David Beckham is one of the most consistently best-dressed celebrities today. And one could say that he’s had some help from his wife, Victoria Beckham, in the styling department. But the pro-athlete has always had an eye for fashion—Victoria just helped him refine it. Since the couple first started dating in the ’90s, Beckham has enjoyed a clear style evolution that’s all about maturing and streamlining his aesthetic, two signatures that Victoria has mastered with her own style. His off-court style has graduated from baggy jeans and square-toe shoes—tricky pieces that, at one time, were bang-on-trend—to more timeless suiting choices. His suits today are always tailored just right.
In Beckham’s earlier days, when his career was taking off playing for the team Manchester United, his trademarks were typical for a star athlete in the late nineties: sporty tracksuits and raggedy, baggy jeans worn with blazers for an attempt at dressy-casual. Maybe not the most put together, but they looked good on Beckham. When he and Victoria made appearances together, he would often incorporate a glimmer of high-fashion taste like the time he wore a scarf on his head in 1999, or when they wore matching head-to-toe leather at a Versace party that same year.
As Beckham became a bigger star, his style began to smarten up. In the mid to late 2000s, Beckham started really experimenting with suiting, choosing great cuts in gray herringbone and black satin. In the 2010s, he also started to really immerse himself into the fashion world: he is (of course) a regular fixture at his wife Victoria’s fashion shows, and often wears an outfit worthy of the front row. (It’s now a whole family affair, too: their children Romeo, Brooklyn, Cruz, and Harper all usually join as well.)
These days, Beckham’s look is still all about great suiting, but even his casual style has become an example of what classic menswear should be, too: loads of strong coats, fitted jeans, even luxurious travel bags (he loves a Louis Vuitton duffle.) He and Victoria rarely leave the house looking anything but impeccably polished. And there’s a reason he and Victoria have since become one of fashion’s favorite couples: on their own, their two wardrobes are always perfectly put-together—but together, it’s even a more major moment yet.
Below, Beckham’s style evolution over the years.
Originally published on Vogue.com; words by Christian Allaire.