Do You Tuck Your Undershirts Into Your Underwear? Robert Downey Jr. Does.

A while back there was an article written on Gather.com about a undershirt/underwear wardrobe “malfunction” Robert Downey Jr. had on the red carpet during the premier of his new Sherlock Holmes movie in Rome.

According to a report from TooFab, the Sherlock Holmes star walked a red carpet in Rome to promote the film, and shared with everyone the fact that he was wearing Calvin Klein underwear.

It seems that Downey, Jr. had somehow inadvertently managed to tuck his shirt inside his undies.

He wasn’t wearing a belt, so the waist of his pants likely fell an inch or so.

When that happened it put the red waist band of his Calvin Klein underwear in full view of all the people an cameras present at the event.

Robert Downey, Jr. was at least smart enough to have coordinated his undies with the red striped tie and hankie he had tucked into his pocket.

In fact, he even sported red shoelaces for the event as well.

So this article got me thinking about the subject matter a little.

I hate to admit it, there are times that I actually do tuck my undershirt into my underwear.

Do you tuck your undershirt into your underwear?
Do you tuck your undershirt into your underwear?

Why Tuck Your Undershirt Into Your Underwear? Two Common Issues

If you tuck your undershirt into your underwear, you most likely want to address two common issues:

  1. Keep the undershirt from coming untucked
  2. Minimize the amount of bunching around the waist line

There are two companies that have been pioneers in marketing their stay-tucked undershirts: RibbedTee & Tommy John. 

But many other companies have followed suit over the years to offer longer tailored/tapered undershirts. You can see a list of brands offering longer undershirts here.

Some of these longer undershirts are either way too long, or cut too wide. In any case, longer does not necessarily mean better. If the undershirt is fitted, but too long, there will be just too much fabric to deal with when tucking your undershirt into your pants.

Maybe it’ll be tough to get past the undershirt when you have to “relieve” yourself or you might get some undershirt bunching near the crotch area of your pants.

Regardless, it just looks plain silly too.

If you cut the undershirt too wide and too long, you’ll have the above issues. But you’ll also have a lot of bunching and gathering not only at the waist line, but underneath your pants too.

Don’t know about you, but unless you’re wearing pants that are too big for you, having a bunch of extra fabric under your pants is not only uncomfortable, it’s unsightly.

Plus, this will make your pants fit tighter around the waistline too.

One option is to find a fitted, not too long undershirt that’ll stay tucked. Finding a “Not too long” fitted undershirt will also depend on your torso length (not just your height).

At an average height/weight, the ideal fitted undershirt length for me is around 28.5″ – 30″ long after washing.

Tucking Your Undershirt Into Your Underwear

The other obvious option is to tuck your undershirt into your underwear to keep it tucked.

In most most cases, I’ve found this method to be more effective in keeping my undershirt tucked, but it does have drawbacks that most of the time outweigh the tucking benefit.

Drawbacks include:

Too Long

If the undershirt is too long, the bunching effect at the bottom of the undershirt is compounded

Too Wide

If the undershirt is too wide, you’ll get a good amount of gathering underneath your underwear. This can be further compounded if the undershirt is too long

Wearing Underwear Briefs

If you wear briefs, you have less tucking area

Contact with your Manhood

When you tuck your undershirt into your underwear, the front of the undershirt comes into contact with, ahem, your frontal private parts.

This can become unsanitary, mostly after “relieving” yourself. (I hope I don’t have to explain further)

Contact with your Butt Crack

Same principle for the back side of the undershirt as in the above. Nuff said.

You’re Exposed!

Lastly, as what happened to Robert Downy Jr., it’s a lot easier to expose the fact that your undershirt is tucked into your underwear. For some, it could be an embarrassing moment

What About A Shorter Undershirt?

Ideally, if you want to tuck your undershirt into your underwear, you’d likely be better off with a shorter undershirt.

Scott Speedman. T-shirt Tucked into underwear.
Scott Speedman. T-shirt Tucked into underwear. (Photo Credit: Denimology.com)

It wouldn’t have to be fitted, of course. But you wouldn’t want it too boxy, either.

In thinking about the proper length for the tucking-undershirt-into-underwear approach, I think you only need about 2.5″ – 3″ of undershirt length past your underwear waist band.

