How To Roll Your Shirt Sleeves

How To Roll Your Shirt Sleeves


There is a serious contradiction of intention when a man rolls up his shirtsleeves. Is he getting ready for a fight? Is he relaxing at the end of a day? Is he getting serious and down to business or is he just cooling off?


Historically men have rolled up their sleeves in preparation for work as clothing was expensive and they didn’t want to damage it. If you watch any old Western film you will notice how men take that extra moment to carefully fold their sleeves before landing a punch.


In the modern world, rolled sleeves have evolved into a style statement. Do you ever find that rolling your sleeves looks messy or is uncomfortable? Well here are five ways to get the perfect rolled look.


Before rolling your sleeves, remember to undo the buttons on the cuff and gauntlet of your shirt.


The big question is should the sleeve be rolled above or below the elbow? The simple answer is above the elbow if you're about to start work and below the elbow if you’re just cooling off to or signal it’s the end of the day.


  1. AIFA Roll

This is the easiest method to roll sleeved although most people haven’t heard of the AIFA method before. This roll only exposes a third of your arm which is visually appealing according to the rule of thirds. Start with one fold about the width of the cuff, then a second fold of a similar width. Simple.


This roll below the elbow is more of a casual fashion statement, perfect for a day out with the family, with a dress shirt and your favorite jeans.


  1. The Basic Roll

This roll is how it sounds – very basic. It's the most intuitive way to roll sleeves but it's more time consuming, and depending on the shirt and fit it can restrict your hand movements, and is difficult to undo.


Using the cuff as a measuring point, fold the cuff once.

Repeat this several times, tugging at the fabric to make sure it is straight and smooth.

Roll up until you go past the elbow.


  1. The High Roller

This style is often used by men with big biceps and tattoos on their arms and the sleeves are rolled well above the elbows. Lay your shirt on a flat surface. Slip your hand into the sleeve thorough the wrist opening and pinch the fabric half-way up the sleeve. With you other hand, roll the sleeve fabric inside out up to the shoulder seam. Flatten out the sleeve.

Roll the sleeve half way to the bottom of the burned out cuff.

Roll the sleeve a third to cover the entire cuff. You can leave the top part of the cuff exposed if it has a contracting colour or design.


This works best with semi-casual or informal shirts.


  1. The Master Roll

You’ll notice that some shirts have a contrasting colour detail or design pattern under the cuff, which is visible only when you use the master roll.


Roll the sleeves up to about two widths of the cuff

Smooth the fabric, taking out folds.

Roll the bottom once more – covering the cuff and leaving just the top of it exposed.

If there is a contrasting colour or design on the cuff – show just a hint of it.

To undo the fold – simple hold the edge of the cuff and pull down.


The master roll gets the sleeve completely our of the way – allowing for natural arm movement, while keeping a neat appearance.


  1. The Band Roll

A very retro and practical way to roll sleeves. Over time shirtsleeve loose their elasticity and tend to unroll, which is frustrating when you're doing something important. New York restaurant waiters in the 1960’s had the smart idea of securing their shirt sleeves with a sleeve band, which holds them firmly in place.


Here is how to use a sleeve band:

Secure the upper part of your shirt sleeve using a sleeve band.

Pull the shirt up a few inches to hide the sleeve band under the shirt folds. A bonus option is to secure a master roll using a sleek and smart sleeve band.

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