Style | April 10, 2023 12:36 pm

The Best Rugby Shirts for Men Make Ivy Style Easier Than Ever

It's spring. Do you know where your rugby is?

a collage of the best men's rugby shirts on a pink patterend background
The Best Men's Rugby Shirts are a blast from the collegiate past.
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The rugby shirt has long been heralded as a fall essential, and while this is not not true, it’s time we start viewing the hefty top for what it really is: a multifaceted spring-appropriate garm worth its weight scrum-ready cotton (and nautical stripes).

What Is a Rugby Shirt?

The rugby shirt dates back to mid-nineteenth century England, incepted as a uniform for the newly christened eponymous sport. Traditionally rugby shirts are crafted from tightly woven cotton and reinforced to take a beating, the earliest rugbys were designed for the game, reinforced at the seams and sporting rubber buttons and a heavier collar for added protection. The style quickly became a cornerstone of academic and colligate casualwear in the U.K. and eventually America, cementing itself are a seminal style during the ’50s ivy craze.

This explains the tendency to think of collegiate-inspired rugbys featuring autumnal tones of burgundy, navy and gold (go team!), but there exists a wealth of rugbys that lend themselves well to warmer weather while still managing to capture the preppy, Ivy League essence of the silhouette…and infusing some of the new vibes the style has co-opted from skate and street culture.

These modern masterpieces function somewhere in the grey zone of chunky sweaters and elevated polos: considering the often heavier and more durable cotton used to construct the shirts, they’re a no-brainer for milder temperatures, ideal for those days when you can go sans jacket but can’t quite enter short-sleeve territory.

By now, you should be sold on the merits of the springtime rugby — if you’re still on the fence, check out a kitted-out Paul Mescal and be swayed. To streamline your transition into ivy-clad collegian, we’ve highlighted 8 of the best rugby shirts around. From timeless brands like Orvis and Brooks Brothers to fresh installations to the cannon by Connor McKnight and Rowing Blazers, find the best rugbys for men in 2023 below.

Best Rugby Shirts for Men in 2023: