According to Wikipedia, a haberdasher is a person
who sells small items via retail, commonly
items used in clothing, such as ribbons and buttons, or completed
accessories, such as hats or gloves. A haberdasher's shop or the items
sold therein are called haberdashery.
The exact definition of haberdasher depends on the
locale. In the United States and Canada, it is primarily used for a person
who sells men's clothing accessories (an example of this is KJ Beckett).
In the British Isles, it is more common to hear this word in reference to
someone who sells buttons, thread, ribbons, or drapery, but the term is
much less common than it once was as fewer people make their own clothes
nowadays. In 21st century Britain specialist haberdashery shops are rare,
but many department stores (such as John Lewis Partnership) still have a
According the the website WiseGeek, Haberdashery is
no longer a commonly used term. In the US people use the term haberdashery
to refer to men’s clothing stores, or men’s departments in stores that
hats. This is
more often called a men’s accessory department, and many in the US are
unfamiliar with the term haberdashery. In the UK, a modern haberdashery
usually sells needed items like buttons,
thread or ribbons.
Occasionally an English haberdashery specializes in selling window
Apparel Search further defines a haberdasher as a
dealer in men's furnishings and/or a dealer in sewing notions and small
wares. It can also be defined (by British definition) as a dealer in small
articles for sewing, such as
buttons, zips, and ribbons. In the US it is defined as a men's outfitter.