father's day 2020

The Best Jewelry Gifts for Dad, According to Stylists and Cool Dads

Photo: A24/IMDB

If your dad is anything like mine, shopping for him can be a major feat. If ever I ask what he wants, I get this admirable, but inconclusive, response: “I don’t need anything.” And though he might not need it, one gift I think will make him smile this Father’s Day is jewelry. After all, my dad, who was self-described as “fly” back in the day, used to be dripping in gold jewelry, and it’s popular among today’s newer dads, too.

If the dad you’re shopping for is particularly stylish, “fly,” or desires to be, a piece of jewelry, or “Mewelry™” — as fashion writer and cool dad Nick Grant calls it — could be the perfect gift. If dad is someone who already wears jewelry (like mine used to), you can look to that for inspiration, but if this will be something new, celebrity fashion stylist Avon Dorsey, whose clients include Kofi Siriboe, Trevor Jackson, and Quincy Brown, recommends looking to their favorite celebrities as a clue. In general, Dorsey, Grant, and four other stylists and cool dads we talked with suggest sticking to classic metals like gold and silver for dad. They also stress the importance of investing in jewelry that will be long-lasting. While those suggestions sound pretty rigid, and potentially expensive, there are expectations to the rule, and not all of it will break the bank. Below, you’ll find everything from classic gold chains to engravable cuff links and colorful beaded bracelets to fit every dad’s individual style.

Necklaces and Pendants

“We all need good-luck talismans — especially now,” says stylist Michael Fisher, who’s worked with Adam Driver, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Hugh Jackman, which is why he selected this evil-eye charm, said to protect against misfortune. This is just a pendant, but he recommends pairing it with a leather cord, which is easily available on Amazon, or a chain. Fisher wears “a medium gauge, 24-inch box chain that won’t tangle or knot easily.” Plus, he adds, “It’s strong enough to take some weight if you want to keep adding special pieces to them.”

This dagger charm, typically symbolizing courage and power, is another good-luck talisman recommended by Fisher. This handmade one from Meredith Kahn has intricate details on the handle and features a beaded loop for an extra design element.

$440

Fisher also thinks that “jewelry looks best on men if there’s a story behind the piece, whether it’s a symbol of your religious beliefs, a token from a loved one, or just something you connect with,” and thinks this Star of David is nice for a Jewish dad. It comes in gold or enamel, and while he prefers gold, no matter what material you choose, he recommends that you “invest in one that will last for your lifetime and eventually will be passed on.” He adds, “Family heirlooms are priceless, and especially for all the fathers out there.”

Stylist Ilaria Urbinati, who’s styled Donald Glover, John Krasinski, and Rami Malek in the past, also likes using jewelry as a way to represent your beliefs. “I’ve always loved the look of religious pendants,” she told us, and explains that St. Francis is the patron saint of ecology. Her preferred look is “a simple chain with a simple round or oval pendant,” and this one from David Yurman fits the bill. Only the sterling-silver pendant comes with this, but when you are looking for a chain to accompany it, Urbinati says don’t be afraid to have some fun with it: “Don’t be afraid to mix metals — like a silver pendant on a gold chain or vice versa is awesome.”

When shopping for jewelry, Fisher looks at it two ways: “Pieces that I invest money in and will wear continuously and pieces I wear for a season or for a short time.” This pick by Urbinati definitely falls in the investment category, but dad’s worth it, right? It’s a simple piece of jewelry that he could wear every day and will last long enough to become an heirloom. Urbinati says, “These are just easy and great to layer with any outfit, you don’t really need to take them off,” so it’s perfect for the low-maintenance dad too.

Photo: GLEN ALLSOP

This necklace is less of an investment but equally as cool. Grant likes how “simple and understated” it is. The necklace is made from white-heart glass beads from Ghana and hand-strung on natural raffia. Grant describes himself as a “two-chains-and-a-ring kind of guy,” so he would style it “with a thinner silver Cuban link paired with a beaded necklace, as I like how the silver and colored beads play off each other.”

Another pick from Grant is “just about any gold chain & pendant from NewTop Jewelry in NYC,” a brand so cool they don’t even have a website. The small jewelry store in Chinatown has a clientele that includes models Imaan Hammam and Tabria Majors. By the looks of its Instagram, it specializes in gold and custom-made jewelry. You can text the WhatsApp number in the bio to see if it has what you’re looking for. Grant specifically has been on the hunt for “the perfect Cuban or curb link chain for probably a year or so now.”

Bracelets

Room 101 is a favorite of Christophe Keyes, of the blog Dad on Duty. He appreciates that with pieces ranging from $100 to $30,000 there is something for every budget and gravitates toward the style of jewelry it produces. “In my mind, it started the trend for chunky jewelry for men that a lot of other brands have been birthed out of,” Keyes says. He stacks some Room101 bracelets on his wrist daily but likes this particular one because it “is such a beautiful, classic piece that can be dressed up or down. The more beat up it gets, the better it looks.”

This is another classic-style bracelet, but of the gold variety. Urbinati admits that bracelets aren’t her go-to for guys, but the one exception is an ID bracelet that can be inscribed with dad’s name or a special message from the kids. This one, from Tiffany, is made from 18K gold.

Something more casual is one of these colorful, glass-beaded bracelets or “craft style bracelets like what Andrew Cuomo has been wearing,” as Fisher describes them. If they are good enough for Cuomo, arguably New York City’s dad of the moment, they are probably good enough for yours. Fisher adds, “These remind me of childhood and summer camp, and what better way to show your dad he’s your No. 1.”

Fisher also likes these colorful craft-style bracelets from Roxanne Assoulin. “Jewelry is always best when it’s personalized,” so these customizable ones, with a maximum of eight characters per bracelet, would also make a great Father’s Day gift.

Less craft, and more camp (summer camp that is) is this nautical braided bracelet. The Style Professor — of the Style Professor Instagram account, who, yes, only goes by the Style Professor — says, “Just slipping one on immediately makes me channel my inner preppy JFK, feel the salty spray of the Atlantic, and hear the seagulls.” If dad is quarantining over the summer at the beach, this might be the perfect addition to his WFH summer wardrobe.