7 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Dad Who’s Going Through a Phase
First, you should know that it’s inevitable, and that it’s bound to happen to you too when you get there. So don’t be too hard on your old man when he steps out in a snapback hat and a fresh pair of Ultra Boosts—he’s probably just going through a phase.
The midlife crisis, as it’s called, is a transitional phase that tends to happen upon men and women when we reach a certain age—often between our mid-40s and well into our 50s—and is characterized by struggles of identity, personal accomplishment, and youthfulness. But you probably know it better as the reason your dad blows so much money on new shoes these days, and why he’s so active on Instagram all of a sudden.
For the most part, midlife crises are relatively harmless. They are, after all, just phases; and they’re bound to pass eventually. Save for extreme cases that veer into clinical depression and anxiety (which are a different story), they’re not really worth worrying about.
But since Father’s Day is coming up, and because you’re a dutiful son, surely you’d like to spare your dad the embarrassment that he’s inflicting upon himself. One of the first casualties of a midlife crisis is taste, and that’s something you can address. Consider steering his tastes in the right direction with these stylish but age-appropriate gifts—and remember that since they’d be coming from you, he’s bound to take your word for it as a hip, younger person.
Léon Army Utility 'Baker' Pants LD009-CVS
Keep him away from distressed denim jeans and jogger pants by giving him a nice, classic pair of chinos. These vintage army trousers by local denim label Léon are made of 10 oz selvedge duck canvas, so you know they’re built to last. More importantly, they fit nice and straight but not too wide, which is perfect for him, because a middle-aged man in skinny jeans is an absolute travesty.
Superior Labor Umbrella Bottle Set
Midlife crisis dad is suddenly-all-about-fitness dad. He’ll brag about how much he used to run and bike and play basketball in his younger days, and insist that he still can today, even if he spent most of the interim as a sedentary office worker. If he ever decides to try and prove it, he’ll need a lot of water. This stainless steel thermal container (which comes with a leather sling) will keep it cold for him.
New Balance 1978
He’s ditched all his dress shoes and now owns more sneakers than you do. He’ll insist upon the newest NMDs and any manner of Flyknit he can get his hands on, and he’ll look like a damn fool when he does. If you can’t talk him out of wearing sneakers altogether, get him these new NBs: modern, premium, but simple enough that an older gentleman could wear them without looking like a geriatric dope boy.
Uniqlo Relaxed Fit Polo Shirt
If you’re looking for a last-minute gift that makes just as much sense in terms of swaying his style back on track, consider this polo shirt from Uniqlo. Unlike the polos he used to wear, this one is cut large and loose, and doesn’t have any garish logos or monograms. And unlike the fast-fashion graphic tees that he’s wearing now, it’s actually appropriate for a man of his age.
VOOMBOX Travel Speakers
You won’t be able to tell if he’s listening to The Chainsmokers or any other form reprehensible millennial music when he has his Beats by Dre headphones on. At least with these portable speakers, you can easily call him out on whatever he’s playing. The flip side: if he starts playing the new wave hits of the ‘80s, it’s on you.
On the eve of Father’s Day, while he’s still asleep, sneak into his room, open up his dresser, and replace all those goddamn Stance socks with these ones made of wool, by Italian label Bresciani, who made them especially for local boutique Signet. Just don’t blame us if you find anything else in that dresser.
Brooks Brothers Supima Cotton Polo Shirt
Lastly, an old reliable Father’s Day gift: the classic Brooks Brothers polo shirt in any of the colors it comes in. He probably used to love these before he started to think that they were too old-school for him. But if you give him one as a gift, it might just convince him that dressing like a dad isn’t a bad thing—and it can be done in style.