Rolling Up Your Sleeves: Fashion for Short Men

Spring is in the air, and while that means higher pollen counts, it also means warmer weather and sunny skies — the perfect time of year for rolling up your sleeves and enjoying the outdoors. But for many short men, it is a struggle to nail that rolled-up looking without looking sloppy.

Getting the right rolled-sleeve look first requires having a shirt that fits correctly — something that can be difficult for shorter men, as most shirts aren’t designed for those under 5’9”. That is something Ash & Erie is passionate about fixing — our shirts are designed with refined collars, properly scaled sleeves at the appropriate length, and are made for men with shorter body lengths. In short: getting a shirt that fits, first and foremost, is critical to getting the right rolled- sleeve style. A great example is the Glacier Ice Blue Shirt, which is the perfect choice to wear alone, or pair with a variety of pieces to achieve different styles.

Once you have the right wardrobe pieces in your closet, here are a few tips for how to achieve the perfect, effortless rolled-sleeve look in several different styles — without looking like you’re trying.

How to Roll Up Dress Shirt Sleeves

When planning how to roll up dress shirt sleeves, the first question to ask is: should you do it? Rolled sleeves are a much more casual look, no matter what you pair them with, so occasions that call for more formal or professional attire shouldn’t be paired with rolled sleeves. That said, there are occasions when you want to dress-down a dress shirt, and this is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves.

There are a few ways to roll up sleeves on a dress shirt. For the first, unbutton the cuff and flip it back, so it is inside-out and flat against the arm. Then fold it over one more time, making sure the corners are tucked in neatly. This should end the rolled sleeve below the elbow, on the forearm. This is a great option when you have multiple layers on, such as a dress shirt paired with a sweater, and it looks great on all body types.

The second way to roll up dress shirt sleeves is a bit more casual. Start with unbuttoning the cuff, but this time, when you flip the cuff back, pull it all the way up to just below your elbow, turning the sleeve inside out as well as you go. Then take the bottom of the inside-out portion of the sleeve, and roll it 2-3 times until it completely traps the cuff. You can either cover the cuff completely, or you can leave a bit of the cuff showing at the top, depending on your personal style preference. This approach is especially great with styles like the Summit Plaid Shirt.

How to Roll Up Sweater Sleeves

Especially in the Spring and Fall, weather can be unpredictable. You start the day off in a piece such as the Fog Grey Knit Sweater, but as the afternoon progresses, it gets a bit warm, and you need to roll up your sleeves. This can be a bit tricky, especially if you have another shirt layered underneath, but it can be done.

If you do have a dress shirt on underneath, pull the cuff out, and then use the first method above, keeping it neat and even, and giving the shirts 1-2 rolls. This will keep it from looking bulky, while being a bit cooler on the arms. This works best when you have a sweater and shirt that have complementary colors, so it looks like a deliberate fashion choice, rather than an afterthought.

If you’re wearing a sweater alone, don’t just shove the sleeves up. Use the second rolling method for dress shirts to get the sleeves up, but keep it looking neat and stylish.

How to Roll Up Henley Sleeves

Perhaps the easiest shirt sleeves to roll, especially since the Henley shirt — like this Black Henley — is already a casual shirt option, there is still more than one way to go about it, and you’ll want to go with the more stylish options.

First — do not just push the sleeves up. This is the sloppy look we’re trying to avoid, so you will want to take the time to roll them up. With that out of the way, to roll up your Henley, fold over the cuff about an inch or two, and then carefully continue to roll it up to your desired length, keeping the folds even, and both arms at the same length. Don’t roll too high — no one looks good with their shirt around their biceps — but choose a length that feels right to you.

Rolling up your sleeves is a great way to take an outfit from cooler morning mists to warmer afternoon adventures without needing to head back to the closet. But rolling up your sleeves doesn’t have to mean abandoning all sense of fashion. Done right, the rolled-up sleeve for short men can look great and feel comfortable at the same time.

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