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.”





    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.”




    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
    • Gray Glenplaid Jacket
    • Brown linen scarf from Street Vendor
    • Mint chinos by Dockers
    • Brown two-tone captoe shoes by Barneys NY


    Thanks for reading and special thanks to Alan for participating.

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford 

    • Tony Eugene Parham Jr.

      AL BIZZZY. the bussiness. love this post

    • Z

      It great to see my mans featured on TSB! As a homie whose been down since the early 2000 and has experienced Alan’s style evolution first hand, the truth & humility behind his words come from a genuine place. Much love Brotha! Keep doing you! Respect-

    • Steve

      Great outfits, Alan knows how to put it together!

    • Jason

      For shorter guys (5’7), is it better to have dark blazer and light pants or light blazer and dark pants?

      Thanks @tsbmen:disqus

      • Dan Trepanier

        I would say dark blazer and light pants.

    • Jeanscuffed

      1st look is spot on. The Dub-Monks top it off. I think I’m just drooling over his suit blazers because each blazer has an awesome cut to them. Nice post!

    • AFH

      The first look feels more Autumn than Spring, but generally the post is a great illustration of how smart orphaned jackets and cotton pants can look. If I was asked by someone with little cash how to look smarter, I’d say thrift for orphaned jackets and buy cotton pants (spend any remainder on shoes) – it’s a (potentially) cheap and practical look.

      I bought an orphaned DB in POW check for £3 – one of my favourite casual tailoring pieces.

      • Al Bizzy

        Just in case you missed it, I said:

        “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.”

        • AFH

          It’s more the Autumnal colour of the corduroy in combination with those pieces.

    • Esosa

      I like the overall aesthetic..all the pieces are pretty casual or informal in a way (the patch pocket db jacket/corduroy pants/db monks or the countrified brown tweed jacket/cargo look)..I feel that the look could be misconstrued as trendy look being that kind of look would get a lot of play on the limitless tumblrs on the internet these days..not my style but yet it does give some ideas..on a side note was meaning to stop by Beckett and Bob when in SF..have heard good things about your store..good ish!

    • chris

      3 words: trying too hard.

      • Al Bizzy

        Trying too hard to do what?

        • chris

          To be different. Its so obvious.

          • Al Bizzy

            Thanks Mr. Chris Anymous,
            You must be a pro at this. I’m really REALLY looking forward to your feature so you can show me how to do it right.

            • Christopher

              Bro, don’t take it so personally. I thought I am entitled to my own opinion? Not everyone is going to agree with everything Dan’s team posts on this site. Relax man, I’m not hating on the guy. Just not my taste.

    • T

      A career in retail, sounds miserable

      • Al Bizzy

        It probably WOULD be miserable for you. I enjoy what I do.

    • Nick A

      I think this is a testament to buying smart. There’s nothing crazy inventive about the styling here (a la the whole Suit Supply look). But I’m really impressed with some of the smaller details like the wider lapels paired with a more upright collar in the first look. One of the hardest things to do is pair two slightly caricatured cuts and look so effortless. Details, details, details! This is a guy who buys with a purpose and knows what’s in his closet.

    • Joe

      Hip hop as non-conformity? Hip hop as completely dominated popular culture for the past 25+ years.

      • Al Bizzy

        I agree with you about hip-hop dominating pop culture. But the hip-hop I was born from stood by a different set of ideals. Personally, I’ve always veered towards artists who are more insightful, socially progressive and self reflective. So to Dan’s point; yes hip-hop as non-conformity played a role in my personal development.

    • John B

      Solid looks, especially the first one. Big fan of the plaid jackets and wider lapels!
      Any chance you have a post about shirt collars scheduled?

    • Unseen Flirtations

      “Eloquence is a habit, elegance an addiction.”

    • From Squalor to Baller

      Looking good, Alan! This post makes me wish that I could add 1″ to all my jacket lapels.

    • MS

      Definitely very “Suit Supply.” This current micro-trend isn’t for me, but I appreciate the framework of it. Just nice to see these things come in waves. Will agree with others vis-a-vis the hip hop thing: dude looks like F. Scott Fitzgerald, not Andre 3000—but I believe he meant an “internal” influence, not necessarily an external one.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Calling casual tailoring “very Suit Supply” implies they did it first – which I think is unfair.

        Out of curiosity, what do you mean by the “micro-trend” here?

        • MS

          Well, you said so yourself the other day: big lapels, loud patterns, a return to a fantasy of 70s era dressing, focus on separates instead of suiting, the glasses, the shirt collar width, etc., etc.

    • Andrew G.

      This is very cool feature, Alan has some serious style. I have a question though; why feature a look with dressed up cargo pants (waistcoat, blazer, tie) after listing this as one of the trends you hope dies in 2014?

      • Tom

        I think some people are taking that “Trends I’d like to see disappear” post way too seriously.
        Dan just expressed his opinion. It doesn’t mean he’s going to terrorize the fashion world and blacklist every single person that pairs some cargos with a shirt.

        • Alex Crawford

          You’re exactly right Tom. When we feature others it’s because we appreciate their personal style, and we don’t edit what they can and can’t wear. Dan curates the site by choosing who to feature.

          Besides I still rock dressy cargo pants so Dan can eat it.

          • Andrew G.

            Haha thanks for the clarification Alex and Tom.

            • Tom

              Ha, well I only say that because I like to wear my cargos too…Anything to justify my choice! :-)

          • Dan Trepanier

            Alex you wear those cargos for another WIWT and you’re look is getting cut…like Towni and his goddamn baseball caps.

