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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 is no surprise that various fashion techniques originated in the fashion capital.

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

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Queer Eye Cast

The French tuck is a cinching or simple tucking technique from the second season of Netflix’s Queer Eye, those real-life style experts extraordinaire. It caught the eye of the fashion world, and naturally, blew up on the internet. The viral #FrenchTuck took over Instagram (and TikTok) and has been riding the wave ever since.

But what exactly is the French tuck? Was it invented by Tan France, the Queer Eye cast member who popularized the French tuck? Is there a special French tuck shirt? Is French tuck out of style now?

Let’s find out! On y va !

What is the French Tuck?

Picture this: You're strolling along the cobblestone streets of Paris, and you spot a stylish Parisian effortlessly tucking in the front portion of their shirt into their pants or skirt, leaving the back casually untucked. That, mes amis, is the epitome of the French Tuck. It's a subtle yet transformative styling trick that adds an air of je ne sais quoi to any ensemble.

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. Tuck the shirt and leave (partially, not a full tuck!)!

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! French tuck men and French tuck women…it's the SAME!

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.

The beauty of the French Tuck lies in its simplicity. According to Tan France, the style visually balances the upper and lower body proportions and makes your legs look leaner. It's all about mastering that effortless balance between polished and relaxed, without trying too hard.

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, 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 in reading more on French fashion, 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?

One of the reasons why the French Tuck has become a staple in the style arsenal of fashionistas worldwide is its incredible versatility. Whether you're rocking a crisp button-down shirt, a cozy sweater, or a flowing blouse, the French Tuck works its magic across all types of tops and body shapes.

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 a billowy blouse or an oversized shirt (button-down shirts or oversized sweatshirts are good examples, oversized tees or a relaxed t-shirt too), and some cutoff jeans, skinny jeans, high-waisted denim or other high-waisted pants, and skirts (a maxi skirt, pencil skirt, or other high-waisted 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!).

If you need step-by-step instructions on how to get the perfect French tuck, here you go:

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 both men and women can wear it.

Why the French Tuck is a Must-Try

I am not a fashion stylist, but beyond its undeniable chicness, the French Tuck offers a multitude of benefits that make it a style essential, fashion experts agree that it gives you:

  • Instant polish: Whether you're dressing up for a dinner date or a casual outing with friends, the French Tuck effortlessly elevates your look from ordinary to extraordinary.
  • Flattering silhouette: By highlighting the waist and creating vertical lines, the French Tuck has a flattering effect on all body types, accentuating your best features.
  • Effortless charm: Channeling the laid-back elegance of French style icons, the perfect French Tuck exudes a sense of confidence and charm that's sure to turn heads wherever you go.

Is the French Tuck still in style?

Mais oui! While some may argue that trends like the French Tuck have their moment before fading, its enduring popularity suggests otherwise. What sets it apart is its versatility and adaptability, making it a mainstay in the wardrobes of style-savvy individuals.

The French Tuck has proven itself to be more than just a passing trend—it's a timeless styling technique that continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts with its effortless charm and versatility. So, whether you're a seasoned fashionista or a style novice, the French tuck is an easy way to elevate your look. So go ahead do that one-hand tuck into the waistband of your pants or skirt and get on with your bad self!

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

AUTHOR BIO

Andi Fisher

I am married to a French man, lived in France for 3 years, and have been to Paris more than 50 times. I am always a tourist so the information, tip, and tricks I share are created to help you!

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

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14 Comments

  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!