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A masterclass in rolling your sleeve

You wear your heart on your sleeve, but do you know how to wear your sleeve right? Lounge loves this neat way to roll up

Ryan Gosling in a still from ‘La La Land’.
Ryan Gosling in a still from ‘La La Land’.

There is more than one reason to roll up your sleeves. You might want to wash your hands, get some hands-on work done, unwind after hours with colleagues over a drink, or breathe easier in the rising mercury. Of course, you could wear a short-sleeved button-up shirt and save yourself the effort. But gentlemen don’t do that.

Rolling up the sleeves is a style statement that can either make or break your regular shirt-and-trousers ensemble. And it comes with its own set of rules. Flashing your wrists, for example, is a must, as is ensuring that your sleeves are the same length on both sides after you fold them. But rolling a shirt high enough to show your biceps, even if they are perfectly toned, is a no-no.

Two-three rolls of the cuff are generally sufficient. There are several ways to roll them up; the most popular being the casual forearm roll (unbutton the cuffs and roll them up twice, using the cuff to set the width, and then tuck the corners in). Or take a cue from Ryan Gosling in La La Land and try a basic fold—an easy fold till the elbow (go beyond the elbows only if you’re really getting your hands dirty).

But when you want to ensure easy unfolding without any fold marks on the shirt, there is only one way to do this—the master roll. It is arguably the neatest way.

How to ace the master roll? Fold the sleeves up, about a quarter of an inch more than two widths of the cuff. In most cases, it will come till just under your elbow. Smoothen the shirt and remove any folds. Now roll the bottom once more so that it almost covers the cuff, leaving just the top exposed. This fold works best if the shirt has a contrasting shade or design inside the cuff. To undo, just hold the top of the cuff and pull down. Easy!

When in doubt, the mirror is your best friend. And remember, a good sleeve roll can’t hide a bad shirt.

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