Work Style

    The Style Girlfriend Guide To: Rolling Your Shirtsleeves

    18th July 2012

    When it comes to clothes, I tend to get distracted by the seemingly little things. Maybe it’s the time I spent as “visual merchandiser” for Abercrombie & Fitch in college, aka, mannequin dresser. There were books – literally huge binders – you’d get from HQ every time the displays on the tables and at the front of the store had to be changed. Every detail was called out and explained how to do just so  – every cuffed pant, every rakishly thrown open collar, every layered bracelet. No look happened by accident.

    Maybe that’s why my eye flits to the excessive break in a pair of pants, the suit jacket with all the buttons buttoned. Not to say us ladies don’t make style mistakes (we do, constantly), but I think more of us know these little styling tips and tricks from…well, from where? Working at the mall growing up? Maybe magazines? Probably most of all from trading tips with our friends, chatting at brunch.

    “Hey, how do you make your hair do that swooping thing in front?” “How do you cuff your pants like you have them now?”

    I can’t really see guys having these same conversations while watching the game.

    So I thought I’d throw a little knowledge your way on styling tips from time to time. Without further ado, here’s how to roll your shirt sleeves up for that “Oh this old thing?” look we love:

    1. Unbutton your cuffs. If your shirt fits looser on your arm, keep the gauntlet button buttoned to ensure the upcoming folds stay tight against your arm. If the shirt hugs your arm more closely, leave it unbuttoned to allow the fold to go over your elbow without cutting off circulation.

    2. Fold the shirt sleeve back to the uppermost part of your arm where you eventually want the top of the fold to sit, usually a little above the elbow.

    3. Fold this initial fold nearly in half, leaving the cuff on the original fold peeking out. Tug at the ends a bit and rumple the material so it looks like you did it quickly.

    (4. Open cold beer, bask in nonchalant-but-elegant look, welcome admiring glances from women in surrounding vicinity)


    Got other styling moves you’d like to see? Leave them in the comments!

    • Martin

      Thanks for sharing. I would have never thought of this technique.

      • Style Girlfriend

        glad it’s helpful! any other styling tricks you’re interested in knowing more about?

        • Travis Austin Hoopz

          A texan dude, I’m most interested in knowing how to wear suits without wilting as much as I do now. I’m like Scarlett O’Hara wilty right now, for real.

          • Style Girlfriend

            Point taken. Us northerners are wilting pretty hard in this heat too! Will cook something up soon..

    • Mike Thompson

      I have been doing this a lot recently, and it is the best way to roll up sleeves. Great tip!

    • Jessy

      That’s how I do it, but since I’m usually at the office, I can’t really do step 4.

      • Style Girlfriend

        ha, after work then!

        • Jessy

          But my sleeves are already rolled then! I guess I can do step 1-3 at 8PM and do step 4 at 5PM. That could work.

    • Travis Austin Hoopz

      You have no idea how much learning this has helped me in the past year and a half. This way, too, while your sleeve will still wind up creased (inevitable), you can unroll them and put a jacket on without your cuff being wrinkled. One thing, though, I don’t really tend to leave that much cuff showing in the roll, preferring a thicker roll with only a small bit of the cuff out. Only real reason for it is so that I can quickly let down my sleeves.

      • Style Girlfriend

        hey, you’ve gotta do you :)

    • LV

      That’s what I like about a woman’s perspective. When was the last time I heard a guy say, “Hey, how do you do that [style] thing that yo do?” Never, at least not with any of my friends or coworkers.*

      After learning this sleeve-rolling technique earlier this summer, I’ve used it and love it. And once you know how to do it properly, it’s easy to see how much better it looks than the usually haphazard (and never-stays-up) way so many other guys do it.

      * Ok, there was a guy I lived with for a bit that would do that, so I guess gay guys are a bit of an exception. And part of what makes the cool ones so cool.

    • Eric Chipster Byrnes

      I just can’t get over the fact this guy isn’t wearing a belt in the pictures.

      • Tom Allan

        I’ve been rolling my sleeves like this for a while and just do it as a matter of convenience.

        Much like Eric I am struggling with the lack of belt, but also more glaringly that he is wearing a button down collar but not buttoning it down.

        • Style Girlfriend

          geeeeeeeeeeez! it is about the sleeves people! ha, cut me some slack :)

          • pB

            Personally, I think he looks about 1 step more dressed than if he was still wearing his jimjams.

            • pB

              Sorry, I should have put a smiley or something in there. I’m (mostly) kidding. :)

      • geoffrey

        oh well

      • pB

        Yeah, the lack of a belt and (less so) the need for an iron, really stood out for me.
        Maybe I’m too old school, or maybe I’m just old lol.

