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Father's Day shopping primer: What to buy dad who has everything

By Munira Smith

June 10, 2006

Father's Day is coming up June 18, and it's time to answer one of life's perpetually troubling questions: What to buy the dad who has, well, practically everything.

Thanks to the ingenuity of store owners at Chandler Fashion Center, gift givers will have more options this year than just what color tie to buy.

Here are some ideas you may want to consider, along with prices and a list of stores waiting to help you make up your mind.

Although we joke about the stereotypical necktie, remember that it has been—and likely will continue to be—one of the “most-received” gifts on Father’s Day. Keep in mind, though: If you are going to give a tie as a gift, do it right. Don’t go for dark drab stripes. Instead, find a tie in this season’s greens or purples. Banana Republic makes it easy with stylish hues and patterns for dad (from $59.50).

As to other apparel, the experts say warmer weather invites fabrics that breathe, such as linen. If you don’t think dad will warm up to this material, start him out slowly with a linen shirt or jacket.

Grab a pair of Tommy Bahama linen slacks from At Ease in black or white ($95).  Neutral colors go with so much more and might be more realistic for men who haven’t worn this material before.

Good quality polo shirts in good condition are perfect for work when worn with a sports jacket, or for a weekend evening out.

J. Crew offers a wide selection of short-sleeve original-fit Repp Pique polo shirts ($39.50, sale: 2 for $50) in colors ideal for mixing and matching. Pick a perfect hue for dad to pair with slacks for the office or for jeans for that laid-back and casual touch.

If your dad likes to wear running shoes to every casual function, stop him now. He can lace up a pair of Aldo Yccels ($79.99, sale $49.99), an athletic classic tennis shoe updated with suede and a choice of blue, green or red trims.

For a more polished look, he can slip into a pair of Aldo Nygels sure to complement his business attire, available in both black and brown ($99.99).

Jewelry typically does not come to mind for Father’s Day, but don’t forget to look at the selection of cuff links. With French-cuffed shirts back in style, dads might want a few new ways to freshen up their look. Bailey, Banks and Biddle has cufflinks for both playful and professional looks. Add a touch of sophistication with a sterling silver pair or, for a more whimsical approach, ornament his wrists with a pair of dice or elephant-shaped styles (starting at $199).

Your dad is the man, so help him feel like it by introducing him to serious skin-care designed specially for men. 

Present him with the Limited Edition Shaving Face face saving shave kit from Origins – it’s a mouthful but it’s well worth the skin. The kit includes a frothy face wash, pre-shave oil, energizing shave cream and more ($29.50).

Is your dad king of coals—the type who grills in rain, snow or sleet. Here are a few gadgets that will arm him with whatever he needs to face the flames and encourage him to keep up the good work.

Sharper Image offers grilling gadgets that will aid in dad's grilling technique, but still leaves the flavor to him. The 25-piece stainless steel set (on sale now $44.98) will keep dad busy in the back yard for hours. Or, let dad enjoy carefree cooking with the wireless remote Talking Meat Thermometer from Brookstone ($75).

If your dad is the type to buy the toy on the shelves that has the biggest number of parts--just for the fun of putting everything together--then you’d better make certain he has the proper tools to get the job done.

Sears has a great gift for Mr. Fix-it or Mr. Break-It-then-Fix-it. Add to his tool collection with the Craftsman 28-piece ratchet driver set (on sale now $49.99).

He has the latest in technology already--or so he thinks? Update his cell phone or MP3, or find a few accessories for his laptop or iPod.  Is he still holding his cell phone while driving his car? Keep him safe with the latest hands-free cell phone.

Yet another idea: Take his iPod to the next level. Apple iPods aren’t just for music anymore; the latest versions come with video capability. Now dad can view some of his favorite websites, download his favorite sport shows, sitcoms and pod casts (starting at $299).

You already know he loves to meet his friends at the gym or on the course, so scout out a few gifts that might improve his game – or at least let him look stylish while trying. 

Finally, dad can look cool and stay cool in the Grid Polo from Under Armour.  The lightweight micro fiber blend absorbs perspiration which aids in keeping the body cool (available in four different colors, $49.99).

— Munira Smith is senior marketing manager for Chandler Fashion Center



Photo by David Stone


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