            Eat that.

            • mligon

              Almost read your comment to Alex as “… Looking to get cut” and then I thought when did Dan become so violent. ;)

            • Adam

              I think your next WIWT post should have you guys picking each other’s outfits for them and see how that goes down… Dan could end up wearing Alex’s cargos and Towni’s hats…

        • John B

          I just imagined Dan on a mask and cape hunting down people wearing cargos.

          • Dan Trepanier

            Haha that’s the reality show concept we’re working on in Hollywood. It’s just the bespoke cape that’s holding us up.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Because it’s not dead yet, I guess.

        We shoot stylish men in their own wardrobes. I have some input for sure, but I don’t want our featured guests looking like I styled them – that would defeat the purpose of highlighting unique personal style.

    • Khaled Nasr

      Whats up Al!! So great to see a feature on you. Looking great on all the looks. Keep up the swag!!

      • Al Bizzy

        Whattup Khaled,
        Like I said, I’m just trying my best to keep up with you homie! Haha!

    • Miguel

      Allan, I love DB Blazers and all three of them look amazing, each outfit is well put together, a great feature.

    • Ali Naaseh

      The looks are all great, and stand on their own alongside other products of the #menswear personal style movement. Well put together.

      That being said, there’s not a single drop of hip-hop influence in these looks, outside of cargo pants and the boots that share a colorway with Timbs.

      • Dan Trepanier

        I think he means it as more an attitude of non-conformity rather than literally wearing things that represent hip-hop.

        • Guest

          I can see that. And I totally understand wearing preppy brands like PoloRL to stick it to the man – Kendrick Lamar does it all the time. But one can certainly wear tailoredwear in a non-conformist way that is solely hip-hop. Kanye serves as an example:

          Actually, even you’ve done this look before, Dan!

        • Ali Naaseh

          I can see that. But I think one can wear tailored pieces in a way that expressly embodies hip-hop. Kanye serves as an example:

          You’ve even done the same look, Dan!

          • Charles Flewellen

            Ali, This is not an example of Hip Hop embodiment, he’s wearing a freaking sweatshirt, and a t-shirt……How can you have the nerve to post a pic of Kanye in a garbage outfit on a blog featuring one of the best dressed men on the west coast. Who are you? You’ve completely just nullified your opinion. Get yourself together sir. The fact that you used this particular pic of Kanye as an example, actually says a lot about your lack of style! Good Day

            • Unseen Flirtations

              Breathe, Ali, breathe…

              Kanye’s style points goes down to his personal expression of style and social comfort, which he wraps in a kind of casual opulence. His continual revolutions in personal style, grounded inhiphop staples (Tims, sweats, Jordans, etc) is actually very, very much in keeping with hiphop ideology. I think.

              • Dan Trepanier

                The guy can afford to lose a few style points I think. He has roughly a hundred thousand trillion.

            • Ali Naaseh

              Did you hit “see more” underneath the pic of Kanye? I attached a picture of Dan wearing an identical outfit in different colors below it.

            • Dan Trepanier

              Let’s take it easy on my man Ali. It might be a hoody and a tee (and an awesome camel overcoat) but those are definitely some high-fashion designer pieces. Wearing designer duds in a casual non-flashy way only shows how much hip-hop stars like Kanye have really embodied fashion – not for the labels and in-your-face branding, but for an appreciation of quality and understated design.

      • khordkutta

        Def disagree, his pops of color def rep Hip-Hop

      • Al Bizzy

        I’m GLAD that the hip-hop influence isn’t too obvious, because that’s not the point. I work in the financial district selling suits to millionaires, and I don’t think I could get away with rockin’ New Era caps out here. haha! Dan and MS are correct in saying that hip-hop is more of the ideology in my execution and necessarily a literal sense. Hip-Hop is about being bold and vibrant; hence my choices in patterns and colors. I’m from Oakland, CA; and I used to teach Spoken Word Poetry and Emcee workshops for Bay Area teens. What’s more hip-hop than that?

        • Dan Trepanier

          “I’m a star how could I not shine?!”

          • Al Bizzy

            haha! I’m definitely not a star. Maybe a comet. I’ll shine briefly then fizzle out soon enough.

        • Zach

          Ive been following tsb for years so its awesome to see someone I know on here. Still killin it Alan. Also love the tie in the last look

    • Shawn

      Adam, I’m going to be the last one guy hating on your wide lapels! I’ve always favored a little wider over a little skinnier (my heavy corpulence doesn’t allow me to wear skinny lapels anyway) and all of your 3 jackets look awesome! I especially love the second one, brown with a windowpane overlay plus those lapels, that’s money right there! Gotta love those Cole Haan boots in look 2. I’m not usually a Cole Haan type of guy but these are awesome, rugged yet refined! We need more features with you!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Agreed about the Cole Haans. I was actually surprised those boots were made by them. Thanks for reading and sharing Shawn!

        • LouCaves

          I was surprised by Cole Haan about two years ago. Then all of a sudden I had 5 pairs in rotation.

          Gents, Take another look at ’em.

          Thanks, TSB.

    • Owen

      I enjoyed this feature – Alan definitely looks sharp! All three looks are creative and well put together, however I fail to see the hip-hop influence here. Maybe from being ‘across the pond’ I am missing something?

      • Mack1

        Agreed – Nice outfits maybe he meant “doo wop”

        • Al Bizzy

          Hahaha! Doo Wop is cool too.