Difference Wiki

Garment vs. Apparel: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 29, 2023
A garment is a piece of clothing, while apparel refers to clothing in general, often encompassing a wider range of items including accessories.

Key Differences

A garment specifically refers to an item of clothing, such as a dress, shirt, or coat, emphasizing the individual piece. Apparel, however, is a broader term that includes all kinds of clothing and often extends to encompass accessories and other wearable items.
In the fashion industry, a garment is often discussed in terms of its design, fabric, and function, focusing on the specific item. Apparel, in this context, refers to the collective array of clothes available or worn, highlighting the overall fashion or style.
When talking about manufacturing, a garment refers to the production of a single clothing item. In contrast, apparel production encompasses the entire range of clothing and accessory production, indicating a broader industry scope.
In usage, garment tends to be more formal and less commonly used in everyday language, often appearing in professional or technical contexts. Apparel, on the other hand, is more widely used and understood, appearing frequently in retail and casual conversation.
A garment can be a part of an ensemble, a singular piece that contributes to an overall outfit. Apparel can refer to the complete ensemble itself, including every piece of clothing and accessory worn.

Comparison Chart


An individual item of clothing.
General term for clothing, including accessories.

Focus in Fashion

Design and fabric of specific items.
Overall fashion or style, including variety.

Manufacturing Context

Production of single clothing items.
Entire range of clothing and accessories.

Common Usage

More formal, specific.
More general, widely used.

Relation to Outfit

Part of an ensemble.
Refers to the complete ensemble.

Garment and Apparel Definitions


A wearable item covering part of the body.
She designed an elegant evening garment for the event.


Attire or dress, particularly for specific occasions.
He chose formal apparel for the wedding.


A piece of fabric worn on the body.
The silk garment was smooth to the touch.


Outfits or dressing in general.
The company specialized in sports apparel.


Clothing designed for a specific purpose.
He put on a protective garment before starting the experiment.


All kinds of garments and clothing accessories.
The fashion show displayed the latest trends in apparel.


An article of dress or attire.
The museum displayed garments from different historical periods.


Clothing, especially outerwear.
The store offered a wide range of winter apparel.


An article of clothing.


Wearable items including clothes and accessories.
Her apparel included a hat and scarf.


To clothe; dress.


Clothing, especially outer garments; attire.


A single item of clothing.


A covering or adornment
Trees with their apparel of foliage.


(figurative) The visible exterior in which a thing is invested or embodied.


(Mormonism) temple garment


(transitive) To clothe in a garment.


Any article of clothing, as a coat, a gown, etc.
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto old garment.


An article of clothing;
Garments of the finest silk


Provide with clothes or put clothes on;
Parents must feed and dress their child


An item of clothing.
She wore a traditional garment to the ceremony.


Are garments only for adults?

No, garments can be for people of all ages.

Can garment refer to accessories?

Typically, garment refers to clothing items, not accessories.

Is a dress considered a garment?

Yes, a dress is an example of a garment.

What is a garment?

A garment is an individual piece of clothing.

What does apparel include?

Apparel includes all clothing and often encompasses accessories.

Is apparel a formal term?

Apparel is a general term and not particularly formal.

How is garment used in the fashion industry?

In fashion, garment refers to the design and creation of individual clothing items.

Is a coat a garment or apparel?

A coat is a garment, and it falls under the category of apparel.

Does apparel include work uniforms?

Yes, work uniforms are part of apparel.

What’s an example of a casual garment?

A T-shirt is an example of a casual garment.

Can a single item be called apparel?

Apparel usually refers to clothing collectively, not a single item.

Can apparel refer to a specific style?

Yes, apparel can refer to a specific style or category of clothing.

Is lingerie a garment?

Yes, lingerie is considered a garment.

Is athletic wear considered apparel?

Yes, athletic wear is a type of apparel.

How do manufacturers view apparel?

Manufacturers view apparel as the range of clothing and accessories they produce.

Are shoes considered apparel?

Shoes are often included under the term apparel.

Do retailers differentiate between garment and apparel?

Retailers might use 'apparel' more broadly, encompassing all kinds of clothing and accessories.

Are jeans considered a garment?

Yes, jeans are a type of garment.

How important is fabric in a garment?

Fabric is a key element in the design and function of a garment.

Can apparel be customized?

Yes, apparel can be customized in various ways.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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