Definition: A long-sleeved polo shirt, traditionally of rugged construction in thick cotton or wool, but often softer today
A rugby shirt is a long-sleeved polo shirt that traditionally is made out of thick cotton or wool, but most times today is made out of much softer strands of cotton. Rugby shirts became popular because of the fact that rugby players wore them. Rugby shirts typically have short sleeves but they can also have long sleeves as well. Rugby shirts have a buttoned opening at the top of the neck. The main difference between rugby shirts and polo shirts is that rugby shirts typically are made out of stiffer cotton. Additionally, rugby shirts often have stripes or some type of emblem on them to denote what team or union a player, or aficionado is from. In terms of fashion, rugby shirts have become much more popular in recent years. It has not reached the same level of popularity that polo shirts have, but they are nevertheless popular in their own right. Whereas the upscale look of polo shirts is a direction reflection of the upscale sports of polo, tennis, and golf, rugby is more of a working class sport, and in many ways that feeling is translated in male outfits in which rugby shirts are the focal point.
Rugby shirts have really started to become much more commonplace in American fashion, whereas they are, and have been more popular overseas in places such as Europe for longer than they have been popular stateside. Nevertheless, even in the United States, the rugby shirt is still considerably popular, especially since it’s a garment that can easily be dressed up with dress slacks, dress shoes, and a blazer. When worn right, a rugby shirt can allow a man to exude a put together, but rugged and sexy look that women find appealing but not overly intimidating. Rugby shirts, when striped or in darker colors, can look really great when paired with oxfords, for instance. Rugby shirts perhaps more so than polo shirts can be dressed up to look more business casual, or dressed down to look casual, while polo shirts, even when dressed down, nevertheless have a tendency to still look somewhat dressed up.