I’m not exactly fashion-forward. My wardrobe is basically dictated by what I can find that fits me and is on sale, so it’s a limited collection. But there’s a trend I’ve noticed while window-shopping during lunchtime, and in fact, it’s been around and persistently gaining momentum for the last few years. It’s the half-tuck. You might know it by another name, as it’s the style formally known as the front-tuck.

Robin Conte is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at robinjm@earthlink.net.

You see, once upon a time, there were two ways to wear a shirt: 1) Tucked-in, or 2) Not.

Then a new fashion crept upon the scene, persistently gaining momentum, until it earned its own name, i.e., the front-tuck. The front-tuck is a somewhat self-explanatory style that involves wearing a loose shirt and tucking-in only the front of it.

The front-tuck has a sister called the side-tuck, which is what happens when only one-half of a buttoned-down shirt is tucked-in.

Then the Tuck family grew and all kinds of tucks were born: the side-tuck, the back-tuck, the casual-tuck, the tight-tuck, the loose-tuck, the twist-n-tuck, the wrap-n-tuck. And, as often happens in large families, people started calling these tucklings by the same name. So the front-tuck is also called the half-tuck or the casual-tuck, which leaves the half-tuck with nothing to be called but the half-half-tuck, or the full gainer.

It took me a while to catch on. For the longest time, I noticed the “J. Crew” catalog models wearing their tops only partly tucked, and I actually thought they were advertising their belts.

But let’s get back to the front-tuck/half-tuck, remembering all the while, of course, that I am not a stylist — I only watch them on YouTube. So I am not doling out fashion advice, I am merely passing along what I have gleaned. My understanding is that this sassy, part-in, part-out, noncommittal tuck is designed to give your shirt a split personality (kind of like Superman when he takes off his glasses) by making it look professional in the front and all crazy in the back. If you do it right, you have a neatly tucked bit of shirt somewhere along the front of your jeans and a free-flowing fiesta of fabric elsewhere, which announces to everyone that you are NOT a geek, but a slave to fashion.

You might be wondering, how much tuck does a person tuck if a person could half-tuck? Rest assured that you can Google “mastering the half-tuck” and find a plethora of internet tutorials on how to achieve this casual, carefree look.

If, however, you google “back-tuck,” you will find videos of a gymnastic move.

It doesn’t work on me. I’m either all-in or all-out. Oh, I tried. I watched the tutorials and worked with my forefinger and my cotton-blend fabric, spending way more time dressing myself than truly necessary, in an attempt to make my shirt display just the right amount of attitude. But I never arrived at “jaunty.” I only accomplished “disheveled.” I might make a belt-wink with my shirt, but that ends up sloppy, too.

So I’ve concluded that until this fashion trend plays out, I’ll just stick with dresses.

Robin Conte

Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her new column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” see robinconte.com.