Tis the season. And by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? Instead of doing a highly generalized, throw-everything-against-the-digital-wall gift guide, we’ll be breaking it up by category. Gifts for the guys who suit up a lot. Or the wristwatch fanatic. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more.
About the Author: Ryan N. is a professional web developer for (and alum from) the University of Delaware, who keeps a close shave as to not be confused with his strongly-bearded twin brother. He plays guitar and drums, loves going to concerts with his wife, and loves being a dad.
Sometimes, you need an escape from all the noise. Be it hitting the (home) gym, catching up on a podcast/audiobook, or just needing a Hamilton soundtrack fix, Bluetooth-enabled buds won’t get tangled and leave you feeling free to get that well-earned break and come back fresh. Today’s models last longer than ever, and many come with charging cases, tethering you to a cable even that much less. Shown above are the Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds. Those run $100.
Or an upgrade to his workout system of choice. Featured in this year’s 10 Things for a Great Home Workout post, among many other mentions. For good reason. Look, as dads, time is intentional. Where your focus goes, energy flows. Speaking of time being intentional..
I used to be much more of a gamer, but I just haven’t found as many windows to pick it up since becoming a dad. It happens. But we all need that thing that helps us be our best self, and once I picked up a Stadia, I remembered how much I love playing. The reason I mention this on a Dappered Dads list is because it solves every issue I had with that “time” factor. It’s cloud-based, so my games are ready to go when I turn on my controller, which instantly connects to my TV via the included Chromecast Ultra. I can also play on my computer (pictured above) or on my phone. There are no files to download, no waiting for the console to update after leaving it dormant for a few months, no more does that precious hour window get whittled down to 20 minutes. With Stadia, I pick up the controller and I’m playing in less than a minute. Take that, PS5!
Well, the Spier beauty pictured above is more or less sold through, but it doesn’t stop the point from hitting home. A house sweater can elevate not just your look, but your spirits. Having something nice to slide on that’s not a hoodie? It can be that “Mr. Rogers” transition piece that symbolizes going from work mode to Dad mode at the end of the day. Not a fan of the “chunky” sweater look? The Tie Bar has an excellent, oft-mentioned offering that’s slimmer and more lightweight.
My brother got me these for me and my son a few Christmases back, and while we do don them on purpose sometimes, it’s always fun to realize we picked out the same pair by pure chance. $10 is an easy win for that kind of unexpected joy.
All aboard the athleisure train, TOOT-TOOT! What was a growing trend the last few years has become a full on explosion this year, where retailers far and wide are tweaking their fits and styles to move from the (virtual) boardroom to the (virtual) breakroom to the (home) gym. As a big fan of stretch, I am fully behind this movement and what it means for my ability to be different things at different parts of the day. I can be finishing up an email session one minute, then clambering around the house as a horsey ride the next. Gotta be adaptable. Get him a nice upgrade to that one pair of sweats he loves but has seen better days. Amazon’s Peak Velocity brand and Target’s All In Motion are good places to start. Shown above are Target’s Goodfellow & Co Sweater Fleece Joggers. Quite the find for $25. In person look at them can be found in the Fall/Winter Goodfellow round up.
Recently highlighted during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, the house slipper you can wear outside is here to stay, in a big way. Huckberry even has an entire section dedicated to ’em. Sometimes a dad’s gotta go from standing at your desk to taking out the trash to running out for milk. A slipper-boot (Sloot? Blipper? Something tells me these won’t get a “swazer“-esque nickname) can do all of these and keep your feet dry and sharp-looking.
A lot of amazing things have happened in our history, and the New York Times is no stranger to documenting them. Does the special dad in your life have a penchant for space? He’ll surely like this handsome coffee table book chronicling significant human achievements. Also available in Aviation, New York City, World War II, and Star Wars flavors.
I’m no stranger to campaigning for blue-light blocking glasses, but as we all use screens more and more often, help Dad protect his eyes. These specific ones from Pixel Eyewear were part of a now-sold-out Bespoke Post box, but the original $75 asking price is not outlandish. Full review here. Cheaper but not too cheap? Sunskis has some sharp-looking and affordable glasses as well. Lastly, I will mention that my wife comments on my attractiveness much more often when I’m wearing these. Not even kidding.
Working from home for the better part of a year now, my home/work balance is straight out the window. It’s all one mush at times. But I’ve found that if I take the time to be intentional about starting my day off right, and taking breaks to take care of me, then I’ll have enough to pour out into the various avenues that require my attention and give it more fully. And on days when I have so much going on that I don’t have time to meditate? That’s my cue to meditate, because I need it then more than any other time.
I don’t know if I would have made the transition to being a father as smoothly as I did without my wife being by my side. But these books by Armin Brott were invaluable helps as well. They explore what YOU, as the dad and partner, are going through during each stage of the little one’s belly journey and entrance to the world. What you’re feeling. And how you can show up for your partner. Highly recommended.
A recent Bullet Journaling convert, getting my crazy mind down onto physical paper and organized has done wonders for taming my monkey mind. If you’re not intentional about it, you can get lost. Pen-and-paper has tangible benefits for your mind. Go all out with the pricey, but journaling standard Leuchtturm1917, or get one of the cheaper versions, like I did. Heck, use a spiral-bound Mead from the dollar store. Whatever helps you.
Dad might still be working from home for a while, which is all the more reason to trick out his work area with an affordable, but classy little bit of lighting. I’ve added a warm-light lamp to my workstation upstairs, and it makes a lot of difference, especially with how early it gets dark anymore. Combine a desk lamp with blue-blocking glasses, and you’re taking care of Dad in a big way. Keep the bulb color under the 3000K threshold from warm light to blue-hued light for the best ambience.
A Nice Bottle of Whatever They’re Into
Always welcome, especially when you’re stuck at home. If bourbons are his thing, perhaps one of Jason’s picks from the Bourbons for Homebound Holidays post would hit the spot?
Ever put on your best suit and suddenly, you’re more suave, confident and assured? Clothes can have that “effect” on us, but guess what? That’s you, not your clothes. Kobe had Black Mamba. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. These “alter egos” were ways to step outside of what even their own mind laid as boundaries to their potential, and break through them. Herman explores how we can use this idea to become better dads, better partners, better leaders, better anything by applying a process of identifying who we aspire to be and what’s standing in our way. Then making our actions follow suit. As we all get used to partitioning our time and facets of life run together these days, it’s something I’ve been intrigued by a lot lately. And as someone who wants to be the best dad I can be, I’m here for it.