A crewneck sweater, a chambray shirt, some beaten up jeans and a great pair of shoes. There ain’t nothing complicated about it. In fact most of us already have those pieces in our closets. But the combo David Beckham wore in October, 2014 for the launch of his Haig Club whisky still has a lot to teach us about personal style.
David Beckham Style Lessons
First, Beckham’s outift highlights the importance of investing in good quality basics. Beckham was wearing a mohair sweater from Saint Laurent, a chambray shirt from Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply brand and selvedge denim jeans and longwing Wilberforce shoes from Lauren’s RRL label. Those aren’t cheap peices. And we certainly don’t need to spend as much to look good. But it is a great example of how elevated basics can carry the day.
Second, the outfit clearly illustrates that fit is king. Beckham’s sweater isn’t baggy. The shoulder seams hit where they should, it’s a little trimmer through the body, and the bottom hits just below the beltline. The shirt is just long enough so that the right amount of untucked hem is showing. And the jeans have that great straight fit we keep talking about: roomier in the top block with a nice taper below the knee.
Third, Beckham’s look reminds us to pay attention to the details. The textures all work together. The combination of chambray, denim and pebble grain leather is no-brainer. But Mohair is normally considered a more delicate fiber. Here however it adds some loft to the sweater so it looks a little more rugged. I also have to say that longwing shoes (affectionally known as “gunboats” in certain circles) are one of my favorite designs and tend to be underappreciated when we’re trying to give our casual fits a touch of sophistication.
Ready to try the look yourself? Let’s bring on the alternatives!
David Beckham Style: the Haig Club Launch Look
- Sweater: Alex Mill Wool Blend Sweater in Green ($145.00)
- Shirt: Filson Chambray CPO Shirt in Light Indigo ($145.00)
- Jeans: RRL Silm Fit Selvedge Jeans in Hillsview Wash ($459.00, also available in a Straight Fit)
- Shoes: Grant Stone Longwing Derby in British Tan Calf ($370.00)
- Belt: Gap Leather Belt in Brown Cognac ($44.95, but watch for sales!)
- Socks: American Trench Merino Activity Socks in Moss ($20.00)
- Watch: Tudor Black Baby Reverse Panda Chrono ($5995.00)
- Sunglasses: Taylor Morris Talbot Sunglasses in Amber/Green ($184.00)
- Whisky: Haig Club Single Grain Scoth Whisky ($43.55)
I’ve already said a lot about what I like about this look. So I’ll keep this short and simple. Yes, those alternatives are definitely more expensive. But, again, it’s worth investing in the basics that are going to see a lot of wear. Do you have to pay $450 for selvedge jeans, $145 for a chambray shirt or $5000+ for a watch? Of course not. Which is why I’ve shared more options below at various price points. Just remember to focus on the details and, most importantly, the FIT when you’re choosing your clothing!
About the knitwear: this isn’t the time to pull on your thinner cashmere sweater. If you want to recreate the look, a thicker knit is the way to go. So look for heavier Merino wool, lambswool or Shetland wool sweaters that have a coarser textrure to stand up to the denim and pebble grain leather. And speaking of the footwear, if you’re a fan of Bond style your Crockett & Jones Islay boots (or whatever alternative you have) would make a great substitute for those gunboats. I’ll be updating our post on options for fall boot styles soon!
As for the accessories, even thought Beckham goes minimalist with the extras (no watch or belt), I thought it would be fun to add some. For those that don’t know, I went with a Tudor watch because Beckham is a brand ambassador. And I picked those sunglasses and that belt because I thought the colors picked up on the British Tan of the shoes.
My attempt at the look …
Here’s my humble attempt to recreate that David Beckham style. The sweater is from J.Crew, the chambray utility shirt is from Beams, the selvedge jeans are an old pair of Banana Republic samples, and the shoes are from Loake. It’s definitely a go-to fall look for me.
And if you’d like to see Beckham’s fit in action, this is the 2014 promotional video from the Haig Club launch at their Cameronbridge, Scotland distillery.