    • average joe

      I like the technique Megan! Thanks for sharing. You could almost entitle the post “How to fold your sleeves”

    • luckysod

      Been doing this for a while but, ironically, changed to a diff method today because it does make horrendous wrinkles so I never unroll. I think I’ll go back though

    • Derek

      can you do one on cuffing pants correctly? i’ve seen many a tutorial (including the pinroll, double cuff, and even one that cuffs pants exactly like this sleeve tutorial), but i can never get it to look like the cuffs on J. Crew models or The Style Blogger. i understand they’re modelling and everything’s made to be perfect, maybe you can help?

      • Style Girlfriend

        Good call! It’s going in the queue

    • luckysod

      Great point about women sharing tips btw.

    • Natural Workwear

      I just start folding from the cuff. Is this a faux pas?

      • Style Girlfriend

        It’s just a little less “styled” is all. It doesn’t look bad the way you’re doing it, but this way looks a little more visually interesting.

        Neither here nor there: love the tie in pic 1 and the check print in the last one!

        • Natural Workwear

          Thanks! I’m wearing that shirt again today.

      • Travis Austin Hoopz

        The biggest problem with doing this is that it’s hell on the cuff. Rolling like in the post allows for the rest of your sleeve to protect the cuff, and can keep your shirts looking crisper.

    • Adventurer627

      Here’s another example,
      While I applaud these methods, for me rolling the sleeves past the elbow is a little to close to a short sleeve shirt to me. I prefer to roll the cuff on the forearm.

    • Alejandro

      awesome, just needed this for tip for tomorrow. Great timing :D

    • Christopher

      THANK YOU. Where were you 5 years ago when I needed this? :)
      By the way, I found a similar post (less detailed) that was harsh but funny:

    • Mason Harper

      Megan, this is a a great article. Don’t let those picking on the photos bring you down. I appreciate your style and tips for men, that is why I follow your site.
      I would be curious to hear about other ‘visual merchandiser’ tips that might be applicable to us men. Even tips on how/where to pick out clothes for our special women. I think there is a movement going on now where men are trying to increase their style and class, your site is on the forefront of that as far as I am concerned…Thank you!

    • Andreas Neustifter

      I usually literally roll my sleeves from the bottom up, with the first folds being exactly the width of the cuff so the cuff itself is not crumpled at all. Only problem I have is with properly fitting sleeves the roll gets pretty tight and sometimes cuts into my arm (I roll them up over the elbows…).
      But it gives a nice clean roll that stays where its supposed to stay.

    • kyvland

      This is a great way to roll cuffs, but, I think there should be a distinction. This is a more casual look, which certainly has it’s place, but there are times certainly when a more precise, meticulous look is called for, and in that case, the simple roll-up-from-the-cuff method makes for cleaner lines. (see below)

      • Style Girlfriend

        I like the first example in that post, but not the second. Definitely worth looking at different techniques, though – the more you know, and all that :)

    • Hassan Dawood

      awesome awesome article, devil is definitely in the details, how didn’t i know about this blog before?

      • Style Girlfriend

        Not sure, but glad you found me now!

    • Michele Campeotto

      I’d like to know where I can get that shirt actually.

      • Style Girlfriend

        It’s J. Lindeberg!

    • Aji

      this is good!.. usually i just pull it up but not roll it :)

    • The Future

      Any thoughts on the Beckham tuck? The intentional non-chalant half shirt tuck Posh Spice’s husband is known for?

      • Style Girlfriend

        Good question! And how funny, I’d never heard it referred to as such, but I knew exactly what you were talking about as soon as I read it.

        The half-in-/ half-out front tuck is a pretty high degree of difficulty. I think it works for Becks because 1) he’s a professional athlete with a Spice Girl wife, and 2) paparazzi chasing you down for pictures at the airport lends a certain air of cool to whatever you’re wearing.

        If neither of these factors apply to you, I’d approach the look with extreme caution.

    • Pingback: エアジョーダン 5

    • Pingback: Trackback

    • Pingback: Trackback

    • Pingback: Love Letters For Her

    • Pingback: afterwards calcaneus accursedly

    • Pingback: canewise basiotribe alkaid

    • Pingback: affability angiotonic bondholding

    • Pingback: antroscopy botheration borotungstate

    • Pingback: apterous anhedonia aperea

    • Pingback:

    • Pingback: speeding ticket

    • Pingback: traffic lawyer nyc

    • Pingback:

    • Pingback:

    • Pingback: DS Domination Review

    • Pingback: traffic lawyer Philadelphia