Hey gents —

A friend had asked me how to best roll up one’s sleeves, and I figured this might be a common question among men, so I thought I’d address it in a post. Frankly, there are many ways to do this, but haphazard solutions often fall short in terms of long-lasting positioning and minimal fret (read: least amount of times having to roll and re-roll them up.)

Surely there are several methods and it’s all a matter of preference, but I wanted to share one process that hasn’t failed me.

How to: Roll up shirt sleeves effectivelyclick image to view set

  1. Start with your sleeve unbuttoned at the cuff and the placket.
  2. Grab the cuff and while in the process of folding up once, pull up towards your shoulder. Stop when the seam where the cuff/sleeve meet lines up with the fold of your elbow.
  3. Take the material below that point, and fold up towards your shoulder.
  4. Straighten it all up. You’ve done this right if you have a snugly-fitting roll.

Easy, right?

If you have other ways you like to roll up those sleeves, feel free to share them in the comments.

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PUBLISHED December 8, 2009

Barron is a Lean Wardrobe Advocate and Founding Editor of Effortless Gent. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr.

  • Butch

    They call that the “Italian style” of rolling up the sleeves. Oddly enough, the first time I saw someone’s sleeves done that way, it was the French soccer coach.

  • I’ve seen this method before, I like the look. My only problem is it’s too tight for me most times.

    • Yeah I noticed if I do the initial roll too high, then when I finish it off, it becomes too tight, so I have to adjust accordingly. Might just need to play with it a couple times to get the right fit.

  • A YouTube vid of this process would be very useful.

    • Hi Aurangzeb,

      I agree. I’ve been wanting to make a series of short videos of basic thing such as this. Definitely in the new year. 🙂

  • Jacobcallahan24

    fuck it

  • HunterJE

    Especially nice with those trendy designer shirts with the contrasting print inside the cuff — the little bit of the cuff that peeks out is just enough to show that off without overdoing it.  

  • billybala

    Hey Barron, is it better to roll the sleeve past the elbow or below the elbow?

  • Aaron

    I leave the placket buttoned and pull the sleeve down my arm as far as it will go, then roll three times using the width of the cuff for the size of each roll. This provides just enough fabric in the sleeve to get the third, full roll. Leaving the placket buttoned keeps the roll tight (but not too tight, for me). The final product sits just below the elbow and won’t move or come undone because of the buttoned placket. Getting the third roll on each arm keeps the fabric of my shirt taut and fitting properly.

    It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this out and happened by accident when keeping the placket buttoned.

  • Jermaine

    you need to do a video that made no sense

  • Jermaine

    this was in 2009 – where is our video