Untucking vs tucking in for short-torso small men


I am 19 and only about 5’7 and my legs look to be about 2/3 of my whole height…This looks rather awkward…

I remember back in my high school days someone remarked once that “man, your pants are pulled up really really high there buddy”…The ironic thing about this is that I didn’t have my pants pulled up at all…I just had my shirt tucked in and thats what I looked like…maybe I’ve yet to have repressed the memory, but I try not to tuck in any of my shirts much anymore (unless it’s a suit and tie occasion).

I was just wondering since I’ve been dressing better…but doing so in an untucked way…considering that I am soon to buy a sports jacket that will require tucking in my shirts to clean up the look…

I’m not really looking for “sag your pants” type answers because as I said my continual goal is that I am dressing better, not worse. I know Antonio made a video AROUND this topic…but he never made one FOR this topic…I’ve found tall men seem to be able to get away with the long legs short torso look with dress shirts because taller people naturally do seem to have longer legs anyway so it’s not as striking….however when a man under 5’8 has legs you’d find on a guy maybe 6’2 or 6’3…it looks really noticeable and it just doesn’t really…look good if I had to be self critical…

So how can I approach tucking the shirts in and not look like Steve Urkel where my pants just look way too high? Any suggestions, ideas, etc? I don’t want people to be noticing that continually…because its been brought up more than once….that guy I told you about, my mom, even some guys in the locker room when I was changing…so its not really a “it’s just me” thing here. Thanks in advance.

14 Replies to “Untucking vs tucking in for short-torso small men”

  1. Also, if you are looking to get a picture of what I am talking about…even though I am 5’7, an Extra small basic t-shirt (the smallest size) from american eagle where I used to shop a lot still extends below my waist by about 3 inches…and I still have to elect to buy a small because my shoulders won’t fit extra small…so really it feels like I’m wearing a blouse way too often.

  2. Hi, this is a good response but I also was wondering more specifically about tucking in the dress shirt…thats when bad things happen…If I leave it untucked I can get away with fooling the eye. Another point…I already do cuff my pants but I also remember Antonio in a different video saying short men look shorter if they cuff their pants…which you don’t want…so it seems sort of contradictory…because you want to appear more masculine by being taller but you don’t want your legs to look way too long…which is why I’m not in a favourable position…right now I’m electing to look shorter but cuffing them but still…you can’t be cuffing up khaki’s and dressier pants… that looks very bad in my opinion. Can you imagine wearing a sports jacket…tucked in shirt, and then rolling up the trousers…it ruins everything…so in the event that I can’t cuff and I need to TUCK IN the shirt…what can you say for this given my circumstances? Thanks.

  3. Cuffed pants actually work better with dress pants than with jeans. You don’t roll them yourself though, have a tailor give them a permanent cuff. I understand what you’re saying about short guys wearing cuffed pants making them look shorter but you gotta look at what part of you it makes look shorter. Think about it as your legs being tall and your body being short. Use the guidelines given to tall people and apply them to your legs and advice for short people applied to your torso. The point of these guidelines isn’t to actually make people taller or shorter, but to give visual balance.

    Probably more information than you were looking for. Now for the question about tucking your shirt in.

    Always tuck in your dress shirts. Sport shirts may give you the option of tucking or not tucking but with dress shirts there is no option. You can offset the problems you are having with tucking in your shirt by wearing a jacket over it, be it a sports jacket, blazer or suit jacket. You won’t be tucking in your jacket so it should have the same disguising effect that an untucked shirt has.

  4. Thanks…haha obviously I will be giving you the best answer…just wanted to go over some things you just mentioned.

    I actually thought cuffed meant self rolling so that’s nice to know it doesn’t. If I go to a tailor to get dress pants cuffed…wouldn’t I just be better off to have him hem the pants to be shorter in length instead of just cuffing the length…Aesthetically…is it the cuffing that makes the impression or is it just the length of the trouser…because if he could just hem them would it give the same effect without the informal cuff (maybe it’s not as informal…I’ll be googling some images after)?

