I think an underrated budget suit designer is Larry Levine. I own several of his Signature line of suits, and I'm not embarrassed to say I've scored them for $39.99 each at my local Ross Dress for Less store. The jackets are fully lined; the pants aren't lined but the fabric is a good weight and hangs nicely. They often have interesting details that separate them from the same ol' boring suit-dressing. Sometimes you have to visit Ross often and dig through what seems like hundreds of clothes hung on endless racks in a rather bare bones shopping environment, but it's worth it when you're trying to build a career wardrobe on a limited income.
I recently bought a collarless coffee-colored Larry Levine Signature pantsuit with a waist tie that looks similar to this Larry Levine Coffee 4-Button Skirt Suit offered by a great online discount store, Smart Bargains. At $79.99 it's a great buy, but I'll be keeping an eye out for a sale. I love the coffee color, which is both flattering and slimming, and the slightly different take on the traditional three-button grey or black suit. I can't quite bring myself to wear pantyhose with skirts, but I do wear tights and Nine West high heel boots in the colder months.
Other local discount clothing stores where I keep an eye out for good deals on Larry Levine or Tahari, another fave discount suit designer, are Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. Online I've had great success with Overstock.com.
I'd love to hear from readers who've scored great deals on suits - what designers do you like, and where do you do your bargain-hunting? Even better, if you've got a photo of you rocking a bargain suit from a second-hand store or eBay, I'd love to feature your career-dressing savvy here at Practical Paralegalism.