Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There Really Is Something To Untuckit

"The best ideas are ones that solve problems for yourself." — Chris Riccobono, Untuckit

Sometimes that is true. And it is true for Chris Riccobono. He wanted a button-down shirt that looked good untucked so he went to work trying to solve the problem some men have, finding the right shirt.

Most of the time, button-down shirts are either too long or too tight to leave untucked. They need to be tucked. Then once they're tucked, there are always new problems. You have to find a belt, which isn't too hard with khakis as much as jeans. But let's face it. Who wants to wear conventional pants anyway?

As jeans have become more acceptable in more settings, wearing button-down shirts untucked made more sense. While the proverbial jeans and a T-shirt doesn't always cut it, a button-down adds just enough dress to make everything work.

There are several dozens looks here. All of them are untucked. 

The variety of styles are all borrowed from what you might expect to find anywhere. Untuckit makes oxfords, ginghams and plaids and even the occasional henley. The difference is mostly in the hemline, with the shirts tailored to be 2 to 4 inches shorter than most shirts.

untickit shirtWhile you can wear them slightly longer or shorter, the idea is to land between the belt line and the pants pockets, dressing up the look but negating the need for a belt. The shirts also run more narrow toward the bottom, ensuring they won't billow or flare out. Here are three for comparison.

Medoc (top). The shirt itself is a periwinkle plain with light blue and pink overlay. It works because the pattern is a clean, classic look. The fabric for this shirt comes from Japan. It's 100 percent cotton.

untick shirtIt was also one of the first shirts designed for the launch of Untuckit a couple of years ago. Riccobono has said several times that it's one of his favorites. It's also one of the shirts that NHL star and Untuckit partner Brad Richards wears too.

But not all of the Untuckit shirts have a prep look about them. The darker colors look more rustic.

Fleur Cardinale. The navy, white, and gray flannel with red check overlay is a flannel. The fabric is thicker than the lighter fare, lending itself better to the more rugged regions of America. Like the periwinkle, the fabric also comes from Japan. (Not every shirt fabric does.)

Rioja II. Another look from Untuckit includes a plain variation. The concept was to give a casual edge to the classic look. I chose the blue as an example because they seem to have more depth than the whites. However, I didn't order this particular shirt because the time for button-down collars has passed.

A few things to think about when you check out the shop. 

Like many online retailers, there is always a bit of a mix in what you will find. In this case, Untuckit does a great job laying out the sizes to help people find the best fit. The sizing page is one of the best features on the site in that it's very clear what size you need to have the seams land where you want.

The grid basically lines up weight to height. While this might not solve the occasional issues all men might have, Untuckit does go a long way in guiding them to do what's right. You can preserve a fit with dry cleaning or wash it to make it shrink slightly or wash it and tumble dry to shrink it more.

What I don't like about the site is pretty common among retailers. It happens all the time. You flip through a few product pages and finally find the shirt you like, only to discover your size is long gone. One of these days, retailers will make sizing more visible, negating the need for treasure hunt sizing.

Untuckit Changes Up The Basic Button Down For 5.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

The Untuckit shirts have been out for a few years and it's great to see the company is continuing to catch some attention on an idea that is almost too good. By that, I mean that the concept is so simple that there isn't really much more to be said. Maybe it's time for them to think more about design too.

The best place to look for the newest Untuckit arrivals is direct. Some of the newer additions include an experiment with wrinkle-free button-down shirts, polos, tees, and other style. The company also supports The Pete Frates Fund, which we think is pretty cool too.
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