I think the learning curve is the same, whether thrifting or buying retail. Unless they grow up in suit and tie, it takes a while for most to find solid footing. Ultimately, what the best do is learn to resist impulse purchases or simple acquisitiveness. Neither is unique to thrifting. I started off thrifting, and some of my favorite pieces (which have been popular here FWIW) were thrifted. I did get more selective over time, though, and eventually tired of the low strike rate. Now, I'm still shopping second-hand, paying a bit more (still typically 85% or more off retail) but in consignment shops. I don't always find what I'm looking for, but I don't always find what I'm looking for when I'm considering a retail purchase. I wouldn't presume to put myself out there as one of the leading lights here in WAYWRN, but of all of the suits and jackets I've worn that have been well received, only one of them was a retail purchase. The key distinction is whether someone is into thrifting or into finding great clothes for little money. They are most definitely not the same thing.