The French Tuck

Have you heard the term French tuck and wondered what the heck it is? Me too! Until I finally watched Netflix’s Queer Eye series! For countless years, France has been known for its chic fashion and elegant style. The French have been ahead of the rest of us when it comes to setting trends in the design world. And it comes as no surprise that various fashion techniques originated in the fashion capital.

But there is competition (Milan for one, New York too) inspiration comes from so many places, including…TV…like the French tuck!

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Queer Eye Cast

A cinching or tucking technique from the second season of Netflix’s Queer Eye, those real life style experts extraordinaire, caught the eye of the fashion world, and naturally, has blown up on the internet. The viral #FrenchTuck took over Instagram and has been riding the wave ever since.

But what exactly is the French tuck? Was it invented by the Queer Eye’s resident styling guru Tan France? Is there a special French tuck shirt?

Let’s find out! On y va !

What is the French Tuck?

The French tuck is a fashion technique, specifically a shirt cinching technique, wherein you tuck the front of your shirt in your pants (or skirt) and leave the rest to flutter carelessly into the wind. Basically, tuck shirt and leave!

The orchestrated yet haphazard way of tucking your shirt gives your outfit a fun, spontaneous look, evoking a certain air of joie de vivre.

young fashionable people in French Tuck
Photo credit: Depositphotos

And it is universal! Both men and women can recreate this style!

The flattering manner of tucking one's shirt was seen throughout Queer Eye’s first season but only in the second one did it get a name. The signature style statement of Tan France continues to be popular.

According to Tan France, the style visually balances the proportions of the upper and the lower body and also makes your legs look leaner.

Did Tan France really invent the French Tuck?

This question has been making endless rounds online, and the answer is an unsurprising no. Tan France did not invent the French Tuck, and he certainly did not name it after himself. People in France have been implementing this style for years. Tan France, however, was the one who popularized it and pulled it into the spotlight.

According to Tan, he saw the tuck some 20 years ago at a runway show and has been using it ever since. He used the styling trick extensively in the second season of Queer Eye. When he needed a name for it, he came up with the ‘French Tuck’ because it felt cute.

Tan France with French tuck and man in French tuck

On my last trip to France, whether I was in Paris or outside the City of Light, mannequins were wearing a French tuck partout (everywhere!)…

If you are interested to read more on French fashion for me, check out “French Men’s Fashion – How To Dress Like A Parisian Man

More on French fashion in general here.

How to master the French Tuck?

The French have no doubt known this styling trick for years, but if you’re new to the trend, here’s how you can implement it in your outfit.

The tuck works best when you’re wearing loose clothing as it tends to leave some things to the imagination. Like any classic French outfit, begin with an oversized shirt (button-down shirts are a good example), and some cutoff jeans, high-waisted denim, and skirts work really well. [If it is a fitted top, a full tuck looks better.]

women in design office
Photo credit: Depositphotos

Tuck the front or even a part of the front of your shirt into your jeans, and let some buttons pop to show off that décolletage (if you have it!).

Add in some basic makeup, a pair of black boots, and a cute tote bag to complete the look. For a more relaxed and cool look, go for an oversized blouse paired with a midi skirt.

Designers in office French Tuck
Photo credit: Depositphotos

With an oversized top, remember to keep the bottom a little structured to keep the proportions from being all over the place. It looks great with all kinds of clothes, be it a sweatshirt or a dressy blouse, and it can be worn by both men and women.

The cinch is a perfect cross between casual and sartorial and can solve all your problems in life.

Et voilà that's the French Tuck. Have you tried it? Have any tips? Do tell!

Like it? PIN it!

young fashionable people in French TuckFrench man with French Tuckwoman in office with French Tuck

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  1. Amber Myers says:

    This is such a classy look. I should probably do it more often!

  2. That’s pretty cool! I’ve seen this all over the place, but I never knew it had a name.

  3. I see this look all the time! Sometimes it looks good but sometimes it looks awkward, haha.

  4. I didn’t realize that this style had a term! Interesting to know that it has a name.

  5. Richelle Milar says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of this! That is so cool! Thanks for sharing this with us

  6. Rose Ann Sales says:

    Such a really nice and classy look! I didn’t know about this term! So amazing!

  7. Monica Simpson says:

    I only love a front french tuck, not so much the side tuck. I honestly can’t wear shirts normal anymore. I always do a little tuck! It’s way more flattering.

  8. This is really interesting. I actually think this is really nice. I didn’t really know it had a name for it.

  9. Gervin Khan says:

    Now I know the name of the style. I have always used that style from my grade school days until now!

  10. I’ve heard about this fashion style, bu I didn’t know that it has such a chic name!

  11. Does anyone else think this look is about as sensible as leaving your athletic shoes unlaced or sagging you pants? Should the name be called “half dressed?”

  12. DianeMarie says:

    I personally love the French Tuck as a woman of a certain vintage because it defines the waist from the front but doesn’t pull a shirt tight across the back of the waist and torso. More forgiving to one with a little squish above the belt and back. Easier to retuck after using the restroom, too!