Fast and easy: the secret belt (sticky strip version)
Updated: May 6
The secret belt is easily everyone’s first idea when it comes to picking a device to keep a shirt tucked in. It was my first choice as I wandered throughout tens of Amazon stores, not knowing what I wanted/needed. And I am certain, it is for a lot of you.
There are few reasons why that choice felt right. It didn’t seem too extravagant/old-fashioned like the garter-style shirt stays or the classic ones seemed. It didn’t look bothersome or too complicated to use. And it seemed like a viable upgrade from the underwear tuck, especially due to the sticky strip that is supposed to prevent the belt from popping out of your trousers.
Is that intuition, right? We’ll see.
How does it work
The secret belt uses the same principles as the underwear tuck. It provides an additional grip on the base of the shirt, which is supposed to make it twice as hard to get untucked.
Depending on the model, some belts have or not a sticky band. The one currently in testing has it, both on the inside and the outside. It serves different functions. The sticky strip on the inside is supposed to grip your shirt's fabric, so it will not just slip out of the belt (usually upwards) which we DO NOT want.
The sticky strip on the outside on the other hand, is supposed to grip the fabric of your trousers in order to – theoretically – fix the shirt with your trousers. So in the best outcome, you are supposed to end up with some sort of onesie, your shirt linked to your trousers.
That’s the theory. Of course, the practice is different.
As seen in the pictures, the results using the secret belt shirt stays does not change much from the underwear tuck. The shirt being gripped twice within your trousers (a first grip with the secret belt and the second one with your trouser's waistband), the secret belt provides a better grip than the regular tuck.
Raising my arms up and down few times didn’t take much of my shirt out of my trousers.
I would even argue that the results are slightly better than the underwear tuck, due to the sticky strip which enhanced the belt's grip on the shirt.
But that’s both an advantage and an issue. Because of that extra grip, the shirt doesn’t slip out of the belt when a force pulls it up (like when I raise my arms) as it was the case with the underwear tuck.
No, because of the extra grip, the belt is actually pulled up with the shirt. Which results in the belt popping out of your trousers along with the shirt after some time or after a very abrupt movement, which you DO NOT want.
But why? Isn’t the external sticky strip supposed to prevent that? By fixing your shirt with your trousers? The truth is that if the belt is well fixed with my shirt as virtually every inch of the shirt is in contact with the internal sticky band, it is not the case with the external stricky strip and the trousers. The external sticky band cannot get a good grip everywhere within those trousers, the waistband being too roomy, unless you thighten your trouser's belt to an uncomfortable extent. That is why the shirt stays will eventually pop out.
When you sit
The sitting position has the same issues as with the underwear tuck. You’ll get a whale’s tail, whatever you do, or how deep you bury that belt within your trousers.
As explained here, it is not due to the device or something that it lacks of, it is just how your trousers work in a sitting stand. You cannot do much about that.
And as with the underwear tuck, when I got up again, my shirt got slightly untucked. Again, it’s how your trousers work. But you will need to sit and get up 2 or 3 times before needing to tuck in your whole attire again.
Can you run a 100m with it?
Can you catch a thief and still looks good like in the movies with a secret belt shirt stays? As a reminder, it was unsatisfactory with an underwear tuck. For this test, I did 5 complete burpees to see how much of my shirt I was able to remove from my trousers. Here are the results.
Looking a the pictures, let’s be honest, it is still unsatisfactory or even worse. At least, you do not have a strange band popping out of your trousers with the underwear tuck. But to be fair, it happend only after a harsh movement. So the third picture will not happen in a regular setup with your everyday's gestures.
I would even state that the secret belt felt a little bit better. You will still have to tuck your shirt back in, but, there is some progress there compared to the underwear tuck. Let’s say you'll have 10 seconds of intense movements to catch that thief. Something perfectly possible for a cop in a movie.
When you score
Can you bear the thought of being spotted with a secret belt whilst getting undressed?
I personally would say it is fine. It is not something hard to explain: “it’s to keep my shirt straight”. And that’s it.
Of course, if necessary, you can always take few seconds in the restroom. It is easy to remove and easy to hide in a pocket.
And if you don’t even get few minutes to yourself because you’re about to have a passionate and vigorous love Ron Swanson style, you can always do it ninja style: unlock the belt as fast as you can with your right-hand whist fiercely kiss your woman, then throw it over your shoulder. Just like in any great movie with Colin Firth.
The uncovered belly fold
As with the underwear tuck, it helps having your shirt tucked into the secret belt in order to avoid the belly fold. From your point of view, you can still have some doubts as there is a small fold popping out, but as with the pictures, it’s ok.
Long day usage
Comfort is definitely the main asset of the secret belt. It gets forgotten pretty fast onto your waist. And at the end of the day, there is no specific relief when removing it. Which is a good sign.
I’ll be honest, the belt currently in testing does not stand out for its quality. It is ok-ish.
The plastic buckle will not break, it is thick.
The elastic feels ok.
The sticky strip, however, feels like it won’t stand a chance in the washer, and even less under hot temperatures. I would personally hand wash it.
And even then, it doesn’t look like it is going to last more than a year. But those are just impressions, I didn’t try to clean it yet, and will definitely update this part when I do.
The good part is that, contrary to other devices, you don't need to wash this belt on a regular basis. Maybe once or twice a year only. The reason is, contrary to other devices, this one is not in direct contact with your skin. That means less transfer of moisture, which means less bacteria, which means less body scent. So that washing issue raised earlier is not an major one.
My conclusions on the secret belt (sticky strip version)
+++ Easy to use
++ Sexy-time friendly
+ A bit of improvement compared to the underwear tuck.
+ Short friendly
+ Duty friendly
- - - Easy popping very noticeable whale tail
- - - Not a complete peace of mind, it may slip out of your trousers!
- The sticky part is not that effective
- Just a small improvement compared to a regular tuck
Usage: Punctual. For people that need that perfect look once or twice a month.
As with the underwear tuck, the secret belt (sticky strip version) is a good item if you need a small improvement on your overall look, plan to wear a jacket all day long, and tighten your belt as much as you can take it. It works, but only for some time and you will need to tuck everything back in now and then. I would consider that shirt stays for a punctual usage.
My biggest regret about that device is that it won’t give me that peace of mind I am looking for when wearing shirt stays. I will be too busy to ask myself: “It is slipping out? Can people see it” all the time.
There are better alternatives out there.
6/10 with a jacket.
3/10 without a jacket because of the very noticeable whale tail.
Additional wearing tips
Have you considered a triple belt system and thought what a genius idea it was?
That would be putting your shirt on, then putting the secret belt (secret belt), then wearing your underwear over (underwear's belt), then wearing your trousers (trousers’ belt).
I did. And it is not that good of an idea. It does not provide an extra benefit: you achieve the same results with a double belt system. And the disadvantages – including the whale's tail - are still pretty much visible.
If you need a better grip, check out our other articles.