Tis the season to be bombarded by gift guides. But instead of doing a highly generalized, throw-everything-against-the-digital-wall mega post, we’ll be breaking it up by category and dropping multiple guides in the coming days. Gifts for the guy who likes watches. Or guy who loves to suit up. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more over the next week or so.
About the Author: Ryan N. is a professional web developer 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.
Feeding His Favorite Hobby – $-$$$
For the Dad in your life, it might be reading, gardening, grilling, mountain biking, any number of things. For me (the Ryan guy), it’s video games. You know the man, so give him something unexpected to add to his collection, or take his hobby to the next level with better gear. Some more specific ideas later on in this list, but this is a quiet reminder to still pursue what makes him (and you!) happy. Photo by Vincent Keiman on Unsplash.
Sometimes you need an escape from all the noise. Be it hitting the (home) gym, catching up on a podcast/audiobook/meditation, doing a WFH video call, or just needing a Hamilton soundtrack fix, Bluetooth-enabled buds won’t get tangled, and they leave you feeling free to get that well-earned break and come back fresh. Today’s models have charges that last longer than ever, and many come with cases that charge while you’re on the go, tethering you to a cable that much less. One of Dappered’s favorites are Jabra’s Active line of Earbuds. Those run $100-180 depending on the model.
My personal daily use pair? That would be the
very EXTREMELY affordable but punchy $15 Anker Soundcore Life Notes, pictured above. A bit of advice: stay away from the MAJORITY of <$15-20 Amazon cheapies. I’ve tried a bunch, and the sound fidelity is usually pretty lacking. You get what you pay for in this arena. But these are a screaming value at post time.
While dad’s out doing some very late-season grilling, golfing (or perhaps more likely shoveling the driveway), keep his hands toasty warm with one of these. Rechargeable, lightweight, and lasts for hours and hours. Not to mention, it’s an emergency power bank, too. Nifty.
THE formative touchstone of my childhood, this comes as a very personal recommendation. Having read through Calvin and Hobbes countless times as a youngster, it warms my heart to now see my older kids devouring these collections cover-to-cover, and then starting them right back over again. It brings me such joy when they throw a reference out of the blue, or play out a Spaceman Spiff adventure together. The writing and illustrations completely hold up for being over 25+ years old, too. Pricey (especially in the hard-to-find hardcover), but if dad’s a big fan of the comics, it’s an excellent sentimental journey, especially when they’re old enough to join in the fun.
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 $5 is an easy win for that kind of unexpected joy. Available in a bunch of fun patterns. Mens’ pair is a standard 8-12, but the kids’ pair comes in the more vague S (age 18mo-3), M (age 4-8), L (age 9-12).
An Upgrade to His Favorite Athleisurewear – $25+
- Lululemon Down for It All Hooded Jacket – $198
- adidas Men’s Tiro Pants – $50
- Target’s Goodfellow & Co. Pintuck Joggers – $29.99
It doesn’t have to be expensive (which Lululemon stuff very much is). It can instead be a stylish upgrade to an old hoodie, pair of sweatpants, etc. Like Target’s Goodfellow Pintuck Joggers. Or a pair of adidas Tiros. Amazon’s own Peak Velocity brand does great stuff on the cheap. The athleisure train miiiiight just be almost full at this point. What was a growing trend the last few years has become a full on explosion over the past two years, 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 clothes infused with 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.
Or an upgrade to his workout system of choice. TRX straps get featured a lot on Dappered. For good reason. Not cheap and far from necessary, but holy moly do they work. And when compared to the 8 zillion machines these simple straps replace (I mean, check out the wall poster), they’re a bargain. Great for legs, core, triceps, biceps, back, and more. The number of exercises you can do and do effectively with this simple tool is amazing. You can simply sling the included anchor over a door (which you then close,) but most will prefer the stability and security of anchors bolted into wall studs. Look, as dads, time is intentional. Where your focus goes, energy flows.
