A conversation at Half Sigma about whether men should tuck or untuck their shirts reminds me of a recent discovery.
I’ve almost always worn my shirts tucked in, whether dress shirts or golf shirts or T-shirts. Part of it is aesthetic. I believe that shirts are intrinsically meant to be tucked in just like I believe belt loops need belts. Otherwise it just looks wrong to me. My wife disagrees about both beltloops and tucked in shirts — she thinks I look better with my shirt untucked. Part of it is comfort. Because I always wear and I am not flat-stomached, I can sometimes feel the belt buckle on my tummy, particularly when I’m leaning forward.
Because I have a long torso, this is rather inconvenient. What happens is that unless a shirt I have is too big, whenever I lean over, sit down, get in my car, or do anything that requires my bending over or something rubbing along by back, the backside becomes untucked. That looks worse than a shirt that is tucked in or untucked. So I have to resort to buying shirts that are too big.
Recently, I’ve decided to start wearing undershirts under my golf shirts. So I went out and bought a bunch of V-neck undershirts. With an undershirt tucked in, I don’t have to worry about the belt-buckle on my tummy. And if Clancy thinks that I look better untucked, I figure that there may be something to it appearance-wise.
As many of you know, Mormons have a special undergarment that they wear. It’s not a V-neck, exactly, but it is low in front so it doesn’t appear in front when someone is wearing a button shirt. It does, however, appear along the side of one’s collar and you can sometimes see it through someone’s shirt, depending on what they’re wearing. So it’s not invisible. As best as I can tell, if a young man has the undergarments it means that he either went on a mission or is married (I can think of no one I knew out there that wore them that wasn’t one or the other). So I could tell by the undershirt line I could see by the collar whether or not a guy was a Mormon in good standing. I’m told that some guys at The Big Mormon University sometimes cut a regular undershirt to look like the undergarments so that it’ll look to nice young Mormon ladies like they went on their mission.
Besides the shirt’s failure to tuck in, there is an aesthetic difference that is strange. Along my collar is the white undershirt, and I swear when I see myself in the mirror one of the thoughts that flashes through my mind is that I am looking at a good Mormon soldier… until I realize within a second or so that I am looking at myself.
If I’d worn this in Deseret (particularly while my wedding ring was lost) I might have given some young Mormon lady the wrong idea. Luckily, the cigarette that was usually in my hand would have given me away.