Q: I tore off a button that was riveted to my favorite jeans, and my local tailor and cobbler don’t have the machinery to fix them. Are my dungarees doomed?
A: A few shops can have you shimmying back into them in no time. He Zhen Snap Button Company (166 Mott Street; 212-226-8674) usually handles large orders from designers and wholesalers (Built by Wendy has her buttons done here), but they’re usually not too busy to handle a one-off job. Put on your best puppy-dog eyes, and they’ll pluck the perfect bit of hardware from their immense supply and install it in a few minutes, usually for no more than $1.
If you’re nervous about asking He Zhen for a favor, try Top Service (845 Seventh Avenue, near 54th Street; 212-765-3190). Bring the errant button, and this shoe-repair shop can reattach it for $3; otherwise, you may have to settle for a slightly mismatched variant ($6). If the button tore out and left a big hole, Superior Leather Restorers (7 West 30th Street, ninth floor; 212-967-0554) can also help—they’ll put in a larger rivet, taking your jeans from broken-down to merely broken-in, for $10 or so.