David Beckham has been in the public eye since he appeared on the soccer scene in 1992 as a 17-year-old rookie for Manchester United. In his almost three decades in the limelight, he’s morphed from young football star to a mature and fashion-forward style icon. He and his wife, pop-star-turned-fashion-designer Victoria Beckham, are one of the most fashion-forward couples at runway shows, red carpets, sporting events, and more.
Today their public appearances are family affairs, with their equally stylish children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper joining at times. “Posh and Becks,” as the press dubbed Victoria and David early in their relationship, have captured public interest for years now, with David’s clean, sharp style becoming a focal point whenever they make an appearance.
But how did Beckham become the style icon he is today? Thanks to tailored suites, strong silhouettes, and a devotion to clean lines and smart accessories, Beckham has managed to hone his sartorial reputation from unrefined sports star to fashion leader.
He understands the pieces that work for him and has harnessed these looks to create a personal style that is memorable and timeless.
As an up-and-coming soccer star in the early to mid-1990s, Beckham tended to opt for baggy silhouettes and bulkier shoes that didn’t do him any favors. Paired with the occasional blazer, he was on trend but in a way that looked dated quickly. As his public image grew, so did his style and his understanding of a classic silhouette. As he and Victoria made more public appearances together, he began opting for more streamlined items, including the classic tailored suit.
For truly formal events Beckham opts for the quintessential three-piece suit. At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 wedding, Beckham wore a Kim Jones for Dior morning suit that outshined the prince himself. The cutaway jacket, waistcoat, and crisp white shirt brought an element of timelessness to the event where tradition and heritage reign supreme. Accessorized with a solid black tie, gold watch chain, and patent leather dress shoes, Beckham looked like royalty himself.
At red carpets Beckham has been known to wear custom Tom Ford tuxedos that show he has truly mastered “black tie.” However, this doesn’t mean that he’s a stranger to fashion risks. Beckham mixes up his look by experimenting with color, texture, and cut. When he wore a shiny Dior double-breasted design to a fashion show in 2019, he made a statement about how to look modern without sacrificing style. He’s also broken cardinal fashion rules, like when he wore navy blue and black together to a fashion show in 2020. (Also controversial were the white socks he wore with dark shoes!)
A Classic Top
Beckham has made the classic tee a staple in his wardrobe. It’s the basis for many of his looks, and is consistently dressed up or down depending on his mood. Paired with a structured coat and jeans, a neutral-colored t-shirt is perfect for traveling, running errands, or going out to eat. Beckham’s denim is often relaxed fits that are slightly distressed, creating a casual look that is both comfortable and stylish. Sometimes Beckham opts for the tee’s slightly dressier cousin, the polo, which adds a bit of refinement to any ensemble.
For colder months, Beckham opts for a knit top rather than a tee. When worn under a suit or coat, a turtleneck is quite the statement. For casual looks, he is known to pair a cable knit sweater with slacks.
Even when the rest of a look is classic, sometimes it just takes one element to make an outfit edgy. In Beckham’s case this might be a hat or a scarf. Even his hair changes periodically to add variety and style to a look all the while maintaining the core elements of his typical look. He’s worn his hair long and short, tied back and loose. Beyond that, he’s a fan of leather jackets, especially bombers or motos, that can be found in different hues and cuts but all adhere to his general well-tailored look. He’s never shied away from a newsboy cap or beanie.
Not usually a fan of flashy jewelry, one thing Beckham does enjoy is a blinged-out timepiece. As a brand ambassador for Tudor, Beckham is no stranger to pairing a $50,000 watch with his jeans-and-tee uniform.
If Beckham’s style history has taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to fashion the best looks are staples that are easily mixed and matched, dressed up or down, and styled with fun accessories that give it an edge. Here’s to decades more of Beckham’s style--and that of the whole family as well!