Monday, August 3, 2009

The Preference | Cuffed or Rolled?

There comes a time in every man's life where he will have to make the most important decision of his life. To cuff or to roll. Are you a man who prefers a more precise cuff to the lackadaisical roll? Or do you prefer a more devil-may-care roll to the stuffy cuff? There are those who cuff and roll for the basic necessity of needing to stop their pants from rubbing against the ground and will head straight for their tailor and ask for their inseam to be shortened. But those are not the gentlemen I am referring to right now. The ones I am referring to are those who take inspiration from the utilitarian style of workwear or the classic East Coast style of the Ivy-Leaguers. Those who wear their selvedge denim with a 2" cuff or those who wear their crisp chinos rolled 2" above their Sperrys.

Now I understand more than anyone that it is all a matter of preference and for utilitarian reasons. That a cuff can sometimes be used to shorten the pants without adding too much weights and that a roll can be done to add weight but with no break in the pants. But when it comes to my own personal preference I usually stick to the roll whether it is a pair of selvedge denim jeans, a pair of chinos or a pair of beat-up jeans. The roll for me is not that thick break in the silhouette from your feet to you legs and it does not leave that unsightly wear line when you decide you want to uncuff the pant legs.

But these aren’t an easy style to pull off. There is the possibility that you try something new and roll the bottom of the pants and instead of getting this cool devil-may-care roll effect you get this tubing at the bottom of your pants that just looks down right silly. Or maybe you cuff the pants and when you think the cuff is just right you realize when you get home after the day out that you looked just like Justin Timberlake at Fashion Rocks 5. But what is life without a little chance, without testing the boundaries?

Now you can just screw the whole damn thing have the pants break way more than they should and/or drag on the ground to only end up having to throw away a perfectly good pair of pants. But that is your call. Nevertheless your pants should not be the only thing you think about rolling and I’m not talking about a joint. Your sleeves have the possibility to be rolled or cuffed as well. And they have the same effect that rolling or cuffing your pants does. The utilitarian purpose of the sleeve is not for added weight though but for beating the heat. And there are many ways of doing but according to Esquire there is only one proper way.
Though the cuff/roll of your shirt is different than the cuff/roll of your pants. But it still comes down to your preference and how you feel comfortable. For me if I cuff my pants I will roll my sleeves but if I roll my pants which is most of the time I will cuff my sleeve though I have been toying with the idea of rolling both.


7 comments:

Adam Christopher said...

I think it can depend on the occassion... A cuff like the photo of JT up above is pretty bad... A cuff like Brando wore in "The Wild One" is more proper. A roll can look great, however in many look books and editiorial spreads the stylist at many times uses way to much fabric and the roll can look clunky and contrived. Less fabric and a decent roll can look great. I would prefer neither when wearing a suit and even a lot of times with denim too and would opt at having my pants cropped at or above the ankle... It's a more appropriate tailored fit and look...

stylewithbenefits said...

Whoa, I hate that JT cuff. It's too big and distracting.. in a bad way. I like the rolls in the picture you posted, but not really with jeans. They look fine with the khakis though. So you're saying you don't like to wear non-cuffed/non-rolled skinny jeans? :)

greenjeans said...

I tend to cuff my jeans and roll my trousers. But I agree, that JT is crazy. I never really thought about my shirt sleeves before. I tend to like them just below or above my elbows. generally cuffed though.

Shaun said...

Adam - I agree that it depends on the occasion. I would never roll or free-hand cuff my dress slacks, those would always be taken to the tailor. And yes, there comes a time when a roll will look bad and when a cuff can look just as ridiculous (ie. JT).

Becs - I only wear skinny jeans and I never leave then non-cuffed or unrolled. It is just not my style. And J. Crew always seems to have the rolls and cuffs done very well. It is all apart of Muytjens' expertise.

Jon - Try the roll some time. See what you think. But I agree that a roll works better with a thinner fabric and cuff works better with denim, but I tend to roll both. It's just my way of doing things.

westcoasthatguy said...

Just a quick thought on this. I started rolling my pants when I moved back to California and couldn't find a good tailor. Now that I have a good tailor I still roll my pants as it gives a more casual appeal than cuffs. As far as shirts go I prefer long sleeve shirts as they are year round in LA, so on a hot day...roll em up!

Nicole Guarascio said...

During the spring and summer- rolled. During fall and winter- cuffed.

Faire said...

cuffed for khakis...or you'll look like a tool.