Have you ever worn a collared shirt that’s a bit too tight around your neck? Or a pair of chinos that are just a little too wide around your ankles?
Maybe you’ve struggled to achieve that perfect clean-but-not-too-clean sleeve roll you see in J. Crew magazines.
These little details make or break your look and have a huge impact on your physical comfort.
In fact, style is all about the details – how you roll your sleeves up, the way your collar sits against your body, how your shoelaces look, etc.
Luckily, there are a handful of insanely easy, super quick ways to tweak your clothing and accessories and make them look and feel better.
The crazy thing is, most men never learn about these “clothing hacks”. But you aren’t most men.
So without further adieu, here are 10 tricks you can use immediately to improve how you look and feel.
#1: Fix Slouchy Collars
Have you ever worn a button up shirt under a jacket without a tie (i.e., the quintessential business casual look)?
If so, you’ve probably experienced this problem: you leave the first two buttons undone, and your shirt gets all floppy and wrinkled under the weight of your jacket.
Heck, this can even happen without a jacket on with certain shirts.
It’s a sloppy look that can ruin an otherwise sharp getup, but there’s an easy solution, and it’s called ShirtProp.
ShirtProp is a pair of thin plastic inserts that stick to the inside of your shirt placket to keep it stiff and in place.
They’re very easy to use. You just stick them to the inside of your shirt placket:
You can buy ShirtProp 10 packs from Amazon.
#2: Use the “J. Crew” Roll
If you wear button up shirts with the sleeves rolled up, there is a best way to roll them up.
(Hint: it’s not folding them a couple of times at the forearm, leaving the cuff below your elbow.)
I’m talking about the so called “J. Crew roll”, which happens to be one of the quickest and easiest ways to roll your sleeves up.
If you’ve been using the standard roll, or even rolling your sleeves below the elbow, I challenge you to try out the J. Crew sleeve roll next time you wear a button up shirt.
You might have to practice it a couple times, but once you get the hang of it, I think it will become your new favorite method for rolling your sleeves.
#3: Pinroll Your Pants
You’ve probably cuffed your pants before, either because they were too long or you just liked the cuffed look.
But what if your pants are too long and too wide? If that’s the case, simply cuffing them won’t cut it. In fact, cuffing pants that don’t have a slim leg opening just looks weird, especially if you have thin ankles.
The solution is the pinroll, an easy way to shorten and taper your pants at the same time. Here’s how to do it:
If you’ve never done the pinroll before, you might have to practice it a few times to get the hang of it.
The key is to get it as tight as possible so it doesn’t come undone as you move around throughout the day.
#4: Loosen Shirt Collar
I have this one made-to-measure dress shirt that was almost perfect except for one tiny flaw: the collar was too tight.
Not way too tight, just a hair, but tight enough that I wouldn’t want to have it buttoned (with a tie) all day.
A clever friend removed the top button and sewed it back on a few millimeters closer to the edge of the placket, which created enough breathing room to comfortably button the shirt all the way up.
This trick can also be used to tighten up a collar that’s a bit too loose – you just move the button the other way (away from the placket, toward the shoulder).
#5: Shorten shoelaces
Ever lace up a new pair of shoes, only to discover that the shoelaces are flopping around like oversized bunny ears?
This happens because shoelaces are one size fits all, and smaller shoes require less length of lace (say that three times fast…).
But don’t worry: it’s not too hard to shorten your shoelaces. Just follow this guide:
How to Shorten Your Shoelaces (opens in new window)
You can even customize your shoelaces by using a new color for the tips. Try it out!
#6: Remove Chest Pocket
Since most button up shirts aren’t made for men under 5’8″, the chest pocket will often be too low. If you’re a svelte gent, it might also look too big for your body.
If you’re not happy with the way the chest pocket looks, why not just remove it?
Turn the shirt inside out, find the first stitch and carefully remove the thread using a seam ripper.
It’ll look like the pocket was never there!
#7: Sunglasses Tighten Up
Sometimes you find the perfect pair of sunglasses, but for some reason they’re just too loose. They keep sliding down your nose and falling off your face.
This is partly due to the fact that the nose bridge isn’t quite right for your face, but don’t worry, there’s a solution.
Most glasses shops can bend and tighten your shades. Sometimes they’ll even do it for free.
