What to Do When Your Shirt Sleeves Are Too Long

What to Do When Your Shirt Sleeves Are Too Long
No matter what the time of year, long sleeves can be a real nuisance. They get in the way of what you are doing and pick up dirt easily. This is particularly the case if your arms are shorter than the average guy. No worries - this guide on mens rolled sleeve shirts will be your saving grace! Read more men's Style Guide features  shopthelook Here at The Idle Man, we know just how frustrating it can be to find a really nice shirt, only to try it on and realise that the dress sleeves are too long. It's important to wear shirts that fit, so we've put together a handy guide with tips on how to deal with sleeves that are too long, and, how to roll up sleeves if the time comes. Finding shirts with the right sleeve length can be extremely time-consuming and often expensive too. Unfortunately, most shirts are designed with one size in mind, and they don't take any exceptions (i.e. any man under 5"8) into account. As a result, smaller men have to make more of an effort to look good.

So, How Long Should Sleeves Be?

If you're unsure of how long your sleeves should be, simply follow these steps:
  1. Stand up straight with your arms by your sides.
  2. Unbutton the cuffs of your shirt.
  3. The sleeves should not come down any lower than the edge of the back of your hand - you want to be able to check your watch easily.
  4. When wearing a jacket, an inch of your cuff should be visible.
  5. If your sleeves do happen to cover your hand completely, you may need to do some adjusting. Luckily. this is much easier than you'd expect and doesn't cost much either.
white shirt black trousers mens street style shopthelook

Rolling Sleeves

If your dress shirt sleeves too long one way to get the correct shirt sleeve length is to simply roll your sleeves back. This takes minimal effort and looks super casual. It's also highly practical and you'll find that your sleeves won't get in the way so much - convenient if you're eating, washing your hands or working in a hot office. When choosing a roll, bear in mind the type of shirt you are wearing and the occasion. Top Tip: When rolling your sleeves, remember to leave a few inches of your wrist visible - this will stop your shirt from looking too big.

There are 6 main types of sleeve roll:

Simple / Classic Roll

Timeless and classy, the Classic Roll (which is also known as the Simple Roll) is ideal if you have a hectic schedule and don't want to spend too much time folding your shirt. It also works well if you're at work all day since it doesn't expose too much arm. Knowing how to fold long sleeves or how to make sleeves smaller on a dress shirt is easy, so use this technique if you're wearing an Oxford shirt or dress shirt.
  • Unbutton the cuff and remove cuff links.
  • Fold the end of the sleeve over.
  • Fold the sleeve again and repeat until the sleeve reaches your elbow. You should only need to fold your sleeve a few times.
  • Ensure that the roll is tight so that it doesn't slip down. If it's still a bit loose, just secure the sleeve with a safety pin so that it stays in place.
men with rolled sleeves street style


The Faux French Cuff

This type of cuff is pretty versatile and suitable for everyday wear. You could try the Faux French Cuff if you're going down to the pub with your mates or going to a meeting. Opt for the Faux French Cuff if your sleeves are really long. white shirt with rolled sleeves mens street style shopthelook
  • Roll your sleeves once
  • Button in reverse
  • Keep the roll in place with cufflinks
  • Add a jacket to complete this look

Master Sleeve / Italian Roll

This looks particularly striking when the inside of the cuff has a contrasting lining. Let enough of the inner cuff show to clearly display the lining, making it clear that you're deliberately showing off the shirt's accent as well as rolling your sleeves for comfort.
- Antonio Centeno, Real Men Real Style The Master Sleeve Roll will stop your sleeves from unfolding. It will also prevent bunching, which can be quite uncomfortable and distracting, especially if you are at work or in a meeting and need to concentrate. However, this roll is probably not ideal if you have a slim fit shirt since there is less room to do the roll.
  • Firstly, ensure that the cuff is unbuttoned. Remove any 'gauntlet' buttons from further up the sleeve.
  • Now fold the cuff inside out and tug.
  • Fold this about halfway up and adjust 'til it's comfy.
mens shirts street style mens rolled sleeve street style shopthelook


The AIFA Roll may be the least well-known out of the five rolls, but it screams casual and would be ideal for a stroll through the park. It follows the rule of thirds and will accentuate your biceps and triceps.
  • As with the other rolls, start off by unbuttoning the cuff.
  • Grab the ed
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