My late husband didn’t like wearing sport coats. Even if we were going out to dinner at a sort-of fancy restaurant, he would wear a polo shirt (he looked good in polo shirts) and say, “I want to be comfortable.”
Lots of folks these days want to be comfortable. Some ladies (like myself) are comfortable only if their hips are somehow out of sight under long shirts, long vests or long jackets. Big men like shirts that drift over their expanding roundness with polo shirts, fancy sport shirts with straight hems or jackets. And then there are men who opt for the sloppy look–untucked shirts with tails and the tails are hanging out. I am against men’s untucked shirt tails. Would Cary Grant wear a shirt with an untucked shirt tail? Cary never had a hair out of place either.
On Google, I found a vintage New York Times story titled: “2004: How Untucked Shirts Became a Male Uniform.” The article notes that the once-sloppy look had gone mainstream, even with Hollywood types such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Orlando Bloom and Spike Jonze. I had just retired in 2004 but I remember what happened at my company, too. Comfort had come to the corporation and we instituted “casual Fridays.” Most of the men I knew at work exchanged suit coats for polo shirts on Fridays. But it seems that as the years wore on Friday became every day of the week and for some men the sloppy look returned.
Men are wonderful (in my view) and though I like men who, when it comes to neatness, give Cary Grant a run for his money and wear sport shirts with strait hems or polo shirts, I cringe when men wear dress shirts with shirt tails, and those tails are not tucked in. My father, as I remember, wore a long sleeve dress shirt every day of his life (when he wasn’t fishing). I never saw his shirt tails “out.” One of my brothers, once the subject of school yard bullying, learned to tuck in his t-shirt to avoid having it lifted from the bottom over his face by the trouble-makers. A tucked-in t-shirt? Problem solved.
To this child of the 1950s, untucked shirt tails look as if a gent had just overslept and grabbed the nearest well-worn shirt lying nearby on a chair or on the floor. Or at the least, an untucked shirt tail says “I don’t care.” Yes, the view would have been enhanced had an untucked shirt been neatly pressed, but even better yet, the pressed shirt should be tucked in.
I even recently saw a TV show with host Jamie Foxx wearing an untucked shirt. HIS shirt was obviously expensive, but I yelled at the TV: “Tuck your shirt in!”
Is there a solution? A firm called “UNTUCKit” was founded in 2011 and now has some 73 locations. UNTUCKit shirts are a bit shorter than regular dress shirts and they look “almost” as if a shirt is tucked in, but isn’t. They have styles for women, too. If a gentleman does not want to tuck in a dress shirt, but still wants to look with it, UNTUCKit might be an option. (The models for UNTUCKit shirts are all young, handsome and look great.)
Message to men: Untucked shirt tails are not sexy.
Yes, my gentleman friend is a world-class tucker-inner.