The Ultimate Guide to Cuffing and Rolling Your Jeans
A great little styling trick that often gets overlooked is cuffing and rolling your jeans. This is an easy way to make new outfits with old clothes – specifically your denim – and help you fall in love with your closet again without shopping.
YAY! (Insert praise hands emoji, no?)
A few weeks ago I posted a visual guide about when to roll, tuck, and cuff your denim on Youtube, including which styles of jeans work best for which type of styling trick, and what shoes work best with each styling trick as well. Click here to watch, or if you’re more into reading about it, keep scrolling!
Also known as the J.Crew roll, this laissez-faire, hipster-friendly look is achieved by pinching your denim at the seam (fold it over the seam) and give the hem at least two rolls. Good for all body types but best for a rectangular body type who needs to create the illusion of curves.
Best with: baggy, straight leg, boyfriend, or looser fit jeans. Any wash will do.
Footwear: Works with both flats and heels. Wear with socks or stockings for an extra-quirky vibe.
Style vibe: hipster, casual, slightly preppy because of the obvious taper.
The Wide Cuff
Victoria Beckham did this a little while ago with her straight leg jeans and I loved the look. Achieved by cuffing the hem just once, but generously. Cuff should be about 3 inches. Great for tall ladies, the rest of us – heels required.
Best with: A straight leg, in my opinion, but slim or skinny jeans look great with this too. Looks awkward with anything flared or bootcut.
Footwear: Because of the extra wide cuff, heels are necessary for this look on most mortals. Flats will work if it’s a higher waist to add height, if the cuffed hem falls above the ankle bone, and if shoes have significant foot / toe cleavage and/or are neutral. Seriously – just stick with heels for this one as it makes almost everybody look shorter than they are. Also works with a sock or stocking the same colour as your footwear for a lengthening effect.
Style vibe: polished, slightly edgy, dramatic.
The Boyfriend Roll
Not the same as the pinroll, this is achieved by rolling the hem up 2 – 3 times depending on the length of your jeans, and there is no seam pinching to create a tapered effect. Great for all body types and likely the most versatile.
Best with: straight leg, boyfriend jeans, skinny or slim denim. Will look awkward with flare or bootcut.
Footwear: Both flats or heels work! Again, just make sure the bottom of the roll falls above the ankle bone to increase the illusion of length. Also a great one to try with funky socks or stockings for a more bold look.
Style vibe: preppy, androgynous, but could also be feminine a la Audrey Hepburn – did I mention this was versatile?
What’s the difference between this one and all the others? The simple cuff works best with a cropped or shorter denim, and is less wide than the dramatic cuff, giving it a cleaner, more laid back look. It’s achieved by cuffing your jeans once, maybe twice if they’re long. It’s important not to roll here, but to ensure the bottom of the hem and folds are crisp, for that clean look.
Best with: Straight or slim or skinny denim.
Footwear: Works with all types – heels and flats, however because of the clean lines of this cuff I like to wear it most with a simple sneaker or flat.
Style vibe: minimalist, clean.
Just as it sounds … the hem of your jeans is tucked into your footwear. This is really only achieved with boots or booties unless you’re going for a very urban look and want to tuck your jeans into your socks. This is easiest achieved if you fold over the hem of your jeans and tuck them into your sock before putting boots on to eliminate bunching.
Best with: skinnies. You’ll get frustrated and/or uncomfortable with too much fabric to squish in there … OR … if you like the je ne sais quoi of a bit of bunching, a slim or straight leg will work too – this is my favourite way to tuck into ankle or mid-calf boots.
Footwear: Both flat or heeled boots work, and this is a great one to create length and the illusion of a taller and slimmer figure. Keep your denim and footwear in the same hue (ie; black footwear with a dark or black wash) or use contrast to bring attention to your feet (ie; black or dark wash denim with cognac or light grey footwear).
Style vibe: Super versatile as it depends on the type of boots you wear! Over the knee can be glam and edgy, while ankle boots are urban and casual.
Hopefully this post and video has de-mystified cuffing and rolling your jeans and you can fall in love with your trusty old denim all over again!
Pin this post (below) or save the video as a reference next time you feel like refreshing your jeans and your closet!
As always, thanks for reading!