The XX Factor

Guys, Tuck in Your Shirts!

Listen up, gents. Our women's editorial director has a public service announcement for you.

Okay, perhaps the lack of the tuck isn't the only thing wrong here...

Men, I’m about to share some of the best style advice you’ll ever hear, so pay attention. It was gleaned from my years spilling ink for a ladymag whose bread and butter is enlightening women on such topics as how to “dress your body” (an embarrassing-sounding endeavor that actually does more for your look than a master cleanse). Ready? Here goes:

Just tuck in your shirt, okay?

Yes, gents, it’s that easy — and free! — to become a better-dressed man, in less than 30 seconds. But I’m only on day 22 of my Insanity Workout, I can hear you thinking, and my abs aren’t ready to do their Ryan Gosling impression in public quite yet! Consider that all the more reason to hide those shirttails and invest in a decent belt. Seriously. You know what draws attention to the fact that you’re in less-than-fighting-shape? Draping your midsection in a broad swath of oxford cloth — the male equivalent of a muumuu.

Beer bellies aside, tucking in your shirt will instantly mark you as a man who gives a shit — about your wardrobe, about the impression you make, about standing out in a sea of square-toe-shoe-wearing hooligans at happy hour — and who doesn’t want that?

What about the half-tuck? Do not be tempted. The only thing women hate more than sloppiness is affectation. Instead, channel your energy toward the old-fashioned 360-degree tuck — a clean, simple, downright dapper way to look polished and put together without looking like you’re trying too hard. Not only will your old man respect you for it, but you’ll be adhering to one of the cardinal rules of menswear (at least according to this lass): Strive for something timeless, something that would look as good in 2013 as it would have in 1973, and you’ll never be wrong.

All this goes out the window, of course, for polo shirts. As my husband puts it, “tucking in your polo makes you look like a dickhead.”

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