The problem I’ve always had with Father’s Day gift-giving advice is that it’s so one-size-fits-all. It always seems to assume that all dads play golf, drink beer or Scotch and need tools to fix things around the house – my dad does none of those things, and never has, even though I totally think of him as an archetypical, all-American father. Somehow, people putting together dad-centric gift guides have apparently never met a man like him, although you don’t have to look further than your television set to find plenty of diverse ideas about who a dad can be. With that in mind, we’ve matched up some of our favorite TV dads to the bags you should be getting them for Father’s Day, in case one of these characters hits a little bit close to home.

The Classic Dad

Danny Tanner of Full House and the Polo Ralph Lauren Canvas Messenger Bag

If you’re around my age, Danny Tanner likely stands out in your mind as the kindest, most benevolent of TV dads. He was all about his girls, and for him, a simple, traditional, functional bag without too many stylistic flourishes would work beautifully. After all, he has lots of Bay Area picnics to pack for. $178 via Bloomingdale’s.

Danny Tanner and Polo Ralph Lauren Canvas Messenger Bag

The Athletic Dad

Bruce Jenner of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and the Master-Piece Over Canvas Backpack

Bruce Jenner isn’t just a TV dad, but we think of him that way, and he’s a good stand-in for sporty dads everywhere. If your dad’s a gym nut, odds are he already has his workout bag of preference, and unless he’s in desperate need of a new one, you probably just want to let him be. Instead, pick up a backpack that he can use for some outdoor time – after all, summer is here already. $325 via Mr. Porter.

Bruce Jenner and Master-Piece Over Canvas Backpack

The Stylin’ Dad

Bill Cosby of The Cosby Show and the Pierre Hardy Cube Print Tote

Bill Cosby made Coogi’s bright, busy sweaters world famous, and he’s the kind of dad who could pull off a bag with a very modern all-over print. These dads are rare, and if you’ve got one, you probably need some gift suggestions even more than the rest of us do. $895 via SSENSE.

Bill Cosby and Pierre Hardy Cube Print Tote

The Dapper Dad

Don Draper of Mad Men and the Tom Ford Small Buckley Duffel

First, if Don Draper reminds you of your own dad, my apologies. You might best use your Father’s Day gift fund on therapy for yourself. If it’s just Don’s style that seems familiar, there’s only one way to go: Tom Ford. If Don Draper were a real person in 2013, he would wear only Tom Ford. $3,310 via Neiman Marcus.

Don Draper and Tom Ford Small Buckley Duffel

The Quirky Dad

Gomez Addams of The Addams Family and the Gareth Pugh Quilted Patent Clutch

It takes a truly special dad to pull off a jaunty little man clutch, but if anyone could do it, it would be the Gomez type. This Gareth Pugh piece ticks all the appropriately goth boxes for Mr. Addams, plus it would be the perfect size to hold his cigars on the go. $498 via SSENSE.

Gomez Addams and Gareth Pugh Quilted Patent Pouch

The Dowdy Dad

Al Bundy of Married With Children and the Jack Spade Small Eaton Bag

If your dad is not only suspicious of but also actively hostile toward fashion, you’re going to have to trick him a little bit if you want to buy him a bag. This one looks like old-school luggage, and both the traditional color and lack of design flourishes should get it in under his radar. He needs a good carry-on bag, after all, and lord knows he won’t buy one for himself. $850 via Bloomingdale’s.

Al Bundy and Jack Spade Small Eaton Bag
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9 years ago

what about phil dunphy of mod fam? he came to mind once i saw ed o’niell’s character haha

Amanda Mull
9 years ago
Reply to  dnfl

I thought about including him too, but I think I’d put him in the “classic dad” category along with the Danny Tanners of the world.

9 years ago

Such a creative post idea! Nicely done.