American Industry Overview: Apparel and Accessories

This industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing suspenders, gaffers, handkerchiefs, and other apparel not elsewhere classified, such as academic caps and gowns, vestments, and theatrical costumes. Also included are establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing clothing by cutting and joining (for example by adhesives) materials such as paper and nonwoven textiles.

The apparel and accessories industry comprises a wide variety of products. Ecclesiastical vestments and other clothing make up a signification portion of sales in this category, as do academic caps and gowns, costumes, and theatrical clothing. Other industry segments include garter belts and garters; hose supporters; arm bands; suspenders; men's, boys', women's, and children's handkerchiefs; and burial garments.

In 2009, 2,333 companies employed 17,637 workers in the manufacturing apparel and accessories (not elsewhere classified) category. The majority, 87 percent, employed fewer than 20 people in the late 2000s, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Although California employed only 12 percent of workers, it accounted for almost 42 percent of the nation's $1.7 billion in sales. New York had the largest number of workers, followed by Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida. In a very distant second place after California, New York had $278 million in revenues. Florida accounted for $166 million of sales.