Light Layers of Fall, Part I: Striped Rugby

October 29th, 2010

One of my favorite, and one of the most underrated, layering pieces for fall is a striped rugby shirt. During this sometimes-cool-sometimes-warm time of season, it’s often all you need on top.

Grab a rugby with a simple stripe in neutral colors, or colors that work easily with other tones (think primaries). When shopping for a rugby – or sweater or jacket for that matter – many people make the mistake of “buying one size up so I can fit a layer underneath”. This is unnecessary. If a layer is too thick to be worn underneath a well fitting garment – a chunky knit for example – it should probably be worn as the outer layer.

The rugby is a great alternative to the everyman’s v-neck and crewneck. Throw it over a t-shirt, over another collared shirt, under a jacket, or a combination of these.

Striped rugdy shirt by Michael Bastian (size 50). Navy washed “reverse seam” shirt by Steven Alan (size M). Brown donegal tweed trousers by Michael Andrews Bespoke (custom made, my own design). Canvas briefcase by Filson. Suede chukka boots by John Varvatos. Tortoise aviator shades by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Navy cashmere blend socks by  Marcoliani.

Remember that if your top has a bold pattern/color, anchor it with subtle pieces like a solid shirt and subtly textured pants. The shirt already makes the statement, frame it rather than adding to it.

Bonus tips: unless you are purposely doing some kind of “pop” at the ankle (again, this is not recommended with a bold shirt - one statement piece is all you need!) your socks should be one or two shades darker than your pants. When in doubt, go with navy socks.

The color of the season is green. From forest to olive, it is very chic (and again, underrated, as I mentioned in this post).

I pulled out the subtle green stripe in this rugby by pairing it with dark green jeans. Similarly, the blue suede boots accentuate the blue stripe, and the grey mini check shirt plays off the grey stripe. By keeping it cohesive, you can wear a number of different colors while keeping your look non-distracting.

Rugby shirt courtersy of Canterbury of New Zealand (size M). Shirt by Steven Alan (size M). Jeans by Dior Homme (size 52). Chukka boots by Church’s. Canvas tote bag by Filson. Watch by Montblanc. Shades (in shirt) by Persol (649).

For those with good memories, the rugby from the first look above is the same one I wore during my 15 seconds of fame on The Today Show:

This photo was not taken by Jenilee (who is also featured above in this post  - she has great style that is almost always menswear inspired – post on her coming soon!)

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

SB

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  • bettylee

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  • Jes

    Hey Dan,

    Would you happen to have any Rugger rugby shirts? I’m looking at buying one online soon, and i’m trying to figure out how they fit. I would like to be able to layer it like you do in the top shots.

    Thanks,

    Jes

  • mike

    Just had to add, Jennilee is HOT.

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      Hah, maybe I should let her respond to this one. Thanks for reading!

    • Jenilee

      Thanks Mike! It’s easy to look good when you’re standing next to such a handsome man.

  • mike

    The black red striped rugby at top inspired me to wear my quite similar rugby shirt(made by Canterbury of New Zealand) just yesterday. I’d bought the shirt during Winter clearance earlier in the year and then spring and summer came along and it was too hot to wear it. Almost forgot I even had it, and it still had the tags on until yesterday. It looks terrific and I wore it with my olive green cropped-length trench-coat styled jacket which I got from H & M and some dark-denim skinny Levi’s.

  • Anonymous

    The black red striped rugby at top inspired me to wear my quite similar rugby shirt(made by Canterbury of New Zealand) just yesterday. I’d bought the shirt during Winter clearance earlier in the year and then spring and summer came along and it was too hot to wear it. Almost forgot I even had it, and it still had the tags on until yesterday. It looks terrific and I wore it with my olive green cropped-length trench-coat styled jacket which I got from H & M and some dark-denim skinny Levi’s.

  • Dennis

    Dan, any recommendations for an affordable rugby one might purchase in, say, Phoenix? Great look but I can’t afford Bastian.

    • cam
    • khordkutta

      Try, AmericanRugby.com

      • Dennis

        Dope, thanks guys.

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      I’m not too familiar with the shopping scene in Pheonix, but online you should be able to find affordable rugby shirts at canterburynzusa.com, Polo.com, Rugby.com, JCrew.com, Landsend.com, and several more design houses. Hope this helps. -SB

      • Dennis

        “Shopping scene in Phoenix” – good one! Thanks a lot, good stuff.

