Who makes a good looking pair of American-made Chelsea boots?
It's hard to find some quality, good looking, American-made Chelsea boots, but we really like the Haight model from Allen Edmonds. There's a great burnish on the leather and some subtle brogue detailing on the toe. What's more, since they're available through Nordstrom you can have the pair shipped for free, try 'em on and if you don't like the look, they have easy/free returns.
I want to update my pea coat this year with some metal buttons, but have no idea where to start.
Look no further than M&J Trimming, a favorite of fashion editors and designers alike. They've got all sorts of buttons, but for your pea coat, opt for the larger metal ones like these antique silver crest buttons, a metal shield style available in both gold and silver or the iconic anchor pea coat buttons rendered in a bright gold. You can order online, but their shop in Manhattan is only 30 minutes away, should you want to go and see them in person before buying. And then just have your tailor sew them on, it's only a few bucks and they'll make sure they're nice and secure.
Is it okay to hem raw denim? I have a pair of APCs that are a little too long.
You can definitely hem your raw denim, and it's better to do it while they're still in their unworn state. Some places will simply hem them like any other pants, cutting off the original hem and then finishing a new one. For raw jeans, this should be fine. But you could also have the tailor maintain the original hem and carefully stitch it back on. Thankfully, you're in LA and have some excellent denim tailors in your area. Check out Denim Revival (7934 W 3rd St., Los Angeles; 323.852.0171) or Selfedge (144 N La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; 323.933.9000) and they'll be able to get you squared away with a quality alteration.