Tan France explains the French tuck, the key to wearing a shirt

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When I wrote about Tan France last week, I mentioned that I was a huge fan of his “French Tuck.” I, of course, am not alone – you see them all over. If you watch Queer Eye, you know exactly how to do the French Tuck, he makes almost everyone do it. But if you don’t watch the show, never fear, here are the step-by-step instructions from the man himself:

Wait, what is the French Tuck? I thought it was something else.

No, okay – I’m going to show you on me. Okay, I take my t-shirt out. Because usually you have on something larger on, something that’s oversized. You take the very front of your shirt and tuck it in at the center point. And then that’s it! It’s a little more casual, don’t you like that?

First and foremost, let’s talk about his t-shirt – it’s fantastic. I tried to find an ID but have not been successful – if anyone has it, please let me know. Secondly, see how cute Kit Hoover looks when Tan tucked her shirt in like that? I’ve been struggling with my weight since hitting perimenopause and let’s just say I have been handling it well. I bought a bunch of oversized shirts in an attempt to hide my rolls and the French Tuck just makes me feel a little bit more pulled together. It’s a small thing but it’s made a real difference. Don’t take my word for it, just look how excited Oprah got.

If you watch the full clip, Tan told a cute story about his Barbie house growing up. As Kit mentioned in the introduction, Tan is the first openly gay Muslim on TV. He talked in his book, Naturally Tan, about growing up in a very strict religious household that did not approve of homosexuality. However, Tan said his father and his uncle were very competitive so when his uncle got his girl cousin a small Barbie house, Tan’s father, who didn’t realize it was marketed as a “girls toy” at the time, bought Tan the most elaborate Barbie house. And Tan, who was trying to conceal his sexual identity at that time, had to pretend like he wasn’t really interested in it when people were around. Apparently, the house had carpets and chandeliers – and a DOORBELL! I’m 50 years old and I am still jealous. I hope he kept it. I hope we get to see it on the show.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos and YouTube

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27 Responses to “Tan France explains the French tuck, the key to wearing a shirt”

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  1. Anna says:

    German women are obsessed with the french tuck for years. They tuck everything in. Even thick wool-sweaters. Everything goes. :D

  2. OriginalLala says:

    I have been trying to rock the French Tuck for a while now and can’t seem to get it right – I have a bit of a lower belly that I don’t like and find the french tuck just accentuates it? – has anyone else has this issue?

    • Eliza says:

      Same. It looks wrong on me. Just unflattering. But hey, every instagram girl has been wearing it, so i feel ok staying apart from that crowd with my generic untuck.

    • wolfgirl says:

      @original I struggled too because I’m quite vertically challenged! Apologies if you’ve already done this but here’s my take. Try a more high-waisted pant or jeans in a good stretch fabric that’s quite fitted. Always wear nice panties underneath that are as high as the jeans in front so there’s no double bubble lol. Then after tucking, sort of ‘blouse’ the shirt over a little.? Good luck! xx

    • Harla says:

      I too have that issue *post menopause* but I solved it by just not looking at myself sideways in a mirror. From the front it looks super cute and the sideways glance just doesn’t make me happy so I don’t do it. :)

    • Parigo says:

      I like it because it hides my roll. Just a slight tuck in front while side muffin top stays concealed

    • T.Fanty says:

      You know what? I do, too, but after reading this post and the comments, I’m doing it and owning it! I have a bit of a tummy and a solid pair of boobs and I’m tired of all of my shirts looking like maternity wear because I’m self-conscious about being a normal sized woman.

    • Cee says:

      I have a body similar to Jennifer Lopez’s so my ass is more round while my waist is small-ish and my spine kind of curves a bit more. If I do the french tuck it looks great on the front but horrible from the sides! Seems I have an air bubble under my waist LOL

    • Candikat says:

      I have an enormous muffin top and the tuck is the only thing that works for me! I’m way too insecure to do a “full tuck” that emphasizes the tummy and the alternative is just shapeless oversized untucked. Here’s how I think it works best: wear a large shirt/blouse that’s long in the back and made of a flowy material. Can’t be too stiff or short (that’s the problem with the woman’s blouse in the video.) Then wear a belt with your pants. Tuck the very front of the shirt in above the belt buckle and let the rest of the material drape so it frames the buckle but covers your sides and derrière. The result is flattering because from the front, the eye is drawn to the buckle and the draping fabric around it gives the illusion of a smaller waist. From the sides, the fabric draping diagonally downwards from front to back does the same thing.

      I hope that helps, clearly I’ve spent more time than I realized thinking about this!

  3. vava says:

    When Jenna Lyon was with J. Crew some years back, she did this sort of semi-tuck on things. Often times it was off to the side a bit and I think that looks great. She also showed how to cuff skinny jeans in a way it looks effortless and cool.
    The sleeves on Tan’s white jacket are too short. I think he has a great head of hair, too.

  4. Canadian says:

    Yeah perimenopause…I feel you, Hecate. I am trying to embrace it like Wanda Sykes does, by giving my tummy roll a name. YouTube her clip about “Esther”. My wife loves my new curves, so there’s that.

    I love watching Tan on QE, he’s so gorgeous and has great ideas. I love how spiritual he is, and that he is respectful of the women (not just men) that he has dressed.

    • H says:

      I love this. My belly post hysterectomy is the bain of my existence. I’m going to name it George and French tuck it so I don’t worry about it anymore.

  5. Phat girl says:

    Is his hand bleeding in that white jacket? I thought it was a tattoo but I don’t see it in any of the other pictures. Maybe he just has a deranged cat or something.

  6. Venus says:

    We had a Fisher Price house growing up that had a doorbell! It was the BEST.

    • Esmom says:

      I had that one, too, and I held a grudge against my mom for years for giving it away to my cousins, lol. I was delighted to find one at my husband’s grandmother’s house, she’d bought it for when her grandkids came to visit and saved it as she saved pretty much everything else.

      I also had the Fisher Price school house, houseboat and A-frame house. All lost to my lucky cousins.

  7. Esmom says:

    He’s adorable, so sweet. Interesting how he wasn’t doing with French tuck with his own shirt until he demonstrated it. My husband does a version of the French tuck and it’s always driven me crazy. It looks too studied, if that makes any sense. I feel like you need to go fully tucked or fully untucked. This in-between nonsense often doesn’t work, imho.

  8. Teebee says:

    I have such a long torso, so long that when I clasp my hands and my arms are fully extended they only reach my bellybutton!

    I have been french tucking for almost 20 years because shirts that are supposed to be longer just barely reached the top of my pants so it helped keep my tummy covered. But I’ll tell you the long line it created always looked great! When I saw Queer Eye, and found my signature shirt tuck had a name and a place in fashion…well I sly smiled myself!

  9. launicaangelina says:

    Oh wow! I had no idea this had a name. I’ve been doing this for years. I find it flattering on my frame.

  10. OnyxXV says:

    I LOVE Tan France but I loathe the french tuck. It may be because I’m “of a certain age,” but it just looks like the person got interrupted halfway through tucking in their shirt. To me it’s kind of the epitome of fashion insecurity and indecision. Either tuck it in or leave it out: pick one.

  11. Faithmobile says:

    I love Tan sooo much! I watched his video of his hair routine though I have no need for male grooming tips. Agree with other posters, the French tuck needs some tweaks for your specific body type. Love the dollhouse story, my daughter just bought herself a three story dollhouse with an elevator and my 8 year old self is so smitten.

  12. Alyse says:

    Yeah worth noting he didn’t actually invent the French Tuck lol…. it’s been around by that name for years.
    Though works well that his last name happens to be France