This usually involves bending the temples (arms) of your glasses so they hug your face a little more aggressively. If you have metal sunglasses, you can just bend the arms with a pair of pliers.
If you have plastic frames, you’ll need to heat the plastic to make is pliable. Be careful here – you might want to let a pro handle it for you (if you have expensive shades).
Either way, if you have a pair of glasses that feels too loose, try to get them tightened before giving up on them.
#8: Watch Band Shortening
If you have thin wrists like me, you’ll probably want to wear smaller sized watches. But what about the strap?
Even if the watch case is the right size, the strap might be too long.
Luckily, this is an easy fix for almost any type of watch. If you’re thrifty and handy, you can do it yourself following these tutorials:
Of course, you can also go to a watch repair shop and get this done by a pro for about $5-10.
#9: Punch Extra Hole In Belt
If you wear traditional belts (as opposed to hole-less belts), you’ve probably experienced them being a little too tight or a little too loose.
When your belt is too tight, you need a longer belt – time to size up or hit the gym. But if it’s too loose, you can add an extra hole to tighten it up a bit.
Using an actual leather hole punch is the easiest, faster way to do this (plus it will produce a much cleaner hole).
But you can definitely get the job done with a sharp knife and a thin screwdriver.
#10: Shoe Inserts
I’m not just talking about padded insoles. You can get all kinds of inserts for your shoes, depending on what exactly needs to be adjusted.
For example, when wearing boots, you might have too much room around your ankle. This means that even if you lace them up tight, they’ll feel heavy and rub against your ankle in a painful, annoying way.
You can fix this problem and make your boots more comfortable with felt tongue pads.
They only cost about $6 on Amazon, and they’ll save you a lot of pain and discomfort.
Another common problem is too much room in the back of the shoe around your heel. This is often the case for guys with thin heels.
The answer is, you guessed it, heel inserts (just $4 from Amazon).
Don’t settle for uncomfortable shoes, my friend!
Bonus Hack: Find a Tailor
If there were one hack to rule them all, it would be tailoring.
Okay, okay, it requires a little more effort and money than the other 10 tricks on this list, but I just had to include it.
Tailoring is every stylish man’s secret weapon. If you don’t have a tailor, I recommend finding one ASAP using this guide:
How to Find a Tailor You Can Trust
Get on it today!
Do you have any secret style tricks? Leave a comment below!
Hey Brock, tried to buy some ShirtProp on Amazon and the code didn’t work for me. Any one else have issues? Let me know what I did wrong.
Khoi N. (@lifeaskhoi) says
As great as all of these are…ahh the trusty tailor. Every gent needs a great tailor by his side.
It really is the #1 best thing a man can do to dress well.
Thanks for the tip on pin-rolling the cuffs! I’m glad to see this is popular and stylish for casual jeans. It’s a bunch cheaper than having all my pants hemmed. BTW, this style seems to work especially well for blue jeans with their contrasting inner and out tones. I think that the trick is to do it like you meant it, rather than just not being able to find pants with a 27″ inseam.
If I roll above the elbow I usually find it uncomfortably tight on my bicep, any tips on avoiding that? Does the J Crew roll lessen that problem?
Are you unbuttoning both sleeve buttons? If so, your arms may just be too big to roll above the elbow (at least with shirts as slim as the ones you’re wearing).
Yeah, I undo both buttons but off the rack shirts that fit elsewhere tend to have too tight sleeves. I’ve got some custom made shirts that are better but still a bit tight to roll above the elbow.
Shirts are a pain for me generally. I’m not particularly jacked or anything but off the rack small shirts are often too tight on the chest and arms but medium are typically too loose around the middle. I’ve had better luck with custom made.
I hear you. I have the same problem with some really slim shirts, or shirts with only one cuff button. But this roll usually works for me (esp with my MTM shirts).
PIn Roll jeans, we did this back in the 80”s. I am showing my age.
Funny how style is so cyclical, isn’t it?
80s are back!!! Never thought the pin roll would be mainstream again. Probably would look awkward now that I’m 50.
Alan Au says
The J. Crew style sleeve roll was actually made famous earlier by John F Kennedy.
Interesting! I wonder why/when everyone started calling it the J. Crew roll?