Doing the half-tuck (how to wear your shirt)

How to wear your shirt with a half tuck / jones design company

My friend Julie and I have a joke: every time she texts me with a question, the answer appears on the blog a few days later. So either she asks questions that I’m totally thinking about at the same time OR her question spurs on a blog post topic (hint: it’s probably the latter).

A few days ago she texted me with a fashion question:

I have seen you with your shirt tucked a bit in the front, sometimes to the side. When I try it, I just look silly! It’s either too much tuck, too little, maybe to the left or right. Advice?

Of course I answered her over text, but I thought I’d answer here, too. It’s a great question and while there is no ‘right’ way to do it, the half-tuck is a good little trick for wearing oversized shirts in a more polished, flattering way.

The key to a good half-tuck is to make it look effortless and a bit haphazard by only tucking in a small portion of the front. I like to tuck in the side rather than the middle, but that’s up to you. You can wear a belt, or not – again, up to you. By tucking in just a bit of your shirt, it allows your waist line to be seen, keeps loose-fitting tops from hanging on your figure and gives a nonchalant, casual feel.

One of my favorite fashion bloggers, Merrick from Merrick’s Art did a great photo tutorial showing how to do the half-tuck.


1. Pull your sweater tight and flat at the hem with your hands.
2. Barely tuck it in to the top of your jeans, making sure the fabric is completely flat, and the top only gets tucked about an inch under the waistband.
3. Blouse your top gently to make the top billowy and loose.

Again, you can choose to tuck straight in the middle, or off to the side a bit.

Here’s how the half-tuck looks on her with a longer blouse:


And a tshirt: shirt-half-tuck

(P.S. Merrick has really great legs)

So that, my friends, is the art of the half-tuck. Nothing super difficult or technical about it, just a quick grab-tuck-blouse technique to get that polished yet casual look.

21 Responses to Doing the half-tuck (how to wear your shirt)

  1. Lara June 30, 2018 at 6:59 am #

    OK, I really want to try this trend. I am visually impaired and don’t think that should ever be an excuse not to look good. What I cannot figure out is if you have a top with side slits, how do you make that look appropriate? Can anybody describe it? I can’t see the picture so I’m trying to do this based on what people are writing. Thank you so much I am only 5 feet tall and about 130 pounds. Should I even try it? My sister-in-law who is nice and tall and gorgeous thought that I should do it. She thought it would help define my waist since I am so very short. Am I on the wrong track? Should I abandon this? I have to say I am almost 50 so maybe I am too old?

  2. Marsha December 3, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    I am much older than you guys, and just don’t get this. I like the untucked versions on each and every shirt. I agree with all of your hubbies… it looks like you were in a hurry after going to the bathroom and just didn’t tuck in the back or just caught the front. It is a fad and will be gone in a flash… I hope it goes the away with the cold shoulder and shark bite!

  3. Shelley August 26, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    LOVE the half tuck. Laughing at Cams comment above. I had a top half tucked into shorts the other day and my husband came by and yanked it out. He said “Oh, I didn’t know you meant to that”. I guess guys don’t get the half tuck. ;) Great post Emily.

  4. TERRELL August 25, 2015 at 6:22 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this….I’m going to have to start trying it out! I also wanted to thank you for the Back to School Clip Art…..aaaaamazing as always!! Was wondering if you could maybe do some fun cactus clip art. Cactus seems to be the new “mustache trend” lol!! Have a terrific day!!

  5. Mariah August 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    This is such a great post! My friends always ask me this question!

  6. Maria August 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Thank you Emily!
    I was actually wondering about this half-tuck business =)
    I have also really enjoyed your #42 coffee chat, the podcast recommendations, and the tutorial on how you use your curling wand. Thanks!!!

    Would you like to share your favorite sunscreens? I burn really easily, and I found the perfect sunscreen for my face now, but I’m still keeping a lookout for something great for the rest of me.

  7. Kristin S August 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Like another said, this only works if you have no tummy. I’ve had friends say it’s the “mom tuck” and it covers their baby bellies but there’s no way! I haven’t had jeans flat against my stomach in 20 years. If I tucked, it would look like oozing above and below. Not cute.

    I do think this is a great look for thin women.

  8. Diane August 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    Umm, we are assuming most have flat stomachs. I’m 5’6″, weigh 114 lbs but have a definite permanent bulge due to several very large babies. When I try “the tuck” it calls attention to the “bulge”. So, ‘Sigh’ it doesn’t work on this body. But nice tutorial, nevertheless.

  9. Beth August 21, 2015 at 11:12 am #

    One tip everyone has left out of all these tutorials – make sure your pants fit properly! If they are *too snug* & you have a muffin top poking out over the top of your waist band, THIS FRONT TUCK WILL NOT WORK, no matter what.

  10. Krystal August 21, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    Love this look! Thanks for the post!

  11. Megan August 21, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Any other fashion blogs like Merrick’s that you follow or recommend?

    • emily August 24, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      I read a few – sounds like a great post idea :)


  12. Monica August 21, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    Great little tutorial. Such a simple idea makes a big difference in the look of an outfit. My only question is, what happened to her shoes in the “lift” picture? :).

  13. Monica August 21, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    Love this post! So good for entering into the Fall season with button down shirts and light weight sweaters. Such a flattering look to looked polished but not fussy.

  14. Acw August 21, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    I wish I had your physique. Anything and everything looks great on when you have a great body.

    • emily August 24, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Ah, thank you :)

  15. Jenny August 21, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    Great post – thank you! I’m in love with Merrick’s jeans. Any idea where these are from?

  16. Cams August 21, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    I do this with a few of my shirts and my husband thinks it looks like I was in a hurry after using the restroom. I like how it looks, but think it’s funny that he thinks that.

    • emily August 24, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      ha! It kinda does …

  17. chelsea August 21, 2015 at 6:42 am #

    Thanks for posting this. I just purchased the striped SheIn shirt from your summer outfit post and I wasn’t sure I could pull off the half-tuck. :)

    • emily August 24, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      I know – that one is pretty full and hard to figure out what to do with it!

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