My advice is to read the forum and learn as much as you can about who makes decent quality suits and scrounge like hell for bargains. You'll be amazed at what you can find if you're patient and look LOTS. One of the biggest bummers that I'm sure (hoping for my sake) everyone does is that they start learning and go out and grab the first decent deal they see in an effort to upgrade their wardrobe. It might be six months later that you look at that suit and wonder why you bought it realize that you don't like to wear it - which is a waste of $.
If you're in a big metro area look at Nordsrom Rack, Saks Off 5th, Nieman Marcus Last Call, RL outlet, brooks brothers outlet -even some TJ Maxx carry really quality brands (I've never seen this but others on the forum have had luck). Also, check the B&S forum as much as you can. And get really familiar with the Microsoft live.com cashback setup. That can be a great deal.
Examples of recent deals I've seen or bought:
- I bought a Hickey Freeman suit from a forum member for $300 new with tags, which he was kind enough to run through ebay so I could use the live.com 25% cashback, so my net cost was $225 for a fully canvassed suit. Not exactly the suit I would have picked off the rack, but a damn good deal for a workhorse work suit.
- I was at Off 5th yesterday and they are running their suits $100 off. Some of them are just OK deals, but they had a Zegna suit for $400 before discount. Not my size(44S before I get a buch of PM's) , but $300 for a new Zegna suit is a great deal.
- NM Last Call is currently running some of their suits and jackets at 40% off. If you can find one that's already marked down and tack on another 40% you can get a good deal.
- The Brooks Brothers outlet that I go to every now and then gets a shipment of either custom or altered suits that were never picked up. Sometimes it's just that they've been hemmed or taken in and the customer didn't come back or refused the garment. You can find a good deal every now and then that way.
Whatever you get, take it to a competent tailor and spend the extra $ to make sure it fits well. Spend the time reading the forum to learn who makes good garments and who doesn't. Before I came to SF I assumed Hugo Boss suits were good b/c they're more expensive than a low end brooks or Joe Banks suit. Turns out, they're not made that well.
Lastly, there's a good handfull of forum members that sell very nice clothing in their ebay stores. That can be a great way to get a REALLY nice garment for what you might pay for a cheap suit at the store. Some of them are:topshelfapparelWorld-Class-ConsignmentSartorialemack11211
I'm sure there are others, so sorry if you sell regularly on ebay and I forgot your store - please add it.
Anyhow, good luck and have fun.