Whether you call him Honey, Pops, Papi, Dadonator, Chief or Daddy-o, Father's Day is a time to celebrate our near and dear heroes. Still scrambling for some June 20 gifts? Men are not easy to shop for so here's a bunch of new suggestions for every personality. “Summer days driftin’ away” is our optimistic theme song for 2021 so give your guys a chance to make a seasonal splash.
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PHOTO BY: Kohl's; Fair Harbor; Zappos
1. The do-good dad
Whether volunteering at a local senior center, working on a Habitat for Humanity project or fundraising for a food pantry, this guy's heart is always in responsibility mode. Give him a do-good gift. Vegan sandals made from recycled and plant-based materials, like the Teva Original Universal in Shock Green or Macaroon Multi ($50, zappos.com), a stack of subtly fragrant, cruelty-free Fair Trade soaps like the SheaMoisture Men's Vetiver & Neroli Bar Soap ($7, kohls.com) and a swimsuit made from recycled water bottles like Fair Harbor's the Anchor in Navy Hobie Anchor ($68, fairharborclothing.com), will make his day — gloriously guilt free!
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PHOTO BY: Target; L.L. Bean; Zappos
2. The home-happy honey
Whether manning the grill at a family barbecue, reading a best-selling mystery on the deck or pruning the shrubs, nothing makes this guy happier than being in his own backyard. Make his summer bright with a few richly colored tees, like the Goodfellow & Co Mens Big & Tall Regular Fit Crewneck T-Shirt in Green, Blue and Orange ($6 each, target.com), a non-dorky UPF 50 bug-repellent sun hat like the L.L. Bean Adults’ No Fly Zone Boonie Hat in Dusty Olive ($35, llbean.com) — FYI, it's treated with synthetic permethrin, a substance naturally found in chrysanthemums — and comfy garden clogs like the Crocs Classic All Terrain Clog in Slate Grey/Multi ($55, zappos.com) that are airy and at ease on grass or ground.
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PHOTO BY: Dick's Sporting Goods; Lands' End; DSW
3. The sporty pop
Whether he's daily walking his way into shape, bowling with his buds or paddling laps at the pool, nothing scores higher with this dad than sports-related gifts. It'll be a win-win situation with a pair of cushioned and contoured sneakers like the Skechers GoWalk5 Slip-On Sneaker in Navy or Grey ($60, dsw.com/en/us), mirrored goggles like the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Plus Mirrored Swim Goggles in Blue ($22, dickssportinggoods.com) or a moisture-wicking performance top (with odor control) like the Lands’ End Men's Short Sleeve Solid Active Polo Shirt in Dark Cobalt Blue, Brilliant Turquoise or True Navy ($22, landsend.com). FYI for all: Any shade of blue will always be a winner.
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PHOTO BY: Old Navy (2); Ulta Beauty
4. The single dad
Whether divorced, widowed or on his own he's always had enough parenting skills and ageless humor for two. His tacos and sourdough bread and ability to sit through Friends and Seinfeld reruns are family legend. Cater to his DIY spirit and upbeat attitude with a groomer like Remington's The Virtually Indestructible Haircut & Beard Trimmer ($43, ulta.com), fun summer pj's like the Old Navy Printed Poplin Pajama Pants for Men in Scenic or Pineapples ($18, oldnavy.com) to throw on with any white tee or a graphic one like the Old Navy Team USA Graphic Tee for Men in Robbie Red or Goodnight Nora ($25, oldnavy.com). You'll get a big thank-you!
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PHOTO BY: Zappos (2); Gap
5. The nature guy
Whether it's sunny, cloudy or rainy he'd rather be outdoors than indoors, especially now. Any excuse to hike, fish, kayak or bike to the beach gets him up at dawn to slather on sunscreen and fill a Yeti with cold brew. Give him a gift that matches his routine — a UPF 50+ hat like the Sunday Afternoons Overlook Bucket in Olive ($36, zappos.com), waterproof loafers like the Sperry Authentic Original Float in Brown, Navy or Black ($45, zappos.com) or a pair of multi-pocket cargo shorts with a soft vintage feel like the Gap 11” Twill Cargo Shorts With GapFlex in Sand Khaki or Moonless Night ($39, gap.com).
