In or out? When it comes to tucking in button-down and polo shirts, the quick answer is… it depends. So to make the decision easier on you, I’m breaking down the whens, whys, and hows of this day-to-day debate.

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The Button-Down
If a button-down hangs below your hips, Esquire says that tucking the shirt in is a must. Guys, it just looks sharper. Whether you’re wearing it with dark jeans, corduroys, khakis, or dress pants – always, always keep the button-down tucked if you’re in dress pants – make sure to use a belt and tuck the shirt in nice and tight. The last thing you want is an anything-but-modern blousy tuck. If you’re wearing a jacket over a button-down, take GQ‘s advice and keep your shirt tucked in.

For a more casual look, go ahead and keep that button-down untucked – but make sure your proportions are clean. The shirt should hit above your hips, and take care to avoid pants that are too roomy. This look can easily sway toward sloppy.

If you’re adventurous, try the half-tuck. Tuck in half of your shirt, letting the other section fall over to the side of your belt buckle. The front-tuck, with both sections tucked behind the belt buckle (as seen on The Sartorialist), is another variation. This look falls into more casual territory, but it also has a bit of debonair flair (see David Beckham rock it) and shows that you’re comfortable experimenting. Proceed with caution, though, and trust your gut – the partial tuck can easily go wrong.

The Polo
The polo is inherently more casual, so the general rule is to leave it untucked, but there are a few exceptions. Esquire‘s below-the-hip rule also applies here, so if your polo is on the long side, tuck it in. On the golf course, always go with a nice, clean tuck and be sure to wear a belt – your look should be as sharp as your game. Likewise, if you’re working a polo on casual Friday, tuck it in to maintain a more professional vibe.

Looking to push some style boundaries? You can also attempt the front-tuck with a polo, but again, proceed with caution. I would only recommend it with a looser shirt and belted pair of well-fitting jeans. If you’re not feeling 100% confident (and totally nonchalant) about it, this front-tuck is best left alone.

Pick out some shirts and try a new tuck. Our Rue Men’s page is always open.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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May 1, 2013

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When it comes to men’s fashion, there are a few things that remain timeless: bow ties (yes, there will always be someone awesome rocking one), dapper loafers, and polo shirts, to name three. But what is it about the polo in particular that seems to translate to all types of style? From athletes to punk rockers to Nantucket-bound prepsters, you can find them all rocking this casually comfy staple, and here’s why:

1. The Collar: Whether popped or laying classically flat, this is possibly the most important part of the polo’s anatomy. Ever since the dawn of time (a little dramatic, but close enough), it’s been debated whether or not this staple should be popped or not – Esquire investigates.

2. Casual yet Dressy: It’s almost as if casual Friday was invented with polos in mind. For those occasions where you’re unsure of the dress code, for first dates, for meeting the parents, for a night out with the guys… the list goes on. And don’t get me started on the layering abilities.

3. Versatility: These toppers can be worn paired with just about any bottom. From jeans to khakis (even shorts can be coupled in here), there’s no limit to your pairing options. As for suit pants? Stick with a buttoned-up number.

4. Golf: As long as business meetings, resorts, and movies like Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore are around, so will this beloved game and its not-so-secret uniform. Most country club dress codes even require you to wear a polo in order to play a round.

5. History: Originating from the sport of polo in the 18oos (only with long sleeves), the polo shirt didn’t take off in the fashion industry until 1926 when Rene Lacoste first donned a short-sleeved version at the U.S. Open Championship.

Refresh your collection in our Tailorbyrd Boutique opening Saturday, January 19, at 11AM ET.

By Abigail Kuzia, Editor

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

January 19, 2013