US retail sales for apparel rose 2% in both dollar and unit sales in 2013, according to new research, with woven shirts the best-performing category.

The data, from information company The NPD Group, shows retail sales climbed to $201.2bn last year, from $197.2bn in 2012.

The top five best-selling categories (based on dollars) were knit shirts, jeans, woven shirts, pants, and dresses, whose combined sales were worth $99.45bn.

Woven shirts booked an increase of 9% - the largest growth within the top five - followed by a rise of 6% for pants. But retail sales of knit shirts (the biggest category) slipped 5% on the year before, and jeans and dresses were both down 1%.

"Much of the growth in woven shirts is being driven by the women's and kids' segments," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group.

"Other contributing factors to the category's success can be attributed to the increasing number of options (peplum and the resurgence of denim shirts) which have added more choices to the category for consumers."