  • JMRouse

    I want that Rugby. It’s awesome.

  • St. One R

    This should have been an Unbashedly Prep collaboration. Rugby has definitely that prepster look to it, but I definitely dig it.

  • windsorite…

    SB we wanna know what you were for halloween pal hahah

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      Haha…I was a Chippendales dancer. I had to ruin one of my tuxedo shirts (cut the sleeves off and wore it with a black bowtie and the cuffs at the wrists) but it was worth a laugh or two. Some pictures need to remain private I think, haha. Thanks for reading. Hope all is well in Windsor!

  • Collin

    THANK YOU! I seriously had no idea the rugby shirt was used as a layering piece, so last night for a big no-costume Halloween party, I wore what you recommended and got infinite compliments.

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      :) I love getting messages like this. Glad I could help! -SB

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    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

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  • Michael Bastian

    Hey Man– our rugby looks great on you (and you are wearing it exactly the right way) Good job & thanks! Michael Bastian.

    • Collin

      That is a hardcore thumbs up.

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      Thanks Michael! Great to hear from you – you are one of my favorite designers. All the best, Dan

  • TO

    First look is great, and the second, as the green jeans are awesome. The last I remember like it was yesterday.

  • CAS

    Great post on color coordination with the second fit. Few people can execute like that. However, I feel like jeans or cords would have been a better look with the first fit. The tweed trousers look a tad too formal paired with suede chukkas and a rugby.

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      This look would certainly work with jeans or cords. Thanks for reading. -SB

  • Jen Smith

    You look so handsome in the rugby….loving it with the tweed pants…..great look!

    jen
    http://blankwhiteframes.blogspot.com

    ps I am trying extremely hard to fight the urge to use the work cute over and over again in my comments. :)

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      :) Thanks Jen. I hope all is well!

  • The Boss

    Man, Bastian rugby shirts are the truth. Did you pay full price for yours, if you don’t mind me asking? I’d like to pull the trigger, but the price is pretty steep.

    • The Boss

      PS—It’s nice to see a fellow Canadian doing it big. Keep up the good work!

      • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

        I think I picked this one up when I was working as an assistant buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue (slightly discounted). Although the price is steep, the quality is unmatched. The Canterbury one is a nice more affordable option. Thanks for reading, love hearing from my fellow Canadians! -SB

  • Tyler

    Some people hate on this look but I think it looks good. Next time I’m out ill be looking for a striped ruby shirt for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Some people

  • Samuel

    That Bastian shirt is classic. I’ve seen MB himself rock the rugby and collared shirt. I love the neckline on it.

    http://www.mensstyle101.blogspot.com

  • FRESH2DEATH

    Great post! The rugby shirt is something I’ve always admired, but had a difficult time incorporating into my business casual wardrobe…there are some really great ideas here, and I plan on giving it a shot soon.

    Thanks as always, SB.

    Stay Fresh,

    F2D

  • The Shoe Snob

    Great shirts, especially the Michael Bastian one, I really like the sleeve/collar coordination that he put on that. Green jeans, also a great piece! People in America need to realize that jeans look great in other colors besides blue. Love that you wore your blue suede’s again, just helps back up my post! Great outfits as always!

    http://the-shoe-snob.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.examiner.com/men-s-style-in-philadelphia/bargain-shopping-the-correct-way Sabir P.

    Yo Dan,

    Enjoyed the post. The rugby shirt and donegal is a new mix that I havent seen before (but well appreciated). I’ve encountered sartorial-types that say no to a rugby shirt and a collared shirt. What is your overall take on the matter?

    • http://www.thestyleblogger.com SB

      My take: if people tell you that you “can’t” do something, it’s all the more reason to do it…especially if these people refer to themselves as “sartorial-types”. You have good style brother, keep taking risks…”risk” is excitement and innovation, and without those things, what are we even doing?

      You can stay in the box with everybody else, but it gets really claustrophobic.

      Thanks for reading Sabir, all the best.

      • http://www.examiner.com/mens-style-in-philadelphia/sabir-peele Sabir P.

        I thought you were about to start flowing for a second. You know me I say f*ck the box.