Hello darlings!!! Welcome to PART 2 of our “How To” Series, HOW TO ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES! If you did not catch PART 1, How to Tuck Your Shirts, be sure to read here. Today’s episode features 5 different ways to roll up your cuffs and achieve that perfect sleeve look. You can watch the detailed video above OR read the step by step instructions below with the simplified .gifs. Whether you’re looking for a casual, laid back sleeve for everyday or a tighter, polished one for work, these methods should have you covered. Thank you so much again for voting in the comments section of the How to Tuck Your Shirts video!!! Be sure to follow along as we continue to tackle your “how to” questions! xoxo -E
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The “Casual” or “Basic” roll is the fastest option for people on-the-go or looking for a more relaxed, easy sleeve.
- Unbutton both sleeve buttons
- Flip your cuff back, right at the seam where the cuff meets the sleeve
- Continue to fold the sleeve onto itself until you reach your desired sleeve length. You want to be sure each fold is equivalent to the width of the cuff, so use your cuff as a template!
For a more “Casual” look, fold the cuff back only 1-2 times and keep the length of the sleeve at your forearm.
If you need to work or utilize your arms, continue the “Basic” roll up until the sleeve is at or above your elbows.
The “Italian” or ” Master” roll is truly a classic. It’s reliable, secure and clean. I would consider this the ideal roll for the office!
- Unbutton both sleeve buttons
- Grab the cuff and pull it back towards your elbow
- Tug the fabric taut and use your fingers to smooth this first large fold over
- Take the new bottom of the sleeve and fold it back towards the elbow until it covers about 90% of the exposed shirt cuff. You can cover the majority of the cuff or 100%, totally up to you if you want to leave a sliver of the cuff exposed!
This roll creates a firmer seal and a cleaner, less bulky appearance. Practice will make you more confident with the amount to roll up each time. I personally like it folded up to the elbow or above for a more cropped look. Experiment with different lengths until you find a sleeve that looks good, but is also functional for your lifestyle. Remember: exposing your elbows will provide better mobility in the arms!
If you ever walked by a J.Crew storefront or flipped through their adorable catalog, one thing you will notice is their iconic sleeve roll. It’s polished, with a slightly rugged, disheveled look. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and looks amazing with a lived-in chambray. For J.Crew fans (like me!), here are a few tips on how to achieve that effortlessly cool J.Crew sleeve.
- Follow the steps in the “Master” or “Italian” roll above
- Once you finish folding over the second fold onto the cuff, twist the bottom up a third time. Don’t worry about it being an even fold, in fact, the more uneven and imperfect, the better! You want to create a little more visual twisting & wrinkling in the foldover to break up that “perfect cuff” look
- Tug at the exposed cuff in different places so that it is visible and sticks out from the folds. Create your own masterpiece here! You can make it dramatic and drape over like a flower petal or keep it less visible like a subtle, ruffled trim
There are some shirts that I literally never wear full sleeve. I ALWAYS cuff those bad boys, and it’s a hassle to roll the sleeves every time. For shirts like these, I like to pre-roll them and keep them hung in my closet ready-to-go. My favorite method is to start with a basic roll, then seal the cuffs with a marine corps style roll.
- If you can, take the time to iron the sleeves out! If you are going for a semi-permanent roll solution, it’s nice to have it smooth as possible
- Unbutton both sleeve buttons
- Start from the bottom and fold back the cuff, nice and crisp. You can even place your iron on the folded cuff to confirm the fold and seal it off. Continue to fold back the sleeve, cuff by cuff length, until the slit of the shirt is gone. I at least fold past the cuff slit/opening to make sure that the sleeve doesn’t unravel on the hanger.
- When I reach my last 1-2 folds, I then do the marine corp style roll. Take the cuff and fold the entire roll back onto the sleeve.
- Use your thumb and pointer finger to pinch the underside of the sleeve and the inside of the cuff together (thumb on the inside rim of the cuff and the pointer pinching the from behind the sleeve)
- Using your middle, ring and pinky finger, push the fabric inside out so that it emerges from the cuff hole completely flipped (like when you fold your socks together!)
- Use your fingers to push the fabric out taut, give it a few good stretches and firm up that cuff shape
I love doing these steps for my military style and chambray shirts because I wear them so often. I can just throw these on as I’m heading out the door with no hassle. They slowly morph into permanent 3/4 sleeves, and I even wash them rolled and they come out untouched! Again, you don’t have to go as extreme as me, but wanted to show you an option if you hate re-rolling every time!
Love layering? Show them cuffs off, girl! It adds nice contrast to your sleeves and the cuff of color compliments the body of the shirt.
If you want to keep things long sleeved (above):
- Fold back your sweater cuffs by one cuff’s length
- Use your fingers to pinch and tug the sweater until the knit fabric is smooth and evenly distributed throughout the arm. If you still have excess fabric, you can fold the sweater cuff back a little more or double cuff it. Just be sure your sweater sleeve is still on the longer side, right above your wrist.
- Fold your cuffs back onto the sweater edge, covering the sweater cuff
For a cropped, more secured look (below):
- Fold back your sweater cuffs to your elbow
- Smooth the sweater sleeve and distribute the fabric as evenly as possible
- Fold your cuffs back basic style, cuff by cuff, until your cuff folds over the sweater edge
- Grab both the blouse and sweater fabric and roll them up, cuff’s length, and secure the two layers together
The first method allows the cuffs to be loose, slightly floppy and open while the second method provides a tight seal and a cleaned up, contrasting cuff.
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