How to roll up jeans

Rolling your jeans can make them even more versatile and stylish. If you like to wear your pants a little longer or if you don’t want to deal with getting them hemmed, you can always rely on rolling your denim up. People have been making their bottoms more adaptable by rolling and cuffing them since pants were first invented. It’s the original functional fashion.

There are a few ways to roll your jeans properly. This guide will help keep you looking good in your pants while you’re out there adventuring.

The 3 Ways to Roll Up Your Jeans

The Double Roll

Best with: Skinny Jeans
Hard with: Baggy Jeans

This classic method of rolling your jeans helps you keep your favourite pair of jeans versatile. When you’ve got things to do (and want to look good doing them) this is your best and most stylish option.

To get a sharp-looking double roll, follow these three steps:

  1. Take the bottom of your jeans and flip them up, creating an overlap of about an inch or less.
  2. Roll the hem a second time, making the second roll slightly wider than the first.
  3. Smooth out the roll and make sure it’s an even width front-to-back and and even height on each leg.

This look is great with hi-rise, low-rise, and slender shoes like your Chuck Taylors. It’s most easily done with lightweight fabrics.

How to Wear the Double Roll: Footwear Considerations

Make sure you’ve got the look right by rolling up your jeans to the right height, based on your footwear:

  • Boots and high-tops: The bottom of the roll should hit just above the top of the shoe.
  • Low-top shoes: The bottom of the roll should just hit somewhere between the top of your ankle bone and 1.5” above your ankle bone.

The Thick Roll (Cuff)

Best with: Selvedge Jeans
Hard with: Wide-leg Jeans

This look is from the days when working-class folks cuffed their jeans out of necessity. It looks great with Chelsea boots or casual sneakers, plaid, and a relaxed attitude. It’s also a clever way to show off the quality of your apparel, with a colourful selvedge seam.

To nail the thick roll with your jeans, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Start with a well-sized pair of jeans and fold the bottom up over itself.
  2. Adjust the overlap to about 2” for women and up to 3 inches for men.
  3. Make sure each leg is even and head out on an adventure.

How To Wear the Thick Roll: Footwear Considerations

Embrace the roots of this roll and pair it with a structured boot or high-top. For the best look, make sure the bottom of the roll hits just above the top of your shoe.

The Pinroll (Tapered Roll)

Best with: Lightweight, Loose Jeans
Hard with: Skinny Jeans

Have a favourite pair of jeans that are loose-fitting at the ankle? You can transform any pair of relaxed jeans into joggers with this roll. Whether you want fabric out of the way for a bike ride, or you’re trying to keep the hem dry on a rainy day, this pin roll is a crafty trick.

Here’s how to roll jeans with a tapered pin roll, just follow these 4 steps:

  1. Pinch the fabric on the inside of your ankle so that it’s snug leg.
  2. Fold the denim over, towards your heel.
  3. With your thumb holding the fold against your leg, use both hands to roll jeans up over themselves. Make sure the first roll is 1-2 inches wide.
  4. Roll the pants over one to two more times to make sure fold doesn’t easily come undone.

The tapered roll is great for almost any type of jean, except for those that are already pretty tight at your ankle. It’s most easily done with lightweight or well-worn jeans that have some flexibility but that will still hold the tapering fold.

How To Wear the Tapered (Pin) Roll: Footwear Considerations

The height of this roll is similar to the Double Roll.

  • Boots and high-tops: The roll should hit just at the top of your shoes when standing.
  • Low-top shoes: The bottom of your jeans should hit around 1.5” to 2” above your ankle bone.

How Long Should Your Jeans Be?

Before you roll your denim, they should be long enough to skim the tops of your shoes. None of these stylish rolling methods will look quite right if you’re starting off with jeans that are way too long or short.

If you want a quality, versatile pair of jeans to practice your new rolling knowledge on, you’re in luck. Check out our selection of functionally fashionable Women’s Jeans and Men’s Jeans now.

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 9 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.

The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article’s instructions and verified that they work.

This article has been viewed 182,669 times.

Cuffed jeans are perfect for adding an element of dimension to any look. Whether the fold is small or large, cuffed jeans can help accentuate footwear, while channeling both retro and modern trends. Cuffing your jeans is a simple way to vary your look, and it’s completely adjustable alteration, because the cuff styles are mainly based on personal preference.

