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Calvin Harris Before & After – The Transformation

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Most musicians, actors and men in the public eye will go through a reinvention of how they look.

Look back through the archives of David Beckham’s style, Justin Timberlake’s, even Dermot O’Leary and you’ll see the changes they’ve made to their physical appearance throughout the years.

Someone who caught my eye recently (and many other eyes) is Calvin Harris.

A man who has achieved new heights in the music industry alongside being the highest paid DJ right now, he’s well commended for his musical accomplishments.

But the main focus today isn’t his music, it isn’t the money he’s pulling in or the girls he’s dating (Rita Ora, Taylor Swift, Aarika Wolf to name a few). The focus is solely on his physical transformation.

From a lanky, mop haired, badly dressed man to a shredded, elegantly dressed, smooth skinned man here’s how he achieved it and how you can go through a similar transformation.

Oh he also became the face of Armani, modelling their campaigns in 2015.

This guy a model?


What He Did Wrong In The Beginning

That image highlights what he did wrong in the beginning (and potentially what you’re doing wrong right now).

Paying little attention to your hairstyle and skincare is of course a huge mistake in terms of your physical appearance. It’s amazing what a decent haircut and simple grooming routine can do for you in the long run.

Think about women for a moment. How much time do they apply to their hair and makeup? I’m not saying we as men need to do the same but they understand the importance.

Choosing a hairstyle that suits your face shape alongside being manageable for your daily lifestyle is the first step to think about. (More on this later, but this video should help)

You then want to consider a simple grooming routine to improve your skin. It won’t take you any longer than a few minutes per day. You don’t need to overdo it, just a simple face wash, moisturiser and eye cream will suffice at the beginning.

It looks like he didn’t pay much attention to his dental hygiene either, something that will dramatically effect your attractiveness (a bad smile can affect your physical appearance).

At 6 foot 4 height was on his side, but being tall (and avoiding the gym) left him looking ‘lanky’. Poor diet and lack of exercise was probably another contributing factor to the poor skin and dental hygiene (he was probably on the typical ‘music producer’ diet at the time – anything you can get your hands on quickly!)

His style? Let’s not even go there.

Graphic t-shirts, printed hoodies, baggy jeans and sneakers were the go to attire for the old Calvin.

Add in the mop hair, the lanky frame, the bad skincare and bad style and even though Calvin was an up and coming DJ, Producer and Artist, he was a long way from an Armani contract.


Behind The Transformation

So what happened?

What were the steps Calvin took to go from the above, to this…

Calvin Harris, Emporio Armani

Let’s break it down.

1. There Was No ‘Overnight’ Transformation

I want to make this clear to start with, this transformation obviously didn’t happen overnight.

It consists of consistent reinvention, self discovery and probably a lot of help along the way. Calvin didn’t hop into bed one night and wake up as an Armani model.

The gradual transformation can be seen from imagery a few years after his rise to fame and a few years before how he looks now.

He started to don a different hairstyle, something more smarter and elegant to the mop he once rocked.

He also started to wear smarter clothes, often opting for a shirt and jeans in a slimmer fit rather than baggy t-shirts and jeans which didn’t compliment his tall frame at all.

Signs of physical improvements were also clear to see, with improvements to his posture and him slightly filling out his tall frame more. His skin started to look clearer and it started to glow more, and he’s facial hair was maintained better than before.


2. A Focus On Fitness

Style and the way you dress is easily one of the best ways to improve your physical appearance, but getting in shape and focusing on your health should always be a focus of yours.

If you’re overweight it’s going to be harder to dress how you want.

If you’re tall and skinny it’s also going to affect the clothes you wear (and how you wear them).

Eat junk food all day and avoid water? It’s going to lead to bad skin and constant fatigue.

There isn’t a quick fix to getting in better shape, and I’m not going to highlight a specific diet plan or workout plan that Calvin ‘may have’ gone through… (Check out the fitness articles here)

But I’m guessing it took consistent action, he didn’t completely restrict himself and indulged in the odd treat and he kept his workouts varied.

Avoiding your heath and fitness is a big mistake if you want to look and feel the best you possibly can. It will improve your posture, your confidence, your skin, the way you feel and of course it will give you the frame to dress better.


Calvin Harris, Emporio Armani

3. He Paid Attention To Grooming

It’s 2016… using a moisturising doesn’t make you less of a man.

Calvin Harris took care of his poor dental hygiene (improving his smile in the process), got a decent haircut, paid attention to his skin care and maintained his facial hair.

There’s one thing we can’t control and one thing we all have in common, we’re all ageing.

Introducing a grooming routine and restyling your hair will impact your overall physical appearance.

It can be as simple as using a face wash and applying a moisturiser and eye cream every morning and evening. It’s going to take maybe 5 minutes a day, but those 5 minutes will have huge benefits in the long run.

