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Rugby Shirts Are Back, Baby!

Screenshot: The AV Club
Style GirlfriendStyle Girlfriend is the go-to destination for guys seeking not just fashion advice, but lifestyle tips, tricks, and shortcuts - all from a friendly, female editorial team’s perspective. Each week, Team SG will round up the clothes, grooming products and more men need to live their most stylish lives.

Look, I know the rugby shirt has a less-than-stellar reputation. Over the years, it’s solidified in our collective consciousness as the uniform of rape-y lax bro villains in 1980s teen movies. I’m not denying that heritage.

But I’m here to tell you, times have changed! No longer is this preppy long-sleeve fall staple the domain of 31-year-olds playing jerky high schoolers externalizing the pain from their parents’ divorce by stuffing the misunderstood nerd who plays clarinet in the marching band into a locker. The rugby shirt has grown up. It’s matured. And now, with its collar decidedly un-popped, it’s looking for a place in every guy’s wardrobe for fall.

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Below, 7 #SGapproved rugby shirts to add to your wardrobe repertoire.


Bonobos, $78

Bonobos, $78
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Grey and white stripes make for a clean and classic addition to your cool weather wardrobe. Lean into a preppy, “I summer on Martha’s Vineyard” kind of vibe and wear this Bonobos rugby shirt with cuffed chinos and a canvas sneaker with leather laces until it’s too cold to go out without socks.

Old Navy, $30

Old Navy, $30
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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Red, white, and blue (okay, it’s more like navy) on a rugby shirt? What could be more Americana...other than eating apple pie while you wear it? Layer a denim jacket on top and your next date night look is sorted.

Ralph Lauren, $148

Ralph Lauren, $148
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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Ralph Lauren is OG rugby shirt territory, so you might as well go big. This bright blue, red and yellow rugby should be worn with a “Don’t you know who my father is?!”-level confidence (but not attitude).

AE Tailgate rugby shirt, $60

AE Tailgate rugby shirt, $60
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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Show your alma mater some love on game day in a Tailgate shirt that mixes fandom and fashion. Fair warning: with its slim fit and soft cotton fabric, you’re going to find yourself reaching for this rugby style on more than just football Saturdays.

Rowing Blazers, $195

Rowing Blazers, $195
Photo: Rowing Blazers
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Yes, paying nearly 200 dollars for a cotton shirt is expensive, but Rowing Blazers’ rugby shirts are also luxe as hell...so, I don’t know, treat yo’self? Are we still saying that?

Putting on one of the heavyweight styles feels like wearing a weighted blanket—in a good way, which I’m now realizing you may have to experience for yourself to understand. Plus, they’re great for anyone who’s not really a sweater guy and wants to stay warm without piling on too many bulky layers as the temperatures continue to dip. (The brand is also doing a collaboration with Land’s End if you want to try the brand at an under $100 price point!)

Target, $20

Target, $20
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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With the return of rugby shirts comes fresh spins and takes on the wardrobe classic. Like this “hooded henley” style from Target’s surprisingly cool Goodfellow & Co line.

Fila, $80

Fila, $80
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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You may have moved on from Fila after it stopped being cool to spend your weekend hanging out at the mall, but I’m warning you now: this ‘90s-inspired rugby shirt may just lure you back in. Wear the striped style with dark denim and a clean leather or suede sneaker for an easy fall look.


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About the author

Megan Collins

Megan Collins started Style Girlfriend to help guys look and feel their best. Today, she and her team share tips, tricks, and shortcuts to a closet that inspires confidence.