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Coca-Cola Rugbys

By Julie Anderson

Coca-Cola rugby shirts were SOOO cool in the mid-eighties. With bold primary (or sometimes pastel) wide stripes and that famous cursive logo, we thought they were totally radical. My best friend had one and wore it, like, EVERYWHERE with her pinstriped pleated jeans. Coke rugby shirts were so cheerful! So colorful! So sporty!

Heavy D & The Boyz performing “Mr. Big Stuff” in 1986 certainly gave the trend a nice boost:


We loved the boxy, loose shape of the shirts and the feel-good American vibe that came with wearing the soft drink’s logo. After all, Coke’s motto in ’85 was “America’s Real Choice” (which was totally in response to the Pepsi Challenge) and, in ’86, it was “Red, White, and You.” The Coca-Cola product line was playfully, exuberantly patriotic:

Coca-Cola Print Ad from the 80s featuring rugby style shirts (photo credit: 237)
Photo credit: 237

Mohan Murjani hired none other than Tommy Hilfiger to oversee the design of Coca-Cola apparel in 1985. Hilfiger’s preppy, bold, all-American look hit home with young people all over the country. Although the Coca-Cola apparel company dissolved after a short time, the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation has known great success.

Got a little jones for your own eighties pop apparel? You’ll be stoked when you check out Etsy and Ebay for awesome shirts like this one:

80s Coca-Cola rugby shirt

Totally 80’s fresh and righteous!

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