Partially tucking tops into bottoms has been a mainstream styling option for at least three years, although it was a fringe trend a couple of years before that. J.Crew is partially to thank for this genius styling tool because their attractive catalogues have heavily featured the semi-tuck for years. Partial top tucking has become a world wide fashion phenomenon that most retailers have embraced, and there is no stopping the trend. 

There are variations on how to semi-tuck the front depending on your preference. Some like to partially tuck the centre front of the top and leave the sides and back hanging. Some like to partially tuck one side, and leave the rest untucked. And others prefer to faux tuck the front with a welted top

I am a huge fan of the partially tucked top for four reasons:

  1. It’s an excellent way to overcome belt phobia if you are self-conscious about defining your midsection and worried about exposing muffin top. Partially tucking a roomy top is an effective concealer.
  2. It adds structure to an outfit and lengthens the leg line, which in many cases takes it from unflattering to just flattering enough. The partial tuck goes hand in hand with fashionable roomy fit tops. 
  3. It dresses down an outfit and adds a sense of comfortable ease to your style, which is suited to our age of casualization. 
  4. It’s perfect for a fashionably “RATE” (rough around the edges) style persona. 

Over the years, I’ve been encouraging my clients, whether they are polished or RATE, to try partially tucking their tops. Most of them have embraced the look. I can’t tell you how happy my apple shaped clients are with this option, because it allows them to wear a belt without feeling self-conscious about their midsection.

My pear shaped and very curvy hourglass clients were a little more resistant to partial tucking because they tend to enjoy showcasing their waistlines with untucked tailored fits or fully tucking tops. But all they needed to do was wear looser bottoms, and wear their belts lower on the hip to create a more flattering silhouette with a roomy top. This strategy visually straightens the hip and thigh area, which evens out proportions. 

Some of my clients are not into partially tucking tops because they tend to feel a little silly with part of their shirt hanging out the back of their outfit. They are concerned that it doesn’t look or feel fashionably deliberate. In this case I suggest that it can be a question of getting used to the effect. You have to bite the bullet and road-test the look a few times to see whether it grows on you. 

Personally, I prefer to fully tuck a roomy shirt into looser bottoms because it’s better suited to my polished style persona and neat freak tendencies. Sometimes I do a subtle partial tuck with a roomy shirt — front and back tucked, with sides untucked — because it feels a little neater than leaving the back untucked. I also partially tuck one side of the front of a roomy silk tee, because to me that feels more natural than partially tucking the centre front. And last, I am a huge fan of faux tucking welted pullovers and upscale sweatshirts and wear them that way most of the time. 

Over to you. Have you embraced partially tucking tops into bottoms? If so, what’s your favourite way of semi-tucking? Or do you still feel a little odd leaving part of your top untucked.

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