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Consumer Price Index

Quality Adjustment in the CPI: Women’s Tops

Women's tops image

Item definition

The Entry Level Item (ELI) category of Women’s Tops is part of the index for Women’s Suits and Separates and includes all types and styles of jackets, sweaters, and tops. In this factsheet, we examine the regression model used in the quality adjustment of price data for women’s tops.

CPI sample

The sample used for the new hedonic model included approximately 3,800 observations. This model was constructed using web-based information.  This was due to restrictions being put on data collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Previous models had a mix of store and website collected data.  Around 62 percent of prices were from March or April of 2022. There were over 400 different outlets in the sample and about 700 unique clothing brands. Private brands made up most of the sample, accounting for almost 63 percent of all observations. National brands made up approximately 32 percent of sample, with exclusive and miscellaneous brands making up the remaining 5 percent.

Current Model

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

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


1 3.69575 0.02203 167.79 <.0001

Fiber (continuous): Cashmere

1 0.00914 0.0007 13.12 <.0001 0.88195

Fiber (continuous): Wool

1 0.00754 0.00078 9.65 <.0001 0.83974

Fiber (continuous): Silk

1 0.01262 0.00077 16.33 <.0001 0.93207

Fiber (continuous): Linen

1 0.00266 0.00063 4.19 <.0001 0.94772

Fiber (continuous): Cotton

1 -0.00104 0.00018 -5.9 <.0001 0.77818

Fiber (continuous): Nylon

1 0.00261 0.00058 4.48 <.0001 0.87891

Fiber (continuous): Spandex

1 -0.00919 0.00247 -3.72 0.0002 0.78222

Fiber (continuous): Polyester or Rayon


Brand/Label Category: Exclusive

1 1.49982 0.11232 13.35 <.0001 0.52502

Brand/Label Category: National

1 0.3101 0.01765 17.57 <.0001 0.60751

Brand/Label Category: Miscellaneous

1 -0.13011 0.0354 -3.68 0.0002 0.74287

Brand/Label Category: Private


Type of Item Priced: Lined Jacket

1 0.78772 0.04714 16.71 <.0001 0.89665

Type of Item Priced: Unlined Jacket

1 0.67364 0.03663 18.39 <.0001 0.87873

Type of Item Priced: Cardigan

1 0.30478 0.0254 12 <.0001 0.71357

Type of Item Priced: Sweater

1 0.28637 0.02641 10.84 <.0001 0.65721

Type of Item Priced: Open-Front Shirt

1 0.28257 0.02158 13.1 <.0001 0.73155

Type of Item Priced: Vest

1 0.31848 0.06931 4.6 <.0001 0.94834

Type of Item Priced: Activewear Top

1 -0.1138 0.02971 -3.83 0.0001 0.87446

Type of Item Priced: Sweatshirt

1 0.21875 0.03023 7.23 <.0001 0.81264

Type of Item Priced: Pullover Top or Blouse


Sleeve Length: Short Sleeves or Sleeveless

1 -0.24376 0.01644 -14.83 <.0001 0.69912

Sleeve Length: Long or 3/4 Length Sleeves


Form of Closure: Pullover Partly Opens with Fastener

1 0.17078 0.02333 7.32 <.0001 0.89625

Form of Closure: Pullover with No Fastener


Size Range: Juniors or Juniors Plus Size

1 -0.29995 0.03159 -9.49 <.0001 0.94782

Size Range: Misses, Petites, or Plus Size


Fabric Design: Solid Color

1 -0.08657 0.01357 -6.38 <.0001 0.9351

Fabric Design: Multicolor or Printed


Details/Features: Embroidery (Non-Logo)

1 0.21854 0.04455 4.91 <.0001 0.969

Details/Features: Trim, Lace, or Ruffles

1 0.14981 0.02614 5.73 <.0001 0.95425

Details/Features: Sequins, Beads, Rhinestones, or Gems

1 0.16626 0.04928 3.37 0.0007 0.97376

Details/Features: Iron-on/Decal/Screen Print

1 -0.09597 0.0317 -3.03 0.0025 0.83754

Details/Features: Cable Knit (Full or Partial)

1 0.14095 0.05072 2.78 0.0055 0.89364

Details/Features: No Details/Features


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

Summary notes

  • Quality adjustments derived from hedonic regressions for women’s tops were introduced into the CPI in March 1995. However, at this time women’s tops were separated into three models:
    • Women’s Sweater and Sweater Vests
    • Women’s Shirts, Blouses, and Other Tops
    • Women’s Tailored and Untailored Jackets
  • In 2006, Women’s Sweater and Sweater Vests was combined with Women’s Shirts, Blouses, and Other Tops were combined into a single model
    • Women’s Tailored and Untailored Jackets still had its own model at this point in time
  • June 2017 was the first time a single model was used to encompass all of Women’s Tops
  • Type of item (cardigan, sweater, etc.), brand category, and fiber were a few of the characteristics that received a significant amount of focus in the development of this model
  • The adjustments for type of item have remained fairly consistent over the years. Cardigans, sweaters, jackets (lined and unlined), open-front shirts, and vests have regularly appeared in models for women’s tops.
    • This model contained an adjustment for sweatshirts, which has not appeared in a women’s tops model since 2006.
    • An adjustment for activewear is also a new feature, as activewear was only recently moved into the Women’s Tops ELI.
  • Certain fibers no longer appear to have as much influence on price as they previously did. For example, acrylic, ramie, and acetate used to regularly appear in models until around 2011. 
  • Juniors is the only size that has a large influence on price. This and previous models have been unable to find a significant difference in price between misses, petites, and plus sizes.
  • Specific details/features continue to be price-determining characteristics for women’s tops. These include trim, lace, ruffles, sequins, beads, rhinestones, gems, and embroidery. 
    • Other details/features included in this model are cable knit and iron-on/decal/screen print. Cable knit has not appeared in a model since 2006. This is the first time iron-on/decal/screen print has appeared in a women’s tops model, although it has a relatively small parameter estimate.


Access data for Women's suits and separates 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: February 22, 2023