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PHOTO BY: Gap; Kohl's; Lands' End; Dolce & Gabbana
6. The social pop
Whether having pizza with a friend, meeting besties at the beach or going to a barbecue, this dad thrives on face-to-face conversation and thanks to COVID vaccinations he can finally do it! Gift him items that stand out in the crowd — a stretch knit, side-vented polo like a Gap All Day Pique Polo Shirt in Deep Sea Glass Blue or Northern Blue ($27, gap.com) to wear untucked with khakis or jeans, a crowd-pleasing fruity-floral scent like Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette Natural Spray for Men ($50, walgreens.com), a fun print swimsuit with UPF 50+ like the Lands’ End Men's 8” Print Volley Swim Trunks in Turquoise Tie Dye Wave or Deep Sea Navy Waikiki Floral ($20 to $36, landsend.com) and a jaunty straw fedora like the Men's Dockers Packable Fedora With Chambray Band ($28, kohls.com).
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PHOTO BY: H&M (2); Ulta Beauty
7. The classic father
Whether playing chess on the porch, walking the dog or catching a baseball game he always looks groomed and smells great seven days a week. He prefers khakis to jeans, button-downs to tees and leather shoes to rubber flip-flops. Update his summer habits with new staples: a soft roomy linen shirt like H&M's Linen-Blend Band-Collar Shirt in Blue ($30, www2.hm.com/en_us) with a band collar but a traditional cut and long sleeves to roll, polished leather slides with crossover straps like H&M's Leather Slides in Dark Brown or Black ($35, www2.hm.com/en_us) and a fresh citrus scent like Armani Acqua di Gió Eau de Toilette ($75, ulta.com), tweaked with bergamot, neroli and patchouli for a sophisticated finish.
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PHOTO BY: H&M; Privé Revaux; Zappos
8. The cool dad
Whether doing tai chi on the lawn, grabbing a veggie burger and smoothie from a food truck or listening to live music at the park, his inner rock star shines. Give his big personality a nudge with edgy aviators like the Privé Revaux Men's The Future in Gunmetal ($35, priverevaux.com), a shirt jacket like H&M's Linen-Blend Shirt Jacket in Black or Light Blue ($35, www2.hm.com/en_us) to stand in for his black leather moto and a pair of sandals like the Birkenstock Arizona Essentials in Khaki EVA or Metallic Anthracite EVA ($45, zappos.com) for some trendy switches.
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PHOTO BY: Everlane; Walmart; Ulta Beauty
9. The handy man
Whether replacing a window screen, installing a ceiling fan or building a firepit, this dad feels happiest with a mission of the day underway. Give him gifts he'd never buy on his own — a practical water bottle carrier with shoulder strap like Everlane's The 100% Human Water Bottle Carrier in Citrus or Black ($26, everlane.com), a couple of moisture-wicking performance tees like the Athletic Works Men's and Big Men's Quick Dry Tee in Cabo Blue, Blue Flash, Blue Cove, Blue Grass, Antique Teal ($7, walmart.com), and an outdoorsy scent like the Duke Cannon Supply Co Sawtooth Proper Cologne ($25, ulta.com) for a clean crisp start to everything on his to-do list.
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PHOTO BY: Kohl's (2); Ulta Beauty
10. The working dad
Whether working from home, part-time at his former gig or starting fresh as a real estate agent, Uber driver or consultant, this dad relishes a busy daily schedule, not a hammock! Give him gifts that bridge the gap between casual and dressed-up — a business-like collared polo shirt like the Men's Croft & Barrow Easy-Care Pique Polo in Regular Fit in Peacock, Waterfall Blue, Coastal Waters, No Wave Blue or Carolina ($15, kohls.com) to elevate his khakis; updated deck shoes like the Sonoma Goods for Life Thatcher Men's Boat Shoes in Chambray or Tan ($30, kohls.com); and a green fresh scent like CK Everyone Eau de Toilette ($55, ulta.com), with hints of ginger and spicy orange, for a fast pick-me-up.
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PHOTO BY: Zappos; Kohl's; Old Navy
11. The laid-back dad
Whether spending long days restoring his vintage Thunderbird, playing his guitar in a garage band or tossing a Frisbee with Fido, feeling calm and carefree is the goal. Give this kid at heart a head start with a pair of sneaker mules like the Vans Old Skool Mule in Black/True White ($60, zappos.com), a mood-boosting hand and body lotion in uplifting peppermint like the Dr. Bronner's Organic Hand & Body Lotion in Peppermint ($10, kohls.com) and a pair of board shorts like Old Navy's Color-Blocked Built-In Flex Board Shorts for Men 10-inch inseam in Black/Green Tie Dye/Gray ($22, oldnavy.com), because he's been wearing the same suit since 2000.
Lois Joy Johnson is a beauty and style editor who focuses on women 50 and older. She was the beauty and style editor at Ladies’ Home Journal and a founding editor of More magazine. She has written three books: The Makeup Wakeup, The Wardrobe Wakeup and The Woman's Wakeup.
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