If you’ve ever owned a button-up, then from time to time, you’ve likely stood frazzled in front of a mirror, unsure of exactly what to do with those pesky tails hanging at the bottom of the shirt even when all the buttons are buttoned. Rare is the occasion when you’d want to let them hang free—in most instances, you’ll want to tuck the ends in, or tie them up. But when is which option best?
In order to inspire you to wear your button-ups in only the most stylish of ways, we’ve come up with this handy guide for when to tuck them in and when to tie them up. Feel free to bookmark this page whenever you’re unsure what to do—you won’t regret it.
Keep scrolling for our guide to figuring out when to tuck and when to tie your shirts!
When you’re wearing a pair of low-rise skinny jeans and it’s not summer, you should tuck. Even if it is summer and you have the flattest tummy since Britney Spears circa 2001, you should probably be tucking.
When you’re wearing a slightly oversized button-up that may or may not belong to your boyfriend, you should tuck.
When you’re wearing a high-waisted skirt or pair of trousers, and you’re going for a sleek look rather than a bohemian one, you should tuck.
When you’re wearing a pair of denim cutoff shorts and want to achieve that slightly undone look, you should tuck, but only one-half of the shirt tails.
If you’ve paired a set of low-rise pants with a skinny belt and loafers, you should tuck.
If you’re tossing a blazer over your shoulders fashion editor-style, you definitely need to tuck.
By Malene Birger Francas Oversized Button Down ($265)
Clover Canyon Floral Embroidery Pajama Top ($330)
J. Crew Collection Jeweled Paillette Boy Shirt ($200)
Maison Kitsune Classic Jagg Stripes Shirt ($235)
Mason by Michelle Mason Lace-Paneled Silk Crepe de Chine Blouse ($435)
MICHAEL Michael Kors Fringed Pussy-Bow Silk Blouse ($225)
J. Crew Collection Clip-Dot Verdant Floral Blouse ($228)
Madewell Flannel Oversized Button-Down Shirt in Heather Cloud ($88)
If you’re wearing a button-up over a dress, you should tie.
If you’re pairing a button-up with a pair of high-waisted black skinnies, and you’re going for more of a retro vibe, you should tie.
If you want the undone look but don’t want to tuck, you should tie the shirt, but keep the knot low on your hips rather than bringing it up to your waist.
If you want to wear a button-up but aren’t particularly keen on wearing it like a normal shirt, you should simply tie it around your waist.
If you’re pairing a crisp white button-up with a black jumpsuit, you should tie.
If you’re all about the resurgence of that ‘90s grunge vibe, you should most definitely tie.
Frame Denim Le Boyfriend Chambray Shirt ($180)
Forever 21 Southwestern Print Button-Down ($18)
Maison Scotch Star Studded Button Down Shirt ($189)
Marc Jacobs Ruffled Silk Crepe de Chine Blouse ($595)
RED Valentino Organza-Paneled Point D'esprit Blouse ($595)