This article recounts the birth of the clothing industry in the United States after 1815. It contends, in contrast to recent historical literature, that the clothing business was at the center of the American experience of industrialization. This was not because ready-made clothing was a novel commodity. Nor was it because of new production technologies, social innovations, or legal structures adopted by the industry. Rather, clothing entrepreneurs were significant because they integrated several important markets—a trans-Atlantic trade in cloth, an urban trade in labor, and a market for manufactured goods in the interior regions of the United States. This helped to make the ready-made clothing business among the country's largest industries by 1850.