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 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. 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 rating.
2. 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. We love this bright as hell yellow rugby for its standout look and comfy consistency.
3. L.L.Bean Signature Classic Rugby
For those who definitely want more of a sporty look and feel, this colorblock option from L.L.Bean certainly feels classic and collegiate. The slightly-boxy cut offers a relaxed look and feel for day-long comfort. Meanwhile, the bold lighter blue stripe with a cream collar adds nice touches of space in the otherwise dark navy color.
4. Patagonia Stripe Rugby Shirt
With its alternating combination of greyish blue, mustard and deep green 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. ASOS Oversized Rugby Sweatshirt
This trendy, collegiate sweatshirt option adds a bit more warmth to the classic rugby shirt style. Doused in dulled seafoam with colorblock grey and purple sleeves, this shirt is loud yet chilled. It’s soft on the inside as you might’ve guessed and pairs the feel of your favorite old crewneck with the rugby style you’re dying to get in on. The shirt’s fit is relaxed and roomy, but also isn’t the type of oversized shirt that makes it look like you’re drowning in fabric.
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
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. 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
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 stripe across the design will make you look like a winner, even if you’ve never played rugby a day in your life.
9. Coca-Cola Rugby Shirt
Can anybody actually hate on this Coca-Cola logo rugby shirt? Pepsi lovers, maybe, but they’re wrong anyway. This logo rugby brings us deeply back in time to a period barely any of us really existed in. You know, when Coke logos were plastering sides of buildings and overhead billboards like it was the only soda to ever exist. This rugby combines that nostalgia we know but never experiences with a comfy shirt bringing us a timeless pick to wear all season long.
10. 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.
11. J.Crew Long-Sleeve Jersey Rugby Shirt for Men
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 white-striped lines on the shirt’s lower third.
12. XLARGE Patched Quarter-Zip Men’s Rugby Shirt
Although this rugby shirt from XLARGE has the most basic of cream color palettes in our picks, it tops the rest of the looks by completely revamping the rugby style. The frontal button-down neckline is replaced instead with a quarter-zip to spice up the traditional rugby look, while the back left side offers an unusual patch to take this thing to the next level. The front also has a few patches that are less out-there than the one on the back, giving this rugby a cool additional element that the rest of the shirts don’t have.
13. Rowing Blazers Ashby Rugby Shirt
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 horizontal stripes. It was also handmade in Europe.