Once upon a time — and long, long before the French tuck — men utilized extra-long suspenders to keep their shirts in their pants, a look that’s both “slimming” and “draws attention away from the midsection” at the same time. “Originating in America toward the end of the 19th century, shirt stays were mainly used by soldiers, cops and [later] bartenders, bankers and lawyers, as more [and more people] began to discover the benefits of not having to keep tucking their shirt in throughout the day,” reports SharpandDapper.com.
If you’re unfamiliar shirt stays, they’re basically bungee cords — or again, extra-long suspenders — that strap from the bottom of your shirt to the top of your socks. They are, without a doubt, effective, if not a bit extra. But they’re also now a relic. So what is the modern, un-shirt-stayed man to do when his goddamn shirt just won’t stay tucked into his goddamn pants?
I originally looked to plumbers for advice — after all, who has taken more shit over the years for not being able to keep their shirt in their pants? — but they’ve long resigned themselves to their plight. “It’s always out,” says Tony, a plumber with Plumbing Boys in Burbank, California. When I ask if he’s ever tried any kind of corrective for his plumber’s crack, he simply offers, “Nope.”
More helpful was the YouTube video above with nearly 17 million views. Its first piece of advice: Make sure the length of your shirt is at least three inches below the belt. Equally important, though: Do as the soldiers do and try the “military tuck.” As Business Insider explains, “Different services in different countries have variations on this, but the basic principle is the same: You stand straight in your shirt, and if there’s any loose fabric hanging on either side of you, you fold it into a sharp, diagonal crease, sort of like making the nose on a paper airplane. Then you tuck the creases in at the hips, belting your trousers on above them.”
Excuse me while I go call Tony.