    Very very solid info about using the tall guidelines for legs and short guidelines for body…never thought of it that way…be as it may I’m still hoping maybe the torso and legs will even out once I’m in my 20’s…but just in case they don’t…trying to find out how to dress for this body type.

    As for the last comment with the dress shirts alway tucked in…although the sports coat does hide the body length being tiny…there obviously will be times wear I have to take the sports coat off…if I’m sitting in class and its getting warm…if it’s warm outside and I’m sweating….I mean realistically its got to come off sometimes in public…so is it a case of I just have to deal with it or should I just untuck or try and loosen the pant belt and have the pants maybe sit a little bit lower…not in the sag range…but just…no that doesn’t even sound good. Maybe I’ll have to just keep the jacket on at all times -.-


  5. Actually the effect of the cuff has nothing to do with length of the pants. If you hem them too much your legs will actually look even longer. What the cuffs do is break up the lines of your legs giving them a visual stopping point.

    When you have your jacket off you could try using patterns to add the look of length to your body. Vertical stripes is an example. Another option might be a contrast collar to bring attention more to your face, which is what you want to be doing anyway no matter what your body type. The thing about a contrast collar is that it doesn’t look good without a tie.

    I’m sure there are other options and I may be wrong on a couple of points. I’m hoping others will jump in to help too and give their thoughts. Most people are working right now though and I’m working an evening shift tonight so I just happened to be the first to get to answer.

  6. There are a couple of options I can think of that might help. Cuffing your pants will help to shorten your legs. Stay away from corduroy trousers. The vertical lines will add length to your legs and you want to avoid that. On the other hand, vertical striped shirts will lengthen your torso as will a sports jacket with a low button stance. Wear thinner ties an lapels because this can also lengthen your torso. The trick is to fool the eye by drawing attention away from your legs and up towards your face. Anything that will visually lengthen your torso and shorten your legs is good. Never wear sag and never wear skinny jeans.

  7. Hey…I saw that video before and it kind of doesn’t help my situation:

    Do I want to dress taller? Yes because I’m short…this video says don’t wear a contrasting belt to do so…

    Do I want my torso to look longer because it’s teeny? Yes…solution says wear a contrasting belt…

    I can’t really buy a half contrasting/half non-contrasting belt haha.

    I guess I can’t have the best of both worlds…I’ll have to choose one or the other.

  8. You shouldn’t wouldn’t worry about it at all if you are wearing a jacket. The top button of the jacket should be buttoned when walking and only unbuttoned when sitting. In my eyes problem solved. If you have long legs and a short torso the length of the jacket will conceal that. If you have the opposite problem then you may want a shorter jacket. I linked an article below describing when and how to button a suit.

    There are some shirts that can be worn untucked but they are far shorter than the average dress shirt. They are usually designed to be worn with jeans and hang right around the pocket line. They look ok with a unbuttoned blazer but you would look way better with a tucked in shirt and buttoned blazer. The blazer can fix any of those torso problems, builds the shoulders, gives a slimming V shape effect (when buttoned), and gives you easy access to your cell phone/wallet.


  9. Thank you for the link and information MMG. Are you also suggesting maybe a longer sport jacket to boot? Probably not but just checking.

  10. Not longer but if you are buying off the rack then lets say 38R would better suit you than a 38S for length. The S will be about 1 inch shorter compared to the R.

  11. Didn’t know about the S and R thing…I actually went to do a measurement and I see that I am roughly 38 chest (more like 37.8) and the perfect length for me is a 68cm

    Now I’ve seen two jackets I like…and one has measurements…38.5 chest and 67cm length…the other is a 37.5 chest and 65cm length…do you know if this would work for my measurements…the style is SLIM FIT for BOTH jackets…thanks.

  12. Did not know you replied to this Jane. Problem is I’d rather have my legs look shorter because they look too long when my shirt is tucked in however I am short so the trade off is I indeed look shorter yet MUCH better proportioned in an untucked shirt…what do you think is more important? Of course, I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off the untucked shirt in a professional setting…so maybe I have to start embracing this disproportionate body despite not wanting to?

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