There aren’t many options for high end denim in sizes above 40, unless you’re willing to shell out quite a bit of money to get something custom made. Luckily, there are companies out there putting a focus on creating quality, stylish clothing for men of size. House of Halls is one such company. Offering expertly made jeans in sizes 36 to 46, they’re reaching customers who have traditionally had few choices when it comes to wearing clothing with style.
We spoke with House of Halls CEO Aimee Deziel about starting the company, making clothes for bigger men, and the lack of options in sizes above 38. Plus, we show you what the Icon and Mettle jeans from House of Halls actually look like on a guy your size.
What inspired you to start House of Halls?
I was motivated by the belief that there shouldn’t be a size limitation on dressing well. That, and the realization that there is a huge lack of quality, stylish clothing options for men over size 38.
Many brands simply upsize their clothing to extended sizes, resulting in ill-fitting garments. It’s obvious you put real thought into who’d be wearing House of Halls – can you tell us a bit about how your jeans differ from what other companies are putting out there?
Our design is user-centric. We started from the inside out and thought first about comfort. We paid attention to details like our standard comfort-lined waist band, making sure there were no hang tags, and piping any rough seams to reduce any chance of chaffing. Then we focused on the outside making sure the design was not only stylish but flattering and not too baggy.
Who do you consider your average customer?
Strangely, women. There are a lot of women out there who love a man who isn’t a size 32. I’m one of them and I’m making the style decisions in our house. Now that’s not to say that men aren’t clear about what they like, but at some point along the way there is likely some level of female influence. Ultimately, the man who wears House of Halls is a professional who usually pairs denim with button-down shirts for work or a jacket for going out. He likes to look good but he doesn’t always want to wear a suit, if ever.
What’s your take on the men’s big and tall industry in general? You’re doing something that we don’t really see much focus on – high quality clothing that gents are going to want to wear. Do you think the bigger players in the industry will come around, or do you feel like they’re pretty stuck in what they do?
I actually think it’s more likely that we will see traditional retailers starting to look for ways to increase their market share. The smart ones will realize that they could gain that market share by edging up into that next size segment (up to 46) and take advantage of a quick win. Again this is a lot about the women. Women will tend to spend in the stores they are already comfortable shopping in. If they can do more of their family’s shopping in one place, they will.
Why do you think there’s such a lack of stylish options for big men in extended sizes?
There isn’t really a retail channel for it. Or a media channel (until Chubstr came along). So it’s hard for brands and consumers to connect, which in turn makes it hard for businesses to stay viable long-term.
You currently offer sizes 36 to 46. Do you think you’ll ever offer sizes beyond that?
Yes we likely will offer extended sizing on both ends, but our core will always be the 36 – 46 segment.
What can we expect from House of Halls in the future?
In the short term you can expect our SS2013 line to include colors, some slimmer cuts and some stretch denim. Longer term however we’ve got big plans. We don’t plan to stop at denim. Our goal is to be the brand to dress men of stature comfortably and stylishly from head to toe.
Shop for denim in your size at House of Halls, with prices starting at $155.