Q This will be my husband's first Father's Day with our son not creating a present in school. He will definitely make him a card, but otherwise he and I are a little out of ideas for gifts, can you help?
A Father's Day is the perfect time to remind the Dads in our lives how much we care about them. A few years ago, if anyone mentioned a Father's Day gift, the automatic thought was a necktie. Even if their job still involves a tie, most men tend to leave them off on weekends.
So, what are a few gift ideas that you and your son will enjoy giving him and that he actually will be happy to receive? Among the huge array of personal items to wear or to carry, some are simple and comfortable, some unique and useful, some outright luxuries.
COMFORTABLE: A cozy sweatshirt in fabrics from flannel to fleece is timeless. Fleece looks and feels good, is sturdy, and will last for years. He can also relax in a robe of super soft cotton terry cloth -- comfortable and warm. A pair of scuff slippers, such as the plush shearling-lined ones from Ugg, are a nice idea; they will keep his feet warm and will work with either the sweatshirt or the robe. Around-the-house pajamas or pajama bottoms are comfortable as well as useful.
USEFUL: Interesting and unusual socks are having a major moment right now -- there are so many to choose from in dozens of styles, every imaginable color and a wide range of prices. Even men who don't think of themselves as "fashion guys" have been finding colorful and whimsical socks interesting. Men enjoy matching and contrasting them with the other more traditional items in their wardrobes.
In terms of accessories, just about every Dad can use a new wallet. They tend to buy themselves the no-frills type. If you want to get him something more special, the unique design from Rogue Industries -- (800) 786-1768 -- has one curved corner that makes it fit neatly into the front-pocket of a man's trousers. It comes in a variety of fine leathers and skins, can be personalized with his initials, and is well priced from $45 and up.
Dad does not have to be travelling to enjoy a nice leather Dopp kit. It is a welcome gift (empty or fitted with some of his favorite shaving products). The most special item you might include is a genuine badger hair shaving brush. But you may have to decide whether it would come across as too broad a hint that it might be time for him to shave that new stay-at-home beard. Alone or added to the kit, a quality fragrance can be a great choice, whether it is something nice and new or one he has worn for years. If his favorite has become elusive in stores, Parfumelle in Fort Worth -- (800) 874-1118 -- can find or create nearly any scent. They say they stock "the old, the new, and the ugly." Still another item you might tuck into a Dopp kit is one of the new heated razors.
A final personal grooming-related gift is a shoeshine kit. Your husband and child might enjoy doing this together. Many dads like to teach their sons the fine art of polishing one's own shoes.
A more fun father-and-son idea is one I saw in a recent Gap ad: A pair of matching, or nearly matching, patterned T-shirts or polo shirts for them to wear on the same day. Here is an example of where one plus one can equal more than two.
THOUGHTFUL/LUXURY GIFTS: And now, to the category of gifts that I like best. My strong belief is that the perfect/ideal gift for any occasion is one that the person receiving is happy to get, but that he might never think of buying for himself.
A fine double-ply cashmere sweater in a solid-color or a subtle pattern has the advantages of being especially comfortable while also feeling luxurious; it can last for decades and it never goes out of style. A leather bomber-type jacket also has a long lifespan. I have never known a man who did not want to own one. It seems to make every man feel young and current. In terms of men's jewelry, cuff links are small and can be an extremely personal gift: new, antique or even a family heirloom. And because many men are using their phones instead of a watch these days, a newly popular jewelry item is a simple masculine bracelet, one not made of precious metal. Most of them are leather; others are made of woven rope or rubber.
A gift that almost no man would ever think of buying for himself, but that fits this category of luxurious non-essentials is a double gift that I once gave to my young husband for black-tie attire: a white silk scarf and a pair of fine white leather gloves ... this is likely a time that gloves may make a comeback!
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