Despite their name, you don’t need to actually play rugby to wear a rugby shirt. Sure, the shirts have their origins in the thrilling and violent game, but starting in the 1950s, the shirts started to find a place outside of the game for recreational wear.
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 thick layer to wear in the colder months. The inherently preppy look of the shirt make 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 ten of the best rub shirts around. Take a look at our favorite modern-day takes on the shirt to help you bring some rugged swagger to your closet — regardless of whether or not you’ve ever stepped on a field.
1. Goodthreads Solid Rugby Shirt
If bold patterns and striking stripes aren’t your bag, this solid rugby shirt from Amazon’s in-house brand Goodthreads provides a great alternative option. With five different solid colors, 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 review average from 54 ratings (at the time of this writing).
2. Tommy Hilfiger Colorblock Rugby Shirt
For those who definitely want more of a sporty look and feel, this colorblock option from Tommy Hilfiger certainly feels classic and collegiate. The slightly-boxy cut offers a relaxed look and feel for day-long comfort. Meanwhile, the bold white stripe and matching collar add nice touches of white space in the otherwise dark navy color.
3. adidas Originals Rugby Shirt
Originally made for the brand’s skateboarding apparel line, this rugby shirt from adidas Originals can be worn just as easily as your standard rugby shirt. Instead of cotton, the shirt is made from 100% polyester, giving it a different look and feel from other cotton or heavy cotton rugby shirts. Additionally, the tri-color pattern is even complete with the brand’s signature three-stripe detailing on the sleeves.
4. Patagonia Stripe Rugby Shirt
With its alternating combination of red and teal horizontal stripes, this rugby shirt from Patagonia would be enough of a standout on its own to warrant adding it to your collection. However, as with all of their clothing, Patagonia has ensured that this shirt is ethically made through its entire production process — which means you’ll look great and feel good about wearing it.
5. Chaps Heritage Rugby Shirt
This Chaps rugby shirt is a part of their heritage collection which essentially amounts to a throwback of designs and patterns. Emblazoned with an old school Chaps laurel wreath logo, the shirt also features this striking tri-color striped design in a classic color combination that will pair well with jeans or khakis.
6. Lacoste Heavy Jersey Rugby Shirt
This Lacoste rugby shirt is spun from heavy-duty cotton that’s durable, comfortable, and warm, which makes it a great solution for winter wear. The darker shades skew away from some of the other options on this list and make it a good alternative if you already have a few rugby shirts in your collection or need a cold-weather upgrade.
7. Rowing Blazers Game Rugby Shirt
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. This specific version is a stunning ‘game’ rugby shirt that’s made from a 14-ounce heavyweight cotton which feels even better than it looks. The alternating orange and burgundy vertical stripes evoke an actual shirt you’d see in a real rugby match — ergo its namesake.
8. J. Crew 1984 Rugby Shirt
Pulled from vintage J. Crew designs from the 1980s, this rugby shirt has been given a modern-day update for 2020. Still constructed from the same style of heavyweight cotton used back then, this particular shirt has a slightly extended back hemline to give it more swagger. We also really love the added design flourish of the pink-striped lines on the shirt’s lower third.
9. Lands’ End Solid Rugby
A solid color rugby shirt, like this vibrant offering from Lands’ End, is a great option to brighten up an outfit — especially when it’s smartly priced like this. The aqua mint is bright enough to announce your arrival from several blocks away, but for those willing to take a bold fashion choice, it’s a worthy purchase that ensures both quality and style.
10. Thom Browne Stripe Rugby Shirt
The designer rugby shirt option comes from Thom Brown, who pairs stripes on stripes by including his signature four-stripe sleeve pattern on top of bold and wide horizontal stripes. Made from premium cotton, it’s a cozy and comfortable option. The slim cut means that it already has a bit of a tailored look and feel.