Taking your grooming one step further can of course be beneficial, applying a Toner, a Serum and even Exfoliating can improve your skin.

Here’s a simple routine to get started.

1. Facial Scrub

You shower or wash right? Once a day? Perfect. Use this time to wash your face. Apply a small amount into the palm of your hands, rub your hands together to create lather and then apply to your face. Cover your whole face but focus on areas that tend to become oily or places you tend to have breakouts.


2. Moisturise

Once dry apply a pea sized amount of moisturiser into the palm of your hands. Rub your hands together and apply to your face and neck. A lot of men make the mistake of applying too much moisturiser, and less really is more when moisturising.

Everyone has different skin so experiment to see what benefits you the most.


3. Eye Cream

Clean your teeth in the morning and night? Use this time to apply a tiny bit of eye cream to help with tired looking eyes. This step is optional in fact, but there’s no harm in doing something that takes literally seconds to apply.

eye-cream clarins-eye-cream

As mentioned you can introduce more products if needed, but the above will suffice for most men.

4. A Suitable Hairstyle

The mop really didn’t do anything for his overall appearance but it had one benefit… it was super easy to manage.

I’m guessing by the old photos he didn’t do much with it, so this gave him the ability to get ready quicker and in return spend more time in the studio.

Your hairstyle should be something you can easily manage, something that suits your everyday lifestyle but it should also improve your appearance.

Most men make the mistake of copying a hairstyle from a magazine that’s super slick and elegant. The issue? They have 5 minutes to get ready in the morning and they don’t ‘dress up’ for work. The hairstyle becomes a pain to manage each morning and it looks worse than it did before.


When choosing a hairstyle you need to consider 2 things…

1. Does It Suit Your Lifestyle? 

When choosing a hairstyle think about your everyday routine. How long do you have in the mornings to get ready? What do you wear day to day? Answering these questions will allow you to choose a hairstyle that looks good but is also easily managebale.

You may like the Quiff hairstyle, opting for longer length of the top to give you more styling options but if you don’t have time to blow-dry and apply product each morning it’s going to make it hard to manage. That longer length on top will end up looking like a birds nest.

Think about your day to day attire, what you do and how long you have each morning to spend on your hair and choose a hairstyle that suits.

2. Get Advice

One of the habits of a stylish man is trusting your barber. Find someone who cuts your hair as you want and most importantly use them over and over again.

I’d recommend dressing as you would day to day when you go to get your hair restyled so they see how you typically dress.

Also ask them for styling tips once finished. Ask them how to style it, what products to use and even what brush they recommend (if you need one).

It’s every mans worst nightmare going to a Barber, getting a fresh trim, looking great and then struggling to replicate the style the next morning.

Calvin opted for something shorter on top (easy to manage still) but it’s a hairstyle that’s elegant and suits both casual and formal attire.

He also (from what I can see) ditched the hair dye and went natural, allowing his facial hair to really compliment his hairstyle.

This video should help in choosing a new hairstyle.

5. Pearly Whites

Comparing his teeth from before and after shows a big transformation.

At first he had crooked and stained teeth but now his smile is one of his most prominent features. Veneers? Braces? Teeth Whitening? Who knows, but all we do know is paying attention to his teeth paid off.

Don’t be afraid to visit the dentist and get advice on how you can improve your smile.

Personally I avoided braces when I was younger and lived to regret it later on in life. I avoided smiling in photos (doing the lip smile) and would never imagine making my teeth whiter (as I wanted to hide them).

I took action, invested in ‘invisible braces’ called Invisalign and a year later saw improvements.

Improving your smile really can improve the way you look… it did for Calvin.

6. He Paid Attention To Style

Last but not least he finally started paying attention to the way he dressed.

What I like about his style transformation is he didn’t overdo it, he didn’t do anything that pushes many boundaries.

He kept his style classic, investing in timeless pieces and he focused on introducing more formality into his wardrobe.

Day to day attire consists of well fitting t-shirts, jeans, sweaters, bombers, leather jackets and smarter sneakers. His formal attire consists of simple navy, grey and black two piece suits and well fitting dress shirts.

He keeps the accessorising minimal but focuses on the main principle to style… fit.


Learn From Calvin

If you’re someone reading this looking to improve your physical appearance take inspiration from Calvin.

One thing I like about this transformation is nothing was out of the ordinary, nothing was done that any other man couldn’t achieve.

Sure people may argue that Calvin had some good genetics behind him, but looking at his before photos may tell a different story.

Focusing on improving your physique through a fitness regime and nutrition plan, improving your grooming routine and hair alongside focusing on your style (and pearly whites) will put you on course to achieve a similar transformation.

Props to Mr Calvin Harris.


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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.


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