It's Father's Day and you're still in bed. Quick - you've still got time to buy something for the man who has everything. What about a pair of cashmere socks, yours for just pounds 59.95?
SUN AND moon; yin and yang; socks and Father's Day. Can't have one without the other, it seems. And no matter how good your intentions to buy your dad something utterly brilliant this year, the urge to pop into Sock Shop for another pair of those Garfield novelty socks he liked so much last time is getting stronger by the day. Take some advice - don't do it. If your imagination really can't take you past floor-level, at least have the kindness to avoid buying socks with cartoon characters, luminous patterns and "jokey" slogans. Yes, your dad will look ridiculous but worse, you will be exposed as the style lobotomist you really are. If socks it must be, there is another option available to you. For an chokingly expensive pounds 59.95, you can simultaneously assuage your own guilt and provide the most expensive gardening-socks-to-be in the UK, courtesey of Pantherella.

pounds 59.95 will buy you some sexy to-the-knees sock action (useful for those Safari trips) while the ankle version will set you back pounds 44.95, which seems a bit of a rip off, considering you're using half the material. Still, if you can get past the price (two pairs of these beauties and you could buy yourself a CD player; think about it), these socks have a certain allure. Designed for the dapper gent, they are made from a summer- niff-friendly 90 per cent cashmere (natural fibres - essential!) and only 10 per cent nylon. What's more, these socks are, to their credit, exceptionally soft and slinky to the touch; the bizarre impulse to stroke them randomly has some embarrassing potential. Unfortunately, their delicacy is also their weakness. They are so precious and fine - in fact, verging on the feminine, I'd be scared to store them any other way than wrapped in tissue. Men, on the other hand, will simply leave them gathering dust on the floor for a week after use which doesn't augur well for their longevity. Colour is another problem. Available only in the dull City shades of black, navy, beige and dark grey, these socks willfully ignore this summer's vogue, which, according to GQ's Jo Levin, is for "pastels, baby-blue, pinks and lemons." These faults are petty, however, compared to the real stumbling block confronting these luxurious little foot slips. It's the label. Nothing wrong with Panthella of course, an inspired choice for foot fetishists and millionaires alike. No, it's the "hand wash only" tag that's the problem. It's a universal truth that men's socks need industrial strength detergent and a power wash. No exceptions. The Panthella sock obviously won't do.

In which case, we're back to the high street. So what about a pair of lovely Italian cotton M&S socks, pounds 4.50? True, they're not cashmere, and your neighbour will probably have a pair just like them. But they'll do the job until you can find something utterly brilliant to buy dad next year.

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