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by Kent Oszmanski

A new store opened for Rowing Blazers located in SOHO, New York, on Grand Street, which featured an exhibition of the history of the rugby jersey. The retailer packed the store with memorabilia, art, and antiques. A panel discussed the topic, including, Phaidra Knight, former national team player, James English GM of Rugby United, Jacob Gallagher Men’s fashion editor for Wall Street Journal, Jack Carlson, founder and creator of Rowing Blazers, Jian DeLeon blogger, and Joshua Matthew, vintage clothing expert.

The distinctive rugby shirt as of recent decades has become a symbol of pop culture with influence from the hip-hop, punk, and prep genres.  Some well-known fashion designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren incorporate the classic look into their collections.  Major leisurewear catalogs like Orvis, Lands End, and LL Bean, among others; have offered the rugby jersey with the traditional white collar and bold stripes.

Currently, there is a resurgence of this style.  Surf the web you can find entertainment celebrities sporting rugby jerseys in contrasting colors that have a sporty appearance.  

A leading fashion critic said it's the rare piece of apparel that allows a man or woman to play a sport like rugby, walk off the field, and re-enter society in the same shirt. 

Rowing Blazers has staked a claim in this market by emphasizing the popular vintage styles with patches, and striking logos from leading rugby nations.  

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Editor's Faux Pas by Allyn Freeman

I spotted a tall man speaking in an upper-class English accent in Manhattan. He wore a faded pink/purple color, white collar rugby jersey that sported an elaborate heraldic crest. I assumed the shirt represented one of the Oxbridge colleges or, perhaps, an ancient British public school (Eton? Harrow? Rugby?). 

I pointed to the shirt and asked, "Rugby?"

He replied, "So sorry, old sport. Equestrian dressage."