Berck's Clothing

Max S. Berck was born in Paris, France.  He and his wife, Roselle, raised a daughter, Mona, and a son, Ira.  Max was a member of the Iowa Retail Clothiers Association and the Lions Club of Ames.  After decades of operating his Ames store, Max opened a Berck's Clothing store in Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines.  During the early 1970s Ira worked with his father at Berck's Clothing, and then continued to operate the store several years after Max died (1974).

Ames Community Centennial History, 1964

M.S. Berck, who for 22 years was associated with Frankel Clothing in Des Moines, fell in love with Ames while driving through one day.  He established a men's wear store in Ames in 1947.  He is dedicated to service with quality.  His store grew from a 16' x 50' store located in a corner of the hotel to the present, modern 25' x 100' store located at 229 Main where he still serves men and young men of this community with quality merchandise.

Ames Daily Tribune, May 19, 1954

Presenting our friends and customers a brand new Berck's dedicated to easier shopping and more pleasant surroundings.  Berck's ...the home of nationally famous brands.  Come in and help us celebrate our formal store opening May 20, 21, 22.  Register for $500 free prizes!  Here's what you may win...

  • One $65 Botany 500 tailored by Daroff suit
  • One $55 Campus-Tog suit
  • One $50 Clipper Craft suit
  • One $50 Marbury topcoat
  • One $10 Mallory hat
  • One $7.50 Champ hat
  • Three $2.50 Pioneer belts
  • Six $5.00 Swank Jewelry sets
  • Three $3.95 Manhattan "span" white shirts
  • Two pair $12.95 Hagger and Advance slacks
  • One pair $15.95 Life O'Ease slacks
  • Two pair $13,95 Weyenberg shoes
  • One pair $5.95 Stadium pajamas
  • Six $1.95 & $2.95 Golf caps by Sieg
  • One $16.00 Lakeland sports jacket
  • One $15.00 Weathercrest jacket
  • 2 Doz. $1.50 and $2.50 Superba ties
  • Six pair $1.00 Holeproof hose
  • Three $5.00 Pioneer wallets
  • Two $5.00 Marlboro sport shirts
  • One $5.00 Rudofker's tux cummerbund
  • Six sets Topper pants hangers

Let's shop at Berck's, Ames' clothing corner, Sheldon-Munn Hotel

Ames Daily Tribune, March 15, 1955

Dark clothes with lively furnishings sums up the general spring fashion outlook for men, according to M.S. Berck of the Berck Clothing company.  Above, Pete Wilson, Iowa State college senior in industrial psychology, ponders over the black lo-boy tassel oxford which is representative of the continental influence in footwear featured in men's fashion publications this season.  He already has the remainder of his outfit.  With the gray flecked trousers he is wearing a mint green Oxford shirt with short point, button down collar, a black and mint necktie and a charcoal gray jacket flecked with lighter gray.  Shoulders on the jacket are only semi-padded to give a taller and trimmer appearance.  In the background - in case it's chilly - is Pete's brand new spring topcoat, charcoal with brown and gray flecks, and styled with bal collar and raglan sleeves.  The hat is a charcoal gray campus collegian type with narrow brim and colored ribbon.  Pete, whose home town is glen Ridge, N.J., lives at the Beta Theta Pi house, 2120 Lincoln Way.  He is a member of Cardinal Guild, the Veishea Central committee, the Science council and the Homecoming Central committee.

Ames Daily Tribune, March 28, 1963

Carrying the motto, "An investment in good appearance," Berck Clothing Co. of 229 Main St. is in its 14th year of operation, filling men's and boys' clothing needs.  The firm was opened in 1947 with a small sales staff, and with facilities of 16 by 50 feet, at 301 Main St. In 1958 the store moved to the current address, with new locations completely remodeled to fill expanding sales.  The store now has facilities of 25 by 100 feet - more than three times the original store size.  Sales staff has increased to a total of eight to ten, including seven full time employees.

The store features clothing and shoes for men and boys, and outfits Army and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) personnel, supplying the goods on a contract basis.

Berck Clothing also carries tuxedo rentals for college and Ames area use, and delivers purchased clothing out of state.  Max Berck, manager, said he would like to double operations some day, and noted the firm strives to have "the right merchandise at the right time at the right place," adding, "the customer is the real boss."  College students and faculty comprise a large percentage of his trade.

In the boys' shop, managed by Woody Thrasher, clothing for ages six to twenty is carried.  Some of the lines include Kanee shirts, Robert Bruce, Jackie Jumper and Ray Gilbert clothing, Windbreaker and Lakeland jackets.  The firm also carries the Weyenberg-massagic shoes for men and the Golden Horseshoe line of jeans.