Tan France Did Not Create The French Tuck – Women Did

Tan France Did Not Create The French Tuck – Women Did

By Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri

french tuck

The life cycle of a “trend” is a seemingly mysterious process that really isn’t that mysterious at all.  While each trend may be different, it often follows the same path towards popularity and the mainstream public; first the creatives/innovators create the trend/idea/concept, which is then picked up by the early adopters.  The early adopters adopt the trend, which is then passed on to the Early Majority/Connectors. It is at this stage in the life cycle of a trend that is often the ‘make or break’ stage. What usually tends to happen is that the ‘Early Majority’ translate the trend to make it accessible to the general public.  They tweak the trend and make it make sense to the mainstream.

TV Show ‘Queer Eye’ has a long tradition of being an Early Majority/Connector.  The concept of the show is simple: the hosts are enlisted to give their hetero-guests fab and fashionable makeovers.  The makeovers usually have an informative twist; teaching the guest and the audience about a seemingly unknown grooming habit, or a new fashion trend.  One of the latest trends to be introduced by the Fab Fivesome of ‘Queer Eye’ is the ‘French Tuck’.

french tuck

Not being an avid watcher of ‘Queer Eye’, I had to do a little research as to the origins of this trend that had originated on the show.  The trend was coined by Tan France, an English fashion designer and fashion expert on the Netflix’s reboot of ‘Queer Eye’. His proclivity for tucking in the front of his shirt can be noticed on a few episodes before he gave it an official name: the French Tuck.  Due to the popularity of the show, and the status of the ‘Queer Eye’ hosts as Connectors to their mainstream audience, the trend took off. Straight men online began embracing the hot new trend, even using the hashtag #FrenchTuck to their newfound fashion sense and sensibility.  

“The French Tuck is an example of a concept that has first been done by women, but taken and repackaged by a man…”

While it could be admirable that straight men are trying to stay on-par with fashion, this whole trend, from its ‘creation’ on ‘Queer Eye’ to the way it took social media platforms by storm, has me doing a slight shrug and eyeroll.  

The French Tuck is an example of a concept that has first been done by women, but taken and repackaged by a man; presented as something unique and ‘new’.  The idea of the French Tuck was something already practiced by many women (especially queer-identifying women) many years prior (Fashion blog Man Repeller’s founder, Leandra Medine, has been seen using the haphazard tuck since 2004).  Working in the apparel industry for the past ten plus years in Los Angeles, and living in LA’s hip and trendy Silverlake neighborhood, I have witnessed the French tuck personally on countless women; not as something revolutionary, but just as an accidental byproduct of their nonchalant and effortless ensemble choices.  It seems like even the reporting of the trend will mention that it was indeed started by women, but only as a footnote or quick, fleeting comment. Credit for its creation is still given to Tan France.

I don’t think will get me to start watching ‘Queer Eye’, but if Tan France does actually create a fashion trend, please let me know.  

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