I can’t stop thinking about rugby shirts. The seed was planted when Marc Jacobs sent one down the runway for his Spring/Summer 2017 collection. It was bright orange and green like a psychedelic carrot and I was pretty sure I hated it. Ditto for the blue and yellow version, which reminded me of the Minions.
I should have known better. The thing about designers like Marc Jacobs is they have a proven knack for showing us what we didn’t know we wanted. It takes some time — months, usually — to marinate and then BOOM! It’s all you can think about.
There were some developments along the way that helped the juices seep in. Rihanna wore the psychedelic carrot in a March Paper Magazine editorial and unsurprisingly looked like a dreamy dream. J.Crew produced a similarly eye-popping iteration of its own for spring 2017. The Wall Street Journal published a story in early August entitled, “Stripes Like Jagger: The Return of the Rugby Shirt,” with an image of Mick Jagger wearing a rugby in 1965 that (somewhat eerily) looked could have been taken in 2017.
It wasn’t until Acne released the campaign for its latest collection, though, that my rugby hunger took off like rocket ship. The campaign features Instagram-famous couple Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony and their four adorable children, Desmiray, Maliyah, Kordale Junior and Kaleb Junior, making them “the first Black LGBT family to represent a high fashion European clothing line,” according to Kordale and Kaleb’s Instagram caption.
How can you not want a rugby after looking at these photos????
Based on my personal recollection, the last time rugby shirts were popular was around 2004, when Rugby Ralph Lauren launched. I was in eighth grade at the time and I desperately wanted one. I thought it was so cool that you could customize them with different patches in the store. I angled for a skull and crossbones iron-on, but my mom said no. 🙁
I know what you’re thinking right now, so I’m just gonna go head and say it: Yes, the return of this particular trend is further proof that 2000s fashion is coming back with a vengeance. I’m not mad about the rugby, though. I’m glad. They’re comfortable and cozy and I can’t wait to wear one this fall with stiff blue jeans and brown penny loafers or leggings and ballet flats and big gold hoops and a black ribbon tied in my hair. Thanks to Marc Jacobs and Acne, they also have a new identity that I’m eager to explore, less “stereotypically preppy,” more “offbeat cool.”
What do YOU think?
Photo via Vogue Runway.