Is There A Cure For The Cuff Roll Blues?

It’s summer. It’s hot. Even in the rain we’re sweating. And we’re frustrated because we can’t take advantage of what Eric Wilson of The New York Times has officially anointed the summer style epidemic (in a good way) of 2010: the cuff roll. Wilson, ever prime and witty, writes:

“Judging by the number of bared ankles appearing on the streets this summer, the rolled cuff look of 2009 appears to have become the rolled cuff epidemic of 2010.”

All of this is true — we see legions of hairy ankles on our walk to work every morning, and it’s a deadly useful way to beat the heat. The problem is we can never make it look cool.

Time after time again we have tried to make the look work, with denim, with khaki, with chinos, and to no avail. Our cuffs either look sloppy and fall out after a walk around the block, or they look too contrived — GQ stresses that such a roll should look like an afterthought. Wilson does, too. But then he quotes Esquire.com‘s online style editor Josh Peskowitz’s very specific instructions on the matter.

“For slightly looser pants, like chinos, Mr. Peskowitz advises creating a peg by pinching the fabric slightly at the front during the rolling process. Starting from the bottom, you flip once, making as small a fold as possible, then twist the front of the pants leg by about an inch, then roll twice more while holding the pinch tightly. The pleats should stay in place.

‘You want to make sure that both are pointing inward — for the left side, fold it to the right. For the right, fold it to the left — to stay symmetrical,” he said. “I just figured that out a couple of weeks ago.’”

Uh huh. Maybe we’ll just have our trousers hemmed. Or wear shorts. Because while we’d be delighted to adopt a great-looking trick of fashion that could help keep us physically cooler in the summer, this one is actually a little hard to get right.

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