"It's a little clingy," he adds. "Let's go up a size or two." Gayle looks at him as though he's proposed that she remove her own spleen with a grapefruit spoon and flatly refuses. "The thing is," he continues diplomatically, "sometimes merchandise ends up at the outlet because it's sized incorrectly. This is definitely running small, but if you shop by what fits instead of the size on the label, you can find some amazing deals." He picks up a white sleeveless sheath splashed with an oversize teal-and-taupe floral print. "Here's a perfect example. This is gorgeous, but it's obviously not a true size 10. Somebody probably tried it, decided it was tight, and didn't go that extra step of giving the size 12—which is actually cut like a 10—a chance."
That shopper's loss is Gayle's gain. The flowery sheath retails for $745, was reduced to $447, then $312, and thanks to a tiny defect near the zipper, is on sale for $242 ("An almost invisible flaw can lead to a major steal," Adam says).
At Frette, Gayle points to a shelf of sheets under an 80 PERCENT OFF sign and exclaims, "Now, that's why I came here!" Adam agrees: "The quality of their cotton is remarkable, but there aren't many complete sets here at this kind of discount. The biggest deals are mostly on open stock, so this is a perfect place for filling in when you need some extra pillowcases or another top sheet." At Jimmy Choo, the incredibly kind staff provides bottles of water, loads of encouragement, and luscious lizard slingbacks for Gayle to consider. "If you're a militant fashionista, looking for the shoe du jour, an outlet might not be the place for you," says Adam, taking the shoes to the cash register. "These are from last season, but they're still incredible—they're 60 percent off and neutral enough to work with all your stuff."
At Roberto Cavalli, Gayle spots a beautiful butterscotch yellow belt and thinks she's hit the jackpot, but it turns out to be even more money than the one at Oscar. She looks at the shopping bags they've managed to amass and realizes that they've actually scored some great deals, but the De la Renta belt is beginning to haunt her.