It’s absurd, but now that the holidays are past, I find myself yearning for new clothes. But not just any clothes – warm weather clothes. Sweet summer dresses and sheer spring lace; skirts and sleeveless tops. Sandals! I suppose it’s something to do with the dreary cold weather or early nights, but whatever the reason, it’s this that I want. And luckily, the greater DC area offers many ways to battle the winter clothing blahs, especially if you are willing to search for your treasures at one our amazing thrift, resale or consignment stores, such as Reddz Trading.
Located at 7801 Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda, Reddz Trading is not your standard issue retailer. Started by the former owner of Commander Salamander in Georgetown (which sadly closed its doors in late 2010) and Avalon Exchange, a chain of thrift stores in Pennsylvania, Reddz is a hip, chic, charming and laid-back way to spend a few hours while kicking around in Bethesda. Purveyors of gently used clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes, Reddz is a resale and thrift store for women (with limited men’s offerings) that stocks brands from Chanel to Dior to Tory to Miu Miu to Banana to H&M and everything in-between, and the shop prides itself on being the ‘solution to fashion pollution’.
After browsing the store for a few hours recently, I can see why. Keeping with their logo ‘Trade your clothes, not your style’ Reddz offers shoppers two ways to benefit from a spring-closet clean-out: cash or a Reddz trade card. With the cash option, you immediately get 30% of the initial price set for the items you are trading, while with the trading card option, you benefit from credit of 45% of the initial price on a Reddz trading card, which can then be used immediately on anything in the store. How does it work? Simply bring in your clean (and neatly folded, no hangers please!) clothes, shoes, accessories or jewelry into the shop up until one hour before closing and either walk away with cash or the Reddz trading card. Voila! Instant gratification tempered ever-so-slightly with practicality that in today’s uncertain economic climate should be appealing to most everyone.
Whether you are looking for a steal on a new spring frock like me, or a cozy winter jacket is more your desire, time your visits strategically. The shop begins taking spring/summer clothes in late fall, while winter clothes start vying for rack space in August. And come back often! The shop likes to keep their inventory fresh and prices are reduced quickly. The night I stopped in, I spied a green and navy Nanette Lepore wrap dress for a cool $55 while my friend scored a gorgeous silver chain costume jewelry bracelet for only $10. Pricier items – Chanel jewelry and handbags, as well as other high end designer handbags and shoes – can run much higher, but don’t be deterred. With prices as reasonable as Reddz, even prestige items can be within your reach, especially if you decide to sell your own clothing to the store for credit.
The store accepts clothing and accessories that are new or gently worn, and ideally – only two seasons old. Casual items are Reddz specialty, in particular: jeans, sweaters, tops, costume jewelry, belts, shoes, designer sunglasses, hats and handbags, but make certain to check items carefully for wear or stains. While most of the items I browsed were clean, I did spy a few pieces with noticeable marks, so be sure to inspect everything you intend to buy carefully before purchase. What does Reddz not accept? Men’s or women’s suits, formal gowns and bridal gowns, but the shop does stock cocktail gowns. And with prom, benefit and wedding season fast approaching, Reddz is the natural spot for finding a complete outfit to take you through the season with style, grace, and hopefully – a few extra dollars in your pocket for a cocktail.
Reddz Trading Company is open Monday – Saturday, 11am – 8pm, and Sunday from 12 – 6pm. Metered street parking or garage parking is available, as well as Metro access from the Bethesda stop. For more information, please visit their website at www.reddztrading.com, or call 301/656-7333.