Dear old dad. He may not get the same credit mothers do, but more often than not he's just as important in your life: from teaching you how to drive to shelling out cash almost as often as he tells stories. President Richard Nixon declared Father's Day a nationwide holiday in 1972 -- a full 58 years of Mother's Days after its predecessor. And while dad's day isn't touted in the aisles nearly as much, American kids still spend around a billion dollars on the old man every June.
He'll tell you he doesn't need anything. And while that may be true, unlike all the tips and tricks he's given you over the years it doesn't mean you should follow his advice. Father's Day is Sunday, June 15, and we're here to give you our own list of tips for what to get the man of the house -- and arguably the most difficult family member to shop for.
Bow Ties: Think Bond, not Pee-wee
The necktie. We've all done it. It's the expected gift and we're here to tell you that is fine, but why not shape it up a bit? Forgo the traditional long neckwear (or, heaven forbit, the skinny tie -- far more boyfriend than dad) and opt for a shorter, more snug bow tie instead. The downtown-based dudes of Dapper + Dash are the go-to place for these classics. Sold at Frances and Phoenix Public Market among others, the ties are named after the gentleman that inspired them (like Gatsby and Churchill) prices range from $48 to $52. For a more tongue-in-cheek approach -- and the occasional vintage Lacoste shirt and Ralph Lauren blazer -- visit Amir's La Voute, the men's store housed inside Scottsdale's Vintage by Misty. Ties boast scenes of scantily clad women ("Summer Picnic," $35) or Air Jordans ($55).
Grooming Essentials and a Proper Shave
During an era of man-scaping with magazines from GQ to Men's Health promoting male maintenance, there are thousands of products out there to keep dad looking his best. Thousands, which means he's probably overwhelmed with choices and sticking to his tried and true bar-of-soap-for-everything routine. We're not going to pretend to be an expert, but Steve Patsy is. The creator behind local company Beard Essentials has tasked himself with keeping beards at their best with his first product, Original No. 1 Premium Beard Oil ($24).
If pops is clean-shaven -- or your mother has insisted he be -- pick up a certificate to V's Barbershop, Barber Parlor or Downtown Barber Shop for the complete old-school straight razor treatment. Is he a bit touchy about having someone else touch his face? Head over to Razor Emporium in Peoria, where owner Matt Pisarcik hosts a collection of vintage razors and brushes ($20 to $200).
Sunglasses from Framed Ewe
Father's Day lands in June, and the Valley's already found itself in hot water with triple-digit temperatures and excessive heat warnings. Maybe your dad's not up on the trends and still sporting those cheap drug store sunglasses. Why not treat him to a pair that will keep his eyes sharp while looking sharp at the same time? Visit Framed Ewe boutique inside UNION at the Biltmore for an eclectic collection of styles from Oliver Goldsmith and Salt to name a few. The eyeglass stand is hosting a trunk show for Moscot on Saturday, June 7, featuring their sunglass collection. Prices for most of the store's items are commonly in the triple digits themselves, and the staff has their own keen eye on both classic and trendy styles to help you select the perfect pair for your pops.
DIY guides from Changing Hands
If dad's a do-it-yourselfer, but perhaps lacks the proper tools or direction to accomplish that list on the fridge, help him out with some literary how-tos. Pick up Make Some Beer: Small Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bambery ($19.99) for his inner brewer, or try Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living by Todd McLellan ($29.95), a dissection of 180 items from keyboards to compact discs. Stuck on ideas? Changing Hands now has two locations -- in Tempe and central Phoenix -- and the latter comes complete with a bar, just in case you work up a thirst after finding the perfect fit.
Handcrafted at Practical Art
If he's into handcrafted goods, look no further than Practical Art for a variety of pieces from all over the state -- good for use from the kitchen to his desk to the garage. Check out individual ceramic corked flasks ($60) or a full set ($86). To get the bottle open, the forged metal and iron bottle openers ($24 and $45) are as manly as popping the cork with your bare hands. Artisan Lee Zierten sells his camp hatchet ($140) with a four-inch blade and Cocobolo wood grip. More practical knives include reclaimed slicer knives ($55 to $85) or the aptly titled sandwich knife ($85 and 11 inches) if dad's more of a Dagwood.
Take him out to a ballgame
Whether he taught you how to throw a baseball or perfect a spiral spin, chances are your pop has a healthy interest in sports and passed it on down to you. Or tried to. Instead of enjoying a game in front of his television or in a crowded sports by, why not take him to see the action live? The Diamondbacks will be out of town for Father's Day, but they return for a nine-game stretch at Chase Field the following week. Take dad to out to the ballgame to catch the Milwaukee Brewers (6:40 p.m. Monday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 18; 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, June 19), take on the San Francisco Giants (Friday, June 20 to Sunday, June 22, times vary), or battle the Cleveland Indians (6:40 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 and Wednesday, June 25).
Mid-century (and) modern from Modern Manor and Hard Goods Co.
While he's probably not emulating his own father (at least, not yet) chances are he has a favorite piece of furniture in the house: think "his" armchair. And while we'd never dream of ridding him of it, we're all for adding some options to his seating arrangements. What's old is new again at Seventh Avenue staple Modern Manor; the ideal place to find mid-century furniture and decor. It's easy to lose an afternoon amongst the stylish settings, but the knowledgeable staff is always around to point you in the right direction.
For something a little sleeker and, well, heavy, concrete designer Brandon Gore has moved the outpost for his company, Hard Goods Co., to just inside the Manor's doors. Pieces like the Muskoka chairs (and matching ottoman), Knotty Stool, and Triangulum fire pit are built to last, and with their unique designs and materials are bound to become a favorite for your father -- or at the very least a conversation piece.