Gifts for Dads and Grads

Find something special for your favorite fellows.

The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting warmer, which means summer is nearly here, and so are graduation season and Father’s Day. Whether you’re looking for something classic or unique, or a little bit of both, the menswear boutiques around Lake Minnetonka have you covered. Anthony Novachis, who owns J. Novachis in Excelsior, and Judd Frost of J. Frost Clothiers in Wayzata, share their top picks for gift ideas.

Excelsior Watch Co.

A good wristwatch can cost thousands of dollars, but if you’re looking for something within a more modest budget, check out J. Novachis’ selection from the Excelsior Watch Co. Their hand-assembled watches are high quality and sophisticated, making for a truly one-of-a-kind gift. “They’re not mass-produced, so you won’t see everybody else wearing them,” Novachis says. “They are a beautiful combination between a classic manual wind-up brought to a contemporary place.” And they have the extra benefit of being locally designed—the Excelsior Watch Co. is— you guessed it—located in Excelsior. $800 for a 42mm watch. $900 for a 44mm watch.

Bosca Wallet

Wallets get a lot of wear and tear, but those from Bosca are meant to withstand it all. Frost says their Bosca line of wallets are a big hit, “and we have them in every color.” Handmade from fine Italian leather, they not only look great but are also reliable. Like any good leather, Frost says, they just get better with time. $110–$125.

Rubber Composite Belt

Belts are a staple in men’s wardrobes, but that’s no excuse for not having fun with them. J. Novachis sells an Italian-made rubber composite belt that comes in every color imaginable, with a guaranteed custom fit—the store will cut them down to fit an individual’s waist. They also come with an interchangeable belt buckle, which can be swapped out for one of another color to match a particular outfit—or even the wearer’s mood that day. $100 for belt and original buckle. $28 for each additional buckle.

Geo. F. Trumper Toiletries 

An English company, Geo. F. Trumper has been around for 125 years and honored with the Royal Warrant of Queen Victoria. Available at J. Frost, “These products are loved around the world by those with high standards,” Frost says. From shaving creams to hand soaps to aftershaves, they’re all sure to make any dad or grad feel like a complete gentleman. Prices vary.

Repurposed Shoes

Novachis says there’s bound to be a pair of old dress shoes in any dad or grad’s closet that just sits there, but, thanks to its partnership with a master cobbler in Waconia, his store can make them feel brand-new—and add a special flair. Bring the shoes to J. Novachis for an extra-special repurposing, including your choice of color for the soles and laces. “I love this for a gift,” he says. “It’s upcycling, if you will, and it’s taking what we love to do, which is classic fashion brought to a contemporary place.” The sky is the limit when it comes to these—Novachis says he recently finished a shoe with a purple sole and gold laces for one diehard Vikings fan. Starts at $225