• J. Woken

LADY DRESS UP TIP: The Shirt Tuck Conundrum

A girl's gotta keep it together, even if only for herself. #selflove #selfcare

As a work-at-home lady, I make a strong effort to get dressed as if I were going into "the office" on a daily basis.

No lounge clothes for me! Heels, hair done, makeup, the whole works. I even went to a garage sale today and the lady working it asked if I were on the way to the office in the big city. "Why, no, but thanks!" I said. I'm pretty sure I bought extra stuff because of what she said. I've been glowing with a "Sex in the City" fashionista aura since then.


This morning I had the urge to wear a black pencil skirt and a silky red button-up blouse with some fancy-schmancy wedges my younger sister generously donated to "the cause" that make my calves look AMAZING. (Thanks, sis.) But, I ran into a common problem...

The Ever-Untucking Tucked-In Dress Shirt.

Now, I devised my own solution to this embarrassing and frustrating problem when I was in high school JROTC and had to endure weekly uniform tidiness. As an adult, I was curious to see what internet fashionistas had to say about this particular dilemma. I did a quick search and found several variations on the same solutions. Namely: double-sided fashion tape; safety pins; getting your skirt/pants tailored to precisely fit your body's dimensions so that there's no riding or slipping; and/or investing in elastic-waist skirts and pants.

To me, these aren't great solutions because...

  • tape doesn't stick to ALL fabrics (say, wool or other textured fabrics) and will lose its adhesive properties over the course of the day as you stick and un-stick it to your clothes. (Don't tell me you wouldn't be removing and re-adhering the tape throughout the day as you, say, go to the bathroom and "de-clothe"... unless, of course, you NEVER have to pee. In that case, you obviously have a medical problem you should see your doctor about).

  • pins are hard to wrangle, especially at weird angles. They're tough to get EXACTLY in the right spot; can get bent and come undone and poke you in tender-tummy spots (yee-ouch!); might show on the outside of your outfit, giving your fashion tricks away; and only hold onto clothes at those particular points you pinned down, meaning your shirt is likely to come untucked in awkward places (e.g. at your spine where you can't reach or ANYWHERE behind you, for that matter, because it's just hard to pin stuff back there). In addition, safety pins are annoyingly permanent. Recall that de-clothing issue for fashion tape? Yeah... so you'll be spending quality time in the bathroom just re-pinning your shirt to your pants all day long, perhaps losing that "perfect tuck" you accomplished in the calm of your dressing room at home. How delightful and NOT embarrassing at all. (*rolls eyes*)

  • ...tailoring can be expensive and inconvenient, especially if you have multiple shirts, skirts, dress pants, et cetera, that would need adjustment. Besides, I want/need/have to wear my outfit TODAY, not in three days to a week when my tailor will be done fixing it for me.

  • ...elastic pants makes me think of three words: unsightly, uncomfortable, and so '80s. Right up there with shoulder pads and parachute pants. (OK, that last one is technically two words, but gimme a little leeway here.) Same goes for skirts.

So, you have ten minutes to get dressed and head out (or in) to work. What's a girl to do?

Reach for her homemade Tucking Panties (aka "Tuckers"), that's what.

"Huh? What the...?!?!?" you say.

Don't worry! I'm not talking bulky, awkward, ugly, diaper-like contraptions you'll be creating out of duct tape or rubber bands or glue sticks. Simply, its a pair of pantyhose with the hose parts cut off from the panty part.

"That's it?"

Yep. That's it.

[insert sigh of relief here]

Your Secret Weapon.

Pantyhose have this uncanny ability to keep more than just a poochy tummy in place. No matter the bulkiness, slipperiness, silkiness, or tuftiness of the fabric being tucked, those babies know exactly what it means to be in control. Besides that, they won't destroy (via icky tape glue, pin holes, or localized tugging which can lead to unsightly stretching and snags) the very object you're trying to keep under wraps.

Want to tuck a wool knit cable pullover into your slacks? Sure. Silk blouse into a pencil skirt? Why not. Argyle brushed cashmere sweater into jeans? Go for it!

Simply, pantyhose are your shirt tucking secret weapons. And here's how to make them work for you.

2 Steps to Tucking Perfection

1. Grab a pair of control top nylons.

I like to use ones that I've worn (or nearly worn) to their demise. Runs, holes, pilling, stains? Doesn't matter. Let's not toss good potential tuckers away just because we've made stocking mistakes in the past! But, if you're flat out of "bad" hosiery, I'd say it's acceptable to sacrifice a good pair in the name of your shirt-tucking emergency. (My favorite hosiery are #Leggs #WaistbandFree, because they're not overly tight, don't roll along the edge when I move/bend, and can either be pulled up close to my natural waist or moved down to accommodate low-riding skirts/pants.)

2. Locate the place where the very thin "hose" part of the hosiery meets the "panty/control top" part, and CUT!

With a sharp pair of scissors, cut along that line or maybe just a millimeter or so below it. (HINT: Be careful not to cut into the control top part; doing so will cause your new "panties" to run or tear!)

Voila! You now have a pair of Tuckers!

Wear them like you would your regular underwear (or even over them if you prefer to wear your lady things beneath your hosiery). Are the tops of your tuckers showing above your skirt/pant waistband? Just push the band down a little ways and it's hidden. My other tip is, after tucking, do a quick overhead stretch to pull the shirt out just enough to permit a little ease of movement, because my ONLY complaint about this strategy is that these Tuckers hold onto your shirt TOO well.

Extra Bonus: tummy control! (And who doesn't want more of that?!)

I can bet you a grande pumpkin latte* that, when you tuck your shirt of choice into your new-fangled shirt-tucking secret weapon, you'll not need to re-tuck, readjust, or rearrange your shirt again.

That is, until your next trip to the powder room.

Happy Tucking, my fashionista friends!


*Not really. I won't actually buy you a latte if this doesn't work for you, so don't try asking.

This article originally published August 29, 2014.