Some people may view rolling up the sleeves of your formal blazer as a grave sin that must never be done lest you ruin your outfit. Meanwhile, others agree that the overall look is very stylish and puts a modern twist on this more formal version of a sports jacket.
However, blazers have a unique niche in the spectrum of outerwear in that they are a strange and attractive hybrid of the sports jacket and suit jacket, falling squarely in the middle in terms of overall design and formality. Because of this niche it has, you can smoothly go from formal business wear to a more casual style by merely rolling up your sleeves.
The only problem is that not all blazers are made equal, and sometimes the cynics out there are right: rolling up your sleeves can indeed ruin your overall look. However, we are going to attempt to remedy that today by showing you some simple tips, tricks, and techniques that you can employ to get the perfect look of a snazzy blazer with rolled-up sleeves.
How to Roll up Blazer Sleeves
The Permanent Tailoring Method
Before we even get into what you can do to the sleeves yourself, you’ve got to look at your blazer’s tailoring. Specifically, you’re going to want to look at the size of the sleeves and shoulders and how they fit you. If you are a relatively skinny person, you may want to get your blazer tailored to fit your arms better. The inverse can be said if you are on the bulkier side, as the sleeves may be quite tight.
The reasoning is quite obvious. If your blazer doesn’t properly fit you and your body dimensions, rolling the sleeves up will just look bad and ridiculous. If your sleeves are too big for your arms, they can get really bunched up around the biceps, which isn’t a very attractive look. It will also become annoying if you always have to pull them back up again. Conversely, if it’s too tight, you won’t even be able to pull or roll the sleeves up without risking damaging them.
Thus, getting your blazer tailored to the size of your arms and shoulders means you can more comfortably pull or roll your sleeves up, without them bunching awkwardly, getting stuck, or being tight around your forearms. A nicely tailored blazer can be slightly pulled up to comfortably fit around your arm without bunching while still allowing you to move around easily.
The Temporary Rubber/Elastic Band Method
This is a simple trick that, surprisingly, not many people know about, but we highly recommend. All you’ll need is a rubber band or elastic hair tie that fits around your arm without being too loose or tight to cut off your blood flow.
The trick is to simply put your blazer on and put your choice of elastic or rubber band over your arm where you want to have the sleeve rolled up. Ideally, this is about halfway up your arm. Then, roll the sleeve up to cover up the elastic. The elastic keeps your sleeve up without it slipping down, no matter the movements you make.
Obviously, everyone is built differently, so you may have to use more than one band or different sized bands depending on your arm’s width. Another tip to keep in mind is to try and match the color of the elastic to the color of your blazer sleeve so that even if it were to somehow show, it would at least blend in a little. Elastic hair bands also have the added benefit of not snapping as quickly as rubber bands.
Why Would You Want To Roll Up Your Sleeves?
While it may just be a simple change to your sleeves, rolling up your blazer’s sleeves can do a lot for the effect of your entire outfit. Of course, the main appeal of rolling up blazer sleeves is because it is a definitively good look. Rolling up your sleeves is a big fashion statement.
There is also the added benefit of being able to show off the fancy linings of your blazer. Many blazers have intricate designs on the inner linings that you can’t really show off unless you roll up your sleeves. It’s a bold look to pull off, but it’s easy to use the above tricks.
The other obvious benefit of rolling your sleeves up is the transition from formal wear to something more casual. You free up your hands, wrists, and forearms, which is a sign you’re ready to kick back and have a good time. It can also help break up a very pattern-heavy outfit. Furthermore, rolling up your sleeves may help the blazer fit you better without needing to be tailored.
Lastly, rolling up your blazer’s sleeves will allow you to style your outfit with a chain or bracelet. And, if you are the type to wear watches as your go-to accessory, rolling your sleeves ensures that your timepiece will be seen.
Knowing how to roll up blazer sleeves will allow you to wear your blazer in two different ways – sleeves down for a more formal look and sleeves up for a smart casual evening look that you can dress up or down depending on where you are going.
Rolling up your sleeves is a very stylish and trendy thing nowadays, and it really isn’t a difficult look to pull off. All you need is to slightly pull your sleeves up and begin rolling, either once or maybe a few times.
Elastic or rubber bands can be a great help because you can use them to help keep your sleeves up as you move around. You can end up turning a formal look into something far more casual while still looking stylish at the end of the day.
Plus, when wearing a watch or jewelry, rolling your blazer sleeves allows you to show off your chosen accessories as part of your outfit rather than them hiding up the sleeves.
Samoel Ovanessian is the founder and creator of StylishAlpha.com – a website dedicated to men’s fashion. As a proud owner of more than 200 ties, he loves digging through new clothing combinations for everyday use, formal events and even just for fun. You can read more about Samoel here.