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Father’s Day: Dos & Don’ts

5 31 2012

Bontoni Shoes

You’re celebrating the man in full, think about what he really likes, not what you think he should like. It’s a time for a little indulgence, not a self-help book.

With that in mind, here’s a list of what the big man has earned…

A Bottle of something special.
You know what your dad likes to drink. If he’s partial to scotch get him an unusually good bottle. Macallan 18-year will get his attention. Does he enjoy Bordeaux? Head to our neighbor Sherry-Lehmann and ask their counsel for something memorable. Or vintage champagne (it does make a difference), and he’ll probably share it with you.

Tickets to the big game.
If he’s of the sporting persuasion, he’ll appreciate tickets close enough to the action that he can harass the Red Sox when they visit the Stadium.

Dinner for him with his friends.
Dad has earned a little time with his mates. Arrange a dinner for him at Peter Luger’s and send him on his merry way. Let him be in his element and order his porterhouse rare.

Hand-made Shoes.
Men can be reluctant to step into the deep end when it comes to shoes. Bontoni has made converts of many in the BG offices. They’re a commitment, but for those who take the long view, there’s no other way to go.

Made-to-Measure Shirts.
Once you get your own shirt made there’s no going back. Personal details, exclusive fabrics, pockets if you want them, none if you prefer a cleaner look. BG offers made-to-measure shirts with no minimum order (which is unheard of). The best secret in New York.

What to avoid…

Boldness for the restrained dresser.
If your father has not worn a pink sweater now is not the time to sear his retinas with something vivid. Meet him where he lives, don’t reform him on his special day.

Novelty ties.
Men swear by their ties, stick with what they like. Don’t give a man who wears stripes something with a swimming seahorses or galloping zebras.

Tickets to something you want to see.
A romantic evening at the opera may be lovely, but a gift to somebody else shouldn’t seem like a gift to yourself. Swan Lake may not be the big man’s dream present.

Exactly what you gave him last year.
The default gift is not the answer—unless the default gift is a Leica camera. Dad shouldn’t hang up this year’s version on top of last year’s.

Something that will improve his flexibility.
Many men out there would do well to try a little yoga. But today is not the day to remind him that he can’t touch his toes.


David Coggins
 is a regular contributor to Art in America and Artnet.  His work has also appeared in InterviewModern PaintersThe Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.  He is currently working on a book for Taschen.  This holiday season, Mr Coggins will be elaborating upon the perilous art of gift giving with his weekly Gifts Most Welcome series here on 5th/58th.  In addition, he’s our in-house scribe and usual tumblr contributor.