When it comes to lingerie shopping, we’ve held many a gal pal’s hand while she discovers the lace, tulle, and elastic madness that is the wonderful world of underpinnings. But though there be madness (and yes, things tend to accelerate from pique curiosity to down right cray when swiss dot mesh or demi cups are involved), we’ve definitely got a method down for finding our ladyloves the most magnifique all-out set that really suits their style. But. We’ll be the first to admit that even we can learn a thing or two. This Valentine’s Day we’re hopping into shotgun and turning the drivers seat over to a few suave, sartorial gents to get their perspective on life, love, and (of course) lingerie. First up, Mark Bollman, CEO and founder of rugged men’s wear/outdoor lifestyle resource Ball and Buck (where we know about lace lovelies, B&B is all about heritage American sportswear… together we’re like Stevie Nicks meets Field & Stream).
When we met up with Mark at our Soho store for a little Valentine’s Day prep-talk, we knew from his cognac-leather strapped watch and his quilted navy hunting coat that we were in perfect, capable, stylish hands (and that he could probably provide food, build shelter, and perhaps craft some sort of über-stylish fur hat for us were we to somehow be stuck in the wilderness together for a few days). Read on to see what bestirs this dapper dude’s heart, but be warned that behind every rough-hewn button down, beats some very old school charm.
Valentine’s Day: love it or leave it?
Love it, but don’t use it as way to avoid romantic surprises throughout the year. It’s the unexpected gestures that go a lot further to show you’re thinking about your loved one than those commercial holidays.
Best way to break the ice when you both match on Tinder?
We already spend enough time on our phones, so do yourself a favor and avoid dating apps all together. Although it’s certainly easier than walking up to a stranger and offering to buy them a drink, there’s no replacement for the old fashioned way. Not to mention showing you have the confidence break the ice without the protection of your digital shield— iPhone— should earn you a few extra points.
What movie best describes your romantic style?
The Thomas Crown Affair. The original with McQueen.
Pack a bag. Hop a plane/train/motorcycle/rickshaw. Where are we going?
Barcelona. No other city has the same infectious energy set in a landscape where beautiful mountains end into white sand beaches. Amazing food, culture, and nightlife. It’s the perfect place to escape the concrete jungle for a weekend—or really as long as you can get off work. Plus, I lived there for six months when I was studying, so I know some pretty special and off the beaten path places.
Robert Redford famously said, “Humor. Skill. Wit. Sex appeal. That order” when describing his ideal woman. What’s yours?
Confidence, wit, adventure, style, and beauty. Gotta have them all.
Where does the perfect night take you?
The perfect night takes me to my house in the Berkshire Mountains. After enjoying the famous grass fed burger at the Dream Away Lodge— one of Dylan’s famous hangouts— we’d enjoy a little post dinner fireside record and a scotch, neat.