Different Ways For Jeans Cuffs

Cuffing your jeans can add a stylish touch to your outfit. And of course, it also helps to adjust the length of your jeans if they’re a bit too long. In the early days, jeans were most of the time worn with cuffs as there weren’t any different lengths available yet. Denim enthusiasts still prefer the jeans cuff (also known as a turn-up). This is a way so they can show proudly that their jeans are made with a selvedge fabric. Selvedge fabrics are woven on narrow shuttle looms that show a selvedge ID. More about these kinds of denim fabrics can be read here: 5 Reasons To Prefer Selvedge Denim Fabrics Over Non-Selvedge.

These days each denim brand comes with different lengths. And if it’s still too long, it’s easy to get your jeans on the right length. Most of the denim stores provide this as a service to shorten your jeans. Some of them even do it right on the spot while you wait in their store. Same as repairing your jeans.

denim cuffs

Unsanforized vs Sanforized Denim Fabrics

The main reason why jeans were cuffed most of the time back then was because the fabrics were unsanforized. Unsanforized denim fabrics are also known as loomstate or shrink-to-fit. These denim fabrics don’t get any treatment at a denim mill. This means that these fabrics will shrink up around 10% after the first wash. When you buy a pair of jeans made with unsanforized denim fabric, you will have to keep in mind to size up your waist size by two and the length of your jeans at least 3 inches.

Later, sanforized denim fabrics were used on pairs of jeans. This means that the fabric was treated with the sanforized method to reduce shrinking. An invention by the American Sanford L. Cluett in the late 1920’s. When a denim fabric is sanforized, this means that it will only shrink around 1 – 3%.

Jeans Cuff – A Styling Symbol

Nowadays, many people are cuffing their jeans. Whether they’re wearing a pair of jeans made with rigid aka unwashed denim fabrics or not. It became a styling symbol. A way to add something extra to your jeans and outfit. And it can also easily be changed during the seasons. In the Summer, when people are wearing slippers or sandals, they prefer for example shorter jeans to show their ankles. While in Fall or Winter, they would go for an uncuffed way to style their jeans to cover their boots.

How To Cuff Your Jeans?

Here’s a simple guide with 8 different ways that can be used to cuff your jeans.

  • Single Cuff:

This is the most basic and classic cuffing style. Simply fold the hem of the jeans up once, usually about 1.5 to 2 inches wide. You can vary with height of your cuff. Some prefer a small cuff while others prefer a high cuff.

single cuff

  • Big Cuff

Same as the single cuff, but with a higher cuff or around 4 to 6 inches. This type of cuff was seen by many Cowboys back in the day.

Read more about this Cowboy cuff style in the previous article: Why Were Cowboys Wearing Big Denim Cuffs?

big cuff

  • Double Cuff

Same as the single or big cuff, but then the hem is folded up twice. You can play with different heights.

double cuff

  • Skinny Double Cuff

This way of cuffing is seen by many sneaker enthusiasts. It’s a way to wear more baggy loose-fit jeans, but with a more narrow skinny leg to show your pair of sneakers. A simple way to make your jeans a bit smaller at your ankle.

skinny double cuff

  • Pin Roll Cuff

The pin roll is easy, just roll up your jeans until you reach the desired height. This type of cuff is seen by many while wearing sneakers or boots. You can play with the different heights. Some prefer a smaller pinroll, while others start with a higher single cuff and then roll it up.

Many prefer this type of cuffing also during the Summer period. It gives an easy and casual look to your outfit.

pin roll cuff

  • Japanese Cuff

This type of cuffing is done by those who want to show the authentic chain stitching on their hem. Chain stitching on jeans is created when a sewing machine creates a series of interlocking loops that resemble a chain along the hem of the fabric. This is done by a classic Union Special machine.

First, you cuff your jeans with a higher turn-up. Then you do a second cuff, but then less high so you can still see the chain stitching on the hem.

Japanese cuff

  • Inside Cuff

With an inside cuff, you just cuff your jeans to the inside of your legs. This type of cuffing is used often by people who are wearing low sneakers, or loafers for example. A more classy way to style your jeans. Easy to do, and you don’t need to cut your jeans, so the day after you can wear the same jeans with a different cuff.

inside cuff

  • Uncuffed

As said, these days you can buy different lengths of jeans, the same as waist sizes. So you can also prefer to wear your jeans uncuffed. You can go the exact length, or a bit shorter so you see your footwear better. Some prefer to wear their leather boots with their jeans uncuffed, so stack the denim fabric for an authentic look.


Tip! Get more denim inspired by these previous articles;

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.