Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the successful half-tuck

The successful half-tuck spells the difference between effortlessly chic and just plain sloppy or fashion victim. I'm not sure if the half-tuck started on the catwalk (this one is from a Dries Van Noten runway show last year) or from Swedish fashionista Elin Kling or Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt.

But I've done so much research (read: excuse to surf the web), that I think I've figured out the components of a successful half-tuck. I've dissected and analyzed every half-tuck photo I googled to come up with the anatomy of the successful half-tuck (read: it was a long weekend for me).

1 The half-tuck needs to be gradual. See how the runway look above is perfectly styled to look imperfectly chic. It just looks stiff & contrived when half of your button down shirt is impeccably tucked into your bottoms and the other is untucked.

A half-tuck is meant to look effortless and doing this left-half-is-completely-different-from-your-right-half shows you put too much effort to follow a trend. A successful half-tuck has to look like it got untucked by itself as you moved around. Or like you were too in a rush that morning to tuck your whole shirt. Like this...

Do the same gradual-untuck even with t-shirts like Elin Kling does here.

2 Accessorize thoughtfully. A fabulous jacket, belt, boots or heels will keep you from looking like a slob. Piling on the bangles or a sweet pair of aviators like Emmanuelle Alt here will also do the trick.

You can even pull off a contrived half-tuck with the right accessories!

3 The half-tuck looks best with loose, soft, even sheer tops.

A soft material, not only makes the gradual-untuck easier to execute, but it also gives the casual half-tuck look a dose of polish.

4 And always, always do the half-tuck with skinny bottoms.

Only runway models can get away with a half-tuck on loose pants (Yes, I know Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a model, but I promise, even real people like us can look good in a half-tuck paired with skinny bottoms!).

I think it's easier to execute a successful half-tuck with a short top and low-rise bottoms. But that's just me. Hope these tips help you pull off an effortlessly chic half-tuck before the summer ends!

Photos from hanneli, herehere, here, here and here.

Click here for the down-in-the-dots version of this post.


  1. Great article! I've always admired half tucks but was always unsure how to make them flattering

    1. Thanks for the compliment & for reminding me of this post! 5 years later and I still use half-tucks to spice up a look. Hope this helped you. 😊