No need for socks this Father s Day

Alongside the avalanche of boxer shorts and handkerchiefs on Sunday, some dads might find themselves preparing to be flipped around the skies or zipped around a rally track.

While retailers prepare for a last-minute rush of Father's Day gifts, many people have parted with tradition and splashed out on thrill-seeking gift experiences for their dads such as V8 hot laps, rally drives and adrenaline-pumping aerobatics lessons.

Kristie Buchanan, chief executive of Red Balloon, which sells all kinds of experiences as gifts, said aerobatics were a surprise best seller for Father's Day and the most popular experience after V8 hot laps.

The Royal Aeroclub of WA has 10 flights in its Tiger Moth booked for Father's Day alone.

Ms Buchanan said Father's Day was historically the online retailer's second biggest selling time after Christmas.

Research company IBISWorld has predicted people will spend on average 3 per cent more this year, paying on average $51.60 for gifts.

Personal care gifts, such as aftershaves and other toiletries, are expected to see the biggest increase.

David Jones menswear manager Deborah Foreman said Perth stores had seen an increase in technology and designer clothes sales in the past week.

Headphones, Apple products, televisions, fitness watches and designer shirts and ties had been popular choices, she said.

Westfield senior stylist Ady Crupe said fashion was also its biggest seller with big sales of hats and tropical and nautical print shirts. While many people are splashing out, Image Power founder and etiquette adviser Natalia Josephs said cheaper gifts could be ideal if they were thoughtful.

"Drawing a picture or making a card can be very appropriate. Adult children can arrange to meet dad for a coffee or lunch together," she said.

"I don't think that love or that relationship can be found on the shelves."

Ms Josephs said plants were a thoughtful non-traditional gift and were ideal for dads with horticultural interests.

"I do think buying a gift just because you have to, like buying him some hankies or socks that don't fit, is worse than being a lot more simple in a lot of cases," she said.

The West Australian

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