Tuesday, September 06, 2011

B. Siegel Co

I love thrifting during the pre-Halloween season! Even though you find many sad & abused vintage items, you can also generally score some reasonably nice pieces for quite cheaply. Start looking early, as many stores raise their prices the closer it gets to Halloween.

This week, all of the stores are just beginning to put their costume sections out. Even with limited stock, I struck gold!

First, four pairs of terribly gaudy (and absolutely wonderful!) earrings! One pair I would put ~1960s, the rest are 1970s-1980s (not generally my style time, but I actually rather like these ones). The later earrings were all made for pierced ears, but were reconstructed as clip-ons (which is the state I found them in). One is clearly a homemade "destash" project from other vintage jewelry parts, but it's SO over-the-top and shiny that I just couldn't resist!

I also found a vintage mink stole/scarf/whatever for $3.99! Only some minor shedding, and in otherwise great shape! I've named it "Leonard." Here is Leonard with two of the vintage earring pairs.

My real score today was an early 1950's dress made by "B. Siegel Co" in Detroit. Now, normally I almost never find out any information about the makers or stores on vintage labels. However, today was an exception! Here is a blurb about the store from labellevintage.net's page:

"Benjamin Siegel, who was born and educated in Germany, came to the United States in 1876. In 1877 he began his career in a general merchandise store in Alabama, later relocating to Detroit, Michigan where he organized the B. Siegel Co. in 1881. Siegel had started out in Detroit at Heyn’s Bazaar on Woodward, where he was a department manager for women’s apparel. He later rose from department manager to store owner, and changed the name to Siegel’s.

Relocating in 1904 to 159-163 Woodward Avenue (at State Street) in Detroit’s downtown business district, the B. Siegel Co. specialized in fine ladies’, misses’ and children’s cloaks, suits and furs. The store had the reputation of being “the largest, finest and most complete cloak and suit store in the United States.”

Until the company filed for bankruptcy in 1981 that is. Ouch.

For more information about the store, you can also visit Wikipedia's site:


The B. Siegal Co dress that I bought today (for $3.99! HA!) is clearly well made. It has a calf-length skirt with built-in crinoline, front pockets, buttons down the back, a sash, and long zippered sleeves. The sash actually buttons onto the dress in back!


Close-Up of Zippered Sleeve Ends


Close-up of Back Sash/Button Closure

1 comment:

Dpac said...

My father, Martin S. (Siegel) Mayer is approaching his 87th birthday and I've been searching for something unique and special to mark the occasion. I stumbled across your blog and saw and was in awe of the vintage dress you discovered with original tags intact. What a rare gem. I just want you to be aware the B. Siegel Co. was only located in the Detroit Metro area and not afiliated with "Cooper"Company. I am one of Ben Siegels great grand daughters. Ben Siegel was my PGGF / dads mothers father. Wikipedia is not always reliable nor accurate. Congrats on your score.
Carrie Mayer