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I'm 23 and also going through the process of building a wardrobe and learning about how to dress properly because, well, it's about time, and because I'll be starting med school next year. I'm exceptionally thrifty, and have plenty of time at the moment, so my method may not suit you, but here is what I've been doing:

I've bought several pairs of abused (and thus cheap) Allen Edmond shoes on Ebay to learn about shoe care, construction, and fit. With lots of elbow grease several are quite nice now. I also got a variety of shirts (some nice brands, some junk), lots of great ties, and several suits from Ebay, thrift, and consignment stores. I also found a very experienced and patient (and inexpensive) alterations lady who is helping fit the suits for me. I'm happy with this process because I've exposed myself to various styles, materials, etc, and learned quite a bit about what I'd like to buy when I finally do spend real money on nice suitings. As a plus, lots of the "cheap" things I've acquired are decent and will serve me well for years.

For starters, I'd find a tape measure and measure yourself and any of your jackets that fit particularly well, according to the nice tutorial linked on the askandy homepage.

Whichever way you go, good luck, but I wanted to write this post partly for you and partly for others in your (our) position viewing this thread, because the idea of having to spend $1600 on a first suit would probably scare off a lot of folks.
 
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