How To Wear Watch With Long Sleeve Shirt

For many of us, there will be times where we have to put on a long sleeve shirt. It could be that you are from somewhere more temperate, or that you need to dress up to go somewhere more ‘serious’.

Anyway, if you are not sure how to best wear your watch when putting on a long sleeve shirt, you have come to the right place. Let’s talk about how to wear watch with long sleeve shirt.

How To Wear Watch With Long Sleeve Shirt

Step 1: Pick your top 3 thinnest watch

First, go to your watch collection, and pick out three thinnest watches that you have. When we say thin we mean the case height.

The lower the case height of the watch, the thinner the watch is, and the more suitable they become to be work with long sleeve shirt. 

You will know why after this, but for now, just go ahead and pull out your thinnest watch. 

If you do not have a collection, you have two options here: borrow the thinnest watch you can find, or just rock whatever watch that you have in hand. 

Step 2: Match watch colour to your shirt

Once you have gotten your watches, now try to match it with your outfit. 

We will be looking at matching the dial, and the strap of the watch to your outfit

There are no exact rules here, but try to match the watch dial color to the primary colour of your shirt. 

For example, if you are going to wear a blue long sleeve shirt, try to match it with a watch with a blue dial. 

This rule however, does not apply to watches with neutral colors such as black, white or silver – they tend to match well with all sorts of colors.

On the strap, the general rule is the darker your clothing the darker your strap should be. The brighter your clothing, the brighter your strap should be. 

For example, if you are putting up a black suit with white shirts, then a black strap would work a lot better than a tanned brown strap. 

If your long sleeve shirt is sky blue, then you might be able to rock a light brown strap. 

This rule, of course, does not apply to non-coated bracelets. Silver coloured bracelets should fit well with all colors of clothing. 

Step 3: Wear your watch with the right fit. 

Now, unbutton the shirt cuff, and put on your watch. 

When wearing a long sleeve shirt, the shirt if worn over the watch, which means the tighter the watch is worn on your wrist, the easier it is to button the cuff down over your watch.

But you do not have to wear your watch so tight that you hands become numb. 

The generic rule is to wear your watch tight enough that you can still put in your index finger between your wrist and the watch. That should do it. 

At that level of tightness, the watch will also stay in place, and not move around. You would have a much more comfortable time with your shirt cuff and watch this way.

Now, button up your shirt cuff, because its time to move into the ‘glide test.’

ALSO READ: How Tight Should You Read Your Watch?

Step 4: ‘Glide’ Test

How To Wear Watch With Long Sleeve Shirt

A glide test is when we test-run the motion of checking the time, while wearing a long sleeve shirt. 

In the perfect condition, as you lift up your wrist to look into your watch, your shirt cuff will ‘glide’ further up your wrist, revealing your watch.

When you have finished looking at your watch, you lower down your hand, and the shirt cuff ‘glides’ back up again, covering your watch. 

The whole process should be smooth, and nothing should be ‘caught’ or ‘stuck.

If the process is not smooth, consider to wear your watch tighter, so that there is more space for your shirt cuff to glide in and out. 

You can also switch to a thinner watch to achieve the same effect.

Step 5: Remember The Rules:

Happy with the glide test? Now here are additional rules that would also help you to rock your long sleeve shirt with your watch extremely well. 

These rules are good to follow, but feel free to adjust as per your requirements: it’s your watch, your wrist and your shirt after all.

Watch is always under the shirt

Yes. You always wear your watch under your shirt cuff. Never will you wear your watch outside of your shirt cuff. 

This is because if you do so, you are locking your shirt cuff at the same position.

This means when you are doing the glide test, you will feel a pull on your shirt cuff.

Secondly, people who wear their watch outside their shirt cuffs are usually in extreme situation, where the focus is on functionality, not looks.

Think mountaineers, war plane pilots, or racing drivers. 

Unless you are in that sort of conditions, it is always better to wear them under your shirt. 

Leather band works best

For long sleeve shirt, a leather band works best. 

This is because leather bands are a lot thinner than other type of bands such as steel bracelets. It also stays close to your skin better, giving the shirt cuff more space to glide in and out. 

Plus, leather bands have a smooth surface, unlike bracelets. This reduces likelihood of the shirt cuff being caught between the bracelet links when you perform the ‘glide’.

On another note, wearing your bracelet a little tighter than usual also carries a certain risk.

You might not like to have your body hair caught on the bracelet links right?

Small diameter, thin watches works best

Small, thin watches work best with long sleeve shirt. 

This is because they can do not take up much space between your wrist and the shift cuffs, making it a lot easier for you to perform the ‘glide’.

This is the reason why dress watches are smaller, and often thin. In fact, the race between dress watches is not about what complications or functions they have, but how thin they are.

Chunky or large watches are not a good idea – it is advisable to place your dive or G-shock away for now, and rock on something else for now. 

Show part of the watch

One last rule to consider is that then your arm is left hanging loose, your shirt cuff should not hide your watch completely, but leave around 15-20% outside. 

This is more for aesthetical reasons, but you can also say that this make the gliding process easier, as the shirt cuff should glide up easier since it is starting on the watch itself.

Wrapping Up: How To Wear Watch With Long Sleeve Shirt

There you have it, our guide on how to wear your watch with a long sleeve shirt. We hope this has been helpful for you. 

We also have a article discussing in more details about how tight you should wear your watch, so feel free to check that article out to further help yourself in this area. Thanks for reading!

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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