Okay so, let me make it plain: I suck at giving gifts. Like, seriously. You know that typical stereotype about how men don’t remember special occasions and either forget to give a gift on Mother’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries, or, if they do remember, they’re passing off grocery store flowers and completely inadequate drug store finds as legit presents? Year, er-um, that’s me. My gift-giving game can be wackalicious. But this Father’s Day, I’m determined to help out the poor souls like me who want to give a good gift to the dads in their lives, but struggle with moving beyond wallets and Barnes & Noble gift cards. Ahem.
William + James Bow Ties
Forget the ties—they’re about as original as those macaroni necklaces you have stuffed in your jewelry drawer. Instead, cop him a dope bow tie from the heritage menswear brand William + James. The company is named for historian and civil rights activist William Edward Burgdhart DuBois (W.E.B. is what we call him) and novelist/playwrite/social activist James Baldwin, and the bowties, fashioned in colorful patterned fabrics, are named after black trailblazers like Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, Jean Toomer, Steven Biko and Claude McKay. It’s thoughtful fashion with a twist of Black thought. You can’t go wrong with this one! From $50. www.williamplusjames.com
I’m legit thinking about getting this for Nick so that I can dip all up into… wait, uh, I think the hubs would really dig this chic food-of-the-month club, a celebration of inspiring American food. Six full-size products (think artisan Hot Georgia Soul Sauce, smoked pepperoni, bacon jam, Bittermilk bourbon mixer) hand-packed in a handmade wooden crate will show up to his doorstep, along with a beautifully-crafted custom manual detailing the goodies in the box, the stories behind each item, plus all the grand ways he can experience them. Order by June 17th for Father’s Day shipping; it’ll arrive in two to six business days. A three-month subscription is $225. www.mantry.com.
Make Your Own Whiskey Kit
Stocking his home bar with his favorite bottle of spirits isn’t a bad gift. But you know what would make the bomb gift? Giving him the ability to make his own spirit. This kit includes White Dog un-aged whiskey, an aging barrel, a pouring funnel, and two tasting glasses, with directions for how he can distill a liquor of his own in three to six months. May I suggest a name for that future drink in your cup? How about Brown Sugar Babe? 2-pack of 750 ml bottles, $149.99, from Woodinville Whiskey Company. www.binnys.com
Get your man an everyday essential that comes with a twist: funky socks! The Foot Cardigan is a quirky subscription service that’ll keep your guy’s socks drawer stocked at all times. For only $9 a month, Foot Cardigan delivers unique dad-designed socks right to your man’s mailbox. You don’t even have to pick; Foot Cardigan simply sends something perfect every month. $9 per month. www.footcardigan.com
Garrett Popcorn Father’s Day Gift Set
Garrett Popcorn is delicious all on its own, but to really enjoy it served up in one of the trademark cones, you have to buy it in Chicago. But you can most certainly order up a tin or two and have it delivered to your dad’s doorstep. The Father’s Day Gift Set includes Smoky CheesCorn, Garrett’s summer recipe, plus delicious Cashew CaramelCrisp and their world famous Garrett Mix. Three-tin Father’s Day Gift Set is $29.95. www.garrettpopcorn.com
Thick Thighs Save Lives
But what brother doesn’t love a pair of thick thighs? Let him show his pride with this fun Thick Thighs Save Lives tee from our favorite t-shirt company. At the very least, you’ll get a chuckle and a fist-bump. $30. www.teesinthetrap.com
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.