Cuff It Like You Mean It: 8 Stylish Ways to Roll Up Your Jeans & Pants

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We’ve all been there – we find a pair of jeans that cling so perfectly to our thighs and bottom that it doesn’t matter that the hem needs altering.

When the moment finally comes, and we take that pair out of the closet, we realize we haven’t gotten around to bringing it to the tailors. So we do the next best thing – we cuff them. We roll, unroll, fold, and unfold until an hour passes and the outfit still isn’t right.

Luckily, we have a fantastic denim cuffing guide for you:

1. Mastering Proportional Play with Denim Cuffs

Apart from being a quick fix for bottoms that we didn’t have time to alter, the main reason to cuff pants is to create a break that gives the illusion of slimmer ankles. This means shortening the length of your jeans, allowing you more room to play around with proportions.

Up your stylish anté by trying to find a good balance between differing jean widths and the rest of your outfit – you can do this by layering different lengths or breaking up your outfit into coherent chunks.

Optimizing Style through Strategic Jean ShorteningOptimizing Style through Strategic Jean Shortening (Credit: WENN)

We love how Poppy Delevingne used a genius combination of lengths, colors, and textures to complement her cuffed jeans, creating a seamless outfit out of seemingly incoherent pieces.

We are also huge fans of how Julianne Hough broke her outfit into chunks, pulling it together with an earthy color combination.

2. Decoding the Variety of Cuff Styles

Cuffing your jeans and pants isn’t as simple as rolling the hem to your desired length. There are several different cuff types, and it’s important to know which ones to use where.

Cuff types generally differ in two areas: 1) the height and 2) the thickness of the cuff. Thin, pressed cuffs generally look best with skinny jeans, while thick, bulky ones often complement loose and ragged pants.

Exploring Beyond Basic Cuffing TechniquesExploring Beyond Basic Cuffing Techniques (Credit: WENN)

This is not the be-all-end-all rule in cuffing, as Gwen Stefani clearly demonstrates.

Despite having a slightly dropped crotch and a raggedness to her denim, she chose a blunt-pressed cuff to create a sophisticated feel to her outfit.

3. Tailoring Cuffs for Every Occasion

The type of cuff you select can make or break the feel of your outfit. A nicely pressed cuff paired with pointed-toe heels easily creates an outfit that exudes sophistication, while a messily rolled-up cuff goes well with sneakers, a simple tee, and an oversized tote. Allow your cuffing to echo the vibe that you are going for.

We love how a similar pair of jeans donned by Poppy Delevingne, Ashley Tisdale, and Jessica Alba can have such different auras simply by choosing different cuffs.

Elevating Outfits with Thoughtful Cuff ChoicesElevating Outfits with Thoughtful Cuff Choices (Credit: WENN)

Poppy opted for the pressed type for her sophisticated night out, while Ashley decided to tone it down a notch by folding up the hem. On the other hand, Jessica decided to go the extremely youthful route but donned a messy cuff to go with her sneakers and tee.

4. Complementing Cuffs with Eye-Catching Footwear

Why not go the distance when you’re out to show more skin below the cuffs? Venture out by wearing shoes that are fun to show off, such as those with gorgeous cuts, crazy colors, or a barrage of texture.

We recommend shoes that show off skin and gorgeous ankle straps. If you’re still not content with that, experiment with colored socks.

Accentuating Cuffed Jeans with Statement ShoesAccentuating Cuffed Jeans with Statement Shoes (Credit: WENN)

We love the simplicity of Pixie Geldof’s choice of classic but modern footwear, which perfectly complements her haircut, oversized tee, and the crazy cut of Gwen Stefani’s heels and Rihanna‘s brightly colored pair.

5. Avoiding Ankle Coverage Mistakes

Oftentimes, we cuff for the sake of shortening ill-tailored jeans. This is not bad, but when you let functionality take over without double-checking your style, you will most likely be amiss.

Cuffing adds bulk to the ankle area, and when you leave no room for that area to breathe, you will create an unflattering shape for your body. Congratulations, you just missed the entire point of cuffing.

Make sure not to cover your ankles when rolling up pantsEnsuring Ankles Stay Elegantly Exposed in Cuffs (Credit: WENN)

We don’t really have much to say about Alicia Keys and Natalie Imbruglia, apart from how bottom-heavy their one-fold cuff has made them appear. Oh, and Rita Ora, please lose the warmers. And everything else, for that matter.

6. Cuffing Wisely: Avoiding Wide-Ankle Errors

As much as creating breaks in cuffing seems easy to grasp, these breaks must be seamless. Cuffing jeans that are consistent in width throughout will create a tree trunk-like silhouette with harsh breaks, as opposed to nicely proportioned ones.

Steering Clear of Unflattering Silhouettes in CuffsSteering Clear of Unflattering Silhouettes in Cuffs (Credit: WENN)

The same advice goes for flared jeans – do not attempt to cuff them if you wish to avoid having bells as ankles.

Fergie, Christina Aguilera, and Lori Loughlin all missed the opportunity to create a svelte denim look for themselves by falling for this cuffing mistake. Remember, cuff to create nice proportions.

7. Skinny Jeans: To Cuff or Not to Cuff

Besides skinny jeans making your legs look like they’re suffocating, cuffing them will emphasize that look of your skin wanting to burst out.

If your pants are too long and folding is inevitable, try folding the hems inward once. However, we still recommend not wearing skinny jeans that are too small for you.

Balancing Style and Comfort in Cuffed Skinny JeansBalancing Style and Comfort in Cuffed Skinny Jeans (Credit: WENN)

Hilary Duff and Michelle Heaton make us want to scramble for a pair of scissors to help their legs breathe. The tight-looking cuffs at the end aren’t helping at all.

8. The Art of Subtle Cuffing

When we have the freedom to decide what kind and how much cuffing to perform, we tend to overdo the folding and the rolling. Start a little at a time, try different varieties, and progress from there.

Overthinking or being lazy will get you in the trap of “too” – too big, too high, too low, etc. There is always a nicer way to cuff your pants.

Avoiding Excess in the Art of CuffingAvoiding Excess in the Art of Cuffing (Credit: WENN)

Sarah Jessica Parker and Duffy seemed to have perfected the cuffing-in-a-rush technique, while Estelle seemed to have spent quite some time in front of the mirror deciding how much to cuff. Don’t fall into the trap of overdoing cuffs.