How and When to Wear Turn Ups

by Jamie

Whether it’s because you want to shorten the legs of your jeans or simply change up your style, turn ups have been a mainstay of men’s fashion since the 1930s. This style guide will teach you how to achieve this look and when to do it.

What’s the Difference Between a Pin Roll and a Turn Up?

First off, let’s clear something up. There are two main types of turn ups; the pin roll and the ordinary turn up. Both can give a completely different finish to the look you’re trying to create so it’s handy to know the difference between the two and how to achieve each. Whether you’re going for turn up suit trousers or rolled up jeans with ankle boots, this style guide has you covered. Read on for our top tips on both.

Pin Roll

The pin roll is a much tighter turn up and is a little more complicated in achieving. Trousers rolled up are better suited to street looks and doesn’t look quite as smart as the turn up. Often, a visual aid can give a better idea of how to achieve a pin roll or tight-rolled jeans or trousers, so lucky for you we’ve scanned the best of the web and found the most comprehensive tutorial we could to give you an idea of the pin roll technique.

Turn Up

The turn up is a lot easier to achieve than the pin roll and it takes less time. This look was first seen on the boxy wide legged styles of the ’30s. By the ’50s, turn ups heavily featured in rockabilly style – the lighter colour of the turn up contrasting against dark wash indigo denim. Many wonder whether turn ups are fashionable? The answer is yes. The turn up is suitable for smarter looks and formal occasions and works great with jeans or chinos.

Many wonder how to turn up jeans. It’s actually pretty easy as the turn up requires a simple straight fold without ruching, a wider gap is created between the ankle and the trouser leg, perfect for revealing socks or ankle details on boots.


Turn your jeans up for a unique casual look that’ll take you from day to night. If you’re turning up your denim, you can afford to have slightly larger turn ups, but try not to make them too big – a couple of inches should be your absolute maximum.

The great thing about turning up the cuffs of your jeans is it can be done in both smart and casual outfits, meaning you can do this whether you’re wearing trainers or more formal shoes. Bonus points if you’ve got a pair of selvedge jeans – the detailing to the seam is a great finish to the look.

How to Style Turn Ups

Selvedge denim is a great one for turn ups because the light denim on the underside works as a really nice contrast to the dark indigo wash. This look has a distinctly ’50s rockabilly feel to it. Team this with a tucked in white T-shirt and a denim jacket for an instant nod to the 50’s.

Turned Up Jeans on the Street

Turn ups work great with a casual outfit as many would deem them a bit inappropriate with a smarter look. Raw or selvedge denim is the perfect trouser to turn up as the contrasting colours, from the outside to the inside, offer a focal point to your look.

Turn Up Chinos

This is a smarter option and perfect for the summer months. With chinos, you want to keep the turn up much smaller – no more than an inch and a half if possible, so a pin roll is probably more suitable here. The pin rolled chino is a great holiday look and works really well if you go for the nautical style; think blues, whites and reds, boat shoes or deck shoes and a load of stripes.

How to Style Pin Roll

With wide leg chinos or slim fit options, the pin rolling possibilities are endless with the chino. You have a lot of loose material to work with, so your pin roll should ruche well and can look great with smart or casual looks. Pair these pin roll chinos with a shirt and some trainers or brogues for an effortless smart-casual look.

Rolled Trousers for Men

What sets apart pin rolling your chinos as opposed to pin rolling or taking up your jeans is that you’re probably not going to want to wear socks with your chinos. The rolled up jeans style is a nice way of revealing the details of your ankle boots or socks, but the pin rolled chino is more of a summer look. Do you reveal your man-ankles or not? The decision is up to you.

Rolled Trousers Men’s Street Style

Showing a bit of ankle is the way forward for menswear. It offers a point of difference to your look, and in a lot of cases, it cleans the lines up to your outfit. Not having that baggy excess of material at the bottom of your trousers gives a sleeker, more tailored look.


Did you know that you can also go down the turn ups route for formal attire too? Well, you do now. If you’re going for this look, a smart suit trouser and a formal shoe are essential. Bare in mind, you don’t want the roll ups of the trousers to be too tight or you’ll ruin the silhouette of them. True, you can pin roll if you’re opting for chinos, but unless you’re off duty or out of the office, it’s best to stick to the suit trouser.

How and When to Wear Turn Ups

  • Don’t get confused between pin rolls and turn ups. Pin rolls are tighter but give a less polished finish than turn ups. Figure out which look would suit your style better.
  • Keep your turn ups small, at only a few inches long. They generally look better when styled like this.
  • Experiment with turns up on wide or slim fit chinos depending on your style.
  • Turn ups on slimmer trousers give a neater finish, while wider ones are more striking and suit the streetwear style.

On that Note

Whether you turn up or pin roll, this technique can take your look from smart to casual and back again in seconds. It’s easy to do and can work with most trouser styles, even a suit. Try to work out which style will suit your outfit better and go for it – you’ll be surprised how drastically this can change up a look and give it new dimensions.

Feature image from Pinterest

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