It takes place, this year, the day before the biggest lockdown ease yet: but you can still go to town, so to speak, when it comes to presenting a Father’s Day gift that honours paternal bonds. And on the style front, there’s something apposite this year about gifts which will encourage the old man to get out and about in the kind of clobber associated with the onset of summer.
Arguably the most versatile garment when it comes to injecting a man of any age’s ensemble with a dash of casual-formal summer swagger is the polo. And, some of the finest out there right now are, for our money, those made by Luca Faloni, the brand founded by the eponymous Turin-born, London-based menswear maven in 2014. His Elba Polo (£140) is crafted in Brescia, in Northern Italy, from stunning breathable linen, and finished with an Aloe treatment for maximum softness. Other things that set it apart from polos you already own are mother-of-pearl buttons and a collar which behaves itself with decorum, without intervention.
Whilst polo shirts are wonderfully unfussy in terms of what you wear around them – within reason – when it comes to footwear that best echoes their aesthetic, slip-ons are the way forward: espadrilles, loafers or perhaps these ‘Debonair’ shoes from Swedish brand C.QP (€260). Hand-made from Italian suede, they’re partially unlined but have a leather shank board, arch support and layers of cushioning for an ease of feel that echoes how they look.
Does a baseball cap seem a tad mid-life crises-y? Not so in the case of the Rimini Baseball Cap from Lock & Co. (£95). Made from linen, and thus lightweight and breathable, it’s also a perfect antidote if you still associate this genre of headwear with MAGA mayhem. It’s also available in navy and light khaki green. Consider, alternatively, the same brand’s St. Louis (£245): a folksy alternative to the classic Panama, woven from crocheted Florentine straw.
The men’s bracelet craze continues with gusto, and the P8 Bancroft polished silver bracelet (£430), inspired by Brutalist architecture, from Alice Made This – the wonderfully leftfield luxury men’s accessories brand, founded by the eponymous Alice Walsh, which mines the bountiful resource that is British industrial engineering for raw materials – is among our curated highlights. If that’s not enough to convince dad to accessorise, consider the Escorial Block Scarf in denim from Joshua Ellis (£179), part of a spring collection which took its cues from the sandy shades of the Sonoran Desert.
Indeed, Alice Made This is a one-stop-shop for gifts aimed at men in your life (and has a decent women’s range too), as is Trunk Clothiers: the Marylebone-based store which deviates from the single-brand behemoths on Bond Street by curating menswear and accessories from around the world. Their own-brand drawstring cotton shorts in army green, navy or khaki (£85) are a safe bet, as is – with the pandemic apparently nudging us back towards analogue ways of carrying out everyday tasks – the Classic Sport Rollerball Pen with gold accents from German writing instrument brand Kaweco (£30).
Hamilton + Hare, meanwhile, have teamed up with Man & Boy – a charity which fosters positive father and son relationships through adventure weekends – to launch a line of limited edition boxer shorts (£105 for three pairs) for men and boys, with all profits from the sale being donated to the charity.Meanwhile, if dad’s retired and hooked on ultra-comfy modes of dressing, the Presley fleece jersey drawstring pants from Mackage (£200) are as comfortable as any garment he’ll ever own that’s designed to be worn during the day.
There’s something poetic about giving carrying receptacles as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day presents: they did, after all, carry us through life for a number of years. The Cargo range from British luggage maker Bennett Winch (£950 for full set, buy now) features touring holdalls, made in England using high-performance 600 denier waterproof nylon, Military grade webbing, Tuscan leather trim and solid brass hardware, and designed for heavy duty road trips. They boasts Tardis-factor and ergonomic credentials too, folding flat as they do for storage between use.
