NOTE: On Monday, 8/3 I posted this article for a little under 2 hours. I temporarily removed it because my gracious sleeve model's site was down for server updates. Out of respect to him, I waited to re-post until his site was back up. If you missed the article the first time, I hope you enjoy it now. -Lisa
In the modern world, business-casual attire is replacing the formal business suit. I, personally like to see men do business in a nicely tailored suit. It's elegantly powerful and frees men from the issues of what to wear and how to wear it. However, until the pendulum swings back in my favor, the ever so comfortable business-casual uniform will prevail.
For those of you in the business casual world who appropriately wear a dress shirt to work (commonly referred by men as a "button up"), I applaud your efforts. However, those efforts often go unnoticed when you don't know how to roll your sleeves up well.
I recently had a conversation about just this issue with a fellow blogger from the uber cool, man-friendly website 21gent. He graciously agreed to be my model for this article and demonstrate the highs and lows of rolling your shirt sleeves.
Men's Sleeve Rolling Etiquette:
1. If you roll your shirt sleeves in the business workplace, please do so respectably; keep it neat, tidy, polished.
2. If you are layering a sweater over your dress shirt, simply roll the cuff back once over the end of your sweater sleeve and push the sleeves up to your mid-forearm for a business casual look.
3. Wearing a tie? Please don't roll your sleeves at all. Keep them cuffed and polished (unless you are making a fashion statement and then all bets are off).
4. If you are wearing a dress shirt without a jacket and tie, unbutton your cuff, and carefully fold it back twice; ensuring it lays flat and never goes past your elbow.
5. I encourage you to roll your sleeves when you want to look polished but not stuffy in semi-casual attire. For example: when wearing a dress shirt tucked in with denim or casual pants (without a tie or jacket).
Unfortunately, I see men do this regularly in the business world. The man in the photo (above) looks like he is ready to go, the man to the right looks like he is ready for a fist fight. Rolling your sleeves up this high is also the classic college dude look. You decide, are you a dude, or a man?
When you roll your sleeves up too high, the sleeve material bunches up and creates a funny looking shape for your biceps. For men with a larger physique, rolling your sleeves up this high will create a very unbalanced appearance when you are dressed well everywhere else.
7. Surprisingly, the most attractive way to dress is actually to show less and make people think more; leave something for the imagination. When you roll your sleeves just twice and they lay flat across your forearm, it actually accentuates your hands in an appealing way (you often hear women talking about men with strong hands, or the size of his hands, etc.).8. You may need to play with the buttons on your sleeves a bit to determine which ones should be un-buttoned for you to get a smooth fit after you fold it.
9. If you need to roll your sleeves three or four times for it to lay flat against your forearm, you are probably wearing the wrong size shirt (e.g. your sleeve length is too long).
10. Some men only like to roll their cuff back once and then push it up the rest of the way. If so, iron your cuff back in the morning so as to create "fabric memory" to aid you in your efforts. No matter how cool your cuff lining is, it's not a great look when the cuff is a wide cone around your wrist. Many men see models in catalogs wearing their cuffs like this (see left); however they are simply modeling the cuff lining-not how you should actually wear it! I recommend folding it twice.
Thank you to 21gent for agreeing to model his sleeves for this article. He is a true gentleman; which is probably why I like his site so much, despite the fact that it's content is solid manspeak (it's great for you men out there though!).
-Lisa Bruckner, Hendricks Park