David Beckham is a man with many sides–soccer legend, fashion icon, doting husband and father, and sex symbol. At 43 years old, he still ranks as one of the sexiest and best-dressed celebrities in the entire world. But while he's always been smolderingly good-looking, some of the British hunk's early fashion and grooming choices were...questionable. We've gathered here for you the best and worst of Beckham's metamorphosis from his floppy-haired early soccer days to the zaddy we know and love.
Look at this adorable, fresh-faced young thing! This 18-year-old has no idea what's in his future. (Hint: It's universal athletic respect, a great wife and kids, and handsomeness.)
That blonde hair! That shag cut! That gorgeous sweater! I'm salivating over here, pardon me.
Young David, looking so cool and casual, waiting on the soccer pitch. We're loving the uniform the most.
Look at how cute he is with his long hair and the army green suit and his trophy! (Beckham's team, Manchester United had just won the English Premiere League.)
20 years later, and this is still the best day of my life (that would be the day Becks and Posh Spice announced their engagement). The two of them are so happy, and they were just beginning their rise as fashion royalty. They've always been couple goals.
A velvet jacket and a floppy Nick Carter haircut? Sign us up for this late-nineties hotness.
Is it safe to say "the couple that leathers together, stays together"? If so, it clearly worked out for Victoria and David.
The 2000s marked an era in the David Beckham's Hair Choices: He waffled throughout the decade between a buzz-cut and his longer locks. Either way, we're into it.
The Matrix had its moment in fashion history, this was far from the worst version.
Father and son Brooklyn are both adorable. The matching jerseys and David's earrings are totally swoon-worthy.
This photo has everything: David Beckham on an early-aughts cell phone, in sunglasses, wearing a strange choice in sweaters. We're not complaining, though. He looks great.
Becks and Victoria have never shied away from a matching ensemble—this is just the first of many. Her jumpsuit with the cut-outs, his cream-and-white hued outfit does it all.
The sunglasses and the jacket can stay in 2002, the rest can come with us.
Another early-2000s look Becks embraced? The Adidas tracksuit. He loved an Adidas tracksuit as much as Jennifer Lopez loved a Juicy Couture tracksuit. Tracksuits were a thing, okay?
What a look for a specific time period. The young dad was still figuring it out, and even if his suit jacket doesn't fit, he still looks good.
The wrist injury and the roses almost make up for the pony tail and the ill-fitting jeans. Almost.
The long hair, the leather jacket, the autobiography?! Where do we sign up?
The happy couple has never been afraid to go for a daring fashion moment—this one from the 2003 MTV Movie Awards is just one of many standout ensembles the pair donned.
See, we told you he had an affinity for Adidas track suits. This time it's for an Adidas event. Also, why is he only wearing one shoe?
This jacket-and-jeans-and-silk scarf grouping is totally giving off modern-day Hugh Hefner vibes, and I'm seriously all about it.
There is always time for a pin-stripe. Always. Again, these two know how to coordinate outfits better than anyone else on Earth.
Victoria and David literally look like a mermaid and a spy assigned to keep her mermaid identity undercover (remake of Splash, anyone?). Notice how that dress moves and how handsome he looks, and tell me that's an incorrect assessment. I'll wait.
That sweater screams "David Beckham is on a winter vacation in Aspen and he's very relaxed!"
The look on David's face clearly says "I look good...but my wife looks incredible." Most attractive couple on the face of the Earth? We'd say so.
Sure, the bleach blonde is a shocker, but Becks manages to pull it off, especially by pairing it with that perfectly tailored suit.
David's love for chunky knits isn't saved for sweaters–as evidenced by this beanie. It signals "I'm fashionable, but also comfortable." Just the way we like you, David.
Our favorite couple stuns at the launch of the Beckham Signature Fragrance Collection. Becks is back to the buzzcut, this time with a red-and-grey-striped suit.
The 2008 Met Gala was "superhero themed," but Victoria and David didn't have to work very hard to be the fashion superheroes we already knew they were. David looks like Batman, Iron Man, and James Bond all wrapped up in a one attractive package.
We love a man who mixes patterns, especially when he dares to mix more than two. David is definitely giving off "Hot Army Guy In A Fashion Editorial" vibes here, and we're not mad.
David—never one to shy away from a plaid...or a vest—looks so young (he's 33) and fresh here, you'd never know he was the father of three.