If dad’s a watch collector, Globe-Trotter’s 12-Slot Watch Case (£1,895) comes in an imperious looking, black attaché style; if he’s the kind of guy who takes several pairs of sunglasses on any given trip (and he’s by no means alone, let’s be honest), then California lifestyle-inspired eyewear brand Garrett Leight sunglasses has come up with a softly lined collector’s case (£60) made of smooth vegan leather (it’s actually great for jewellery and watches, too). New & Lingwood’s collaboration with London-based men’s lifestyle brand, Mantidy – a set of all-in-one travel accessories and organisers, hand-crafted by Sibaltan women in The Philippines, and sourced with fair trade policy in mind – is another god-send for men on the move, whilst Richard Anderson’s glasses case (£36) in blue check tweed is amongst the new additions to the eponymous Savile Row tailor’s excellent accessories line.
Two stand-out techie gems on our radar: firstly, the Q2 from Leica (£4,500), whose new 47.3 megapixel, full-frame sensor delivers 95 per cent more resolution than that on the camera’s predecessor, putting to bed the notion that top smartphones are now as good as any other product for spontaneous point and shoot photography. Secondly – and we love it when unlikely collaborations come off – a limited-edition collection of six unique pieces from Berluti and Bang & Olufsen (see main pic), one which sees the Danish audio brand’s characteristic aural richness and craftsmanship team up with Berluti’s emblematic Venezia leather. The capsule is comprised of the Beosound A1 2nd Gen Berluti Edition portable Bluetooth speaker (£200), Beoplay H95 Berluti Edition headphones (£1,100) and the Berluti Sound Pouch (£450) for those on the move; for the home, the Beosound Balance Berluti edition (£3,200) is joined by two exceptional made-to-order home products – the Beovision Harmony (from £32,800) and Beolab 90 (from £97,000) speakers. Available in Berluti and Bang & Olufsen stores, or here
There are certain top-quality life accruements, we find, that fathers will develop a huge emotional attachment to once given to them, but rarely buy themselves. Among those is top-shelf shaving equipment, and Adam Grooming Atelier – the product arm of a London barber which has ateliers in The City of London, Victoria, Fitzrovia and the Docklands – offers a barber-shop quality shaving set (£150 from Harrods) based on traditional Turkish tools. If he’s firmly of the post-Beckham ilk when it comes to grooming, check out Adam’s Charcoal Face Wash (£25) too.
A new kid on the block, when it comes to men’s grooming is The Fellowship: a brand, founded by male supermodel, Andrew Cooper and former Group Head of Marketing for Marks & Spencer Fashion & Beauty, Duncan Morris, whose high-functioning products are all made from vitamin-rich vegan botanicals (including mandarin, green tea, ginger, aloe vera, shea butter, coconut and neroli) in an apothecary in the Cotswolds. The hero product, Advanced Moisturiser (25) promises to instantly hydrate skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles by using an eclectic array of ingredients including borage, sea buckthorn and prickly pear.
Another of our favourite grooming brands, Acqua Di Parma, also has a new product out: but this one has nothing to do with sprucing up one’ person: the Leather Car Diffuser Case (£95), created in collaboration with the Italian design house Poltrona Frau and available in three colourways, will keep his vehicle smelling fresh without resorting to petrol station-purchased baubles. Another quirky option, a fun supplementary gift for the whisky lover who loves his dram on the rocks but undiluted, is a pack of six granite stones from booze paraphernalia brand Mixology (£20).
As our Summer issue (out early July) testifies, even before the pandemic made us think again about how we spend our time on the planet, an emphasis on the experiential over the tangible was coming to the fore: and if you fancy gifting something your father can do, rather than own, excellent summer-y options include Welsh Wind Gin’s gin-making experience (£145 for two), which lets you create your own recipe, using a wide blend of botanicals from the Welsh coastline of Cardigan Bay; West London Shooting School’s comprehensive Introduction To Rifles course (£250, including breakfast and lunch); and The British Horological Institute’s overnight Build Your Own Watch course which sees students, under the tutelage of John Murphy FBHI, go home with a functioning timepiece, with stainless steel case and leather strap, whose beating heart is a genuine manual-wind Swiss movement. Which they made themselves.
When it comes to toasting the day, we’re recommending West Sussex winery Nyetimber’s finest drop, the 1086 Prestige Cuvee (£150): a 2010 vintage with a pale golden hue, fine minerality and complex aromas including fresh grapefruit and nougat.