Depends on how much you need the suit. If you are going to wear it 50 times a year, I would guess you'll do better, in the long run, with better quality to start. If (like many newcomers to the site) you are going to wear it two times a year, and if the rest of your wardrobe needs work (what are your shoes), and if your funds are limited, a $400 suit in a staple solid could be a very smart use of your money. Also depends on how much tailoring is needed. If you can fit a size off the rack, predictably, you might look at Sierra Trading Post -- could be their Jack Victor suits or Southwick suits will be better or comparable and cost less (esp. with STP coupon). If you need sleeves altered, etc., etc., and the store selling the suit will do this to your satisfaction, that makes the store option more attractive. I would not buy a suit off STP and take it to a dry cleaners for alterations in the corner. The store may send out your suit to the same alterations lady, but having a salesman (or saleswoman) give a noob good advice on what alterations to request, that can valuable information. So there are a lot of variables here. If you are just starting out, it is better to start with a $400 suit with $400 shoes, in my book, than an $700 suit and $100 shoes. And skilled help in getting a good fit out of any suit, if you are a noob, is very valuable and well worth paying for, one way or the other.