In our eyes, David Beckham can do no wrong. We like everything about DB and we think he’s terrifically fit (in both the traditional and modern senses of the word). That said, every so often he will turn up wearing a baker-boy hat with a snood, two kinds of cardigan, turned up jeans and Timberlands – and we’ll be forced to admit that he is looking very slightly daft. Overstyled, overthought – in other words, a bit of a Try Hard.
This particular outfit is an example of DB going to the Try Hard side. Everyone has pounced on it because it’s a reminder that there’s a fine line between dressing appropriately for the occasion (in this case, shooting partridge at Guy Ritchie’s house in Wiltshire) and going completely over the top and ending up looking like a pampered celeb in a Japanese whisky commercial (which is indeed what this may turn out to have been: not a partridge shoot, but a commercial shoot).
Overdressing is just one of the areas in which you can try too hard. Here are some others:
● Sporting Try Hards. As in being the person who buys all the top-of-the-range kit (e.g. mirrored goggles for skiing), without knowing how to do said sport. (Think Posh might have fallen foul of this one.)
● Over-familiar Try Hards. In other words, trying too hard with the friends of new love interests (or their children). Over-using names, intruding on privileged information, generally forcing the pace intimacy-wise, all counts as being a TH.
● Interview Try Hards. The Oxford entrance board recently admitted they can tell an interview-schooled candidate a mile off. Slyly drawing the subject around to your Duke of Edinburgh Award just makes them pity you.
● Parenting Try Hards. If you are prone to shouting “Good job!” and applauding when your child has made it down the slide. Or if you tend to ask them to breathe, identify their emotion, consider the other person’s point of view (when they are eight and in the middle of a bedroom turf war).
● Young-at-heart Try Hards. You name it. Hogging the dance floor at your godson’s 21st. Man bracelets. Trying to get a selfie with your daughter’s headmistress (the reason Gordon Ramsay’s daughter is wearing a “My Embarrassing Dad” T-shirt).
● Good-with-small-children Try Hards. A whole category of its own. This is imagining you have the Prince Harry touch, endlessly adopting funny expressions and crouching down to their level, but actually freaking them out. Justin Trudeau may have gone a bit TH with Prince George.
● Trendster Try Hards. Those kangaroo fur backless loafers, for example (on anyone). That very tight denim jacket that Adam wears in Cold Feet. Souped up adidas-style track pants on grown-ups. The full lobe-to-helix crescent of ear piercings. (You think you are beyond this and then you find yourself buying a pair of over-knee boots.)
Happily we know that with David Beckham, the Trying Hard stops with the Chameau wellies and the Hovis cap.