Rugby is a game of contrasts and the best rugby shirts reflect this duality. On the one hand, it’s a sport played almost exclusively by built dudes like The Rock, who collide over and over again with the relentless fury and general chaos of a hotly contested Hungry Hungry Hippos series. On the other hand, it was invented by a group of attendants at a British boarding school, meaning it has all the special etiquette and collegial traditions of something like straight-cooked rowing.
Likewise, rugby jerseys are constructed thick and tough to outlast opponents who shoot them for 80 straight minutes, but they’re also sleek and collared like their close relative the polo shirt. And they’re Swiss Army knife versatile: you can pull one on with jeans, chinos, or shorts, or you can put it in any situation you would normally wear a V-neck sweater down. or under a blazer) to give your look a little more robustness.
The bottom line is, you need it. And you wouldn’t know, your friends at GQ have done all the heavy lifting for you. Copy one of the best men’s rugby jerseys below, wear it with everything, rack up the compliments. It is that simple. Scrum on.
The old reliable choice
Want something classic and preppy and built to last? You go with Ralph Lauren. And, as you might expect, the Polo Ralph Lauren rugby jersey is pretty much final: the stripes are thick, the knit is beefy, the buttons are rubber (to prevent them from sticking out in the middle of the tackle), the pass asks to be skipped. But the main selling point is the fit, but not tight, with enough room to comfortably wear one of Ralph’s equally iconic Oxford shirts.
Heartthrob’s Choice of the 80s
The rugby jersey had its last big moment in the 1980s, when guys like Sam Malone and Thomas Magnum wore it rocky and ruggedly every week on network TV – back when it still meant something. Drake’s latest rugby borrows the flattering edged fit and shiny pinstripes of that era, and nails all the minor details – from the weight of the fabric to the length of the cuffs – necessary for a true vintage look. Tuck it into your 501s, leave all the buttons undone, and go have a drink somewhere where everyone knows your name.
The extremely right choice now
Rowing Blazers have made a name for themselves on faithful reproductions of iconic sportswear, from striped rugby shirts by David Hockney to cheeky sweaters by Princess Diana. As far as we can judge, however, this inflated checkerboard number is entirely their own invention. It has the same old school and heavy construction as RB’s other rugby designs, but feels great for 2021 when it comes to aesthetics.
The choice 75 and wet
Rugby jerseys work wonderfully nine months out of the year, but when does that summer heat roll? Forget it. All that impenetrable, dense fabric doesn’t need to apply. However, thanks to his ever-formidable partnership with Champion, Todd Snyder has found a way to lighten up even the raucest of shirts – by turning them over in airy, flamed madras, which is just the right weight for a chilly night out on the beach. beach. The result is still sporty and durable, but won’t choke you in a sweat the minute the forecast points to something above 70.
The modern classic choice
Few labels have done more to kick-start the renaissance of rugby than Noah, who made muscular sweaters a staple of their world of punk prep right from the jump. The key to Noah’s rugby shirts is an almost perfect balance between traditionalism (they are made in Canada by a former rugby purveyor from play-ready cotton “training fabric”) and sweat (they were sprayed with flowers, flirted with Mandarin collars, and even returned in hockey jerseys). This particular grip lands on the more subtle side – with black and gray stripes so thin it looks solid from a distance – but it’s still Noah rugby, which means it’s infinitely portable and effortless.
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