Separates w/ Swag feat. Alan Maramag

March 19th, 2014

What’s the difference between a suit jacket and a blazer? Very little, really. Especially if that suit is cut from a textured cloth with a subtle pattern.

Our friend Alan Maramag from San Francisco shows us how he invests in the right suiting fabrics that can easily double as separates. Alan’s style pedigree also represents an iconic shift that a lot of guys in our generation, including myself, have gone through by growing up with the hip-hop movement as a primary source of inspiration, self-expression and non-conformity – and adapting that mentality to a more grown-up sartorial look.

“As a teenager growing up in the mid 90′s, I was heavily influenced by hip-hop culture, particularly with the gritty boom-bap movement of the East Coast. At the time, every major emcee was rocking Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Helly Hansen; which ironically were all brands that evoked images of WASPy upper class citizens who owned 100ft yachts and multi-level mansions.

I found it really empowering to watch urban youth claim and redefine clothing that were not intended to market to their demographic. Thus, I started to wear those brands to emulate that same image; blending upscale clothing with the flamboyance of hip-hop culture and tightrope walking the boundary between class and good old fashion stuntin’. Through the years that concept of balance stuck with me, and I incorporated it into all aspects of my life.

I really started to come around stylistically in 2003, because of my job as a creative writing mentor for high schools around the Bay Area. Looking as young as I did, I found it difficult to gain the initial trust of faculty members I used to work with at the time, and so a makeover was necessary. 2003 was also the same year Outkast released the Speakerboxx/Love Below albums; and Andre 3000 had really begun to emerge as a serious style icon. I was inspired by the way he wore tailored clothing (particularly Ralph Lauren) in a way that was polished, yet undeniably hip-hop. Since I had been wearing Polo all my life, it was a comfortable transition for me to support the same brand while progressing from sportswear to tailored clothing… Needless to say, I was much more approachable to faculty members when wearing a blazer and tie.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of managing at J. Crew and The Brooklyn Circus, as well as working for Ralph Lauren, Barneys and now managing Beckett & Robb in San Francisco. Each one of those brands have helped me shape my perspective on clothing and style. But ultimately I would say that my style is motivated by the idea of opportunity for something greater. I believe that each day we are given the chance to meet those who can provide us with love, friendship or a better career; and a great sense of style only eases those connections in a memorable and positive way. Sharpen up and great things will come.

Here Alan gives us a taste of his day-to-day personal style; sharply tailored separates in unexpected combinations.

1. Bring the Pane


“In the Bay Area the weather is always relatively cold, so you have to keep your Fall/Winter gear accessible. Here we’re in the middle of Spring and I’m still wearing flannel and corduroy.

This blazer is actually part of a suit that I had made specifically to have the option of wearing as separates. Nowadays I don’t make a purchase without first envisioning how I can maximize its use.

And yes, I still love double monks even though I know they are standard issue for every #menswear Tumblr account.”



Heather Windowpane Flannel Suit

Sky Blue Broadcloth Shirt

2. Flashback Fresh


“This look is what I call ‘Rugged Dandy’.

I’m sure that the blazer + cargos + boots thing doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but with my background it’s something that I can easily identify with. The jacket and tie speak to where I am now, while the pants and boots are reminiscent of the military gear and wheat Timbos I used to rock back in the 90‘s.

I don’t know if there’s another outfit formula that can better illustrate my personal style history.”

  • Blue stripe cutaway shirt by Beckett & Robb ·
  • Blue floral tie by Beckett & Robb ·
  • Navy linen lapel vest by Beckett & Robb ·
  • Khaki cargo pants by Levi’s ·
  • Tan split toe boots by Cole Hann
  • · Brown Windowpane Jacket

Great Depths Glenplaid Jacket

3. On & Off the Clock


“My looks often feature a sharply tailored jacket with more casual pants. Often times when I clock-out of work I’ll connect with my homies for some late night trouble making. Therefore, I benefit from a look that can easily go from work to play. Usually I just remove the tie and unbutton the collar and I’m good.

The mint green trousers might not be for everybody, but the hip-hop in me always yearns to do something a little flashy and different. That being said, that part of me also learned to brush off the ‘haters’.”

  • White shirt by Beckett & Robb ·
  • Brown floral tie by Beckett & Robb ·
  • Brown linen scarf from Street Vendor ·
  • Mint chinos by Dockers ·
  • Brown two-tone captoe shoes by Barneys NY
  • · Gray Glenplaid Jacket

Monochrome Plaid Worsted Jacket


Thanks for reading and special thanks to Alan for participating.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford