Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Consumer Price Index

Quality Adjustment in the CPI: Men’s Suits

Item definition

Men's suits image

The Entry Level Item (ELI) category of Men’s Suits is part of the index for Men’s Suits, Sport Coats, and Outerwear, and includes all types of suits and tuxedos sold as a unit and sold separately. In this factsheet, we examine the regression model used in the quality adjustment of price data for men’s suits.

CPI sample

The sample used for the new hedonic model included approximately 280 observations from May and June of 2022. The model was constructed using web-based information due to restrictions on data collection during the COVID-19 pandemic, unlike models from the past that had a mix of store and website data. Almost two-thirds of the suits in the sample had a fiber content of at least 95 percent wool, and 81 percent of the suits were majority wool. Although there were over 30 outlets in the sample, the top two outlets accounted for almost one-third of the observations.

Current Model

Table 1 presents the details of the estimation of the current model used to quality adjust men’s suits.

Table 1. Parameter estimates for the hedonic regression for men's suits
Variable Name DF Parameter Estimate Standard Error t Value Pr > |t| Tolerance Statistic


1 6.149 0.05035 122.12 <.0001

Brand Category: Exclusive/luxury

1 1.0301 0.08981 11.47 <0.001 0.72391

Brand Category: Private

1 -0.09661 0.04628 -2.09 0.0378 0.61026

Brand Category: Miscellaneous

1 -0.35913 0.09743 -3.69 0.0003 0.80782

Brand Category: National


Fiber: Polyester

1 -0.00896 0.00088 -10.19 <.0001 0.55842

Fiber: Wool


Features: Handstitching

1 0.21726 0.06423 3.38 0.0008 0.77438

Features: Single button

1 0.20021 0.08754 2.29 0.023 0.92723

Features: Pre-hemmed

1 -0.10803 0.04959 -2.18 0.0303 0.52469

Features: Flexible waistband

1 0.15211 0.06671 2.28 0.0234 0.86934

Note: This model contains control variables for type of store and geographic region, but they are not used in adjustments.

Summary notes

  • Quality adjustments derived from hedonic regressions for men’s suits were first incorporated into the CPI in 1998. Since then, the model for men’s suits has been updated four times.

  • Characteristics that received the most focus during the model evaluation were type of brand, fiber content and item features.

  • Previous model iterations included quality adjustments for fibers like camel hair, linen, silk, and cotton.  In this model, polyester was the only fiber considered significant outside of wool (which was the base).

  • Suspender buttons, fabric design, and belt loops are a few variables that were included in previous models but were left out of the latest model.  This is the first model to include an adjustment for flexible waistband.

  • Variables consistent across most previous models include luxury, private and miscellaneous brands, as well as polyester fiber and pre-hemmed cuffs.


Access data for Men’s Apparel in our online database.

Additional information

Additional information may be obtained from the Consumer Price Index Information Office by email or calling 202-691-7000. Information on the CPI's overall methodology can be found in the BLS Handbook of Methods.

 Last Modified Date: March 16, 2023