This investigation focused upon exploration of category-based processing strategies used by consumers when evaluating an apparel product. Three exploratory studies were conducted. The category chosen, sweaters, was found to be a well-defined concept consistent among respondents and stable over time. A generalized schema consisting of properties which define the sweater concept and evaluative and inferred properties for sweater was identified. When using this generalized schema in responding to actual sweaters, the greatest amount of variation was explained by the respondents' use of evaluative and inferred properties of the sweaters. Properties necessary in defining the concept for sweater were not as significant in explaining response variability. Evaluation of specific sweaters appeared to be based on a holistic appraisal of the sweaters rather than an attribute-by-attribute analysis. Respondents also appeared to base their generalized schema for sweater on property configurations identified with exemplar or “best case” sweaters they had previously encountered.