  • For men’s styles, the super skinny cuff works for jeans that are slim and straight-legged. These jeans can also be labeled “skinny” or “slim fit” jeans.
  • For women’s styles, this cuff is chic, and looks good with both hi-rise and low-rise shoes.
  • For men’s styles, this cuff works well with thinner, lighter fabrics, and looks good with slender shaped shoes. [2] X Research source
  • For men’s styles, this cuff works on jeans that are looser, longer, and heavier in weight.
  • The men’s style allows you to cuff you pants again, if desired. Just be aware that the look might not be what you are aiming for, as another large cuff will be fairly high up your calf.
  • For women’s styles, this cuff is best used for a casual look pair with sneakers.
  • For men’s styles, this cuff works well with heavier jeans and paired with boots.
  • For men’s styles, the rolled cuff is a simple cuff, and one of the most adaptable looks. A simple rolled cuff works on nearly all types and weights of denim.
  • For men’s styles, aim for a 2-inch initial fold.
  • Consider lightly tugging and plucking at the cuff to give it a rounder, fatter look.
  • For men’s styles, make your second fold by folding in the hem of your jeans into your initial fold. This fold should completely hide your jeans’ hemline on the inside of the first cuff. [4] X Research source
  • Make a larger fold if you want your jeans shorter, and make a smaller fold if you want your jeans longer.
  • This cuff works best for seamlessly altering the length of jeans, in order to pair them with a pair of heels. However, in general, this cuff can be worn with any kind of shoe.
  • The cuff should look crinkly and wrinkled.

You Might Also Like

  1. ↑
  2. ↑
  3. ↑
  4. ↑
  5. ↑
  6. ↑
  7. ↑

About This Article

To roll up your jeans into a super skinny cuff, fold the hem upward to create a ½ inch wide cuff, then fold it up one more time to keep the cuff slim and smooth. If you want to make a wider cuff, create a first fold that’s 2 inches wide for women’s jeans, and 3-5 inches wide for men’s jeans. Then, make another fold to have a second cuff if you like. Additionally, to make a rolled cuff, fold the bottom of the jeans up 1-2 inches, then make 1 more fold, but instead of smoothing it out lightly tug and pluck at the cuff to give it a rounder look. To learn how to make an under cuff, keep reading!

Cuffing jeans is a common fashion trick. Why? Because it’s a way to change up your style and draw attention to your shoe game. I mean, why buy the coolest shoes online if you’re not going to show them off, right?

Anyway, this blog post will show you how to take your style game to a whole new level with six ways to cuff your jeans. But first things first, in order to master the art of cuffing jeans, you need to find the perfect pair. In the tutorial images below we feature Levi’s 511 jeans, and we’ve found that the following cuffing styles work best with a slimmer leg opening (think something between a skinny and a boot cut).

Okay, let’s get started!

The Single Roll

  1. Fold up your jeans about an inch.
  2. Tuck the hem behind the roll if you’d like, or leave it out.

Kicks to Complement: Consider Air Force 1s or Stan Smiths, nothing too narrow. Check out our top picks.

The Long Roll*

  1. Fold up your jeans about an inch and a half.
    *Works best for longer legs, makes your legs look shorter.

Kicks to Complement: Try some heavy boots like the one’s pictured above. Here’s our top picks for the season.

The Skinny Roll*

  1. Start at the hem and do three small rolls to about a half an inch.
    *Works best with thinner denims.

Kicks to Complement: This style looks best with narrow, flat shoes like Vans or Converse. Here’s our top recommendations.

The Double-Cuff*

  1. Roll up the bottom twice to about an inch.
    *Makes your legs appear shorter.

Kicks to Complement: This style pairs well with chunky sneakers like Nike Huarache’s or NB 997H. Check out our recommended picks for the season.

The Bicycle Cuff

  1. Do the double cuff.
  2. Slide the jeans up your calves to just under the knee.

Kicks to Complement: Pair this style with a light shoe, either slides or sneak. Here’s our favorites.

The Pinroll

  1. Pull the fabric from the inside hem straight out from your leg.
  2. Wrap the excess fabric you’ve pulled around to the back of your leg.
  3. Start rolling where you have the jean wrapped and work your way around the leg.
  4. Roll 1-2 times until the roll is tight (but not too tight).
  5. Cuff should sit around one inch.

Kicks to Complement: The most versatile of cuffs, show off any of your favorite sneakers with this look.

It doesn’t matter which kind of jeans you prefer. We’ve made perfecting the cuff easy.

