Shopping for holiday gifts can be hard, especially when picking out a present for dad. Do you get him yet another tool set or flannel? What about a nice gift card? Or should you opt for a graphic tee that points out just how fashion-illiterate he is?
Don’t blame dad for not keeping up with trends — between Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, and various style publications, there’s too much media (and too many opinions) for him to balance. It’s a good thing he has you to update him on the hottest fashion and social media trends; a job children have now been tasked with year-round.
Rather than explain what’s trending, give your dad a subtle makeover this holiday season. You don’t have to turn him into the next George Clooney or Kanye West — can you imagine your father in Foam Runners? — but you can ease him into modern pieces that will blend with the rest of his closet. We’ve tracked down eight styles that will help transition your dad from disheveled to dapper.
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Consider this gauge knit sweater an upgrade from your dad’s usual pullovers. It’s a good starting point for elevating his style with a muted color and no crazy graphics. Set-in sleeves and heavy ribbed details help keep his look more modern.
A loose knit allows your dad to show off band tees underneath, or use the sweater as a layering piece. Faded pigment dye makes it look like the pullover has been in your dad’s closet for years, and it’ll hopefully fit in with his usual rotation of jeans, slacks, and 10-year-old sweatshirts.
Dad shoes are cool now — but make sure to get him the right ones. You want a sneaker that’s suave, but not too trendy; a shoe that’s chunky but not overly so. Here, New Balance’s 57/40 model lends a hand (or a foot). A revamped version of the brand’s classic 574, the sneaker is a hybrid of vintage and modern styles.
Exaggerated features, like its stacked midsole and oversized branding, keep the shoe (and your father figure) looking fun and fresh. Retro details, however, are a reminder that sometimes older is better — we doubt your dad will disagree. Who can oppose the sneaker’s wavy ‘80s embellishments or its handsome ‘70s suede?
Everyone needs a puffer, and this one is the best. Filled with responsibly sourced goose down and made of water-repellent Japanese ripstop fabric, the Super Puff jacket is ultra-warm and is suitable for chilly hikes, shoveling snow, and everyday winter wear. Storm cuffs keep warm air in and cold air out, while an exterior layer provides wind protection.
An array of father-approved colors like black, navy, and olive means there’s an option for everyone — daring dads can even opt for high shine or glossy versions of the jacket. This is a gift guaranteed to please, and will last for years.
Maybe your dad is a preppy guy who needs to loosen up his belt, literally. Have him reminisce about the “good old days” with this Grateful Dead belt, featuring the band’s signature dancing bears. The style is appropriate enough for work and grabbing a beer with his friends.
Hand-stitched and featuring tanned Italian leather and a solid brass buckle, this accessory may be the bougiest Grateful Dead merch ever. Accordingly, it comes packaged in a handmade wooden gift box, which should delight your dad as much as (or even more than) the belt itself.
It’s fleece season, baby. Stray from the frat-bro Patagonia fleece and opt for this matured, handsome zip-up version made of recycled materials. Warm and windproof, this jacket is handy for days when dad doesn’t need a full-on jacket, just a light layer.
Three exterior pockets offer more than enough storage for dad, and neutral colors mean the piece will blend seamlessly with his closet. Reviews rave over the versatility of the fleece, deeming it appropriate for casual wear, hiking, and even work.
Long before Carhartt became a street style staple, the brand was already approved by dads, meaning this affordable gift is a sure bet. Made of a thick acrylic knit, this hat can (and will) be worn anywhere, from casual walks to outdoor work.
Neutral shades, as well as neon ones, offer a style for every father figure out there. And with a lifetime guarantee — including repair to older hats — this beanie will last him a lifetime.
Look, we’re not trying to turn your father into a hypebeast. But with minimal branding and retro Missoni patterns, this knit collaboration is too good to pass up, and will make your dad more of a zaddy than anything else. Plus, we doubt your dad has a jacket he actually wears for fashion over function.
Referencing Missoni’s history of earth tones and clashing sequences, this jacket is made of a wool blend and fill, meaning it’ll be warm despite your father’s doubts. Featuring tonal, non-obnoxious branding, the reversible coat sports a knit look as well as an insulated puffer look, so you’re practically gifting two different jackets — trust, dad will be impressed.
Whether your dad is constantly traveling on business trips or retirement vacations, this leather weekender bag is a must. Crafted from quality leather, it boasts double handles as well as an adjustable strap, so he can wear it a number of ways.
A spacious interior with a deep zippered pocket and two slot pockets leaves enough room for his clothes, a laptop, and toiletries, while a side compartment allows space for his shoes. Antique brass buckles and hardware give the bag a vintage look, and its leather exterior promises a style that only gets better with age — just like dad.