When I first started I didn't understand the notation on the clothing, rings, athames and cards - or more specifically, how the clothing could benefit my character.
I've put together a rough guide to interpreting equipment notation for other new players who might find the submect bewildering.
Symbols on clothing and gear explained -
a piece of clothing or gear will usually say something like
+ 45 red mushroom (Health Points)
+ 20 blue mushroom (Mana Points)
This means that when you wear that piece of clothing, your total Health will be increased by 45 points, and your total Mana will be increased by 20 points. It's a way of strengthening your character. it's possible to add several hundred points to your Health and Mana with clothing, rings, athames, and pets.
So, if you are finding that you are running around to fill up your blue Mana jar, or your red Health Points jar, then some inexpensive clothing can greatly help. Very likely some of the clothing that you pick up after fights will make a big difference. And, you can certainly find something at the Bazaar that will make you stronger, healthier, more powerful, - and even better looking!
Other nomenclature you will see:
+ 5% shield - means 5% increase in defense or resistance (often school specific)
+ 5% clenched fist - means 5% increase in damage output or attack strength - also often school specific
+ 5% circular target symbol - means 5% increase in accuracy - often school specific
+5% starburst - means 5% increase in power pip percentage. Power Pips are the yellow glowing pips that sometimes show up on your battle circle. Power Pips count as two pips if you are casting a spell from your primary school. Getting power pips essentially doubles your attacking power, and reduces by half the time it takes to launch an attack. This is a big deal! However, they only count as one pip if you are casting a spell from another school. So, an out-of-school spell essentially "eats" your Power Pip, and doesn't give you any benefit from it.
+5% incoming red heart and green leaf - this increase all healing that comes in to you by 5% - whether you send the healing to yourself or someone else sends it to you.
+5% outgoing red heart and green leaf - this increases all healing that you send out by 5% - doesn't seem to apply to healing that you direct towards yourself (but I may be wrong on this bit...)
+5% broken heart - this increases all stealing of health, I believe pretty much only applies to Death School spells such as Ghoul, Vampire and Wraith
So, you should look at the dropped clothes that you pick up and see if any of them can help you improve your strength, health, defenses, or healing. Properly equipping yourself can make a tremendous difference in how well you attack, withstand an attack or multiple attacks, and do healing.
Look on the Forum links under Wizard 101 - Ravenwood, and explore the various school specific forums. Many of them have special permanent threads on on different strategies to maximize your schools strengths, and how to select and use equipment or card decks to complement your strengths and weaknesses.
You'll find over time, as you do more difficult quests and areas, that your drops become stronger and you start swapping things out. Sell the pieces that don't fit your needs and style at the Bazaar. Be on the lookout to buy pieces that might help you.
Wands in particular are usually relatively inexpensive and having several different wands can make a quite a difference in dealing with monsters from different school. There are a couple of threads on using wands effectively. Search for them, and see what you think.
(Let me know if you find it useful, and I'll spend some time to clean it up and figure out how to insert graphics.)