Cuffing your pant legs can bring style to almost any outfit or perfectly accentuate your kicks. But there’s methodology behind every cuff, and it all starts when you buy a pair of pants. Make sure to buy an inseam length that is one to two inches longer than your normal inseam, giving you plenty of space to make the cuff without turning your pants into capris. Cropped pants are cool but usually only in summer months, when you can wear huaraches, loafers or sandals without worrying about freezing your feet and ankles off.

Denim weights are also important to keep in mind. Denim weight refers to how much the fabric weighs per yard. So, a pair of 12.5-ounce denim jeans are made from a material that weighs 12.5 ounces per yard. The heavier the weight, the thicker the material and the more durable. We recommend not going higher than 14.75 ounces when cuffing your pant leg (and that goes for duck canvas as well).

If you go upwards of that, the material doesn’t take the fold as readily and can bunch up, making your pants look less cuffed and more rolled (in a bad, not so becoming way). As for the cut of the pant, you can try wider, boot-cut styles if that’s what you usually wear, but be warned that cuffs added to already wide pants will look even wider , because although you can technically cuff any cut of pant, it works best with ones that are straight or slightly tapered. Lastly, if you dress for an era that isn’t your own, meaning your closet is full of vintage or period-specific shapes, it’s OK to leave the cuff a little messy; it adds character.

The Four Most Common Cuff Types

  • The Pinroll (for low-top shoes)
  • The Simple Roll (for all jeans)
  • The Skinny Roll (for tighter jeans)
  • The Iron Worker (for wide-fitting jeans and boots)

The Pinroll

The Pinroll works best with shoes that are slimmer and narrower, like oxfords or simple white sneakers. Stay away from the pinroll with boots or bulky sneakers with a thick sole.

Step 1

Take about an inch of fabric between your thumb and forefinger on the instep side of your pants so that the rest of the hem is snug against your ankle.

Step 2

Fold the material towards you, against the leg, to create a diagonal line of material.

Step 3

Cuff the pant by making two folds of the hem. Make sure to smooth out the cuff as you make each fold.

The Simple Roll

The Simple Roll is likely the most versatile on our list. Good with almost any shoe, the simple roll also works with most fabric types and weights.

Step 1

Take the hem of your pant and make one fold up about two inches.

Step 2

Smooth out the material to make a nice flat cuff.

Step 3

Take the top of the cuff and fold the hem in behind the back, towards the pant leg.

Step 4

Smooth out the cuff to create one uniform fold.

The Skinny Roll

As its name implies, the Skinny Roll works best with tighter fitting jeans. Like the Pinroll, be sure to stay away from boots and wider-cut sneakers. Also, try to stay away from thicker fabrics, as they don’t fold as tightly and tend to bunch up.

Step 1

Take just the hemmed seam at the bottom of your pant leg and fold it up to create a thin, small cuff.

Step 2

Fold the cuff up again and smooth out the fold.

Step 3

Repeat step 2 until desired length is reached. (Don’t turn your pants into knickers.)

The Iron Worker

The Iron Worker is the perfect fold for long raw denim or heavyweight canvas pants. This fold looks great with boots and is almost always accompanied by a beard and a flannel.

Step 1

Take the hem of your pant and make a large cuff approximately four and a half to five inches in width.

Step 2

Smooth out the cuff. (Can also be ironed to create a perfect flat fold.)

Step 3

Repeat step two if desired, but never make more than two cuffs with the Iron Worker. Your pants should never be cuffed above your calf unless you are cycling.

Folding, rolling up or ‘cuffing’ jeans has become the default way of wearing jeans for many denimheads.

The cuffs are the rolled or turned up bits of fabric at the end of the legs. You might also see them referred to as ‘turn-ups’, but we’re calling them cuffs from here on.

Looking for quality jeans and other well-made essentials?

Visit our buying guides before your next purchase. We guide you to the best raw selvedge jeans, denim jackets, heavy flannels and more.

Jeans are stitched at the bottom of the legs to prevent the fabric from fraying. This stitch is called the hem. If your jeans are too long and you want them shorter, you can either have them shortened (called ‘hemmed’) or you can cuff them.

Cuffing is not only a practical way of making your jeans shorter without having to cut and sew, it also looks great. And it’s a fun way to add a personal touch to the otherwise seemingly similar raw denim jeans we wear.

This guide explains the eight most common ways to cuff your jeans.

The single cuff

Cuff #1: The single cuff

The single cuff is the father of all cuffs. It has a clean look, and it’s dead-easy to do.

How-to: About 5 centimetres (2 inches) above the hem, you fold up the leg outwards once. That’s it.

