The secret to keeping the sleeves of jackets and tops scrunched is predominantly in the silhouette of the sleeve, although the fabrication of the garment, and the style of the cuffs will also play their part. 

  1. Slim-fitting long sleeves that fit closely to the arms and wrists scrunch best. They stay put because they are tight and therefore do not move. Roomy long sleeves with wider wrist openings tend to fall back down.
  2. Stiffer fabrics like woven crisp cottons, woven wool blends and denim are particularly scrunch-friendly when the sleeves fit closely to the forearms. Close fitting sleeves in knits and fabric with stretch are also good. Drapey woven fabrics like silks and soft polyesters do not scrunch as well.  
  3. Slim-fitting cuffs are scrunch-tastic. The extra button along the cuff placket of a cuff makes it extra scrunch-friendly (check out the rear view of this J.Crew shirt to see that extra button along the cuff placket). The tight cuffs stay put when you pull them up, or when you fold them over once to stiffen and tighten the silhouette of the sleeve. 

The visuals below will help to illustrate the prerequisites for effective sleeve scrunching: 

The sleeves on my faded denim jacket are stiff and slim fitting, which makes them scrunch really well. I first pull up the sleeves, so that the inside of the sleeve shows on the outside. Then I fold them back down so that the outside of the sleeve is visible again.

This crisp white shirt has very slim-fitting cuffs and a tailored forearm fit.

This soft blouse has a slightly wider cuff, but I can stiffen and tailor the cuff by folding it over once after  I’ve pulled up the sleeve.

The tailored sleeves of this dress are made of a thick stretchy knit, so they stay put.

A stiff cotton shirt with narrow sleeves is ideal for scrunching, but the extra button along the placket of the sleeve opening also does it’s bit. The sleeve is tailored even further by buttoning up that placket button, which in turn helps to keep it scrunched.

This cropped tuxedo jacket has narrow, spandex-rich, stretchy sleeves so the scrunch stays put.

I don’t like to fiddle with clothing items during the day, but I enjoy baring my forearms and I love the textural effect of a scrunched long sleeve. So it’s an added bonus when my tops and jackets are scrunch-tastic. This makes slim-fitting longer sleeves and tailored cuffs a big selling point when I’m adding items to my wardrobe.