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Peachy Cobblers

Have snow and sleet left your Blahniks battered? Careful craftsmen can render them almost immortal. A visitation with the city's saviors of the sole.

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When a fashion editor cracks a stiletto exiting her Town Car, chances are she'll take it (or even more likely send it by messenger) to Top Service. For $21, the shop will repair and resurface the ailing shoe by evening. Shoe fetishists know that quality service can extend the life of those Jimmy Choos, and a good dye job can even help keep your bills down. (Pick up cool shoes on sale in tacky colors, and the shop'll dye them black for $22 a pair.) Top Service's craftsmen will match your pumps to any fabric, and their broad palette makes resurfacing a snap.

Manolo Blahnik, Gucci, and Chanel enlist the fastidious crew at Shoe Service Plus for special attention to fancy footwear. Steam cleaning or waterproofing of delicate materials is only $10. Dyeing is $25 (for anything, even patent leather). It's $16 to have sling-backs taken in (and the work's done inside the lining, leaving no mark), $50 to taper a pair of boots, and $8 to $20 to stretch or shrink shoes by up to a size.

For inexpensive old-fashioned men's cobbling, Johnston & Murphy's salespeople like David's Shoe Repair, tucked into a back corridor of Grand Central. Men's reheeling and resoling is $37 and takes fifteen minutes. Reheeling alone starts at $8 and takes only five.

Ferragamo and Church's swear by Rockefeller Center's B. Nelson for more elaborate men's repairs. (When one dieting customer's feet shrank, the shop resized all his bespoke shoes.) Rebuilding starts at $50, and patching tears or reinforcing a seam can cost as little as $5. The shop prides itself on being able to match almost any color.

Top Service, 845 Seventh Ave., near 54th St. (765-3190); Shoe Service Plus, 15 W. 55th St. (262-4823); David's Shoe Repair, Grand Central Corridor, 45th St. near Vanderbilt Ave. (867-4338); B. Nelson, 1221 Sixth Ave., near 49th St., Level C-2 (869-3552).

Picks of the Week

Denise Williamson Showroom's hip designers like Fake London, Pixie Yates, and Le Havlin Piro usually sell at places like Barneys. At the sample sale, they're 50 to 70 percent cheaper: A Fake London cashmere tank is $120; a Le Havlin Piro stretch shirt is $70. Sizes 2-10. Some men's stuff, too. 115 Mercer St., second floor (226-5507); cash only; Thurs.-Fri. 10-7, Sat. 11-6; 1/28-1/30.

Riflessi's menswear is always priced below retail. On sale, it's a steal: Suits from Donna Karan Couture, Zegna, and Canali that were $800-$2,150 are now $395-$495; trousers, were $150-$400, now $85; dress shirts are $59 or less. Men's sizes 36S-52L. 260 Madison Ave., near 38th St. (679-4875); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 9-8, Sat. 10-7, Sun. 11-6; 1/25-2/13.

Mackie by Bob Mackie is the swank designer's collection of ready-to-wear cocktail suits, coats, and jackets. At the sample sale, you can get the doyenne look for a lot less than usual: Suits and coats that were $300-$650 are now $150-$290. 498 Seventh Ave., at 36th St. (736-0305); A.E., M.C., V.; Wed.-Fri. 10-6; 1/27-1/29.

Michael's, the Consignment Shop for Brides sells recycled designer gowns at up to 95 percent off. On "bridal bonanza" day, more than 50 dresses are $199. Sizes 4-12. 1041 Madison Ave., near 79th St., second floor (737-7273); cash only; Sun. noon-5; 1/31.

ALWAYS A DEAL
Club-Hopping

Avoid the monotony of an annual gym membership and save on monthly fees by signing up for The American Health and Fitness Alliance's cheaper, livelier option. For $65, the Alliance will send you its Fitness Access PassBook, which contains 156 passes to hot spots like Crunch, New York Sports, and the World Gym (and more for gyms outside Manhattan). The tickets are valid all year, and will get you into a ton of classes (like spinning, Pilates, even t'ai chi and kickboxing) plus four personal-training sessions. If you end up joining one of the clubs, your $65 will be refunded. Call 808-0765 to order.


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