The single cuff works best if your jeans are just about the right length. And it looks good for virtually any type of jeans. (Apart from bootcuts or flared jeans, which you shouldn’t cuff at all.)

You can make the single cuff clean with an even-sized cuff all the way around. Or you can give it a casual look by purposely making it sloppy. The latter looks great with jeans that are a little on the short side. You can also combine the single cuff with stacking.

Warning: Prevent premature breaks with different cuffs

Wearing your jeans with the same cuffs for a long time increases the risk of premature breaks where the denim is folded. The fabric will get more wear along the creases, which makes it wear out quicker than the rest of the garment. This is especially the case with unwashed, raw denim.

The easy fix to prevent this potential issue is to change up your cuffs every once in a while. Try something else for a change, and your jeans will last a little longer.

Stacking: The cuff alternative

An alternative to cuffing your jeans is to let the fabric ‘stack’ on top of your footwear. This can create very interesting fades, but it works best with slimmer fits.

Cuff #2: The double cuff

The double cuff is essentially doing a single cuff twice.

How-to: First, you do one single cuff, then you do another. It’s ideal when you want to take off some more length of your jeans.

How high should you cuff your jeans?

Cuffing rule #1: The cuff shouldn’t sit higher than at the top of your shoes.

Cuffing rule #2: The cuff should correspond with the fit of your jeans. That means loose fit jeans can have bigger cuffs while slim and skinny fit jeans should have more smaller cuffs.

Cuff #3: The ‘skinny’ double cuff

If your jeans aren’t long enough to do a double cuff but you want the look, you can fold down the hem.

How-to: Do a single cuff. Then, fold down the hem only to hide it.

The mega cuff (also called the ‘deep cuff’)

Cuff #4: The mega cuff

As the name suggests, the mega cuff is, well, really big.

How-to: Quite simply, it’s an oversized version of the single cuff that’s more than 10 centimetres (4 inches).

The mega cuff is a hard one to pull off with style; it usually requires a looser fit and some relatively heavy denim that’ll stay up. And it’s not recommended for shorter guys as it makes your legs look shorter.

The mega cuff is often seen in the rockabilly subculture. It can also look great on girls wearing boyfriend-fit jeans.

Cuff #5: The Japanese cuff

The so-called Japanese cuff is a favourite among denimheads. It’s perfect when you have plenty of extra length or you want a slightly cropped look.

How-to: First, do a relatively big single cuff. At least 8-10 centimetres (3-4 inches). Then, do a single cuff on top of that.

Ideally, you’d want the top edge of the single cuff to line up just below the stitching of the hem. This cuff is often used to show off the hem stitching, especially when it’s the chain-stitched kind.

Cuff #6: The summer cuff

The summer cuff is ideal for a casual look and when you want to show off your ankles and calves.

How-to: Roll up the jeans twice, three times or even four in an uneven manner.

This is a casual cuff that’s meant to look a little messy. Like you just got out of bed. It works best with roomier fits, and it’s fine for lightweight denims too.

With this cuff, you’re allowed to deviate from the general rule that cuffs shouldn’t sit higher than the top of your shoes; you want your ankles exposed.

The inside-out cuff (which some call the ‘inner cuff’)

Cuff #7: The inside-out cuff

This is one of the most uncommon cuffs, so it’s a chance for you to really stand out.

How-to: Do a relatively big single cuff inwards. Then do a single cuff on top of that outwards.

Unlike all the other ways to cuff, you don’t see the inside of the denim with the inside-out cuff. You get a clean and more tailored look, and it works great with slimmer fits and darker denims.

The pin roll cuff

Cuff #8: The pin roll

The pin roll tapers in your jeans and makes them slimmer from the knee down. It helps you show off your shoes.

How-to: First, fold over the inseam of the leg vertically. Then you do a single cuff, around 3-4 centimetres or so (1.5 inches), while you hold the fold in place with your thumb. Then you fold it all once or twice more. Done.

For this type of cuff, you need jeans that have a little extra length. And it works best with slimmer and tapered fits.

Looking to build a better wardrobe?

Denimhunters is a knowledge portal for denim enthusiasts and newcomers. Launched in 2011 as a pioneering denim blog, we’re a trustworthy source of denim knowledge and advice.

Our Well-Made Essentials buying guides help you build a timeless and adaptable wardrobe of carefully crafted items that’re made to last. Start your hunt here!


Denimhunters is a knowledge portal about denim. Since 2011, we’ve helped denim lovers make educated buying decisions in the pursuit of timeless and adaptable wardrobes stocked with well-made essentials.