How the Man Should Roll Up His Sleeves
Orestes Nuez (The Freeman) - January 2, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Yuletide season may have closed, but there’s still an upcoming series of celebrations. And these events are always a challenge for men who are fastidious about their looks.  This year’s Sinulog Festival, in particular, presents certain issues for the fashion-conscious man.

The biggest fiesta of the Philippines draws multitudes every year. Cebu City is going to be densely populated once again, like in the past years. For the most part of the weeklong festivities, the streets come to a standstill… well, almost a standstill.

The traffic situation is sure to compel people to just get on their feet and walk to anywhere they want to go. And there’s a silver lining to such inconvenience for young people. It’s a good time to be seen.

Yet, given the tropical climate, the men in their most stylish long sleeves are literally in a ‘hot spot’. It’s time to roll up the sleeves. But what’s the right way of doing that? Men’s fashion guru Antonio Centeno, of, shares some practical, highly fashionable ideas:

Note: Before you roll your sleeves – remember to undo the buttons on the cuff and gauntlet of your shirt. And the sleeves should be rolled until above the elbow if you’re about to do work, but roll your sleeves below the elbow if you’re just cooling off and want to let in some air.

1. AIFA Roll – The Easiest Method to Roll Sleeves

It involves a simple way and also adheres to the rule of thirds – a design principle that has implications in men’s style too. In the AIFA roll, the sleeves expose only a third of your arm.

One fold, about the width of the cuff. Then a second fold of similar width.

For those whose arms are not big or long, the AIFA roll makes the arms look proportional to the rest of the body. This roll is below the elbow and is more of a casual fashion statement. Perfect with a dress shirt and one’s favorite denims.

2. The Basic Roll – The Intuitive Way to Roll Up Shirt Sleeves

If you’ve ever watched someone who hasn’t been around people who roll their sleeves, you’ll see them use the basic roll. Depending on the shirt and fit, the basic roll is time-consuming. It can restrict the hand movements and is difficult to undo. However, it’s the most intuitive way to roll sleeves:

Using the cuff as a measuring point, fold the cuff once. Repeat the first step several times, tugging at the fabric to make sure it is straight and smooth. Roll up until it’s past the elbow.

3. The High Roller – Sleeve Rolling for Men with Arms Worth Displaying

Most often used by men with big biceps and tattoos on their arms, the sleeves are rolled well above the elbows.

Lay your shirt down on a flat surface. Slip your hand into the sleeve through the wrist opening. Pinch the fabric halfway up the sleeve. With your other hand, roll the sleeve fabric inside out up to the shoulder seam. Flatten out the sleeve.

Roll the sleeve halfway to the bottom of the turned out cuff. Roll the sleeve a third time to cover the entire cuff. You can leave the top part of the cuff exposed if it has a contrasting color or design.

The High Roller works best with semi-casual or informal shirts.

4. The Master Roll – A Great Way to Roll Up Shirt Sleeves

This one perhaps many men have never heard of! You’ll notice that some shirts have a contrasting color detail or design pattern under the cuff, which is visible only when you use the master roll.

Roll the sleeves up to about two widths of the cuff. Smooth the fabric, taking out folds. Roll the bottom once more – covering the cuff and leaving just the top of it exposed. If there is a contrasting color or design on the cuff – show just a hint of it. To undo the fold – simply hold the edge of the cuff and pull down.

The Master Roll is the least constructive method of folding shirt sleeves. It gets the sleeve completely out of the way – allowing for natural arm movement. It keeps the whole appearance neat and in place.

5. The Band Roll – Retro and Practical Method to Keep Shirt Sleeves in Place

Over time the shirt sleeve tends to lose its elasticity. They tend to unroll and create some frustration especially if you are doing something important – like helping a lady pick up a dropped bag.

New York restaurant waiters in the 1960’s came up with the smart idea of securing their shirt sleeves with a sleeve band. A sleeve band or sleeve garter holds the folded sleeve firmly in place. The sleeve band disappeared for a few decades and regained popularity after soccer player David Beckham used them to give his sleeves a slim and neat appearance.

To use a sleeve band, secure the upper part of your shirt sleeve using a sleeve band. Pull the shirt up few inches to hide the sleeve band under the shirt folds. An option is to secure a master roll using a sleek and smart sleeve band.

It works really well to secure and keep your folded cuff in place. A strong rubber band can also be used, but ensure the band is hidden in the shirt sleeve folds.

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