Why do people roll up their sleeves? Perhaps it’s not a question you’ve thought too hard about. After all, they’re just sleeves – right? When you see a man rolling up his sleeves it could mean a number of things, like wanting to relax after a long day, getting down to some hard work or maybe just because he’s hot.

But sometimes you might often wonder why people (men especially) opt for rolling up their sleeves rather than just wearing short sleeve shirts.

Well, here are a few reasons why

Why Men keep Rolling Their Sleeves

1. Practical Necessity

Washing the hands, doing heavy lifting where the wrists and forearms are strained, working on something dusty, and so on, are all perfectly normal reasons to pull back the shirt sleeves. Anytime your sleeves might get in the way or dirty or caught in a moving part – roll ‘em up.

Thus, it is the universal “men at work” style. Examples of this include unclogging a toilet or perhaps rescuing a cat from a tree (though in the latter case you might actually leave the sleeves up to avoid scratches on your skin).

2. Heat

When it’s very hot and stagnant, rolling up the sleeves lets air flow directly over more of your skin. Every little bit helps. While the appropriateness of rolled sleeves varies by workplace , anytime you’ve got direct sunlight on your skin, rolled sleeves are acceptable.

They’re also nice when you work or live inside a place where the temperature fluctuates a great deal, as it’s nice to be able to roll them down when the A/C’s blowing on you, and roll them up when the room gets stuffy.

Read more – Finally! A Date For The Men’s Club Season 3

3. Casual Attitude

As a purely stylistic expression, rolled sleeves mostly serve to “dress down” something that would otherwise be too formal/dressy for the occasion; rolling back the shirt sleeves sends a visual signal that says “relaxed.” For example, upon leaving the office for a less-formal work function or social gathering, men with their jackets off and their sleeves rolled up is classic “Happy Hour” style.


The Casual

1. Unbutton both buttons

2. Flip the cover over

Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity? 1

3. Tuck the cuff and roll it under so that the cuff creates a new, precise end of the sleeve.

4. Repeat until the desired length is achieved.

Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity? 2

The Italian

1. Start with both cuff buttons unbuttoned.

Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity?

2. Fold the sleeve up, from an inch or so beyond your elbow.

Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity?

3. Flip the sleeve upward, to just below the end of the cuff. You want about a third of the cuff to be visible.

Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity? 3 Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity?

The Marine

1. Flatten out the sleeve (preferably ironed) on a steady surface.

2. Bend the sleeve upward at the cuff, then curl…

3. … until it is inside out.

4. Straighten both the bottom and top of the cuff. They should be very neat and without wrinkles.

5. Fold the full cuff up again, as you did at the start.

6. Curl again. Then neaten. Repeat to your preferred height on the arm. (Consider going higher up with this style.)

Rolling Up Sleeves: Fashion Choice or Necessity? 4

Image Source – The Art Of Manliness

Published in August 2014; Updated in June 2020.

Join The Exquisite VIPs
We Want To Send You Free Copies Of Exquisite Magazine Digital FREE For 3 Months

Sign Up to our Exclusive VIP list and have it delivered to your inbox for FREE

Invalid email address
(We promise you won't receive daily spammy sales from us)

Leave a Reply