Despite their name, you don’t need to actually play rugby to wear the best men’s rugby shirts. Sure, the shirts have their origins in the thrilling and violent game, but starting in the 1950s, they started to find a place outside of the game for recreational wear. You know, the same way the best high-top sneakers, basketball shorts and even joggers have.
Initially made from durable, heavyweight cotton to ensure they could handle the rough and tumble conditions of the game, the shirts have become a more than viable option for those who want a nice layer to wear in the colder months. Now, rugby shirts aren’t always super thick, making them an excellent option to wear in the spring and fall, too. The inherently preppy look of the shirt makes for a stylish option that doesn’t require a lot of work, as well. So, in honor of this versatile shirt, we’ve rounded up over a dozen of the best rugby shirts for men.
Take a look at our favorite modern-day takes on the rugby shirt to help you bring some rugged swagger to your closet — regardless of whether or not you’ve ever stepped on a field.
1. Rowing Blazers End-Of-The-Day Rugby
You can’t talk about modern men’s rugby shirts without talking about Rowing Blazers. If you’re not familiar with Rowing Blazers already, they’re one of the brands that’s helping to single-handily revive prep — and a lot of that work started with their excellent rugby shirts. The End-Of-The-Day Rugby is easily our favorite right now because of how it’s created. It’s quite literally sewn together using leftover fabric from the end of the day to create completely unique rugbys no one else in the world owns. That said, you will not be getting the one pictured below. Each will look totally different and you’ll be in for a surprise with every order. And, who doesn’t love a gamble?
Rowing Blazers End-Of-The-Day Rugby
2. Charles River Classic Rugby Shirt
Bold patterns and stripes are more or less synonymous with the rugby shirt aesthetic, so it should come with no surprise that this chunky-striped rugby shirt fits right in our top spot. It’s available in numerous sizes right on Amazon, making it an easy purchase if you’ve already got the quarantine classics in your cart. You know, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap and now this handsome rugby. it’s a clean-looking basic that will instantly elevate your fashion. The sturdy cotton construction has been well received by purchasers, boasting a 4.5-star rating.
Charles River Classic Rugby Shirt
3. Orvis Performance Rugby
For those who definitely want more of a sporty look and feel, this navy blue and yellow option from Orvis certainly feels classic and collegiate. The slightly boxy cut offers a relaxed look and feel for day-long comfort. It has the same look and feel that classic rugby shirts worn in the 1980s have, too. It’s also totally moisture-wicking if you actually plan to wear it for like, rugby.
Orvis Performance Rugby
4. Todd Snyder + Champion Madras Rugby Polo
No one does it better than Big Apple-based designer Todd Snyder, and that’s a fact. This effortlessly handsome rugby shirt in collaboration with Champion has a cool, preppy aesthetic that most rugby shirts lack — likely due to the unconventional plaid approach. It feels multi-seasonal in a way, so feel free to wear this one on crisp fall days to chilly summer nights.
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Todd Snyder + Champion Madras Rugby Polo
5. ASOS DESIGN Oversized Rugby Sweatshirt
This trendy, collegiate sweatshirt option adds a bit more excitement to the classic rugby shirt style. Doused in bright lilac and periwinkle horizontal stripes, this shirt is a loud yet chilled option to throw into your everyday style. It’s clad in text embroidery front and center to top things off and looks dope with your favorite pair of Levi’s.
ASOS DESIGN Oversized Rugby Sweatshirt
6. UO Club Heavyweight Stripe Rugby Shirt
It’s all about color with this horizontally striped rugby shirt from Urban Outfitters. This street-centric beauty spun from a mix of heavy-duty cotton that’s durable, comfortable, and warm as well as polyester to give it structure. It has a worn look to it that feels vintage or thrifted, so nobody will even know you’re wearing something from Urban
UO Club Heavyweight Stripe Rugby Shirt
7. Rowing Blazers Constellation Rugby
Rowing Blazers has clearly become our go-to spot for purchasing the best rugby shirts today. They’ve got a ton of cool designs with stellar concepts, and material-wise, they aren’t ditching out on durability. This specific version of the modern rugby features a stunning constellation that adds a more graphic element to the typical stripe or solid coverage. It’s made from a 14-ounce heavyweight cotton which feels even better than it looks.