In season? Absolutely not. But if dad is the beachgoing type like me, it’ll be his pride and joy to set this bad boy up just right every summer. Instead of lugging a bulky, heavy beach tent and fighting the wind all day, the Neso tent is hyper lightweight with its stretchy construction, and works with the wind to give you and your fam plenty of roomy, shady retreat. I’ve been using one of these for two summers now, and I really love it. Easy to set up and break down. The Grande is roomy for 4 at 9’x9′, but if you have a big crew (5+), you’ll want to spring for the Gigante (11’x11′) size. Because what’s more attractive than not being burnt to a crisp?
On sale, too? That’s awfully kind. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that 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 (it doesn’t look like “Sloot” or “Blipper” is going to stick like “Swazer“) can do all of these and keep your feet dry and sharp-looking. Head here for a full review.
- Spier & Mackay Chunky Merino Wool Sweater – $218 shown above
- Spier & Mackay 100% Cotton Shawl Collar Cardigan – $78
- Wills Aran Cable Cardigan Sweater – $228
- Goodfellow & Co. Chunky Knit Sweater – $35
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. For the dad that doesn’t want anything “fancy”? Goodfellow’s sweaters could be a real winner at just $35.
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.
Working from home now full-time, my home/work balance was, for a while, straight out the window. It’s still 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. And what better price than free? Balance is my go-to app. I love the way it customizes my meditations based on previous meditations, and learns what I prefer and what areas I’m trying to focus on.
As 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 a ridiculously cheap 24-pack and carry one in your back pocket at all times, like I do. Heck, use a spiral-bound Mead from the dollar store. Whatever helps you.
- Lego 007 Aston Martin EXPERT addition – $250 (or starter addition- $17.98)
- Uvini Building Blocks Camera 627 pieces – $27.20
- Lego New York Skyline – $48.99
Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most.. and there are lots of sets he can spend some relaxing time tinkering with all those little pieces. If Dad is a Bond fand, then the above Aston Martin would be a win. If photography is a passion, for example, this both scratches that itch, and provides a smart-looking finished product that’s display-worthy on his desk. If he loves to travel (or just loves watching travel shows on TV,) then something from Lego’s architecture landmark collection would be perfect.
A Barware Upgrade – $ – $$$
- Aged & Ore Bottle Flight – $38
- MiiR Growler – $59.99
- Whiskey Peaks Mountain Decanter – $48 ($65)
- Whiskey Peaks Set of 4 Whiskey Glasses – $48 ($65) (The Rockies, Grand Tetons, Internationals, etc.)
The MiiR Growler continues to be a personal favorite, and while I use mine for staying hydrated at work (yes, with water, guys), it’s perfectly suitable for coffee, beer, or even batched mixed cocktails like sangria. Stays surprisingly cold for 24 hours in my experience.
Dad more of an on-the-go guy, or a sit-by-the-fire guy? Try a bottle flight like this one from Aged and Ore, so he can have a few of his favorites at the ready for a pass around the burninating pit. TSA-approved individual bottles, if he’s a traveler, and can even hold a few cigars, too.
A Nice Bottle of Whatever They’re Into
Always welcome, especially when you’ve been stuck at home for a while and are trying your best to recalibrate to the “new” new normal. If bourbons are his thing, perhaps one of Adam’s picks from his Father’s Day suggestions (Under $70, and Under $35) would be the ticket? Don’t forget the Rye either.
Nobody in their right mind would really want to wear a tie with their name all over it (.. right?), but how about just their initial? And in a snazzy, unexpected pattern? The Tie Bar made these so cleanly that you can’t even tell it’s a letter until you get up close. Any dad would be proud to wear these. Final sale here, but over half the alphabet still available (we’re partial to “D” for “Dappered Dad”). Skinny and Modern widths. And 100% linen, you say? Yes please.
Maybe a personalized rocks glass is more up his alley? Etsy shop CuttingEdgeBoston can make customized, remarkably-realistic etched glassware from just a photo of him and his special little ones. Spendy at $44, but pretty nifty and incredibly one-of-a-kind.
Want more gift guides? Head here for the growing archive of our 2022 gift guides.