In a recent TV appearance on a U.S chat show David Beckham was greeted by presenter Jimmy Kimmel with this musing, “Is it possible that you’re getting more handsome every time I see you?”.

It’s a question that we all ask ourselves. He is relentless. It won’t be the first time FashionBeans has focussed on David Beckham (or the last), but I feel he deserves a style nod for his recent fashion endeavours and that’s what this article will focus on. Gone are the days of the diamond ear ring, blonde highlights and pop star dress sense for the former England captain. In the last 2 years his look has matured, become more subtle, and is executed with an elegance that befits his changing status in his footballing life and his public life. His reinvention has been a gradual maturity. Although there is a clear differentiation between his casual and formal looks, both represent a development in his attitude to style and I will hopefully show you how to mimic his efforts.

Reinventing one’s style is a risky business and can be a disaster; a token gesture to desperately cling on to what is fashionable, particularly for those in the public eye coming to a certain age. When people talk about growing old gracefully, Beckham is grace personified. His recent appearance as the cover star of Fantastic Man magazine may well be the best photo shoot he has ever done.

Fantastic Man Cover Shoot

David Beckham Fantastic Man Photo Shoot

Los Angeles Confidential Cover Shoot

David Beckham Los Angeles Confidential Photo Shoot

David Beckham: Dressing down

Many regard casual clothing as an afterthought or as secondary to more formal attire. However, a well assembled ‘dressed down’ outfit can work wonders and this is something that David Beckham has cultivated over recent years. He keeps things very simple and subtle, and has struck upon a formula that works for him. To me, the modern Becks casual ensemble is the fitted tee, over-sized beanie and relaxed fit jeans. Within that he has injected occasional moments of individuality to keep us on our toes.

What springs to mind recently? Black framed reading glasses under a beanie? Double denim? Centre-parting in his hair? The trick to mimicking the David Beckham dressed down look is simplicity with a gentle touch of interest without appearing as though you are trying too hard. People like him because he is effortless and natural; this is carried into his apparel, and you must do the same in order to function elegantly without peacocking. Take a look at this Becks casual look book and see how he builds his outfits and see how effective basic pieces can be in day to day wear:

David Beckham Casual Look Book

David Beckham 2011 Casual Lookbook for Men

David Beckham: Dressing Up

The most recent and the most impressive style movements from the man himself have been in his formal life. It neatly mirrors the changes in his public life and his sporting life. Having taken on more ambassadorial roles in the last couple of years – most notably his work on the World Cup 2018 bid – his public persona has changed from over-paid, spice girl marrying, sarong wearing pretty boy to something more. He now has elegance, a sense of classic and timeless style with a dignity that has come with age and gradual reinvention.

As you have seen in his photo shoots of late (Los Angeles Confidential & Fantastic Man above) his appearance appears both classically tailored and yet the epitome of the modern man. With his modern take on the matinee idol side parting accompanied by traditional formal accessories such as pocket squares, he is able to bring the contemporary and the classic together with ease.

As long as the cut and framing of your suit is clean and slim one should not be intimidated. Why not experiment with colour and pattern. Some things work and you may not appreciate certain combinations until you test it out. So be brave. To use the man in question as an example you could try a pale blue shirt with white collar contrast teamed with a deep burgundy tie with small white spots.

Like I mentioned earlier, the secret behind Beckham’s formal look is that juxtaposition of modern and classic. Take traditional tailoring like a dark three piece suit, mix it up with bright colour contrast, and experiment with pocket square patterns or signature shoes. Don’t just take my word for it though. Look at this formal Becks look book and see if you can pick up on where his success lies.

David Beckham Formal Look Book

David Beckham 2011 Formal Lookbook for Men

Amend it like Beckham

The former England captain’s reinvention did not take place over night. As I have said above it has been slowly groomed over the past two years as his footballing career moves in to that twilight period. To reinvent one’s self and to grow old gracefully all at once is no easy task. Even one of those two can be difficult to execute. So how is it done?

The decisions you make in reinventing your style has to fit your personality, your attitude, your age and your body type. For example, going from sensible 30-something business dress to teen angst skater boy style may be unsuccessful. Look at style that reflects the place you are in your life. If I may use myself as an example, I recently moved to an office based job from a fashion retail position. Thus, my day to day style has had to be adapted, along with my grooming and hair style so that I befit my environment. It hasn’t been a drastic change, just little tweaks here and there. For me, David Beckham has responded to the subtle changes in his public career. His sartorial decisions have become mature and precise. The product selections below should help you find affordable ways to mimic the LA Galaxy star, firstly casual and then formal. See what you think.

Points of discussion:

  • How would you like to change your style?
  • Are you a fan of David Beckham’s new look?
  • Who else has successfully reinvented themselves in recent years?
  • Can you see any problems in attempting style changes?
  • What fashion icons do you like that we haven’t looked at yet?

Let us know in the comments below…

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