One spring, someone we know started wearing what had to be the best red jeans ever made. After being grilled about where she found them, she divulged a little-known secret: The score was made at Banana Republic at the Sun Valley Mall, where the chain’s other stores are rumored to send their sale items when they can’t mark them down any further. Although we were never able to actually prove that, the store is a discount-hunter’s paradise. The first trip there yielded those excellent red jeans for $10, plus a handful of tees. The store’s early spring clothes have already been marked down there this year — sleeveless and silk wraparound dresses, basic pants and the ubiquitous T-shirts. On the whole, Banana Republic seems to have lost its way a bit lately. But if you’re going to buy, at least get the stuff cheap.