Long enough to accommodate for regular movement, but short enough not to come in contact with any lower extremities.

Are There Other Options Available?

Well, there’s a handful I can think of, but I wouldn’t go on record officially recommending these:

Shirt Stays

Use Shirt Stays on your undershirt.

For more information about Shirt Stays, please see this comprehensive article that covers all-things Shirt Stays.

Secure Your Undershirt to your Underwear

Try securing your undershirt to your underwear with double-sided clothing adhesive strips like:

  • the Quick Fix Strips (was solutionsthatstick.com) from Solutions that Stick ($7.95 for 32 strips)
  • Hollywood Fashion Tape
  • Pure Style Girlfriends Stay Put Fashion Tape
  • Fashion Forms Double-sided tape
  • Commando Matchsticks, or
  • Commando Matchtips (dots)

Add Elastic

Sew elastic into the bottom hem of your undershirt

Hack Your Undershirt

Make an undershirt like the one from this inventor that keeps your pants up and your undershirt tucked

Tuck Your Undershirt – In Or Out Of Your Underwear?

The short answer is that they are both valid and legitimate ways of keeping your undershirt tucked.

Socially speaking, I think that tucking your undershirt into your underwear is perceived as less acceptable than not.

However, if you’re a stylish bloke like Robert Downey who color matches his underwear with his outfit, it might not be that bad.

The key though is to figure out exactly which method YOU prefer, and then track down an undershirt with the proper fit and length to accommodate that method and your particular physique.

What say you? Comment below.

46 thoughts on “Do You Tuck Your Undershirts Into Your Underwear? Robert Downey Jr. Does.”

  1. I always tuck my A-shirt into my briefs and wear it all as one piece like in old briefs ads. There is no better feeling and stays tucked all day. I’m a thinner guy and wear large briefs with a medium top. It is comfortable for me, who cares what anyone else says?

    Reply
  2. I’m a regular ‘tucker’, shirts and t shirts, and have been since school days when it was quite common. Sadly not so now but I find it keeps everything neat and i actually quite like to see a glimpse of waistband showing

    Reply
  3. I am 41 and I always tuck my shirts into my underwear and I always have my underwear showing as much as possible wherever I go and my underwear is quite noticeable when they are showing and when I bend over, they are even more noticeable. When someone tells me that my underwear is showing, I get so happy and I just tell them that is the way I dress and I will continue to dress this way for life. Happy shirt tucking into underwear!!

    Reply
  4. I have tucked my dress shirts in my briefs all the time because I like dress shirts since I was 12 now 35. It’s the way my uncle and brother in law tuck their shirts as well. It’s true that my waistband may show at times but nobody cares if it does. I have seen more males wearing their shirts the sameway everywhere. So, I’m already used to wear my shirts tucked in my underwear.

    Reply
  5. Just saw there is ppl who tug their shirt into their underwear and when he bent down or sitting you can see waistband obviously. Feel weird when first time look at it but it’s not really bad idea to make sure your shirt always tug in. The guy doesn’t even care underwear shown in public.

    Reply
  6. I can’t believe I actually just read, “…Try securing your undershirt to your underwear with double-sided clothing adhesive strips…”

    WTF people? Just tuck in your shirt. If you have this much of a problem with your shirt, and are so concerned about how your undershirt looks- then you don’t realize that you actually don’t have enough real problems.

    I’m embarrassed to have read an article with this much details on how to manage undergarments. Please- do yourself a favor. Do what I’m going to do. Close this website immediately, turn off your computer/phone, go get a beer.

    Reply
  7. I also tuck my shirts into my underwear every day.

    I have been doing this since I got out of high school.

    My underwear is always showing above my pants and my underwear will always be showing with my shirts tucked inside them.

    Reply
  8. So my question relates to undershirts that are actually under my business dress shirts. I tuck them into my underwear to prevent them from riding up in between my dress shirts and pants. I heard the guys busting Ronnie the limo driver today on a Howard Stern show replay for doing just that and it got me wondering. Is there another way to prevent this unfortunate condition?

    Reply
  9. To tuck or not to tuck

    Dear tug,
    This is entirely a matter of personal taste and also depends on one’s sensitivity (or insensitivity) to the various fashion trends. However, tucking one’s T-shirt or undershirt into one’s trousers (or underpants) does offer certain advantages.

