I’ll admit, I know the game exists, but I couldn’t recite a single rule or fact about rugby. And, I wouldn’t call my personal style collegiate or preppy in any way. Yet, I’ve found myself unexpectedly intrigued by the rugby shirt trend I’ve recently been seeing all over my Instagram feed. Traditionally, the top is long-sleeved with stripes and a white collar — similar to a polo top — and serves as a game-day uniform. But as of late, influencers and models alike are proving that the athletic top can also serve strictly for fashion purposes, too.
While, of course, a rugby shirt is most often seen on the field, there are plenty of fashion moments involving the top. For instance, Princess Diana’s rugby shirt street style look back in 1997, which consisted of a cotton candy baby blue and light pink top paired with white denim and polished blue loafers. As for the runways, rugby tops have been featured in (somewhat) recent collections like Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2019, Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2019, and Lacoste Spring/Summer 2020.
Not to mention, these sporty shirts have been spotted on the model set, too. Kendall Jenner wore a JW Anderson rugby shirt in-between shows during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020, while Indira Scott opted for a Polo Ralph Lauren cropped silhouette during Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020. And back in 2018, Bella Hadid was pictured frolicking in Frankfurt, Germany wearing a blue striped rugby top.
Currently, there are a few brands championing the trend. For starters, New York-based store Rowing Blazers is among the leading labels showcasing the top. The preppy-cool brand’s current collection includes rugby shirts that range from vibrant stripes to styles inspired by national Rugby teams abroad. Also on my radar: New York-based label Kule is releasing similar styles that align with the brand’s classic aesthetic (think: neutral stripes and fun patchwork).
Ahead, find the rugby shirt outfits I’ve saved on Instagram. Don’t be surprised if you’re convinced to buy one yourself, even if you also know very little about the sport.
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Rugby Shirt Outfit: Add On Pearls
I’m not one to typically wear pearls, however, Mecca James-Williams’ look above has me convinced to do so. The stylist paired her bright multi-color Rowing Blazers rugby with pearl studs, adding the perfect amount of polish to the top. If you’re into a dangly earring, try a simple style like Yam NYC’s Little Luck Stud below.
Rugby Shirt Outfit: Match An Accessory
Instead of classic stripes, try an exciting patchwork rugby top (like Kule’s style above). I’m loving how influencer Reese Blutstein paired the top with a coordinating green bag from Loewe. Plus, she gave the outfit an outdoorsy touch with her hiking boots.
Rugby Shirt Outfit: Cropped Silhouette + Baggy Pants
Model Indira Scott balanced out her cropped Polo Ralph Lauren rugby shirt with baggy cargo pants and chunky Dior D-Connect sneakers. If you don’t want to show a lot of skin, opt for super high-waisted pants coupled with a cropped rugby shirt.
Rugby Shirt Outfit: Switch Up Your Bottoms
Rather than finishing a rugby shirt off with classic blue denim, opt for a slightly edgy gray shade. To keep the look casual, I’d complete the look with my favorite Vans’ high-tops. And if you want to add a bit of glamour to the ensemble, layer a few dainty necklaces over the top.
Rugby Shirt Outfit: Play With Patterns
Arguably the most exciting way to try out the rugby shirt trend is by opting for a colorful style and coupling it with a contrasting print. Influencer Nnenna Chem did this with her rainbow Acne Studios tee and swirly trousers from Hosbjerg.
Rugby Shirt Outfit: Designer Style
Lately, high-fashion designers have also been releasing cool rugby tops. Above, Influencer Chloé Harrouche sported a Chanel version, paired with a matching skirt. Additionally, you can also snag similar luxury options from labels like JW Anderson or Monse.