Rowing Blazers Constellation Rugby
8. J.Crew Cashmere Collared Sweater
This rugby shirt looks like it was stolen straight from a British player’s back in the early 1900s. And maybe it was, we never give away any secrets. This classic shirt is a heavy-duty design that looks just as good now as it would’ve back in the day. It’s casual enough to wear throughout your day-to-day and fit regularly for easy moving and comfortability. The solid golden stripes across the design will make you look like a winner, even if you’ve never played rugby a day in your life. The only difference here from the earlier days of rugby shirts? This baby is cashmere to keep you cozy day in and day out.
J.Crew Cashmere Collared Sweater
9. Cotton On Rugby Long Sleeve Polo
Stay cool, calm and collected with a handsome rugby coming in at just under $50. This long-sleeve polo is clad in three different shades of green stripes to keep you looking collegiate even when school isn’t in session. This shirt doesn’t have too much of an out-there-ness to it which we enjoy. It’s toned down a lot and looks great paired with just about whatever you’ve got on waist-down.
Cotton On Rugby Long Sleeve Polo
10. BDG Waffle Knit Hooded Rugby Shirt
A hooded rugby? Okay, yeah, a hooded rugby. Transform the traditional rugby look into your cold-weather go-to with this waffle-knit hooded rugby ready for whatever the season throws at you. It foregoes the classic collar look for an adjustable hood you can throw up whenever the time calls for it. There are four low-key colors available for your liking, all you have to do is pick which is best for you.
BDG Waffle Knit Hooded Rugby Shirt
11. Nike Sportswear Swoosh Rugby Shirt
While there isn’t much “swooshing” happening in the game of rugby, Nike’s Swoosh rugby shirt is a modern take on the classic look that merges two sports together into one — rugby, clearly, and basketball. The shirt comes in four different colors but we’re opting for this royal blue look. The white minimalist additions in small stripes, frontal text and on the collar look nice in contrast with the vibrant blue and tie the shirt together entirely. The look might make you snag your size in each color, so be careful. Best part of all? It used to be $70, but it’s officially been marked down to just $30.
Nike Sportswear Swoosh Rugby Shirt
12. UO Club Heavyweight Polo Shirt
Most of the time, rugby shirts display a number of colors in the form of colorful stripes and colorblock styles, but from time to time, you’ll be able to find an effortlessly good-looking solid rugby shirt worth snagging. This heavyweight rugby is made with a thick cotton blend that feels like your favorite sweatshirt and is only available in one color: grey. It won’t add much to your style, but hey, it is a nice option to have on hand.
UO Club Heavyweight Polo Shirt
13. Champion Rugby Shirt
That Champion crewneck you’ve been rocking and rebuying since you were a wee tot just got a new look. This rugby looks exactly like your go-to crew, but instead tops itself off with a collar instead of the classic crewneck design. It’s warm, heavyweight and cozy for all of the chilliest days of the year.
Champion Rugby Shirt
14. Polo Ralph Lauren Iconic Rugby Shirt
Iconic is absolutely the word with this rugby from Polo Ralph Lauren. This brand is one of the few that has been making rugby shirts for quite some time at this point, maybe even for the longest. You’ll see these strewn about thrift shops and vintage stores across the globe, but if you ever wanted a fresh one for yourself, this one below is a great pick.
Polo Ralph Lauren Iconic Rugby Shirt
15. Rowing Blazers Block Stripe Rugby
We couldn’t resist including at least one more option from Rowing Blazers, a SPY favorite. Rowing Blazers makes the best rugby shirts in the world, full stop, even if they are a bit expensive. This shirt is made from heavyweight cotton fabric and features bold, rainbow horizontal stripes. Whether you’re wearing it with pride or just love a pop of color, this is a stellar option to choose.