Back in the 80s, my mom bought my dad a Charlotte Hornets sweatshirt. Dad loved that sweatshirt. It was fleece! And he wore it everywhere, with everything. He was a man of simple tastes, and shopping for him was hard. Really hard. My brothers and I always just ended getting him the latest The Farside compilation. He would spend half an hour reading it and chuckling, and that was the end of that.
I’m pretty much the opposite. This apple fell far from the tree, rolled down a valley, over a bridge - and then, having picked up a little steam, got all the way to the top of the other hill. I like STUFF. Nice stuff. Baller sneakers and hand-lasted shoes. Fancy Japanese denim and designer belts. This makes it just as hard for my kids to shop for me as it was for my brothers and I to shop for our dad. I mean, I want a jacket from Aero Leathers, but if my kids have $1200 to spare, either I’ve been really over generous with their allowances, or I have to figure out how a seven year old got into her college fund.
Problem is, I never passed the dad class on “How to Fake Enthusiasm” - so Father’s Day gift-opening time has the potential to suck for everyone. So, I’ll be a good dad, and make some suggestions for gifts that my kids can afford (maybe with some help from mom), that I’ll like, and that they can probably get into as well.
- Dinosaur Bone Knife
This evokes from me the adult equivalent of the reaction I had when I saw REAL DINOSAUR fossils when I was six: OMG, that thing must have been huge and so amazing OMG. There is nothing as cool as getting as genuinely excited as your kids are about something.
$185 at Huckberry
- Indigo-dyed Leather Bracelet
I’ve convinced my kids that real men wear bracelets, mostly through the magic of cinema and Johnny Depp. After all, Captain Jack Sparrow wore bracelets, and nothing is cooler than pirates. They also know that I love all things indigo, so this indigo-dyed leather S-clasp bracelet will go with all the other stuff I wear on my wrist.
$90 at Self Edge
- Elastic Band Gun
I love to play pretend games with my sons and daughters. Rambunctious and very physical pretend games. In these games, we are often secret agents or cowboys (or secret agent cowboys), or space cowboys like Han Solo (yes, sometimes the space cowboys are also secret agents). I was the littlest kid in my neighborhood growing up, so I usually had to play the non-blaster-carrying characters like R2-D2. Well, I’m Dad now, and I get to carry a blaster if I want to. This solid walnut version of the classic Colt M1911 from Elastic Precision shoots elastic bands, which also makes it a valuable wife-annoyance tool.
$39.98 at Huckberry
- Razor Scooter (no, really)
My kids run everywhere. When I was a kid, I probably also ran everywhere. Kids are smart. They know that walking is a terrible way to get anywhere - it’s slow and tiring at the same time. I’m now a full-grown man, and I still hate to walk. But I can’t run everywhere - my knees aren’t what they used to be, and I wear slim jeans like Johnny Depp. If you are a lame-o who’s still walking, ask your kids for a “LUX” Razor scooter this father’s day and leave them in the dust.
$84.66 at Amazon
- Nike Free Flyknit Shoes
I like to work out. I also love to eat pasta. Which means that this new trend of the “Dad Bod” - a frat-inspired combination of “working out plus beer gut” - is tailor-made for me. And when I work out, I like to wear Nike Free Flyknits, which make me look cooler than your average dad (just ask my kids), and, less importantly, are good cross-trainers. It’s like I’m the coolest dad in the world! Of course, you’ll have to get some actual mileage out of these shoes, because inevitably people will realize that this “Dad Bod” thing was a stupid trend, and that having a beer gut isn’t that cool.
$120 at Nike
- A Leather Jacket
Apparently, a college education costs $250K these days. And that’s after all the money my kids will have sucked out of me before college. And maybe one of them will decide that it’s a good idea to move back in after college, and I’ll have to blast REO Speedwagon at their room until they decide it might be a good idea to get their own place. Point is, they’ll owe dad big. Like, really big. When the time comes to collect, I want a custom leather jacket. Who knows - maybe those dance and gymnastics lessons will pay off, they’ll become child stars, and they’ll pay me back early with this Carol Christian Poell “scarstitch” jacket from PN/P Firenze.
$4,459.50 at PN/P Firenze
So kids, if you are reading this, remember: your dad wants a leather jacket, workout shoes so that he can make sure he fits into that leather jacket; a blaster he can use to bother mom (not because he’s still scarred from having to play Princess Leia in neighborhood re-enactments of Star Wars); a bracelet so that he looks kinda like Johnny Depp, who is probably the coolest actor your dad’s age; and a dinosaur bone knife, because dinosaurs are still cool when you’re 40. And of course, a scooter, so that he can actually keep up with you.