Father Knows Best

Here's a guide to finding the gift that will suit Dad's inner celebrity.

Focus On Gifts

June 11, 2000|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,Sun Staff

T V dads are always so cool.

Mike Brady never yelled at Peter, Jan and the gang -- even when they played ball in the house. Ward Cleaver always seemed to understand Wally and the Beav -- even when they were being weird. And Homer Simpson can be counted on to be a big kid around Bart and Lisa -- even if he won't share his doughnuts.

Maybe your Dad won't ever be a TV dad, but that doesn't mean that you can't treat him like a celebrity this Father's Day. Here are some Father's Day gifts that evoke the spirit of a few of our favorite guys from TV. OK, so maybe they aren't all dads. But that doesn't mean we can't wish they were.

My dad and Dharma

Dude. If your dad still wears the sandals he bought at Woodstock -- like Jenna Elfman's TV dad Larry (Alan Rachins) does on "Dharma and Greg" -- have we got a Father's Day present for you: Jerry Garcia Birkenstocks.

The colorful sandal, based on Garcia's artwork, features Jerry's name on the side and the original Birkenstock contoured footbed. The shoe is available in several styles for men and women. A percentage of sales of the $80 sandals benefit DrawBridge, an arts program for children who live in homeless shelters. Buy them at 100 stores nationwide including Sole Comfort Birkenstock in Annapolis or by going to www.birkenstock.com. Call 800-761-1404 for a store near you.

Be swift. Jerry Birks are available for a limited time and in limited quantities.

My dad, my lifeguard

Tell Dad to put his Speedo away. There's another bathing suit in town.

Why get Dad a pair of surfer shorts for Father's Day? Simple. They're colorful, hip and baggy enough to cover the results of his Chubby Hubby addiction. Plus he can pretend he's Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) on "Baywatch" and attempt to save random people minding their own business at the beach.

For suits, check out such brands as Quiksilver and OP, available at skate and surf shops, or try a pair from Target, $16.99. Beach bunny and red floaty thing are, of course, optional.

My dad, Mr. Big

Slick, contemporary, suave. That's the look Mr. Big (Chris Noth) sports as Sarah Jessica Parker's ex-beau on "Sex and the City."

Give your dad a little of Mr. Big's cool with a Xeramo watch from Rado. The watch features a distinctive, rounded form in which the bracelet flows smoothly into the rounded watch base. It is made from scratchproof high-tech ceramics and protected by a sapphire crystal. It costs $590 with an anthracite-colored leather strap and $790 on a ceramic bracelet.

Stretch limo and beautiful twentysomething fiancee are not included.

Rado is a company of the Swatch group of Switzerland. For more information, www.rado.com

My dad, MacGyver

hat MacGyver guy (Richard Dean Anderson) is always getting himself out of life-threatening situations by using a paper clip and a bunch of Play-Doh. Make sure your dad is prepared for whatever happens by hooking him up with two new tools from Victorinox, makers of Swiss Army knives.

The GolfTool: It's a self-cleaning divot repair tool, a ball marker, blade, bottle opener and scissors. And in case Dad is a technophobe, the GolfTool comes with an instructional CD. $39.95-$49.95.

The SportRatchet Tool: Is Dad always complaining that his skateboard hardware gets loose when he grinds? This ratchet mechanism with two reversible bits and six different wrench heads gives users of skateboards, wakeboards and snowboards a practical way to keep their boards tuned. And even if Dad doesn't skate, this tool is still practical, considering it comes with a toothpick. $49.95.

For a store near you, call 800-442-2706 or check www.swissarmy.com.

My dad, Pembleton

Even when he stayed up all night hammering some perp in the Box with questions on "Homicide: Life on the Street," Andre Braugher's face and scalp always looked clean-shaven on screen.

Give your dad a hint of Pembleton's dashing, smooth mug with a collection of fine shaving products from the Art of Shaving. Designed after traditional barber tools but incorporating the best in aromatherapy treatment, Art of Shaving products were created by Eric Malka and Myriam Zaoui, who run a chain of barber shops based in Manhattan. They maintain that the reason modern shaving products don't give the proper wet shave is because the cold foams and gels make hair lie flat against the skin and close pores, causing red marks and patches.

A badger shaving brush and razor set costs about $250. Good news: Badger bristles reportedly last longer than "Homicide." Shaving soap comes in unscented, lavender, lemon or sandalwood scents and costs $18.

Art of Shaving products are available at www. artofshaving.com, or call 800-696-4999.

My dad, Regis

Question: What's the most popular men's look in America? Answer: That Regis look.

The Regis look -- a dark suit paired with tone-on-tone solid shirt and tie -- which Regis Philbin wears as host of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," is the "biggest influence in menswear in the past 20 years," according to Edward Steinberg, owner of J.S. Edwards Ltd. in Pikesville.

The look made its debut on the runways of designers like Hugo Boss years ago. For the past six months, men have been coming into the store asking how they can dress like the game-show host.

At J.S. Edwards, popular choices include Hugo Boss shirts in charcoal or nickel ($75), gray silk satin Dion ties ($65) and Hugo Boss suits ($550-$750).

Regis Philbin even has his own line of menswear. Starting in July, Phillips-Van Heusen will be selling Regis shirts for $39.50 to $45 and $38 to $42 silk ties at Macy's and other stores. For Father's Day, Regis shirts and ties are available in a $77.50 boxed set by calling Macy's by Appointment at 800-343-0121.

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