This Father’s Day gift guide is inspired by old-school classics from the 40s

Father's Day gift guide is inspired by old-school classics from the 40s

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If you’ve ever been curious as to why neckties and aftershave are considered the quintessential Father’s Day gifts, wonder no more!

As these pages from the 1940s show, advertisers have been promoting these products as the perfect presents for dad for more than seventy years.

Be inspired by these age-old classics — and find ideas for the modern Father’s Day gift equivalents that are sure to impress the pops!

THEN: Neckties

Wembley neckties for Father’s Day (1942)

Junior is showing you it’s a good idea to make sure your Father’s Day tie is a Wembley Nor-East Non-Crush. Because this imported fabric takes all sorts of punishment and fights off wrinkles.

So Dad ties it easily and smoothly, time after time… keeping him looking as smart and appealing as in his “courting” days. See “Pleasure Aisle” filled with colorful Wembley Ties at your favorite men’s shop.

Vintage Wembley neckties for Father's Day (1942)

Superba cravats and ties (1945)

How well do you know Dad?

Vintage father's day gifts - Superba cravats and ties (1945)

NOW: T-shirt subscription

These days, where business casual is so casual it might actually translate to athleisure on a Zoom meeting, t-shirts are the new tie collection — and something dad likely has more opportunity to wear anyway.

This Wohven t-shirt subscription makes a great last-minute Father’s Day gift for the modern gent who is hard to buy for! Each month he can expect to receive a new and tasteful artist-designed graphic t-shirt by mail.

wohven t-shirt subscription

THEN: Aftershave

Father’s Day gift: Old Spice aftershave and cologne (1948)

Sail into Dad’s heart

Father's Day gift Old Spice aftershave and cologne (1948)

Courtley men’s toiletries and aftershave (1948)

A great moment in masculinity… A sure hit… with Dad! A Courtley gift is the perfect gift for Father’s Day… for Courtley products express to perfection the finest in masculinity.

Vintage father's day - Courtley men's toiletries and aftershave (1948)

Courtley men’s toiletries, cologne and aftershave (1949)

You’re looking at a Father’s Day miracle! Ever see such handsome gifts for any man? For a few dollars, you give months (even years) of superlative Courtley grooming.

Courtley men's toiletries, cologne and aftershave (1949)

NOW: Personalized cologne & grooming products

Why smell like everyone else? These days, you can take an online quiz and get bespoke scent and other toiletries that are tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Take the quiz at Hawthorne and gift dad with cologne, skincare, personal care and/or grooming products that use natural ingredients and are customized just for him! $23 and up, depending on the product


THEN: Arrow broadcloth dress shirts

Father’s Day gift: Arrow Arazephyr shirts, ties and handkerchiefs (1948)

For a cool, cool Father’s Day… give Dad Arrow Arazephyrs! What an ensemble for Dad.

Father's Day gift Arrow Arazephyr shirts, ties and handkerchiefs (1948)

Now: Performance dress shirts

Although Arrow was advertising the cool breathability and anti-shrink technology of their broadcloth cotton dress shirts as far back as the 1940s, they have nothing on the technical elements of performance fabrics available today.

Modern-day performance dress shirts are suitable for dressier occasions, but offer the comfort and ease of care you’d expect from athletic wear. Dad will appreciate the stretch poplin weave with CoolMax wicking technology of this traditional-looking dress shirt from Gap.

ALSO SEE: The Gap: See 3 decades of vintage Gap clothes & and how the company started with a totally different concept


THEN: Razor blades

Bing Crosby for Personna razor blades for a Father’s Day gift (1945)

Bing Crosby says, “I’ll be a glad dad… when my four little shavers give me Personna Blades on Father’s Day!”

LIFE Jun 11, 1945 bing personna

Gillette Super Speed Razor Set (1948)

Combines instant blade changing with superior shaving comfort and double-edge economy

Old Gillette Super Speed Razor Set (1948)

NOW: Elevated grooming kits

Funny enough, when it comes to shaving, the latest trends favor traditional barbering tools and techniques. These “Barbershops in a bag” from The Art of Shaving are a great gift idea for dads who appreciate manscaping using the old ways.

the art of shaving sandalwood

THEN: Watchband replacements

Father’s Day gift: Speidel watchbands (1948)

Father's Day gift Speidel watchbands (1948)

Now: Smartwatch

Back in the day, wristwatches were more like jewelry. Nowadays, they’re more like a computer on your wrist — and the actual timekeeping functionality is the very least of their offerings.

If you’re an iPhone person, it’s hard to beat the Apple Watch for its smartwatch and fitness tracking capabilities. From $199

Otherwise, consider gifting dad something like this Garmin Vivoactive 4, a watch that tracks your health and fitness metrics, stores your Spotify playlists, and even offers animated workouts! $329

garmin vivoactive 4 smart watch

THEN: Tobacco – Cigars, cigarettes & for pipes

Father’s Day gift: Edgeworth tobacco (1942)

You gave the BEST — and that’s what counts with dad on Father’s Day.

LIFE Jun 8, 1942 tobacco

Treat him right on Father’s Day – Give him Old Golds cigarettes

Old Father's Day cigars cigarettes - Old Golds

NOW: Smoking cessation tools

Not to be a party pooper, but we strive to be a good influence! For the dad who would really like to ditch his nicotine or vaping habit, a unique smoking cessation device like the Komuso Shift may be a useful tool to have on hand. From $85

Komuso shift breathing necklace

THEN: Underwear

Father’s Day gift: Buy underwear for your dad! (1945)

Your treat this time! Give Dad the comfort he wants and the style you want. Give him casual wear from BVD!

LIFE Jun 11, 1945 ties 2

Reis sportsware and underwear (1948)

When Dad is king for a day… give him gifts fit for a king.

Reis sportsware and underwear Father's Day (1948)

Now: Eco-friendly, sustainable underwear

We don’t know about buying underwear for your dad, but maybe for your significant other who happens to be a dad?

There are a lot of modern options, but hip dads are sure to love these super-comfy boxers from Woolly. They offer the performance of synthetic fabrics — while being better for the environment — and seem befitting to the mood of the moment.

ALSO SEE: Vintage gift sets for men: After-shave, cologne & other grooming gifts for him

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