The Father's Day Event

Fatherly Advice

Tips and techniques for smart Father’s Day gifting, from our in-house expert
Photo: Tom Schirmacher

Tyler Thoreson and his kids Lucia, 6, Gunnar, 18 months, and Oscar, 5

Ask a dad what he wants for Father’s Day, and if he’s smart he’ll say something like, “Who, me? Why nothing—except for your ongoing awesomeness as a life partner and co-parent to our child and/or children.”

This, of course, is man-code for “Can you believe how thoughtful and considerate I am for pretending not to want anything for Father’s Day?! Surely someone possessed of such qualities deserves an amazing gift!”

Okay, I’m kidding (mostly), but one thing’s for certain: He wants a great gift. Shop the upcoming Father’s Day Event on Gilt for all kinds of fantastic ideas — from clothing and footwear to accessories and home gear — but first, here are a few tips and techniques for finding just the right gift for the dad in your life.

1. Give him an upgrade.
Has he let his style go a bit since becoming a dad? Father’s Day is your best chance to give him an upgrade disguised as altruism. Start with something you know he needs — a belt, a wallet, or a pair of sunglasses, say, — and surprise him with a much more luxurious version that he’d never buy for himself.

2. Start with what he likes (but don’t end there).
However much he may need it, no man wants an overnight style makeover. Us guys like to evolve gradually (if only to retain the feeling that we’ve got some control over the process). Does he wear a tie to work? Get him a slimmer knit version that’s more stylish than his standard neckwear, but still within his style comfort zone. Conversely, if he rarely wears jeans, don’t waste your time getting him into slimmer denim. Instead, go with a nicely-tailored pair of flat-front chinos as a stylish alternative to those billowy pleated versions too many dads are still wearing.

3. Know your talking points.
As you probably know, guys like to research their purchases. And when he finds you’ve done the same before buying, it’ll make the gift all the more special. So check out the specs in the “description” page, and repeat a few when he’s opening the gift.

4. Be wary of things designed to be “gifts.”
You know that section in the basement of your local department store where they sell those combination flashlight/tire pump/bagel slicers? There’s a reason they only trot that stuff out before Father’s Day: no man in his right mind would ever buy that for himself. So follow his lead and stick to things that are well made and have a single, legitimate use—like, say, a chef’s knife (which slices bagels just fine).

5. Help him stay on time.
Is the man in your life always running late? Perhaps this is just his way of saying he needs a vintage watch. Pick him up a Rolex or Omega and he’ll no longer have an excuse.

Shop Father’s Day on Gilt, June 3rd and 4th.

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