Let Out Those Slim Suits

The Joy of
For an Architect, Ideas
Are a Ferry Ride Away
© 2014 Dow Jones & Company. All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 | D1
Frequent Fliers
Look for Ways
Around Stingy
Miles Awards
Let Out Those Slim Suits
Retailers Add Room to Modern Silhouette for Bigger Builds; Shirts ‘You Can Move In’
Thomas Pink and J.Crew are targeting men who find their
slim fits too tight.
Measures ¼ to ½ inch
broader across the
shoulder than Thomas
Pink’s slim-fit shirt.
An inch bigger
in the chest than
the Ludlow suit.
Thomas Pink
Athletic Shirt
smaller in the waist than
than the label’s slim-fit shirt.
BACK ROOM: Measures ¼ to ½
inch larger across the back than
than the label’s slim-fit shirt.
a slightly bigger
waist than the
Ludlow suit.
After persuading men to squeeze into slimmer-fitting clothing, from suits to polo shirts,
some retailers are waking up to a stubborn reality: They have alienated men who are well-muscled or carrying a few extra pounds.
Now, some slim-fit clothing is getting a tad
looser. The idea isn’t to revert to the baggier
suits that long held sway in America, but to keep
men dressing in slimmer, more European and
British silhouettes—just more comfortably.
J.Crew launched the Crosby suit this past
summer for men who found its popular, slim-fitting Ludlow suit too tight. Frank Muytjens, head
of men’s design, says the retailer found “a lot of
people liked the Ludlow and wanted to fit into it,
but they were just too big.” J.Crew added more
room in the shoulder, chest and biceps “so that a
more-built guy could fit” but tried to keep the
slim Ludlow silhouette. The retailer also loos-
Bulking Up
A window display for Thomas Pink’s new Athletic Shirt,
meant to appeal to men with a defined physique.
LEG PRESS: Slightly
bigger in the seat,
thigh and leg opening.
Cara Howe for The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Alejandra Samper (2); Thomas Pink (below)
Loosen Up a Bit
ened up the seat and thigh on the trousers.
Thomas Pink, the British brand known for its
dress shirts, introduced its Athletic Shirt this fall
to appeal to men with a defined physique. The
fit falls between that of its slim-fit and its looser
classic-fit shirts, says Alyssa Mishcon, president
of Thomas Pink North America. “We found our
customer needed a little bit more room in the
arm and shoulder.” The shirt is still slim and tapered at the waist “to create that V-shape guys
are working so hard for,” she says. Store window
displays that featured the shirts during the
launch cheekily blared: “Six Pack Required.”
Retailers are heavily invested in slim-fit
clothing, and it has proved to be big business.
Scores of men, even ones with no interest in
fashion, have had no choice but to slim down
their clothes or look hopelessly out of date at
work and on the weekends. The slim-fit trend
also has provided the industry with a rare
Please turn to page D4
That’s My Bike! Online Clues to a Theft
fessionals. Within weeks, I had
moved on to a new bike.
But I couldn’t get my beautiful
Ridley out of my head. Every week or
so, I’d search for it online. I had all
but given up when, on June 15, I
googled “Orange and Blue Ridley
Noah” and did an image search on
my phone. There it was, in an ad for
an eBay auction. You couldn’t miss
my last name.
I was so incredulous that I posted
a link to my Facebook account. A day
later, friends who had clicked on the
Please turn to page D4
Michael Hill
San Francisco
In the early morning hours of
March 13, thieves broke into my
apartment building. They broke into
a locked bike room and walked out
with several expensive rides.
Among them: my old racing bike,
a 2008 Ridley Noah that retails for
thousands of dollars. It has a custom
paint job, with my last name clearly
printed on the top tube.
A couple of months later, someone
sold the bike on eBay to a guy named
Douglas who lives in Dallas.
The search for my bike highlights
the underside of e-commerce: The
same technology that lets us efficiently buy and sell used goods is
also an efficient way to unload stolen
property. Policing the online marketplace for stolen goods can be a Sisyphean task.
Thanks to my responsible wife,
renters insurance makes the loss a
lot less painful. I called the police the
day of the theft. While investigating,
they told me bike theft is rampant in
the city, and often the work of pro-
The author’s bike was stolen in San Francisco, sold at a flea market in San Jose, Calif., and sold on eBay to a buyer in Dallas.
Business-school professor Garold
Lantz travels to Asian universities
several times a year and earns about
30,000 United Airlines miles on each
trip. Starting next year, his mileage
reward from United will plummet to
about 12,000 miles a trip. He may
take the same trips as before, but
he’s considering payTHE MIDDLE ing United’s partner
Singapore Airlines to
get more miles.
“I anticipate switching as my resentment builds,” says Mr. Lantz, a
McGowan School of Business marketing and international business professor at Kings College in WilkesBarre, Pa.
The frequent-flier mile world is
about to be rocked. Delta Air Lines
will start giving out frequent-flier
miles based on ticket prices instead
of distance traveled beginning Jan. 1.
United will make the same change
March 1.
People who fly on expensive business-class and first-class tickets and
have top-tier status in frequent-flier
programs will see their accounts
flooded with miles. At Delta and
United, a frequent flier at the highest
status level will earn 11 miles for every dollar spent, excluding taxes and
government fees, up to 75,000 miles
per trip. Most travelers riding in
economy will earn a fraction of the
frequent-flier miles they used to get.
A traveler with no high-level status
gets 5 miles for every dollar spent, so
a $1,000 base fare for a 10,000-mile
round trip gets half as many miles as
it would earn today.
The radical reshaping of one of
the most cherished consumer benefits is driving many frequent fliers to
cook up new strategies. Some are
loading up on extra trips before the
rule changes to stuff accounts. Others
are booking tickets through Delta and
United partner airlines that still give
out miles based on distance.
“No one is sure how all this is going to play out,” says Carl Ciochon,
an Oakland, Calif., lawyer who travels
frequently for work and fun.
When Delta and United announced
the changes in how they’ll reward
customers with frequent-flier miles,
they didn’t announce changes in how
their miles will be earned when their
frequent fliers travel on partner airlines. Typically travelers can earn
miles whenever they fly an airline
that has an alliance or partnership
Please turn to page D4