What is the Rugged Look and How to Ace it?

rugged look

There are many styles and aesthetics that make up contemporary men’s fashion, among which the rugged style trends high. A rugged look is all about making a robust and masculine statement with classic staples and an unrefined character. Men with a macho style, high confidence, and energetic persona usually opt for a rugged look to exude their dominance via their clothes.

Rugged style has a high appeal to it, explaining why it has been all the rage since forever. Much loved celebrities like Gerard Butler, Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, and Daniel Craig all sport the rugged man look with absolute panache, which is why this look got even more popular. 

In this rugged men’s style guide, we will lay down the basics of the quintessential rugged look for men. Besides explaining the do’s and don’ts of this style, we will suggest what clothing staples can be used to put together authentic rugged looks.

What is Rugged Style?

If you are keen to try the rugged look, it’s essential to understand its meaning. To its core, the rugged look is stylish, raw, strapping, and easily put together. It means dressing classically but with a modern sensibility.

A man wearing a plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves, bootcut jeans, a sturdy leather jacket, and boots is the true personification of the rugged look. You would often spot rugged men sporting a nice stubble and a messy hairstyle. 

But, there is way more to the rugged aesthetic. You got to have that appealing masculine demeanor besides the clothing to make you look more rugged.

Apart from the archetype staples that we mentioned, a variety of other clothing and accessories can be incorporated into the rugged man look. With these classic and vintage clothing essentials, an athletic physique, and the alpha male attitude, you can effortlessly nail the rugged style.

How to Look Rugged? 

To get the rugged look right, infuse the strong masculine physique, comfortable clothing, made to measure fit, and rough style. 

The crux of rugged style is a fit that lets you move freely to perform the most strenuous tasks. It uses a lot of earthy tones, including khaki, olive green, brown, and grey, to exude manliness. Moreover, the use of vintage style fabric and styles is very common for the rugged style outfits for men.

To look rugged in today’s fashion, you need to take care of staying fashion forward while adopting the true rugged style. Make sure you buy durable rugged clothing staples that help you portray the right demeanor. Opt for clothes that fit you right and do not hinder varying ranges of movement. And yes, keep the beard but make sure it is properly shaped and trimmed. 

Whenever the question “What is rugged style?” arises, one may mistakenly take it as a messy look that is created without much consideration. Remember that we are certainly not trying to show an ungroomed appearance, so striking the right balance between an unkempt look and style is vital. 

Rugged Look Clothing and Accessories

Let’s lay down its bare essentials to get you started with the rugged look fashion, which you can team up in different ways. 

Rugged Style Shirts 

  • Plaid Shirts

Plaid flannel shirts are one of those staples that take the rugged man look to perfection. These incredibly versatile shirts never go out of style. You can go for white, blue, black, and red plaid shirts. Popular patterns that rugged men frequently wear are buffalo plaid and gun club checks. 

Check these men’s flannel outfit ideas to learn how to create different looks with the classic flannel shirts. 

  • Polo

To add some smart vibes into your rugged look, go for polo shirts, but preferably those with long sleeves. Opt for ones with both warm and cool earthy tones like rust, camel, or grey to make outfit creation a breeze. 

  • Denim Shirts

Talk about the classic masculine look, and the denim shirt comes to mind. These sturdy cotton shirts in blue, grey, and black alone help to attain rugged manliness. Wear them over a basic white or black tee and leave them unbuttoned for a true macho style.

  • Chambray Shirts

Chambray shirts look like denim, but they are created with a different type of weave, which makes them lightweight. They are the perfect men’s summer fashion staple for rugged men.

  • Henley

Much of the rugged style is the portrayal of a well built physique. A classy henley shirt does just that by showing off your sculpted arms and upper body. Besides, it works exceptionally well with other wardrobe essentials. 

  • Pullover Hooded Shirt

Another rugged look clothing item is the cotton pullover hooded shirt. You can opt for it whenever you want to add a cool touch to your rugged fall look.

  • T-shirts

T-shirts in basic and neutral colors offer incredible adaptability into your closet. Use them wisely as a foundation piece for your rugged man look.

Rugged Style Pants

To help you achieve that classic masculine look, you can opt for jeans and trousers in enduring fabric such as denim, twill, or corduroy. Anything tough and functional is your answer to rugged style pants.

  • Rugged Style Jeans

Jeans are the go-to option for rugged style. Worn jeans that are a bit distressed are preferred, but avoid wearing skinny or overly ripped jeans. You can also wear boot cut denims in a relaxed fit for the proper look. 

  • Tweed trousers

Besides denim, other types of pants in a sturdy and durable fabric, such as tweed, also go well with the rugged style. We recommend grey tweed pants that you can pair with henleys, wool overcoats, and blazers.

  • Khaki Twill Trousers

To add some variety to your wardrobe, get a pair of khaki trousers that can be matched with casual shirts and jackets. One of the most stylish example of khaki pants outfit ideas for men would be a brown outfit with a t-shirt, dark brown leather jacket, and khaki trousers.

  • Chinos

If you want to adopt the rugged gentleman style hybrid, you need to have some classic chinos. They come in handy for occasions that call for a smart casual dress code for men.

  • Shorts

Your rugged demeanor would stay intact in the right pair of shorts. Don’t go for baggy ones. Opt for shorter length chino shorts, khaki shorts, or distressed denim shorts. Look for contemporary men’s shorts outfit ideas to learn shorts styling in a proper way.

Best Rugged Style Outerwear Ideas for Men

The dashing looks of a rugged man are incomplete without a classy outerwear piece. They are the first clothing item that people notice. There are abundant varieties of jackets and coats that go well with the rugged charm. Some of them are:

  • Wool coats

Wearing a stylish wool coat is a move that can never go wrong. It is a must have to create those rugged winter looks that are highly appealing.

