Rolling Shirt Sleeves to Show Cuffs

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Eddie Redmayne twist-rolls his shirtsleeve to partially expose cuffs.
Eddie Redmayne twist-rolls his shirtsleeve to partially expose cuffs. (Image: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Rolled up shirtsleeves are not just for manual labor. Sometimes, you roll up your sleeves as a fashion statement, or to show an inner cuff on your shirt. Rolled sleeves highlight the currently trending movements of workwear for men, as well as women wearing menswear. A rolled cuff combines rugged and refined style. How far you go with it is a purely personal preference.

Low Rolled Cuff

A low cuff roll, one that exposes the wrist, is a good place to begin with this fashion statement. It is a great option for men who are wearing a more casual button-down style, such as chambray or linen. The process is a simple procedure. First, unbutton the cuff and any gauntlet buttons (the buttons above the cuff and below the elbow). Flip the cuff back towards the elbow so that is inside-out. Be sure the folded shirt sleeve still lands around your wrist. Start at the end of the shirtsleeve, and make one more small fold. so that the second fold lands just below the edge of the cuff. The point of this look is not to entirely hide the cuff, but just leave one-quarter to one-half inch of the cuff fabric showing. This is a particularly good way to style when you have multiple layers involved, such as a dress shirt under a light sweater.

Forearm Rolled Cuff

A cuff that is rolled up to the forearm is the most fashionably on-trend look for men. This roll is meant to look slightly deconstructed and so if it is slightly asymmetrical or uneven, it adds to the appeal. To create a rolled cuff shirtsleeve style that is forearm height, unbutton all the buttons on your shirt sleeve. The first fold will be very long: flip the cuff back, inside-out,and pull the flipped cuff up past your elbow. Smooth-out the shirt fabric of the fold. Then, starting at the bottom of the inside-out portion of the sleeve, make another fold that traps the cuff, without covering it entirely. Make a third and final fold so that your rolled sleeve ends just above the elbow. This is a great look to wear with a slim-fit shirt and a thin tie. It is a modern take that is a little less formal, but still neat and tidy. This is also a chic style for women to wear with a button-down shirt. Button the shirt up to the collar and tuck into a pair of slim-fit cigarette pants for a preppy look.

High Rolled Cuff

To make a big style statement and show off a special cuff fabric, you can also wear your shirtsleeves rolled high above the elbow. If the shirt fits looser in the arm, leave the gauntlet button done. Otherwise, unbutton all buttons. Fold the shirt sleeve inside out and take the end of the cuff high-up, just above your bicep, where you eventually want the top of the fold to sit. Fold this first fold in half, trapping the cuff, but again, not covering it entirely. Leave out as much of the detailing as you prefer to show. Fold the fabric another time, or sometimes twice as needed, until all of the fabric of your shirtsleeves are neatly tucked above the elbow.

Jackets and Shirt Cuffs

If you are layering a jacket over a button-down shirt that has inner cuff detailing, you can show this pattern or color detailing by folding the cuff over the jacket sleeve, provided that the shirtsleeve is long enough to extend past the jacket's cuff. Be sure to leave the buttons undone and only roll the cuff once. If there is a pattern such as a polka-dot print on the exposed cuff, pick it up on another part of your outfit. A pocket square or a tie are fantastic accessories to achieve this coordinated style.

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