My first question for an item of clothing/gear for a trip is -- do I already have something that will work ? If not, I will check on this board for hints on recommended brands, materials and qualities and then keep an eye out for needed items at charitable organization thrift stores in upscale neighborhoods. By having a mental wish list many months before my last trip, I found an almost-new Eddie Bauer gore-tex rain jacket for about $15 and a merino wool pullover for under $10. Not to mention a serviceable cross-body bag in the "free bin."
I never thought about any of the thrift stores. however in my neck of the woods, in order to find the "good stuff", i will need to go to the thrift stores in the more affluent areas. Most of our thrift stores receive their stuff from their local area.
But i will be on the look out the next time im there.
Thrift stores are also good sources for those little nice things like inflatable hangers (scored 8 one day), a tissue weight black merino pullover (great for spring trips), misc. sized zipper bags for easily lost stuff like chargers and converters.
Years ago I lucked into a handmade travel clothes line made of nylon cord and self-closing hooks at a local thrift store. My mum was with me at the time and she thought that I got very excited over nothing. It's super strong, tension- and length-adjustable. I've never seen any commercial equivalent to it since and it still goes everywhere I go.
I live in Alabama and hit the jackpot at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro. They purchase the bags that go unclaimed at the airlines after 90 days by the owners, open and sort the contents, wash the clothes and sell everything at a discount. I got electronic adaptors, a money belt, and several other travel accessories for cheap there. My daughter found an H&M leather jacket for $12. We are traveling to the UK this summer and plan to make another trip soon to see what is new!