With a record-breaking career, a net worth north of half a billion pounds, and some of the best abs in the business, there are many reasons men want to be like David Beckham. But, it’s not only the ceiling-smashing success and stacks of cash that impress, Golden Balls’ personal style gets us green-eyed, too.
A smart mix of classic wardrobe staples and contemporary tweaks, Beckham’s style exemplifies that rare mastery of menswear so often copied, yet never equalled. It’s the kind of look you want to steal, which – short of laser-dodging your way into one of DB7’s many mansions – isn’t really possible.
Or is it? Cue H&M’s Spring 2016 Modern Essentials collection, selected by David Beckham – the latest collab between the global style icon and Swedish powerhouse. Twenty-seven pieces strong, it’s a value-for-money blueprint to Beckham’s go-to combinations that’ll not only save you money on looking good, but a court appearance for breaking and entering, too. Two birds and that.
As is befitting of a style-savvy former sportsman and current businessman-model-father-of-four, Beckham’s latest range is meant to be lived in – whether you’re squeezing in a workout before the school run or hotfooting it to a date after a day in the office.
Sitting right in the sweet spot between sportswear and tailoring, it’s a collection made up of the cornerstones of the modern-day man’s wardrobe – from the humble tee to sharp single-breasted suit.
“I’m always updating my wardrobe with a mix of tailored and casual pieces, which is why I love this new Modern Essentials collection by H&M,” says Beckham.
“These pieces are so versatile, and can be worn in so many different ways. The mix of tailoring and updated classics creates the perfect wardrobe for the season ahead.”
Beckham speaks of a wider trend washing over menswear: the lessening gap between super-casual and buttoned-up. It’s a shift that informed this Modern Essentials collection from the off: “[For this] spring we were looking at the evolution of men’s style, and how different garments have joined tailoring as a new uniform,” says Andreas Löwenstam, H&M’s Men’s Head of Design.
Priced from £7.99 to £49.99, the first drop is available now in stores and online at hm.com, with a second drop to follow on March 10.
Here’s what we’ll be copping:
The Polo Shirt
Nevermind ‘athleisure’, the humble polo shirt has been straddling the sporty-smart divide for decades.
This take – as safe a bet for a club as a tennis court – comes cut in a contemporary trim fit with contrast white collar tabbing for a crisp finish. Natty on its own or layered under a blazer.
Texture is the key to elevating locker room stalwarts to something more luxe. Which is why this minimal lightweight cotton sweatshirt features a distinctive 3D crinkled finish.
Team with a tailored chino or pair of slimline joggers and some minimal trainers.
The Technical Trousers
We’re pretty sure David Beckham worries little about workplace dress codes. But that doesn’t mean he can’t show you how to cheat yours.
Part-tailored trouser, part-sweatpant, these elasticated pleat-front trousers are the breezy version of buttoned-up that makes all the difference on a day spent chained to your desk meeting deadlines.
The Breton Stripe T-Shirt
No rundown of warm-weather essentials would be complete without a riff on the timeless Breton tee.
Inspired by the Gallic classic, H&M’s version is roomy through the sleeve and swaps the structure of a crew neck for the soft drape of a boat neck. Which is all the better for airing yourself on-board your yacht (or, as is more likely the case, by the pool) come summer.
The Chino Suit Jacket
Becks knows you can’t mess with some classics, and this two-button, notch lapel jacket is every inch the untouched timeless staple.
As well as navy serves a man in dressing his way through the darker months, summer requires you sub in its brighter brother, beige. Try it – like Beckham – over a sky blue button-down or look Riviera-ready by layering a Breton tee underneath.
The Denim Jacket
Not only 1990s menswear pretty much bottled, this blue denim jacket is the wardrobe workhouse guaranteed to guard you from early spring’s sniping chill.
And as breeze-safe as it is, it’s still lightweight enough to layer over a tee and under a beefier jacket – which means you’ll drive cost-per-wear calculations down almost as fast as those herds of cattle across the frontier.
If you’re keen to sartorially bend it like Becks, then H&M’s Modern Essentials collection is the best place to start. Just be quick – the last one sold out before we’d even finished writing about it.
Shop the Spring 2016 Modern Essentials collection in store and online at hm.com now.
Watch Beckham set trends in the new Modern Essentials campaign video.