Apparel Jobs Key Terms

Maximize employment opportunities using apparel jobs key terms

A career in the apparel industry requires knowledge of fashion, design, garment construction and merchandising. Each stage of the process represents an aspect of apparel manufacturing, from sewing machine operators to the production of clothing to retail sale of the final merchandise. Finding the right apparel job necessitates familiarity with key terms. In addition to obtaining a formal degree or specialized training to obtain a job in the apparel industry, understanding the production side of the industry can expand your marketability.

Fashion designer

A fashion designer, also known as a clothing designer, employs the art of creating apparel for the consumer market, as a cultural statement and artist expression. The driving force behind fashion design is aesthetics and the designers ability to produce garments that are appealing to various segments of consumers.

Sewing machine operator

Operating an industrial sewing machine is vital for the production of clothing and requires manual dexterity, precision and knowledge of garment construction. Many workers learn the trade primarily through apprenticeship. The highly skilled operators are categorized as tailors and dressmakers and require special knowledge of machine attachments for blind stitching, serge machine techniques and top stitching for button-holes, adhering seams and double-needle joining of irregular shapes and straight edges.

Apparel manufacturer

An apparel manufacturer has the flexibility to mass market merchandise at lower production cost. Ready-to-wear fashion brands created a major economic shift in the garment industry. Clothes mass produced in standard sizes, required no alterations and were designed as a fashion brand product line statement.

Fashion merchandiser

A fashion merchandiser, sometimes called a merchandiser or apparel merchandiser, works with retailers to market fashion apparel. Merchandising is the method of using a combination of consumer market analysis, trend forecasts and brand popularity to promote fashion apparel based on seasonal demand and past retail profitability.


Retail and wholesale apparel buyers use the process of predicting fashion styles and trends to purchase merchandise appealing to a particular retail market. Many professionals wholesale buyers in the apparel industry travel to trade shows, fashion houses and to distributors abroad to secure product line merchandise.

Retail store manager

A clothing store manager or retail sales manager is responsible for monitoring and analyzing the allocation of product performance, inventory and working with departmental staff in the retail store. The executive manager works closely with several levels of staff and the aid of computer software, to track merchandise categories, the effectiveness of trends, in-store operations such as planning, signage and merchandise selection which appeals to target consumers, and to recommend adjustments to achieve sales goals.

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