Some Other Options To Try
- J.Crew Factory Lambswool Blend Crewneck Sweater in Marled Olive: on sale for $39.95
- Blarney Woolen Mills James Lambswool Crew Neck Sweater in Grassland Green: $59.00
- John Lewis Crew Neck Lambswool Jumper in Khaki: $77.00
- Spier & Mackay Shetland Crew Neck Sweater in Green: $78.00
- Holebrook USA Charles Crew Neck Wool Sweater in Dusty Olive: $122.00
- Velasca Mezzano Made in Italy 100% Shetland Wool Sweater in Green: $210.00
- J.Press Shaggy Dog Sweater in Green Mix: $245.00
- Eric Bompard 100% Cashmere Classic Crew Neck Sweater in Sea Green: $350.00
- Billie Todd 4-Ply Cashmere Crewneck Sweater in Loden: $495.00
- Sunspel Cashmere Crew Neck Jumper in Dark Moss: $685.00
- J.Crew Factory Classic Chambray Shirt: on sale for $29.50
- Gap Chambray Shirt in Light Blue: $69.95
- Lucky Brand Chambray Workwear Shirt in Blue Indigo: on sale for $53.70
- Birdwell Chambray Service Shirt in Vintage Indigo: $100.00
- Buck Mason Chambray Work Shirt in Light Wash Indigo: $105.00
- Sid Mashburn Band Hem Work Shirt in Extra Light Washed Chambray: $175.00
Just a quick note before sharing the other options. If you’re looking for some great pre-owned (and nicely faded!) selvedge denim jeans, definitely check out Kiriko. They have an awesome selection from both mainline and artisanal labels in a variety of sizes and states of wear. And the prices are actually pretty reasonable. To learn more about selvedge denim, visit our Beginner’s Guide here!
- Gap Gapflex Athletic Taper Jeans in Medium Wash: $69.95 (but remember to watch for sales!)
- Polo Ralph Lauren Varick Slim Straigh Jeans in Rivera Stretch: $125.00
- J.Crew 484 Slim Fit Jeasn in 3 Year Wash: $128.00
- Buck Mason Japanese Selvedge Full Saddle Jeans in Light Wash: $175.00
- Levi’s Made & Crafted Made in Japan Selvedge Denim 511 Jean: $248.00
- OOBE Brand Cabril Selvedge Denim Jean in Medium Wash: $248.00
- Todd Snyder Made in USA Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans in Riverside Wash: $268.00
- Herring Shoes Longford Rubber-Soled Brogues in Cognac Calf: $148.00
- Beckett Simonon Royce Longwings in Tan: $209.00
- Florsheim Kenmoor Wingtip in Cognac: $235.00
- Herring Shoes Grassmere II in Mahogany Grain: $368.00
- Loake Birkdale in Conker Brown: $380.00
- Rancourt & Co Made in USA Chandler Longwing in Amber Calf: $395.00
- Alden 976 Long Wing in Burnished Tan Calf: $631.00
- Crockett & Jones Pembroke in Whisky Cordovan: $1050.00
- Swatch The June Collection Dark Irony Chronograph: on sale for $147.00
- Seiko Quartz Core Chronograph: on sale for $165.00
- Timex Q 40mm Chronograph in Stainless Steel/Black: $219.00
- Mathey-Tissot Quartz Chronograph in Black: on sale for $249.99
- Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronography in Evil Panda: $270.00
- Geckota G2 Chronotimer in Classic Reverse Panda: $359.00
- Yema Rallygraf Meca-Quartz in Reverse Panda: $369.00
- Zodiac Grandrally Quartz in Black: $495.00
- FORZO G1 Glickenhaus Limited Edition Chronograph in Black: $659.00
- Yema Speedgraf Mechanical Chronograph in Reverse Panda: $1428.00
Have some ideas for alternatives you’d use for some David Beckham style? Let us know about them in the comments. And please share suggestions for another modern style icon look you think we should tackle. For more about how your clothing should fit and ways to combine colors and textures, check out our post on How To Dress Like James Bond. Also remember you can find more style inspiration on Iconic Alternatives’ Facebook Page, our NEW Instagram Account and Pinterest Boards!