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. 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.
2. Musen Rugby Shirt
This Musen rugby shirt is a classic colorblock option featuring a navy grey sandwich with maroon smacked in the middle. The striking yet humble tri-color striped design is a classic color combination that will pair well with jeans or khakis. It’s not much of a standout in terms of how some modern rugby shirts look, but it’s a must-have basic you should already have hanging in your closet.
3. L.L.Bean Signature Classic Rugby
For those who definitely want more of a sporty look and feel, this burnt orange and blue 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. It has the same look and feel classic rugby shirts worn in the 1980s have, too.
4. Todd Snyder + Champion Wool Blackwatch 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 Champion has a cool, calm and collected aesthetic that most rugby shirts lack — likely due to the unconventional plaid approach. It feels multi-seasonal in a way that dismisses summer, but aside from that, feel free to incorporate this into any fall through spring look.
5. ASOS Daysocial Rugby Overhead Shirt
This trendy, collegiate sweatshirt option adds a bit more excitement to the classic rugby shirt style. Doused in bright teal and sunshine yellow vertical stripes, this shirt is a loud yet chilled option to throw into your everyday style. It’s clad in a “Daysocial” logo on one side of the chest to top things off and looks dope with your favorite pair of Levi’s.
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
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. ASOS DESIGN Rugby Style Overhead Cord Shirt
Listen up: corduroy is the look everyone’s talking about right now. Pants, bags, button-downs — corduroy is everywhere and none of us are mad about it. ASOS knows damn well just how popular the look is, so they placed the style into an iconic rugby shirt that nobody was expecting. This emerald color will totally flare up your style, so give it a whirl.
10. UO Spliced Rugby Shirt
We know what your thinking: isn’t this just a polo. Essentially, yeah, all rugby shirts are polos, but this eclectic sporty styling gives the traditional polo look a bit of a revamp, turning it into something that is actually considered a rugby shirt. This multi-colored, non-traditionally striped rugby short sleeve is one hard to beat. It has a handsomely approachable look to it that emerges a fine sense of style understanding and warmth. Pair it with a skinny pair of shorts, your favorite pair of Vans and a dad hat for warmer weather.
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.
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. Nautica Competition Long Sleeve Polo
Despite the name, it’s really no competition when it comes to Nautica’s Competition Long Sleeve Polo. This rugby shirt has a beachside vibe that exudes tremendous swagger. It features two oceany blues and daytime yellow hues like yellow and orange paired with a pure white to complete the look. It feels very beachball in a way and we’re 100% here for it.
14. iets frans… Ecru & Lilac Long Sleeve Rugby Shirt
Leave to this faded, washed-out rugby shirt to give us the most gorgeous pastels your eyes have ever come in contact with. This ecru and lilac long-sleeve exudes a look that’s perfect to wear in the spring. It includes the iets frans… logo embroidered directly on the chest and has a horizontal display that can match just about any pair of pants you have folded in your dresser.
15. Rowing Blazers x NBA New York Knicks 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 brings the original sporty aesthetic back to its roots by featuring a patch for the New York Knicks. That team not your favorite? Don’t worry, the Rowing Blazers x NBA collection features a number of popular basketball teams.