Every gifting guide for fathers starts with the same phrase: “Dads are notoriously hard to shop for.” Yes, that’s probably true. Men are not particularly easy to find gifts for and are not particularly good at offering cues of what they want either. 

Eventually, however, you realize that the best way to go about shopping for dads is not getting them what they want. Get them what they need.

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If you observe closely enough, you’ll catch indicators. Does he keep wearing the same old PJs? Is he constantly complaining about muscle pain? Is he picking hiking as his new hobby? Then you’ll know exactly what to get them.

Below, find some ideas for all the types of dads who “don’t need” anything and seem impossible to shop for. 

A closet staple for any dad

Closet essentials are underrated, and more often than not, we overlook the power of a wardrobe staple. However, a white tee or shirt is the foundation of any look and, thus, a worthy purchase. 

White Tee

Considered the clothing equivalent of a blank canvas, a white tee is a versatile and timeless piece that any man needs in his wardrobe. And no, you can not go wrong with one.

White Shirt

If your dad has more than enough white t-shirts, then opt for an equally timeless but classier white shirt. This foundational item has never gone out of style, so it’s a gift any dad will eventually end up needing.

For the fun Dad: Lucky tickets 

Is your dad a spontaneous soul who enjoys fun activities and surprises? Then, a set of lucky tickets might be the gift for him. This booklet comes with redeemable activities and prompts he can reclaim any time, from getting his favorite dessert to spending a day in nature. Just a caveat: be aware that he can also demand tech support and chore help!  

New PJs for the sleepyhead

Is your dad the kind who enjoys sleeping and would be in bed all day long if he could? Then, surprise him with slumber-related items. Options range from a new set of pillows to white noise makers, but perhaps the bulletproof choice is a new pajama set. Who can say no to being comfy?

For the bookworm, a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is the perfect gift

If your book-loving dad enjoys the latest digital innovations and is always looking for the latest book releases, an e-reader will do it for him. Compact and easy to carry everywhere, the device is a must-have for avid readers.

The alternative option

Alternatively, if your dad already owns a Kindle, getting items to enhance their reading experience is the way to go. Opt for a remote page-turner or a stand, and you’ll be gifting him something he actually didn’t know he needed.  

For the BBQ Dad, a grilling spice set

Everybody knows at least one grill-obsessed dad, and what can you possibly get for the man who takes grilling so seriously that he seems to have every grilling tool? Forget the apron he probably will never use and return to the basics. What is a grilling essential? Yes, a spice set. It might be an evident option — almost too evident even — but every BBQ dad needs a collection of spices to work his magic and take his cooking game to the next level.

For the manual work Dad? Hand cream 

Manual activities ranging from house chores to demanding jobs can take a toll on hands, and dads know what we’re talking about. They’re sometimes over-fixated on their work or hobbies (gardening, woodworking, and even working out) to notice if their hands are neglected — they often are. Either way, dry hands need soothing and repair, and they will benefit from a good hand cream. It is even better to gift them a product specifically formulated for dry, chapped, and cracked skin. 

For the music lover, record tables and vinyls

Is your dad a nostalgic melomaniac with a penchant for classics and traditional music formats? Then think no more. He’ll appreciate a record table that either takes him down memory lane or allows him to enjoy music differently — some models come with a Bluetooth system, so that’s an upgrade!  

For the vinyl-collecting dads, the options are even broader and will encompass their favorite musicians (you’ll have to do some homework there). However, as we’ve witnessed, The Beatles are as strong and popular as ever. Only a few months ago, Paul McCartney and Ringo Star released “Now and Then,” the last single featuring The Liverpool Lads’ music and voice. This is a record worth adding to any collection.

For the outdoors dad: hiking pants

There’s an endless assortment of items crafted for men who enjoy outdoor activities. But once again, think of the essentials. What will an outdoors dad need and most likely won’t be asking for? Not binoculars, not the infamous padded vests, not some intricate device for camping. Think simple! A pair of lightweight but resistant hiking pants is the answer. 

And for the perpetually tired dad: a massager

Yes, we all know that type of dad, too. The one who’s always tired wants a massage, or rightfully or not, needs a patch for back pain. And yes, the best gift for that kind of dad is very evident, too. Find a massager that suits his needs and stick to it. He’ll thank you daily.