    In cold weather, it may provide somewhat more protection, since it prevents the occurrence of ‘air gaps’ between the shirt and pants. I have always found this option quite comfortable, too. Furthermore, some people think that this alternative looks tidier, and I respect their opinion.

    I myself have always tucked them in, essentially as a matter of habit, and probably because my father, uncles, and older cousins did so, too. However, correct fit is an absolute prerequisite. As already commented in previous contributions (please see there), the T-shirts and undershirts should not be too long or too wide, since this can cause bunching and gathering at the waist, as well as obvious hygienic problems.

    On the other hand, if they are too short, they will not stay tucked in for very long. I have seldom had any difficulties with visible ‘rising up’ of underpants; one must simply pay attention when dressing up.
    Sincerely, ken

    Reply
    • totally agree ken — this is personal preference.

      my current rule of thumb is:
      1. dailywear undershirts are not tucked into underwear
      2. shapewear/compression undershirts are tucked into underwear

      that’s just how i do it.

      Reply
    • We have a young guy moved in alongside us with his girlfriend and he tucks.

      From the clothes on the line he wears white trunks and garish boxers.

      His waistband always on show by a couple of inches and when they work in the garden together he is often showing even higher.

      They appear a perfectly normal couple and have no problem with his tucking. I have tucked since senior school when I saw my friends tucking.

      It made sense to me and I have tucked ever since.

      Know my Jockeys often show a couple of inches – so what.

      Reply
      • heya peter — i personally don’t know what a “perfectly normal” couple looks like, but i agree with you — so what, who cares what other people think (:

      • I am currently watching the Olympic Tennis Final, and Andy Murray’s underpants are longer than his shorts, so why do folk criticise when mine show above my jeans?

      • yo coolguy, don’t you worry about what other people say.

        if you don’t care that your underwear show above your jeans, then more power to ya buddy.

        regarding andy murry’s underpants — they are likely compression underwear, and many brands of compression underwear are made longer in legs to keep the quad muscles warm for performance reasons.

        i’ve seen guys wear full compression leggings under their shorts, as well as those like you saw on andy murray.

        in general, i think society accepts that look in a sports-related scenario, moreso than that of a daily-wear one.

        just seems a bit more purposeful than having the tops of your underpants showing.

      • Hi Peter,

        The same story here. We have a young couple next door and he is a tucker. Has a great variety of underpants which are always showing over his trouser waistband. His girlfriend seems to have no problem with it. Mostly seems to wear white trunks but recently brighter colours have appeared. Sadly a For Sale sign has gone up so chatting with my neighbour, the pair of us with exposed waistbands are limited.

        Like you, I have always tucked and I have never been shunned for a couple of inches of waistband showing.

      • Same here. Shirt gets tucked into my underwear and always have at least 2 inches of my underwear showing which I have no problem with it at all and like so well, too. I will continue to tuck my shirts inside my undies and have my undies showing every day.

      • I tuck my dress shirts all the time inside my briefs. My waistband keeps my shirt flat and tucked in all day.

      • I also tuck my dress shirts into my underwear at all times. My underwear is always showing about 2 inches or more which is a great way to show off your undies which I like to do

  10. I always tuck my shirt in my underwear. Me, currently being 18, have always done this. I wear white briefs, so I play around with the chance of getting an atomic wedgie here and there. I’ve gotten on record 104 wedgies, yet I still tuck my shirt in that way. COMMITMENT!!!

    Reply
    • So, white briefs, and shirts tucked into them, right?

      I have a question: where did this habit come from? Does your father tuck his shirts, outer and/or under, into HIS (I’m assuming) white briefs? Or did you come across the benefits on your own? Would you ever tuck into, say, boxer shorts or boxer-briefs? What kind of undershirts do you wear/tuck, and were THOSE influenced by male family members?