That smile could create world peace, end world hunger, and solve climate change. Well, maybe not all of those things, but look at how nice he looks. It's swoon city over here.
Becks looking cool, calm, and casual, like always. He does California Casual better than anyone else on the planet.
Looking so stern, but that shiny slate-grey metallic suit is giving us life.
The cutest stuffed animals in the world, held by the most handsome man in the world. "Shook" doesn't even begin to describe it.
The first of two Royal Weddings attended by the Beckhams (this one being Kate Middleton and Prince William's, naturally), David's top hat is a charming choice for such a fantastic event. Actually, both his and Posh's headwear choices add a bit of whimsy to their formal outfits.
What a moustache! Becks has never feared an extreme facial hair choice—and he looks ever so charming with this Parisian-inspired look.
There's nothing wrong with a simple black t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Especially if you look like David Beckham.
The Beckham family (minus baby Harper) proves that fashion sense is genetic and stuns on the red carpet.
Get you a man who's willing to wear a yellow plaid suit to Wimbledon, y'all. Look at this man's golden deliciousness.
The Beckhams are fashion superheroes in every single way. Just look at the way this man pulls off a monochromatic suit next to his wife, whose wide-leg white pants bring the "wow" factor.
The navy jacket and the red sweater? So J.Crew. The pop of color in that red sweater is so bright it even pulls your eyes away from the picture of Beckham's bare torso behind him. Maybe David should just take the sweater off....
Have you ever seen a pair more fashionable? This look from the 2014 Met Gala proves that, as sartorially gifted they are apart, the Beckham's are a force to be reckoned with together.
If this look is any indicator, we fully trust David's selection of "Modern Essentials." The white shoe paired with the casual navy suit is pretty much everything.
Suave, casual-sweater Becks is our preferred Becks.
David Beckham is wearing this grey suit. We can't even see the fluorescent lighting behind all of the handsomeness.
Seriously, does this man love a chunky sweater or what? He looks like he came straight out of a Ted Baker Fall campaign. (That's the highest compliment one can receive.)
The look in his eye, the beige suit, the lavender shirt. I'm screaming. I'm dead. I am in a grave. Men should not be allowed to look like this.
How can one be interested in any type of a sporting event when David Beckham is there, literally looking like Thor?
Look at this man, managing to look both warm and cool at the same time. That's a gorgeous scarf, might I say.
Arriving at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, David and Victoria match in navy, but this he left his top hat behind. He's got a double-breasted vest and a watch chain going though, and it looks gooooooood.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Amanda Mitchell is a writer and podcaster with bylines at Marie Claire, OprahMag, Allure, Byrdie, Stylecaster, Bon Appetit, and more. Her work exists at the apex of beauty, pop culture, and absurdity. A human Funfetti cake, she watches too much television, and her favorite season is awards season. You can read more of her work at amandaelizabethmitchell.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lochnessmanda.
Taylor Swift Says Her Career Was "Taken Away" by Kim and Kanye: "Make No Mistake"
She's finally ready to talk about it.
By Fleurine Tideman
Cult Docuseries Are Having a Moment—Here Are 10 to Watch Now
From 'The Vow' to 'Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God'
By Quinci LeGardye
Taylor Swift, Anna Wintour, Laura Dern, and Robert Patterson Made an All-Star Front Row at an NYC Premiere
Grab the popcorn.
By Fleurine Tideman
Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Modern Family' stars reunited for the 'Pitch Perfect' spinoff series.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The 78 Best Celebrity Couple Halloween Costumes of All Time
Honestly, we're impressed.
By Charlotte Chilton
Super Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth as a Young Woman
From childhood snapshots to portraits as a young princess, beautiful and rare photos of the late Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.
By Mehera Bonner
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Relationship: A Timeline
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has ascended to the throne as king.
By The Editors
Who Is Next in Line for the British Throne, Explained
And yes—Harry and Archie are still in the line of succession.
By Andrea Park
Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fiancé Riley Roberts?
AOC's husband-to-be is an "easygoing redhead" who lives with her in D.C.
By Katherine J. Igoe
68 Times the Kardashians Posed Fully Nude and Owned It
And we mean fully nude—as in, not a shred of clothing.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Who Is Jonathan Owens, Simone Biles's Fiancé and NFL Player?
"The easiest yes!" Simone wrote about the couple's engagement.
By The Editors