Rugby Tops: Our Tips for Finding Your Perfect Match

By Maria Rogerson

October 30, 2023Fashion

Who said you have to be a rugby fan to proudly wear a typical shirt for the sport? Much like basketball jerseys have become ingrained in contemporary streetwear, a rugby top gets many people’s attention because of its classic aesthetic that makes it the perfect piece to wear on an everyday basis, with a range of outfits even. I mean, what’s not to love about it?

It’s as multi-purpose as the iconic polo yet in a sportier appearance. The stripes, which ooze boldness, plus the distinctive collar that boosts confidence, make the ideal combination for various men’s and women’s outfits alike. To be able to do so, you first need to have the perfect shirt for you. To assist you with this, let’s delve into how you can find your perfect model.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Design

man wearing a rugby top

First and foremost, keep in mind that there are various options of rugby tops at the stores, differing in style as much as in the colour of the stripes. To make your shopping less of a hassle, and more of an enjoyment, you can narrow down the options based on what it is you’re looking for in terms of basics like fit, material, style, and customisation. So, consider these essentials before making your final decision:

The Rugby Shirt Fit

Depending on the result you’re after when donning one of these classic tops, you can choose from three varieties: the performance (i.e. slim), the regular (i.e. athletic), and the relaxed.

The Performance

If you’re looking to replicate that professional look professional rugby players have, this is the fit to go for. It’s super slim, hence the other name it’s known by is slim, and as expected makes for a skin-tight and body-forming outcome, with the tight sleeves and reinforced neckline. As such, this is the type made for optimal performance that pros are after. However, keep in mind, that if you don’t have that fit of a body, you may feel a tad bit uncomfortable wearing this one.

The Regular

In case you’re after the slim look with slightly more room in the features like the neck and sleeves, then the regular, or athletic, is your go-to choice. In addition to the flexibility you get for arm and shoulder movement that would add to your feeling of comfort, it’s also the type made for performance.

It’s great for supporting your favourite rugby team during competitions or catching up with friends over a few drinks. Moreover, the athletic in it makes it equally suitable for training sessions at the gym as you work on the perfect body you can later show off in a performance (slim) fit top.

The Relaxed

Anyone up for a more casual look that offers more on the roomy and relaxing side rather than that of performance should buy one of these rugby tops that are super comfortable. Don’t be fooled by the “casual” aesthetic, it’s just as fit for the office as it is for casual outings. And it’s all thanks to the model as the perfect balance of sharpness and relaxation. The roomy body shape, the roomy sleeves, and the roomy neckline are all features it’s known for.

The Rugby Shirt Material

woman wearing a rugby top

Depending on how you intend to use the shirt, you can shop from classic fabrics like natural cotton and synthetic polyester. The first is mainly used for the creation of relaxed-fit shirts as it’s meant for use by fans rather than athletes who are after the optimal performance of polyester with its moisture-wicking properties. Although, you may find the fits in different materials too with merino wool being one of them – ideal for winter wear.

Remember it all comes down to what makes you feel comfortable. You may also make your shopping easier by considering upfront what’s a dealbreaker for you in terms of maintenance. For some, the thought of being careful with the merino is too much of a bother than the low-maintenance synthetic counterpart.

The Rugby Shirt Style

man wearing a rugby top

Much to your luck, there’s a variety of styles you can find the rugby jersey in, such as:


If you’re a fan of the sport, you love the specifics of the game, and you have your favourite team, it’s highly likely you’re a fan of the retro jerseys too because of the classic aesthetic. The retro style features all the right elements of the good old jerseys, including retro logos.


The traditional rugby jumper design is the one that comes with long sleeves, plus a buttoned collar. These are the perfect choice if you’re after recreating a traditional outfit great for the not-so-casual events where more class is required.

Short sleeve

A modern take on the classic, you get a jersey with short sleeves. With a slightly more casual aesthetic, you can wear them with numerous outfit combinations. The same can be said about the modern long-sleeve rugby shirts with a monochromatic design (no stripes) and a striking collar.


What’s a varsity design with the rugby shirt you ask? Why, it’s a shirt that comes with striking stripes and collars in contrasting colours.


What’s the beauty of a hooded rugby shirt? It offers the best of both hoodies and rugby shirts! The beauty of it is you can wear it with different streetwear bottoms, and shoes, especially those you save for the warmer days.

The Rugby Shirt Customisation

If you’re a fan of the sport, then undoubtedly you’d like to personalise your chosen jersey with some name or number, or even a logo. Check to see if the store where you end up buying from offers this kind of service.