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Spotlight on The Rugby Shirt

With this year’s Rugby World Cup in full flow we’ve noticed the Rugby shirt is not just worn by those playing. It’s a sporting style with a rich heritage that can fit into an everyday lifestyle, and I’m no Rugby expert but here’s a quick guide the popular wardrobe staple with styling tips on how to wear them.

Traditionally a rugby shirt is made from a thick cotton to withstand heavy tackles on the pitch - which is still a main factor even on those shirts designed to be worn off the pitch. It’s a rather preppy garment that is commonly long sleeved with a wide stripe pattern in two colours with a large number on the back. However, this is where the lifestyle shirts can sometimes differ. They are still striped but often in one plain block colour and without a number. This instantly makes them more wearable so you don't look like you’ve just stepped off the pitch.

When it comes to fitting, look at where the shoulder seam lies. It should be on your shoulder and not further down your arms, otherwise it will automatically look like it is far too big for you. Secondly, consider if you want a slim or tailored fit - more and more men are wearing slimmer fitting clothes which especially compliments an athletic build. 

Brands such as Joules, Crew Clothing, Hackett, Canterbury and Gant have launched their latest Rugby shirts this season (in time for the England World Cup), each inspired by their sporting backgrounds. Many of the shirts are designed from hard wearing cotton so are durable and substantial. Available in a mixture of autumnal colours of cream, navy, burgundy and green, the styles stick to their rich heritage with a smarter contemporary feel.

When it comes to styling these shirts there are a number of ways to wear them. Think about the occasion and your own personal style. For example, if you want something more casual, you can wear it under a baseball jacket or under a sporting gilet which will also keep you warm at the game. Match with a pair of Converse or sleek lifestyle trainers and maybe add a beanie in there too.

You also have the option to wear the shirt under a v neck sweater. Pay attention to colours so they compliment all the colours in the shirt. Alternatively if you want to take advantage of the preppy style, wear it with dark wash jeans, a Darlan jacket and a flat cap. Lastly, if you want a smarter look put on a neutral coloured sports jacket in a dark grey, again with a pair of chinos and chukka boots for an easy everyday look.

Rakelle Maurici

With a thirst for exploration and over 10 years of writing experience, Rakelle is a keen fashion, travel and culture storyteller. Her work, from city guides to short stories, has been featured in both global print and digital media.

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