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How to Roll Up Sleeves Military Style

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you want to roll a sleeve on an actual military shirt or a fashionable military-style shirt, the process is the same. Military-style sleeve rolling is a process starting with a crisp shirt and ending in a few precise folds on each arm. The convenience of a military-rolled shirt offers warmth in the morning and coolness in the afternoon. Leave the house with the sleeves down and roll them up military style as the weather changes throughout the day.

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  1. Set up the ironing board. Plug the iron into an electrical socket and place on the end of the board. Check what kind of fabric you are ironing and set the iron to the appropriate heat for your shirt's material. Wait until hot. Lay the shirt front-side up halfway on the board while the rest hangs down. Smooth the wrinkles using your hand. Unbutton the cuffs and iron the shirt.

  2. Place half the shirt face-side up on the board and allow the rest to dangle in front of you. Grab the bottom of the shirt hanging down and flip it over the ironing board so that the cuffs are in half. Press down with your hands. Crease the folds with the iron.

  3. Fold the sleeve upward in half and crease with the iron. Place your hand inside the sleeve. Pinch the sleeve where the crease was just made and pull the sleeve inside out to that point. Straighten the inside-out sleeve by smoothing out the cuff. Iron the sleeve again. Fold the inside-out sleeve up to the right-side piece and iron to secure a crease.

  4. Unfold the sleeve. Put your hand inside the sleeve and fold it up to meet the right-side-up material. Arrange with your hand the inside of the sleeve so that the wrinkles become smooth. Iron the front cuff, flip it up and iron the back to create stronger creases. Lay the flap down.

  5. Put your hands around the cuff again and turn the sleeve inside out once more. Move your hands around the inside and outside of the sleeve to make smooth. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 on the other sleeve. When wearing the shirt, unroll the sleeves whenever you want. Whether you are in the military or a civilian wearing a military-style shirt, rolled sleeves will keep arms cool in the summer, while also offering a quick roll-down option for sun protection. (Reference 1.)

  6. Tip

    Iron the entire shirt first for a crisper look. Use spray starch, if desired.


    Children should not be around hot irons. Some irons recommend distilled water. Ironing over buttons can scratch the iron plate or break the shirt's buttons. Roll down the sleeves when washing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Iron, optional
  • Ironing board, optional

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.

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