With durable construction, easy comfort, and a touch of vintage curb appeal, the rugby shirt is one of the most versatile garments you can have in your rotation. Whether you already own a few rugby shirts or are thinking of snagging your first one, this handy style guide will provide some outfit inspiration and (hopefully) deepen your appreciation for this timeless piece of menswear history.

What is a Rugby Shirt?

Before it was a sartorial icon, the rugby shirt was a purpose-built piece of sportswear. Cut from heavyweight Oxford cloth and outfitted with rubber buttons designed to withstand violent scrums, rugby shirts are as durable as they come. For a full history of this menswear legend, check out our Journal entry, The Sporting History of The Rugby Shirt.

Vintage image of a man in a Rugby Shirt

How To Wear A Rugby Shirt

1. Classic & Casual

Our easy, everyday way to wear a rugby shirt is with a simple set of blue jeans and sneakers. The denim (you can go light wash or dark) grounds the look as a decidedly laid-back style, while the contrast collar and thicker build of the rugby offer a touch of intentionality to the outfit.

2. Preppy Vibes

Probably the most recognizable combo in this list, pairing a rugby shirt with chinos takes the design back to its collegiate roots. For a cleaner look, you can tuck in the rugby shirt and add a leather belt or rock it untucked for an easygoing yet stylish ensemble. Finish with sneakers, loafers, or Oxfords.

Vintage image of a couple, with the man in a rugby shirt

3. A Smart Silhouette

Tucking in a rugby shirt is a great way to break up your outfit. For this look, go for a chino or pleated pant and finish the outfit with a more polished layer, like a chore jacket or sport coat. The tuck creates a separation point at your natural waist while the jacket hits slightly lower, resulting in a ton of visual interest. This look works with everything from sneakers to dress shoes to rugged boots, so play around and find what works for you!

Model wearing The Rugby Shirt with The Jack in Oxford shirt underneath

4. Outfitted for the Outdoors

While rugby shirts punch above their weight class in the style department, they were originally designed to withstand bloody bouts on the pitch. That durability makes them a great option to take along on hiking or backpacking trips. For this application, we like to wear our rugby shirt untucked with a solid pair of work pants and boots. If the weather is skewing colder, simply add your favorite piece of outerwear to the mix.

Model wearing The Rugby Shirt with pants while walking on the beach

5. A Spring/Summer Statement

Pairing a hefty rugby shirt with a pair of shorts is a practical and stylish way to dress for those finicky transition months. Easygoing yet considered, this look can carry you from backyard barbecues to beachside bonfires to running errands in town without skipping a beat.

Model wearing The Rugby Shirt with chinos

Taylor Stitch Rugby Shirts

Inspired by archival finds—from the hefty knit jersey to the old-school rubber buttons—our Rugby Shirts are loomed with 100% organic cotton jersey for character in every stitch. Explore new colors and silhouettes in our Rugby lineup.

Shop The Rugby Shirt

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