      Reply
  11. Response to ‘drawbacks 1 to 6 when undershirts and T-shirts are tucked in’:
    Dear tug:
    The problems of bunching or gathering depicted under items 1 and 2, as well as the hygienic problems described under items 4 and 5, can be best avoided by ensuring from the start that one’s T-shirts and undershirts fit properly. They should never be too long or too loose. This requirement must always be considered before buying, especially if one tucks the shirts in, as I have always done. In a previous comment, for instance, I pointed out that my T-shirts are all ‘thin and tight’, simply because they must fit correctly. In fact, I think that a T-shirt which is a little bit too tight is better than one which is too loose. Of course, I am thinking especially of those horrible, baggy, oversized, ‘XXXL’ T-shirts which occasionally have become fashionable for reasons unknown to me. I myself am rather small and must therefore do some searching before buying T-shirts and tank undershirts, since the small ‘S’ size is usually more difficult to obtain, at least in my area. In the past, whenever I managed to find some that fit me really well, I bought an entire stack for ensuring a sufficient supply in the future, too. This has always proved to be a good investment, since I have always purchased durable, high-quality T-shirts. The situation is somewhat less acute in the case of rib-knit tank undershirts, since these seem to be more readily available in small sizes, and the rib knit is inherently elastic anyway.
    Sincerely, ken

    Reply
  12. Can’t see a problem with my shirt tucked inside my boxerbriefs. My waist stays tidy, access to my privates and necessary adjustments are easier. I have always dressed this way since childhood (now 26), and have never really been subject to negative comments as I try to match my underpants colour to either my shirt or kecks so if they ride above, they are not that noticeable.

    Reply
  13. I’ve tucked my shirt in my underpants since my teens when I realised most of my friends did. My underpants sometimes ride over my trousers but why should that matter. I mostly wear white boxers – they tend to rise at the back more than the front.

    Reply
    • As a child (now 23), my parents and grandparents always taught me to tuck my vest and my shirt into my underpants, and it was certainly the normal way to dress amongst my mates. Nobody bothered if the elastic rose above my school flannels or my jeans, although I did get some comments when I went to Uni. As a result, I did some research, and found that until the second world war, mens underpants did not have elastic waistbands, and so they had to be kept up by their braces, so it was essential to tuck the shirt into the underpants to achieve this.

      I have never been bothered if my underwear is accidentally showing, as anyone can see it on my washing line, so no big deal.The double tuck, as I call it, just means I can make all necessary adjustments without undressing throughout the day. Great!!

      Reply
      • I should add it was not only my mates who tucked but so my father and my mates fathers. At that time it was the way most guys dressed themselves. It was in the mid 1960’s that many men started not t

      • Same here. I also tuck my shirts inside my underwear with my underwear showing.

        Nobody has said anything about my underwear showing so there is nothing wrong with that.

        This is the way I been dressing and I will to dress this way.

  14. I am 30 yrs old and have been tucking my shirt in my underpants since I was about 12. My white waistband always shows at the top and has done almost everyday since I was a teenager. I am not at all embarassed and just ignore negative comments of which I have had many.After all, underpants are merely an article of clothing. What’s the big deal?

    Reply
    • I am 19, and started tucking my shirt into my underpants at secondary school, as we got a detention if our shirt tails hung out, but not if our knickers were on show. Most of the guys in my class did the same, and I never considered it out of the ordinary.

      Now I am at Uni, and although my new house mates did find it strange at first, I have noticed that a couple of them have started to also tuck their shirts into their boxers. They admit it is tidier, and also warmer in our cold digs.

      My current gf has often commented on the colour and pattern of my underpants, but never that they are showing above my jeans.

      Reply
    • I am 39 and I began tucking my shirts inside my underwear after I got out of high school.

      I always have the waistband (or more) of my undies showing.

      There is nothing wrong with tucking your shirt into your underwear and having your undies showing.

      Reply
  15. Agree with James. The comfort and accessability of shirt tucked into my underpants is great, although you do need to make sure that they do not rise above your jeans.

    Reply
  16. Don’t see a problem with tucking either undershirt or shirt into underpants. Keeps everything neat and tidy, is easier to make appropriate adjustments during the day, and was the method used by all guys before 1945, as underpants did not have elastic waistbands, and needed braces to keep them up. I learned this from my Grandfather, and it really works. Try it.

    Reply
  17. I tried tucking into the underwear a number of years ago when frustrated at my undershirt coming untucked.

    It stayed tucked, but was horribly uncomfortable, so I quickly went back to the tradition tuck.

    Reply

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