Are Shoes Considered Apparel: Understanding the Classification of Footwear

Yes, shoes are considered apparel because they’re worn on the body. Shoes are clothing and can be included in your wardrobe alongside other pieces of apparel. Footwear falls under the clothing umbrella. It has design features that make it distinct from other articles of clothing and is often worn together with other pieces. 

Shoes can also be classified as accessories depending on their function- for example, heels are considered accessories for dresses because they add height to a garment. 

Classification of Shoes


Shoes are considered garments or apparel because they’re usually worn with clothes. But, as with anything else, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, some people wear shoes without clothing, like at the beach or pool. 

Footwear is often considered clothing, but the definition needs to be more straightforward. Most people believe footwear is clothing unless specifically designed for a particular purpose, like swimming or athletics. It’s up to each individual to decide whether they consider shoes an outfit. 

Shoes are often considered to be apparel items by some, as they are typically made of materials like leather and cotton. They can also be associated with a particular look or persona – whether the edgy rocker, the business-professional woman, or simply someone who wants to make a fashion statement. 

Further than just looking good on the feet, shoes can sometimes symbolize an individual’s personality and sense of style. As such, we often take great care in choosing what shoes go with which outfit and accessories – especially if we want others to see us in a particular light.

From a legal perspective, shoes are considered apparel and can be taxed similarly to any other type of clothing. There are a variety of regulations governing the manufacturing and sale of shoes, so it’s essential to be aware of them before making a purchase. 


Regarding footwear, shoes are clothing because they are worn on the body, just like clothing is worn on the body. That said, there is some debate over whether sandals and flip-flops should be classified as apparel.

Shoes are also considered accessories, meaning you can wear them indoors and outdoors and even be used as an outfit. 

Some shoe companies create products that are specifically designed as accessories. For example, Nike makes sneakers designed as running shoes but can also be used for everyday activities like walking.

What’s Considered Apparel?

Clothing considered apparel can be classified by whether or not it covers the body. That means clothing like jeans, skirts, dresses, and shirts can all be classified as apparel. On the other hand, accessories like handbags and sunglasses are considered apparel because they are typically worn with clothing.

In some cultures, people may consider shoes as part of their attire. On the other hand, some people see shoes as an accessory you can wear with just about anything else in their wardrobe. 


Watches are considered apparel because they are worn on the body. It depends on how you think of them – if you think of them as accessories, they would be considered as such. There is no definitive answer as it is a personal decision.


Hats, shoes, and other clothing items are classified as apparel, meaning they are considered clothing because they are worn on the body for personal use. 

You can buy apparel in stores or online, usually made of cloth or leather. It can be hot weatherwear like hats or an outfit you wear to work, for example, a skirt and blouse combination.


Handbags are apparel. Clothing includes anything that covers your body and is worn for a purpose other than hygiene or modesty – including items like shoes, hats, and handbags. 

Apparel vs. Non-apparel


When it comes to clothing, the definition can be confusing. We’ll start with shoes – which are considered apparel because they are worn on the body. For example, outwear such as jackets and hats fall under this category too. 

Next, underwear and clothes you wear inside your home don’t technically qualify as ‘clothing.’ However, most people would include these items in their definition of apparel because they regularly put them on. 

Meanwhile, rain gear and swimwear are usually considered attire because they’re used frequently outside the home, so it makes sense to classify them this way!


Non-apparel items can include anything from bedding, towels, and other home goods to purses and sunglasses. 

Apparel vs. Accessories

When we say apparel, the first thing that comes to mind is the clothing worn on the body – including pants, skirts, shirts, and accessories like shoes and hats. This category of apparel is usually referred to as clothing. 

Accessories, however, are things like jewelry or scarves that are not worn outside of a specific outfit. They’re often bought as part of an outfit specifically for a special event or occasion. 

Accessories can be divided into two types: those meant to be used with clothing (like belts) and those meant to be used without it (like sunglasses). Most dress falls into one of these two categories, but a few exceptions exist. 

Shoes are considered apparel because they are worn on the body and can have different shapes and designs, making them much more versatile than clothing items. Additionally, footwear is often seen as an essential part of fashion accessories for both women and men.