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How to STOP Shirts From Riding Up (Permanently)

Shirts riding up always happen at the worst time and can be embarrassing and annoying. While there are various reasons your shirts may end up riding up, we will get to the bottom of why your shirt is riding up in this article, and I’ll help you fix the problem.

Generally, shirts ride up because they are too small or have a cut that doesn’t match your body type. The easiest way to fix this problem is by sizing up your shirts if they are too small or changing to a cut that better matches your body.

So let’s dive into it. We will first identify the issue and then find the solution you need.

Shirts Riding Up Belly

A shirt riding up your belly is one of the most embarrassing things that could happen to a stylish man in public. To remedy this, we first have to look at what type of shirts you have decided to wear.

T-Shirts, Tops, and Other Thin, Casual Shirts

My shirts went from awkwardly riding up to staying put (and covering my gut) by increasing from L to XL.

If your shirt is riding up to your belly in the front, the first thing we have to look at is your body size versus the shirt you have decided to wear.

From personal experience, I have noticed when I put on 10+ pounds that, my size L shirts start to show a bulge in the front.

Going up a size (L to XL in my case) solves the tightness issue around the belly, making the shirt stay in its correct place instead of riding up. In addition to this, it also slightly helps to hide the excessive fat until I can remedy the situation.

This issue is particularly directed at (slightly) overweight people like myself. Another great option for average and slim tall people is to look for shirts marked “tall.” Generally, you can find these shirts at larger stores. Here is a popular one on Amazon (paid link).

Lowrise and Midrise Pants

If you’re tucking your shirts, keep in mind that the lower the cut of your pants, the less friction there is for your shirt. Generally, lowcut and some midrise pants will have your shirt slip out very easily compared to highrise pants.

Dress Shirts Riding Up

If your collard shirts are riding up, it is usually either because they are too short for your body shape or pants.

Another common reason is that your shirt is cheaper, which means that the armholes are cut too low.

In this case, your shirt will ride up once you raise your arms.

A common remedy is to do a military tuck on your shirt by folding in the extra fabric at the sides of the shirt. But in my personal experience, I have found that investing in a decent shirt (amazon paid link) with properly cut armholes is worth the extra coin.

While I don’t recommend this personally, the last resort option is to use shirt stays (amazon paid link) if you really need to keep your shirt down, but these are pretty uncomfortable compared to the other options I’ve suggested.

Shirt Rides Up When I Lift My Arms

Shirts exposing your belly as you lift your arms is the most embarrassing clothing malfunction, only trumped by your pants falling.

But worry not; generally, this issue is quite easy to fix once you understand why it rides up when you raise your hands.

T-Shirts Riding Up When You Life Your Arms

Overall, the easiest way to stop t-shirts from riding up your belly as you lift your arms is to simply size up as the shirt is too small for you. Another great option is to look for shirts marked tall in your normal size, as these shirts are longer and will offer a more slender fit than a regular shirt that has been sized up.

Whenever possible, it is best to try the shirts on before you commit to buying them. Doing a simple test by lifting your arms in front of the mirror will easily help you weed out the shirts that do not fit you.

The two images below demonstrate how to easily spot a shirt that will ride up.

How it looks like when you lift your arms with a t-shirt that is too small or too short.
How a properly fitting t-shirt should look when you lift your arms.

If you’re looking for a great option for a tall t-shirt, Hanes offers tall shirts on Amazon (paid link).

Dress Shirts Riding Up When You Lift Your Arms

Unlike t-shirts, dress shirts generally ride up because the fabric is cut too shallowly around the armpit area. When you lift your arms with these badly shaped shirts, you will pull at the fabric further down the shirt as well. A simple solution is to buy a shirt with a deeper cut around the armpit area.

Here is an example of two very differently cut shirts. On the white shirt, you can see that the shirt is cut much lower around the armpit than on the light blue shirt. The man with the light blue shirt will be able to lift his arms further up before his shirt starts pulling up at the bottom.

Keep in mind that wet spots from sweat become a bigger problem with deeper armpits. So make sure you take the necessary precautions to avoid this potentially embarrassing situation.

Shirts Being Too Short on Tall People

Of course, if you’re a tall person, then another common mistake is to buy shirts made for regular height people. Instead, you should either size up and have the shirts tailored for your body, or you can look for shirts marked tall.

Here is a great example of a shirt for tall people that I found for you on Amazon: Kenneth Cole Unlisted Long Shirt (paid link).

While not the most aesthetically pleasing, a loose-fitting shirt will also allow you to lift your arms more freely.

How to Stop Shirts From Riding Up While Wearing a Suit

Shirts riding up while wearing a suit are among the most common issues with shirts that don’t fit you properly.

We can fix many little things to make sure that your shirts don’t ride up under your suit jacket.

But an easy fix is to tuck your shirt into your underwear. The friction from the underwear will help make sure that your shirt doesn’t slip up. Another option is to use shirt stays: They are anchored around your tights or on your socks, and are clipped onto the bottom of your shirt, thereby keeping it in place.

You can get shirt stays on Amazon (paid link).

As we discussed earlier in this guide, making sure that your shirt fits your body is the most important step to making sure it doesn’t ride up. But other factors like fabric and the cut of your suit pants also contribute to keeping your shirt staying put. To summarize:

  • Make sure the cut around the armpits is deep to allow for movement of your arms.
  • Make sure the shirt is long enough and not too tight for your body. This allows you to sit and move your torso.
  • Slippery fabrics like silk and certain synthetic fabrics will easily slip out of your pants due to the lack of friction.
  • Low-cut and even mid-rise suit pants are less effective at keeping your shirt in place than high-rise pants are.
  • Suit pants that sit loosely around the waist due to wrong sizing or not wearing a belt will also greatly contribute to your shirt riding up.

I also wrote a guide on keeping pants from riding up that may interest you.

How to Stop Your Shirt From Riding Up When Wearing a Backpack

One of the most annoying problems with wearing a backpack is that the shirts start riding up in the back. This can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Your shirt rides up in the back because of movement from your backpack. Adjust the straps and weight distribution in your backpack so it stays more securely on your back. Using a hip belt can also be very effective. Other solutions include tucking your shirt in your pants, undies, or using shirt stays.

If the backpack is too small to use a hip belt, make sure the straps are properly adjusted to your body to avoid this awkward scenario.

If you cannot adjust the backpack to sit properly on your back and still experience your shirt riding up in the back, shirt stays are available in a huge variety of uncomfortable options on Amazon (paid link).

How to Keep Compression Shirts From Riding Up

Compression shirts riding up in the middle of your training can be quite frustrating. Thankfully, you have a few options to mostly mitigate this issue.

Start by tucking your shirt into your shorts/pants to keep it in place. If the problem persists, your shirt is probably the wrong fit for your body type. Try sizing up or purchasing a tall shirt instead. Some compression shirts have rubber or silicone lining at the bottom; these are great for keeping your shirt in place.

If your compression shirt doesn’t have silicone lining around the bottom, you can get a roll from Amazon (paid link). Another less effective option is to use body tape to secure the shirt to your body.

You can also try lining your shirt and shorts with velcro strips if you are up for it.

I have also created a comprehensive guide on stopping all your clothes from riding up that may interest you to read next.

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