How to Roll Shirt Sleeves - 5 Sleeve Folding Methods

Knowing how to roll your shirt sleeves will make a difference to your look!

To keep a level of formality in hot weather or bring casual attire. This simple art may take a few minutes to master but will make all the difference to your appearance! (And it can also make your arms look bigger!)

In this article, I will show you how to roll up the sleeves of a shirt in five different ways:

How to roll up the sleeves of a shirt

For these methods, the first step is to undo the wrist and gauntlet buttons of your shirt. You'll find a cufflink halfway up the sleeve opening on most good shirts.

The gaps are there to allow proper rolling of the sleeves and ironing of the cuffs - if they are long enough to serve their purpose, they will be too long to stay closed without a button.

Sleeve Rolling Method #1 The Master Roll

How to roll a Master round?

Roll the sleeve about two widths from the cuff, then smooth out any creases or folds in the fabric.
Roll up from the bottom end of the sleeve once more to cover the cuff, leaving only the top end of the cuff exposed.
If the inside of the cuff has a contrasting color or pattern, show only a hint of it and cover the rest.
Hold the top edge of the cuff and pull down to undo the crease.
Modern sartorialists accept the master roll as the preferred way to roll up the sleeves. But I find that many men have never heard of it.

Pro tip: Here's how to roll up the sleeves when your shirt has a contrasting lining or pattern on the inside of the cuff. The stark contrast is visible ONLY when you use the master roller. Show off the inside chambray cuffs of your flannel shirt.

This method is my favorite for the following reasons:

It is the least restrictive. It completely spreads the sleeve, which allows a natural movement of the arm.
The sleeves are locked in place and won't come loose throughout the day.
The course of the round is simple and fast.
It keeps the whole look neat and in place.


Sleeve Rolling Method #2 AIFA Roll

How to roll the AIFA roller?

Fold the bottom of the sleeve once, across the width of the cuff.
Using a similar width, repeat a second time with the cuff folded.
Avoid smoothing the fabric. The AIFA roller is meant to look casual and effortless.
The AIFA Roll screams laid back. This is the easiest way to fold your shirt sleeve.

It adheres to the rule of thirds - a design principle that also has implications in men's style. In the AIFA Roll, the sleeves only expose a third of your arm. This report is visually appealing according to the rule of thirds.

The AIFA Roll is suitable for men who have short and narrow arms. Rolling up your sleeves using this technique will make your arms proportional to the rest of your body.

This roll ends below the elbow and is perfect for a family day out. The only downside is that it breaks down quite easily.


Sleeve Rolling Method #3 The Base Roll

How to make the base roll?

Using the cuff as a measuring point, fold the cuff once.
Repeat step one several times, tugging the fabric to make sure it's straight and smooth.
Roll until you are past the elbow.
Also called "beginner rolling", this method is the intuitive way to roll sleeves. If you've ever watched someone who hasn't been around people who know how to roll up their sleeves, you'll see them using the Basic Roll.

Depending on the shirt and fit, the Base Roll may take some time. It restricts your hand movements and is difficult to undo.

The Basic Sleeve Roll is suitable when your shirt sleeves are considerably wider than your arms. The extra fabric allows for the third fold.

Some casual shirts feature a button or thin strip of fabric inside the sleeve to attach a base roll.


Sleeve Rolling Method #4 The High Roller

How to ride the High Roller?

Lay your shirt on a flat surface.
Fold your sleeve over a cuff width.
Follow the same step a second time, covering the folded part of the cuff.
Roll the sleeve a third and fourth time to cover the entire cuff.
The High Roller works best with semi-casual or informal shirts.
Do you have forearms worth showing off? So consider yourself a high roller when it comes to rolling up your sleeves.

This method is suitable for men with large biceps and tattoos on their arms. The sleeves are rolled up well above the elbows.

It is also ideal for manual work and gives you a casual look.

On more fitted shirts, this technique gives the impression of having a bagel stuck to your biceps. The Master Roll is best suited for fitted formal shirts.


Sleeve Rolling Method #5 The Garter Roll

How to use a garter to roll up the sleeves?

Secure the upper part of your shirt sleeve with a sleeve band.
Pull the shirt a few inches to hide the sleeve band under the shirt pleats.
A bonus option is to secure a Master Roll using a sleek and smart metal sleeve band.
You can also use a strong rubber band. Make sure the tape hides in the creases of the shirt sleeve.
Shirt arm clips are a stylish alternative to sleeve garters. This variation of the garter looks like a tie clip and is a nice piece of jewelry that sits vertically on your arm. Roll your sleeves using the Master Roll method, then insert the arm clip outwards.
Garters and arm clips are great conversation starters at parties.


How do you make rolled up sleeves look good?

Make sure the rolled length on each arm is the same.
The sleeves should stop above the elbow if you are about to work.
Roll up your sleeves below the elbow if you are cooling down.
Iron or iron your shirt before rolling up the sleeves to remove creases.
If you find yourself rolling up your shirt sleeves because they are too short or too long, my advice would be to find a good tailor.

When can you wear rolled up sleeves with a tie?

In general, avoid wearing rolled up sleeves with a tie. These are two contradictory style elements. Rolled up sleeves indicate the casual style, while a tie leans more towards a formal style. But I can think of two occasions when it's appropriate to roll up your sleeves when wearing a tie.

When you want to keep them from getting damaged or getting dirty, so if you're going to be working with your hands - moving office equipment or anything that might rip your sleeves or get them dirty - roll up your sleeves and get to work. And you don't even have to take off your tie.
When you want to signal that you are not at work or that it is time to relax, especially if you are the boss and others follow you; in this case, you will not only roll up your sleeves, but you will also loosen your tie. Take off your jacket.
Shortening your shirt sleeves can be fun, whatever the season. Experiment with the different methods listed above and mix them up so you don't end up with the same styles.
The sleeve length of your shirt can impact the entire outfit, so you need to get it right.

Over time, the shirt sleeve tends to lose its elasticity; they tend to unwind and create frustration, especially if you're doing something important, like helping the woman do the dishes.

New York restaurant servers in the 1960s came up with a clever solution. They figured out how to roll up the sleeves and secure them with a sleeve band or sleeve garter, holding the folded sleeve firmly in place.

The sleeve stripe disappeared for a few decades and regained popularity after football player David Beckham used it to make his sleeves look thin and neat.
Garters are usually elastic, but you can also find metal and silk garters in different colors and patterns.

The garters will make it much easier to roll your sleeves and give you a retro and unique look.


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