Remnants of a Preppy Past

Soho has everything the heart desires (no sex shop joke intended). Today alone offered morning brew at the wonderfully local Soho Radio and Peruvian delights at Senor Ceviche in the evening. There’s so much to discover throughout Soho and in spite of spending a lot of time in the area, I keep finding new places to eat and drink, so there will undoubtedly be many future posts from the neighborhood.

Clothing-wise, the sun continues to shine over London, so I’m sticking with a casual and light outfit with elements from my more preppy days back at university. Along with the suede penny loafers and navy chinos, I’ve pulled out an old light lavender OCBD shirt from the Rugby Ralph Lauren line, which was unfortunately discontinued back in 2012.
The Rugby brand was launched as an alternative to the usual RL Polo line and was generally geared towards a younger target segment with a lower price point and a more slim fit. Needless to say, the brand suited me perfectly while I was studying and not only favored a more preppy aesthetic, but also had far less money to spend on clothes. Even after all these years, I still have four Rugby shirts and use them a lot every summer.

While I was thoroughly annoyed when the line was discontinued, other menswear brands had also evolved because of it and gotten better at offering more affordable preppy stables across the board. As Hypebeast Magazine wrote in their Rugby eulogy at the time:

“It’s also undeniable that the brand forced competitors like J. Crew and Brooks Brothers to step up diversity in designs. No longer were a skinny and an average model of dress shirt enough. All of the sudden, 19 year olds were clamoring for spread collars and notch lapels. Rugby didn’t just indoctrinate its fans into a world of vintage Americana, but it also educated them.”

For me, Rugby was a big part of that never-ending style education and allowed me to act on it with their more accessible prices. Even as I now try to tread a fine line between both Italian and British menswear influences, there are still days where a preppy outfit just hits the spot and I suspect that my Rugby shirts will continue to be used as long as they last.

Rest in peace, Rugby, you did well.

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