  • Corduroy jacket

Corduroy is a mid weight fabric, and jackets made with it give strapping vibes needed for the rugged man look. Go for warm earthy tones like clay, taupe or tan corduroy jackets. You can layer it over a variety of staples, including sweaters, polo shirts, and jeans. 

  • Sports Coat

A sports coat is an excellent option for layering rugged outfits for men. It is usually made with rough and napped fabrics that are preferred for this style, like tweed, corduroy, and wool. Needless to say, the sports jacket is definitely the ideal choice for a rugged look fashion.

  • Canvas Jacket

Canvas jackets are lightweight, warm, flexible, and waterproof, which makes sense why this jacket is readily associated with the rugged style. 

Even if today’s rugged man doesn’t need to do the backbreaking tasks like cutting trees and digging a trench as men used to do earlier, the canvas jacket is a remnant of the original rugged style. It is functional and robust, just like a rugged jacket should be.

Rugged Leather Jacket Types

What can be more sturdy than a good quality rugged leather jacket? Leather is a highly durable material that holds well during the adventures that the rugged man goes through. Due to its masculine charm and functionality, the leather jacket is definitely the rugged style identity. It adds an edgy style to your rugged look, besides helping you easily move. 

There are many different styles of leather jackets that you can choose for a rugged man look. The classy bomber jacket is definitely a much sought after fusion of class and comfort, but you can also go edgy with a double rider jacket that gives the bad boy vibes. Another rugged leather jacket would be the cafe racer leather jacket that will go well with several other staples. You can also hop on to our bomber jacket guide for a detailed insight into leather jacket outfits.

Another form of leather jacket that lets you stay true to your rugged charm is a vintage leather jacket. Rugged men like to adopt the vintage look for a dashing style statement.

Rugged Style Blazer

You might believe that blazers are actually appropriate for subtle and refined styles, which rugged is definitely not. But, blazers made with materials like suede, wool, or tweed can go with this look effortlessly. When styling with blazer, go for plaid shirts, button down casual shirts, and crewneck t-shirts for a classy look. 

Rugged Style  Footwear

After the sturdy, fashionable rugged clothing pieces, heavy duty boots are a rugged man’s favorite. Nothing shouts masculinity and roughness more than a robust pair of boots. You can choose the following styles to go with your rugged outfits.

  • Laced Up Boots

Get a pair of heavy duty laced up boots for rugged street style looks. You can wear them with a white casual shirt, a brown cafe racer leather jacket, and a pair of bootcut jeans. 

  • Chukka 

Chukka boots are ankle length boots that can be paired with different rugged outfits. A nice option will be to go for light brown suede Chukka boots and pair them with a polo shirt, canvas jacket, and navy blue jeans. 

  • Chelsea

The elastic side of the Chelsea boots makes them easy to wear, making them an appropriate choice for the effortless rugged style. Plus, they are durable and look absolutely stylish. Build an all black outfit for men by teaming up a plaid shirt, jeans, and a bomber jacket (all in black) with black Chelsea boots. 

Rugged Style Accessories

No look is complete without the proper use of accessories, and the same goes with the rugged look fashion. For your men’s capsule wardrobe, we suggest the following accessories to give finishing touches for your outfit.

  • Sunglasses

Choose masculine style sunglasses for the quintessential rugged appeal. You can choose black or brown shades depending upon the color of your outfit. 

  • Scarves

Incorporate a scarf in your winter rugged style outfits for a fashionable, macho appeal. You can add a grey woolen scarf and a black cashmere scarf to your wardrobe, which can be paired with a variety of jackets and coats.

  • Beanies

For a modish look in your street style outfits, wear a beanie. A beanie keeps you warm while looking voguish, so its the perfect function+style fusion for rugged looks.

Rugged Fragrances

While creating an outfit, you may wonder how to look rugged with the right pieces of clothing. But there’s more to the rugged look fashion than just clothes. How you smell has a lot to do with your style. The classic rugged man should always smell good. Go for fragrances that have intense musky, spice, or woody notes for an irresistible masculine appeal. 


What Does it Mean to Look Rugged?

A rugged look, by meaning, is all about appearing strong yet attractive with a dominant macho style. It is a style that everyone is innately attracted to, thanks to its stylish clothing essentials, footwear, and accessories. The rugged men usually maintain a beard or stubble and messy grunge style hair. 

How Do You Dress Rugged and Manly?

A man wearing masculine, sturdy essentials like a flannel shirt, a rugged leather jacket, jeans, and boots looks strong and well-built. Other characteristic staples of the rugged style are denim jackets, henleys, sports jackets, and sneakers. The color palette of the rugged style includes neutrals and earthy tones like brown, tan, beige, olive green, grey, blue, and white.  

What is Rugged Gentleman Style?

Rugged gentleman is the style hybrid of a rough plus refined appearance. It mostly incorporates modern essentials like oxfords, polos, ties, and blazers with rugged clothing like tweed trousers, leather jackets, and turtlenecks. Fusing the sophisticated style with the rugged style makes you appear relaxed while still being a gentleman.

How to Maintain the Rugged Look?

The first step towards a perpetual rugged style is to maintain your facial hair. Your stubble shouldn’t look messy, and it should be in a well kept shape in order to look dashing. As with your clothing, it is better not to fall for the latest fads and stick to your classic rugged pieces for a consistent style.


It’s an undeniable fact that the rugged style we see in male celebrities is super appealing. Remember that the rugged style is a balance between roughness, durability, and an unbeatable masculine style. We have tried our best to demystify the rugged look for men who want to make it their personal style.