Forty-four years ago, a lunar lander named "Eagle" settled into the silicon-rich sand at the bottom of the Sea of Tranquility. Men of a certain age – a lot of them now fathers – watched Neil Armstrong hop about with their noses pressed to the television. For younger men, who caught the tail end of the Cold War and the uncontested final lap of the space race, spaceships were still the perfect distillation of America's resplendent awesomeness. Given all that, failing to purchase designer Thom Browne's Rocket Ship Ties seems downright unpatriotic.

Pennsylvania-born Browne, a Ralph Lauren alumnus now celebrating the 10th anniversary of his first New York store, employs equal parts whimsy and craftsmanship. With its silk twill threading and three-inch width, the rocket tie is as casual as the way it is worn: A single, up-over-and-through knot suffices, as does a white, gray, or light blue collar.

Sure, ties are rote Father's Day gifts, but that doesn't mean they're a straight no-go. The key is to put a little creativity and thought into your selection and get Dad something he doesn't already have (Browne also offer ties decorated with Marlins for deep sea fishermen and lobsters for gourmands). It's likely he won't have a rocket tie, and it might just remind him of that era-defining broadcast.[$125,]