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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?
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.
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.
4. J. Press x Todd Snyder Rugby
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 J. Press features all kinds of sharp details like a cotton twill collar with herringbone stitching and a soft lambswool construction. It’s great to wear over a turtleneck on really brutal winter days, ensuring you’ll stay warm and look cool.
5. H&M Rugby Shirt
This simple, yet polished rugby shirt from H&M pops thanks to a rich navy and clean white stripe that will look just as good with a set of dress pants as it would a pair of jeans. Plus, the price is just too good to pass on it. If you’ve already got a rugby shirt and just want a second one, this is a great option to consider.
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 is 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
7. Rowing Blazers Tie-Dye 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 an eye-catching tie-dye pattern that’s just as cool now as it was back in your parents’ day. It’s made from 14-ounce heavyweight cotton which feels even better than it looks.
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.
9. Front Row Sewn Stripe Long Sleeve Rugby Shirt
Stay cool, calm and collected with a handsome rugby shirt coming in at just under $50. This long-sleeve polo is clad in a navy and mint green (this particular color is very much in style this season) that looks decidedly sharp. The fine knit gauge of the rugby makes it super comfortable to wear all day long. However, if that color isn’t quite for you, there are plenty of other options as well.
10. Flint and Tinder Long Sleeve Rugby Shirt
Sometimes you see a colorway that’s just … perfect. That’s how we feel about this olive and cream rugby shirt from Flint and Tinder. The two tones pair extremely well together, creating something that’s really versatile and wearable. The thick, heavyweight construction ensures it will last and last, providing you with a stylish option to wear for many seasons.
11. Polo Ralph Lauren Fleece Rugby Shirt
If you’re looking for an atypical version of a rugby shirt, consider this fleece version from Polo Ralph Lauren, which is bolstered by its fleece construction; the hefty material makes it great to wear as a jacket or outer layer when it gets really cold. But the best part is its vibrant colorway, which feels like it’d be right at home on the ski slopes of the 80s.
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.
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.
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.
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.