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Father’s Day Gift Guide 2012

stetsonIt is impossible to properly thank the man who most shaped your life but Father’s Day is a time to show appreciation. Here are some gift ideas for all budgets.

Getting dad a tie for the big day is a hoary cliche but there are plenty of other clothing ideas that are far more creative.

Lands End and Old Navy have plenty of summer pants, jackets and shirts that take their inspiration from when JFK and his family would spend summers at Hyannis Port.

Tommy Bahama, with its line of wild Hawaiian shirts, and Sub 70 with its colorful golf shirts and pants, are other fun summer clothing options.

If dad likes preppy footwear pick up a pair of Sebago docksiders. Neat Feat Zori and Vineyard Vines both make flip-flops with arch support that dad will enjoy wearing at the beach or by the pool.

If pop is a Beau Brummel, or you simply wish that he would dress a bit more stylishly, you can’t go wrong with shirts and sport jackets from Armani Exchange or American Eagle Outfitters. Sure we are heading into summer but fall and winter are inevitably going to come.

Columbia Sportswear and Eddie Bauer, and LL Bean all have winter jackets and coats that keep you warm without the bulk and so do a pair of newcomers to the market, Salence and Bouclier. Auri Footwear and the Fitzwell line from offer stylish dress shoes that are surprisingly comfortable to wear.

There is a cowboy lurking in nearly every guy. Stetson makes great belts, boots, and western hats like the kind Clint Eastwood wore in all of those 1960s spaghetti westerns.

Every man wants to feel a bit like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at times. Luxor Linens ( makes plush Egyptian cotton robes that will make anyone feel like Hef whose passion for robes and pajamas is legendary.

Exercise is a key to both longevity and feeling younger than your age. Nike and New Balance both have running shoes in all styles and prices but if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, check out the shoes from Spira Footwear that have metal springs in the heels to reduce shock when striking the ground while Ahnu also makes a lightweight athletic shoe.

You don’t have to be Lance Armstrong to appreciate bike riding along the Long Beach and Rockaways boardwalks or through Flushing Meadow Park. Cannondale, Schwinn, Raleigh, and Paul Frank all make bikes for riders ranging from beginners to serious enthusiasts.

Sunglasses provide invaluable protection from harmful ultraviolet rays and they have become an in-demand fashion accessory as well. Carrera is still deservedly the king of aviators while Oakley is the emperor of pricey wraparounds. Newer optical companies that are gaining market share by making quality sunglasses at moderate price points are Zeal Optics and ICU Eyewear.

Watches are the most popular form of jewelry for guys. If you are a member of the one per cent (to use Occupy Wall Street lingo) then by all means select a Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega or Longines. T

The good news is that Timex, Fossil and Long Island City-based Armitron all make watches that look fancy, keep time accurately, and are very moderately priced.

When I was growing up men would never admit to being concerned with skin care, smelling good, or even the remotest notion of being pampered. Thankfully times have changed. Shiseido, which just celebrated its 140th anniversary, makes a moisturizer that prevents both wrinkles and dry itchy skin. The Body Shop’s Maca line has face scrubs, body washes, and shaving cream at very affordable prices.

If your father is a Yankees fan, picking a cologne is fairly easy. Cloudbreak’s NY Yankees Fragrance is sold at the stadium as well as at Macy’s and Lord & Taylor. Bronx Bombers centerfielder Curtis Granderson is a spokesman for Cloudbreak and he has made appearances at both stores.

Not to be outdone, Avon still produces Derek Jeter’s Driven lines of cologne and skin care items.

The Mets have not entered the fragrance market yet but die-hard fans of the Amazin’s may want to support longtime season ticketholder and die-hard fan Mark Crames, whose company, Demeter Fragrances, makes humorous-scented colognes as bubble gum, apple pie, clean windows, chocolate chip cookie, creme brulee, and yes, dirt.

Muscles inevitably get tense and the resulting knots can be painful. Dad will be appreciative if you purchase a massage session. The Oasis Day Spa, Spa Martier, Red Door Spa, Spa Merge and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa all offer a wide array of massages and other spa treatments. If you want to know the best spa deals at a given moment, log onto

Many men are sensitive on the topic of hair loss. If your father is not uptight about trying products that purport to stimulate follicle growth here are some suggestions aside from Monoxidil. Grande HAIR is a spray that you apply on your scalp after showering that makes one’s follicles appear thicker.

Lexington International’s HairMax LaserComb claims that it will stimulate new hair growth from dormant follicles. Lexington says that it has the approval of the Food & Drug Administration to make that statement.

Cigars and spirits go together for special occasions. Even Mayor Bloomberg, who is as arguably the biggest health advocate in the history of elected officials, agrees that there is no harm in moderate enjoyment of most things. Camacho and Macanudo have long been popular brands with cigar aficionados.

When it comes to premium liquor you can’t go wrong with top shelf icons as Johnny Walker Black Label Whisky, Macallan Scotch, and Beluga Vodka which is making inroads against well-regarded rivals Stolichnaya and Grey Goose.

Red wine reportedly possesses cardiac benefits and there is no shortage of quality reds at all price points. I have long been a fan of Pinot Noir from the Pacific Northwest and Oregon’s Benton-Lane Pinot Noir has long my favorite and can be purchased for under $25.

Cameron Hughes Meritage is a good reasonably priced Napa Valley red. Believe it or not, Virginia is becoming the Napa and Sonoma Valleys of the east as evidenced by the full-bodied and mild Kluge Estate New World Red Wine that hails from the commonwealth.

If dad is a connoisseur and is partial to Italian wine pick up either Luce or Lucente, red blends from the Luce della Vite estate located just outside of Florence.

Granted, this is the computer age, and there is even a TV commercial that pokes fun at someone using a pen and pad at an office meeting, but there is still something special about a fine writing instrument.

Parker Pen has long been the leader of the field and the company continues to prove that calligraphy isn’t dead.

Of course if you really feel you dad a lot you can give him a weekend vacation [see related piece].

But you can’t enjoy a vacation unless you have decent luggage. Lands End’s Flight Time is perfect for long trips as is Briggs & Riley’s (they were the first company to put wheels on a suitcase back in 1970) Expandable Uprights and Spinners.

There's a lot of choices for things you can buy this Father's Day, but there's one thing you can't buy: a tired cliche that is still more or less true. Love.

So go out there and tell your dad you give damn about him.

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