the rest of your outfit or suit might look, the tucked necktie will quickly become the focus.
The tie is such an important aspect of an outfit because it’s front-and-center.
It may be a small and narrow item in the grand scheme of things, but it’s so central that it becomes important to get it right.
It’s almost like a centerpiece and should be seen as an opportunity to add balance and even splashes of color to your outfit.
Tucking the tie in becomes a problem because you’re essentially messing with a centerpiece of your outfit.
This is very hard to ignore, even for people around you who aren’t necessarily style-conscious.
Alternatives To Tucking Your Tie Into Your Shirt
We’ve established that the main reasons people tuck their tie into their shirt are to prevent the back blade from dangling and to keep the tie in place.
The good news is that there are solutions to both of those problems that look a lot more stylish than a tie tuck.
Use A Tie Bar
A tie bar will solve the problem of your tie flapping all over the place. It’ll keep it nicely secured to your shirt placket.
What’s great about it is that it looks way more stylish than tucking the tie into the shirt.
While it performs exactly the same function, it’s a legitimate style accessory and not just a lazy solution.
Here’s an example of a tie bar on Amazon. They really don’t have to be expensive.
Try A Windsor Knot
The tail of the back blade dangling longer than the front is a problem most people face at some point or another.
It can be extremely frustrating.
This solution won’t be everyone’s favorite because it does involve learning how to tie a different knot.
But a common reason for having trouble getting the back blade short enough is the knot type.
It’s pretty likely that the tie is simply too long to get away with a simple “four-in-hand” tie knot that most people go for.
The Windsor knot is common, but does require a bit of practice to get right. There are plenty of tutorials on how to tie one online so I won’t go into too much detail.
But it produces a wider and thicker knot than a single (four-in-hand) knot would.
The point here is that a simple change in the type of knot you’re tying will most likely solve the problem of the tail dangling and prevent you from having to tuck the tie in.
Wear A Waistcoat
A waistcoat will make most suits look a notch more formal and this isn’t necessarily a good thing.
It really depends on what you’re dressing for. While it may be fine for more formal social settings, it would probably be too much for a lot of work settings.
If you feel as though it would be acceptable and not too eccentric to wear a waistcoat to wherever you may be dressing for, strongly consider it.
The waistcoat will perform the function your tie-tuck used to by keeping the tie in place. It should also prevent a dangling tail from being visible as well.
2 Exceptions Where Tucking A Tie Into A Shirt Is OK
As with most principles of men’s style, there are exceptions where tucking a tie into a shirt would actually be OK.
These exceptions are definitely focused on function and safety over style.
To Prevent It Getting Stuck
If you’re doing anything where there’s a chance your tie may get stuck in some form of machinery or other hazard, definitely tuck it into your shirt if you aren’t willing to remove it completely.
Ties can be a real hazard when they’re dangling around hazards and it’s simply not worth the risk.
Removing the tie completely would always be safer.
If you’re keeping it on, make sure it’s securely tucked into your shirt with no risk of it coming out over time.
To Prevent It Getting Stained
Getting your tie stained could be a problem if you’re doing some manual work or you’re eating something messy.
Having your tie dangle and dip into tomato soup is never a good feeling, especially if you’ve got to face your colleagues in a meeting later that afternoon.
A tie bar would be a more stylish solution to this problem, but tucking your tie into your shirt could be a temporary solution.
It’s important to remember to untuck your tie before you go back out and face the rest of your day.
It’s actually pretty easy to forget something simple like that.
There you have it. Hopefully, everything you needed to know in order to make the decision for yourself.
Overall, tucking a tie into a shirt won’t ever look stylish. However, there are certain functional benefits where it would be OK temporarily.