It was not long ago during the summers, my office felt like an oven. The heat made me feel like I was a cake, getting baked. I could feel the drips of sweat on my back. It was terrible and I needed to cool my body.

Perspiring due to the heat, I sipped on cold ice water. Soon I realised, the cold water was just not going to do it for me.

I then rolled up my sleeves using the master roll technique and the heat and sweat subsided soon. 

Maybe you too are in a similar situation. You want to learn how to roll up sleeves may be for an event, office, work that could damage clothes or just because it’s too hot.

Stick with me for the next 5 minutes and you will know the right way on how to roll up sleeves. Apart from that, you will also know when to roll up your sleeves without looking sloppy and when you should avoid it.


How to roll up sleeves

Back in the day’s men rolled up their sleeves when they were engaging in work that could get their clothes dirty. This was since clothes were expensive back then. Men used to roll up their sleeves to indicate it was time to work. 

Apart from that, men used to roll up their sleeves to appear casual during happy hours or office casual functions to relax lay back and enjoy the moment.

Even when it used to get hot, men used to roll up their sleeves to cool themselves down. The catch here remains is how to roll up sleeves in a way that you don’t appear sloppy.

Rolling up the sleeves should be done appropriately and only on certain occasions. It portrays a casual or relaxed look.

What initially began as a way to beat the heat soon was adopted as a trend.

The trend began from movies to tv shows where men rolled up their sleeves in a stylish way.

Although rolling up your sleeves can be considered stylish however doing them at the wrong occasion can totally send off the wrong signals.

So before we look at how to roll up sleeves, it is vital to know when you should do so.

When to roll up your sleeves

How to roll up sleeves

You should consider rolling up your sleeves on occasions such as

Its Happy Hours in Office.

You need to protect your shirt from the dust or dirt. While washing your hands as well you can roll your sleeves.

While eating food or keeping your hand on surfaces that are dirty.

You should consider rolling up your sleeves while playing with pets or family members.

Sleeves can also be rolled when you’re busy doing anything that could dirty your shirt. 

When it’s too hot outside and you’re perspiring. Allowing some air to pass on your forearms can cool your body quickly.

While doing so remember it’s a temporary fix and could attract some wrinkles here and there. Avoid rolling up sleeves because the shirt is an oversized shirt.

It is advisable to shop for a shirt that fits well or visit a tailor as this will reduce the amounts of folds and wrinkles that will get added to it.

Now that you’re aware of the occasions that are preferable to roll up your sleeves let’s look at when to avoid rolling up your sleeves.

When to avoid rolling up your sleeves 

How to roll up sleeves

Rolling up your sleeves can be comforting and relaxing. However, there are certain occasions where doing this should be avoided. 

When it comes to formal meetings or office presentations, you should avoid rolling up your sleeves as it could portray a laid back attitude which may hurt you.

During office or formal environment, sleeves should not be rolled up. Avoid rolling up your sleeves while wearing jackets as this can make the jacket appear puffy around the arms.

Jackets are usually not rolled up but pulled up as a trend. Before you try such a thing, make sure to double-check with the mirror.

Afterall the mirror always says when you do it right. If it looks fine, the majority of the time it is right.

Rolling up the sleeves is a subtle way of dressing down the formal attire. 

Now that you’re aware of the appropriate times to roll up your sleeves let’s look at How to roll up sleeves the right way.

There are 3 ways on how to roll up sleeves and you can choose your type depending upon the occasion.

The Basic Fold

How to roll up sleeves

The Basic Fold can be used at formal events where you want to appear formal while trying to cool down the heat from your body. The basic fold is a simple fold that can be easily done. It consists of two folds. All you have to do here is fold the sleeve twice.

Once you fold the sleeve twice, move up the sleeves by pushing the sleeves up. This is an ideal way when you are feeling hot yet you want to maintain the formal look.

It is ideal when you are in office perspiring and need to cool down. Since there are only two folds done, this method attracts the least amount of wrinkles.  Once you have finished your work or your body is cooled down, you can easily unroll the sleeves.

The Basic Roll is two folds and then pushing sleeves upwards.

While doing this, ensure that the sleeves are not pushed above the elbow as this communicates a laid back or casual look.

Pro Tip: While doing the basic roll ensure that the gauntlet button of the cuffs is put which ensures a clean fold.

The Master Roll

The Master roll is commonly used while doing work to avoid dirt or dust on the sleeves. Ancient times rolling up sleeves was an indication to do work. Men rolled up their sleeves while engaging in heavy work. 

All you have to do for the master roll is, fold your cuff once. After you have done this, now move the cuff above your elbow. Once you have moved the cuffs above your elbow, slowly roll up the sleeves from your forearm.

If you have contrasting cuffs as in, the backside of the cuffs has a darker shade, then this type of master roll highlights the contrasting sleeve. 

It has recently been adopted as a fashion trend. This provides a classy and contrasting look enhancing your style. However, the downside of this Master roll is that it attracts more creases than the basic fold.

You should use this type of roll when your shirt has a design pattern or contrast on the inside of the cuff. This enhances the look of the shirt.

The Complete Roll

The complete roll is a type of roll that can be used after office when you want to let go and layback. This type of roll was used to end the formal day. 

The complete roll is an easy way on how to roll up sleeves. All you have to do is, keep rolling up the sleeve to the length you desire. However, a little nugget here is, avoid using this fold in office environments. This fold attracts high amounts of creases. 

This complete roll can be done for casual events, parties and birthdays. The downside of this type of roll is that once the sleeves are rolled down, they will appear heavily creased.

Some Handy Tips

While rolling up your sleeves ensure the sleeves are not above the elbow during formal environments. 

Sleeves can be rolled above the elbow during laid back casual events.

While rolling up your sleeves try to ensure that both the sleeve lengths are the same.

If you are rolling up your sleeves because the shirt is long or short, it is preferable to buy a shirt with a better fit. Consider getting the shirt tailored as per your body measurements.

Avoid rolling up your sleeves while wearing a tie at formal occasions. Unless it is a party, wedding or casual function. If you plan to roll up the sleeves while wearing a tie, ensure that the collar button of your shirt is unbuttoned, signalling a casual look.


These were the different ways on how to roll up sleeves. There are other ways as well on how to roll up sleeves however they are unnecessary and some of them don’t look good aesthetically. These were the 3 basic ways on how to roll up sleeves for any occasion.

If I have missed out on your favourite way on how to roll up sleeves, let me know in the comment section. 

Depending upon the type of event and situation, you can choose one of the 3 ways mentioned above. Iron your shirt if you have rolled up the sleeves previously to remove the creases.

Now you know how to roll up sleeves according to the occasion and still maintain the attire you are carrying. To watch these steps in a video click here.

Let me know your favourite way to roll up sleeves in the comments.

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