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For tailors who also make custom clothing in their shops, the is a savior. Joyce Hittesdorf, the president of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals who also runs her own small business in Carmel, Indiana, has picked up about eight new clients over the past month. "They were all looking to salvage what they had," she says. "Alterations were the secondary part of our business, now it's more primary." At Imparali Custom Tailors in New York City, new custom suit sales fell about 20% in 2008, while revenues from fix-up jobs jumped 30%. Matt Harpalani, the shop's manager, notes that many of his customers who have lost weight now opt for an alteration, rather than a new Armani. "The alteration business has paid our rent," Harpalani says.
While the recession has helped all types of repair professions, the cobblers seem to be enjoying their luck more than most. Shoe repair is a dying industry. During the , there were some 130,000 shops across the country. Now, there are only 7,000. Graying, middle-aged repairmen are the young turks - there's a clear shortage of twenty- and thirtysomething cobblers in today's shops. "We have a chance to reintroduce our industry," says Randy Lipsom, who runs four shoe repair shops in St. Louis. The shoes are falling of the shelves in Lipsom's shops: he now has to stuff the overflow work into bins. A year ago, those same shelves were half-empty. "I'm getting more customers under 35 than I've ever seen," says Lipsom. "They're spreading the word among people their age, about the quality and savings shops like ours can offer, and it's helping."
 

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I must be absolutely in step with the times . . .

. . . I took shoes in for repair yesterday, along with a suit and pair of trousers to be re-tailored at Brooks.

The best part of the re-tailoring at Brooks was the fact that the suit and the trousers are being taken IN, not let out. ;)
 

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I wonder whether these changes will have a lasting effect on my generation or not. It seems those getting their clothes re-altered are doing so because they've lost weight, not because they're jumping on the recession-look bandwagon...
 
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