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Roll up your sleeves and get to work

August 8, 2012

Stylish summer (Part 3)

used with permission from

One morning this summer, I was getting dressed for a casual jean day at work. I chose a light weight gray merino wool sweater pulled over a purple plaid shirt untucked together with dark blue jeans and gray sneakers. I rolled up the shirt and sweater sleeves twice. My wife looked at me and said, “I really like that look. I want you to wear that on our next date.” We both smiled. I think it was the first time she looked at an outfit and made a specific request for me to recreate it at a later point. In particular, she approved of the rolled up sleeves.

As the summer sun can fry you up like a strip of bacon in a hot skillet, any relief from the heat can help. With rolled up sleeves, you remove the sweaty wrists. And beyond the relief, your fashion understanding is on full display. Truly, not enough men tap into this in their appearance. In fact, I see it more in advertisements than in real life these days.

Here are a few ways to wear your sleeves rolled up:

1. Stylish casual – My favorite way to roll up sleeves. This form finds itself as part of my own casual “style uniform.” Take a long-sleeve hard collared shirt and roll up the sleeves above the elbows (or whatever length works for you). Throw it on untucked with dark blue straight-leg jeans or khakis and sneakers, penny loafers, regular dressed up loafers or driving shoes. You have many options here in the shoe category. Also, mix it up with shorts.

2. Hard working executive – To show you work hard, modify the classic office outfit slightly. Simply roll up your long sleeve hard collared dress shirt one or two times. Then loosen your tie (if wearing one) and undo the top button. This very look has been adopted by many a politician. By the way, I suggest you do not roll the sleeves of a sport coat.

3. Smart casual – A new preference of mine. A long sleeve hard collared dress shirt under a light sweater (such as merino wool) conjures images of the Ivy League. Roll up together the sleeves of the shirt and sweater two times. If you go higher than that, push back the sweater sleeves first, then fold back the shirt until it overlaps the sweater.

4. Short sleeve rolled – Short sleeve hard collared shirt rolled up twice. Works with jeans or khakis.

5. Pushed back – This works particularly well for a light sweater or pull-over. Collared shirt optional. For an evening filled with fun – a date maybe (hmm – how about your favorite chef’s ravioli right before a non-formal impressionist art exhibit?) – combine a dark pair of slacks with a sleek pair of polished black loafers and a medium gray quality pull-over (zipper or buttons fastened to an inch below the neck line). Lastly, push the sleeves up above your elbows and display a fantastic watch on your wrist.

As I leave you, I make a request. Tell yourself you will give rolled up sleeves a try. Now get to work enjoying your summer.

© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Juda permalink
    August 9, 2012 10:33 pm

    I like rolled sleeves. Looks good on women!

  2. August 14, 2012 4:16 pm

    Ahem…What’s your perspective on the Vuitton poodle carrier? I myself will take two!

  3. August 19, 2012 6:42 pm

    I LOVE a man with rolled-up shirt sleeves. Perfect for a summer wedding.

  4. August 19, 2012 7:00 pm

    OH. YES. Rolled-up sleeves; there’s something sexy in it! I would give it a million thumbs up!

  5. August 27, 2012 1:10 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I shall get my husband to read yours, maybe you can get through to him 🙂

  6. September 5, 2012 1:35 am

    Mmmhmm, I love when my husband rolls up the sleeves on his dress shirts – sexy! Nice post.

  7. September 12, 2012 9:28 am

    I’ve always found rolled up sleeves very sexy. I’m not sure why, perhaps I’m not a fan of elbows, but I’ve thought it a marvelous look for ages.

  8. September 14, 2012 11:27 am

    Rolled up sleeves–THANK you for suggesting this is okay and sexy to men in the world! There’s just something about seeing the strong forearms peeking out from an uptight, collared, button down shirt that reminds us what’s stuffed into that starchy piece of fabric: a man! Love this!

  9. December 7, 2012 12:24 pm

    Cutting the sleeves to your desired length with a scissor or even a razor blade works also.

  10. Must Love Foods permalink
    December 15, 2012 5:55 pm

    love this !!

  11. December 18, 2012 3:18 am

    I love these!

  12. December 23, 2012 8:35 am

    All men should try rolled up sleeves. The look is very attractive, at least to me 😉

  13. February 11, 2013 6:08 pm

    Yep – the sleeves rolled up is a good look. It’s nice to see men showing some forearm for the rest of us to admire! 🙂

  14. March 9, 2013 4:08 pm

    Agree that rolled up sleeves is a good look –
    if they’re rolled up neatly! It says ‘I’m smart and ready for what needs doing’
    – that’s a very attractive look as far as I’m concerned!
    Enjoying your blog – thanks, Jeremy.

    • March 9, 2013 4:11 pm

      I think a lot of people agree with you. Glad you are jumping into the conversation. Thanks.

  15. Brian Strathie permalink
    May 26, 2013 5:43 am

    I have always worn my shirt sleeves rolled up. Whether its a formal shirt at work or a casual one at the weekend. Feels comfortable (and looks much smarter than a short sleeved shirt) and still looks smart.

  16. nancymn permalink
    May 26, 2013 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the Like on my blog. Enjoying yours as well. Nice to see a simple, stylish blog for men.

  17. DAVID EASTWOOD permalink
    February 8, 2014 12:24 am

    I started rolling up my sleeves at school and i am still doing it now.It feels comfortable and girls have said how smart it looks. I am not going to stop doing it now and i am 50.

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