For what it's worth, for a first suit I would definitely recommend dark blue or gray, rather than black. Virtually any guide to dressing that one can read will recommend these two colors, rather than black. They are more flexible, seem to blend better with more shirts and ties, and, at least in the business world, are seen much more often than black. A black suit seems most appropriate for a funeral or, I guess, a pretty dressy (but not black tie) night on the town. As a consultant doing business with the Fortune 100, I really can't recall seeing a memeber of senior management wearing a black suit. I own 2 black suits (out of 40 total), but I never wear either; in fact, I haven't even had them tailored. Some blues, i.e. midnight blue, are alleged to look darker than black under flourescent lights or in a darker room; that is one reason some tuxedo's are made in midnight blue. However, I would generally not say that blue is indistinguishable from black. Make sure that whatever suit you buy, you have the option of returning it. Different brands are cut and fit differently. Generally, for example, in my experience Isaia's are cut fairly large (I am a 38 in Isaia, a 40 in Brioni); however, depending on the retailer who orders them, even the Isaia's vary. I agree with A. Harris about the patch pockets on the Castangia; this is a casual look that is probably not well advised for a first suit. Generally, patch pockets on suits are seen in country or weekend suits made in heavier tweed fabrics. You might also consider this Oxxford: This fabric looks like a very nice, dressy herringbone. You might be able to wait it out and pick this suit up for $500 or so, as Oxxford's tend to sell for less on ebay; this suit has been listed several times without selling and has, I believe, come down at least $100 already. As you probably know, Oxxford's are clearly among the best suits in the world, along with Kiton, Brioni, and Attolini. They are generally considered better that Isaia or Castangia, never mind Armani or Corneliani. You should be able to find a store near you selling Oxxford, so you could try on a 39R to check the fit; I think it probably would work well for you, as I am a 39 in Oxxford and am similarly sized to you. (You might want to check with the seller to find out the specific Oxxford model that this suit is; Oxxford makes 4 or 5 different models, I believe). The Isaia would also be a lovely suit, and the fabric would no doubt be great; however, be forewarned that the finer fabrics (Super 150's and above) are more delicate and may not wear as well as the heavier fabrics such as 100's or 120's. Make sure you give some consideration to how often and in what way you will use the suit.