Liberty Cuffs are embroidered patches that were sewn inside the cuffs of Navy dress blue uniforms. These uniforms are worn by Navy enlisted men, pay grades E-2 through E-6. The embroidered patches were sewn using a hidden stitch, which resulted in a regulation looking uniform when the cuffs were safely hidden and buttoned, but once the sailor was on liberty, he unbuttoned and rolled the cuff up just one roll in order to display the fancy embroidered designs. Any type of embroidery on the inside of the cuffs was always unauthorized and wearing the uniform with the sleeves rolled up was likewise unauthorized.
Sailors have always been the most creatively artistic of all the branches of the military, what with their tattoos, scrimshaw carving, sea shell art and ships built inside bottles, they even took up embroidery and sewing to pass the time while on board ship.
Steve McQueen with liberty cuffs