For updates and comments on this article, please visit our blog at http://www.the22man.com/2016/07/how-to-dress-when-you-are-out-and-about/
Now, you can dress yourself how you want to, this is America. However, before you do, I would like you to take a few things into consideration.
I don’t believe in dressing overtly “tactical”. Now, if your job requires it, that is another story, however body guards in the US of A really don’t need to look like “bodyguards”. The Office Assistant or Personal Assistant look draws less attention from the client and the people they interact with.
If you are just an everyday “Joe” going to work, visiting family, shopping at StuffMart, then, in my humble but amazingly accurate opinion, dressing tactical is undesirable.
Hear me out! I do like ok LOVE 5.11 and Blackhawk “Gucci” gear, it is cool and the marketing material looks awesome, though I never look that cool in their gear. When I am out and about, I don’t want to look tactical because I don’t want to become a target. Yes, I own some of their pants and I love the pockets, plenty of room for stuff.
As a rule of thumb, there are five types of criminals: the opportunist, the planner, the bad a** who is out to kick butt and take names, there are also the terrorist and psychotic.
We are going to exclude the opportunist and the planner, your everyday criminals for the purpose of this article.
Imagine that you are a “bad” person and looking for trouble, let’s think this out.
The bad a**, terrorist and psyco don’t care about much, if anything. They are here to pick a fight and or kill, plain and simple. If you look tactical and you are located where they plan on doing their dirty deed, to them, you are a problem. Taking you out will be their first priority, along with law enforcement officers (LEO) and “security” personnel. If hostages are taken and you are one of them, you will be executed, it happens over and over. Heck, just being a post-adolescent male probably will get you killed by terrorist (research Beslan or ISIS). Otherwise they may torture you first, just like at Beslan and the Kenyan mall attack.
I am not saying to look like “bait” or a victim; however there is no need to draw attention to yourself. You can (and should be) armed and prepared, I just don’t think you should “stand out”. This just may be the advantage you need to escape, evade or ambush.
Dressing in “coyote” or tan tactical pants with a black “contractor” 5.11 polo shirt, a Magpul hat with combat boots does draw attention to you.
Even if you don’t carry a weapon, but just like the look, scumbags don’t know the difference, so instead of taking a chance, they will just “eliminate” you and continue on.
At a church security conference I attended in the spring of 2014, the trainers picked out several people based on what they were wearing and asked several questions. The speakers emphasized that they chose those people based on the brands and types of clothing they were wearing. Though the trainers did not point out that, to bad guys, knowing the brand and style of clothing could make them targets it was something I noticed. This was what I consider a point that could have been made to the group but was not. It was one that I pointed out to our team members who attended.
When it comes to tactical pants and shirts I do really love all the pockets to store stuff in on these types of pants, however, cargo pants can carry almost as much “stuff”.
A standard JC Penny’s shirt, cargo pants, non-descript shoes all allow you to blend in. If you keep alert (research the color codes, stay in “yellow”) and stay prepared (gun, knife, fire, flashlight, less-lethal option, “Pocket Lifesaver”) you stand a better chance of surviving an attack on you or where you are, by the criminal element.
There have been attempts by the major players to make covert clothing. I miss the 5.11 tactical Pro series (apparently now the COVERT Khaki 2.0) where the pockets were discrete. My BlackHawk! Warrior Wear are obviously tactical with all the flaps on the not so hidden pockets. BlackHawk! Does have a dress pant (“Men’s Dress Pant” – real thoughtful name) but I have yet to find a pair I can touch and feel to see how it is designed.
If you have spent a bundle on these pants, try untucking your shirt, I do. This makes a little sloppier look, but can cover the belt (and any Bat Gear you have on it), the top of the pants (to cover your pistol / holster clips) and most importantly, takes the starched “contractor” look away from you.
For some of you this part will come easy, for those who, like me were raised with starched shirts, straight gig line and tightly tucked shirts this will take a few years of getting used to. Un-ironed, kaki, cargo Dockers go a long way to the discrete look, jeans work well too, though they lack the quantity of pockets.
Many people don’t notice too much when it comes to button up and polo shirts, however if it says 5.11 or BlackHawk! or any of the other brands, that is a sign to those looking for trouble. Also wearing one so tight that it shows your man boobs is just wrong, no matter how big your “pecks” are. A loose fitting shirt, tucked or untucked (which I prefer) draws less attention, especially if it is just a normal everyday shirt. Here you can get one with pockets for your tactical pen and water proof notepad, or in my case the free “Viagra” pen and 15 cent notepad. Let’s not forget the military shoulder tabs or the pen holder on the shoulder. These all say “I’m an armed person”, if you are or are not.
The same issue applies to wearing “combat” boots around town. While it is fashionable for the “kids” to wear them, you look a little out of place at the mall, especially when you tuck your pants into them. Now days, Converse and others make some nice boots that when your pants legs cover them, they look like hiking boots or track shoes. Hiking shoes and boots are great “incognito” wear.
While on the topic, I guess I must cover ball caps. Magpul is a great product, and maybe you don’t mind being a free billboard for them, but you are telling all who pay attention, at the very minimum, you know a little about weapons, and to the criminal element you just might have made yourself a target. I know you want to cover that bald spot, heck so do I, but wearing a cap with a baseball or football logo is less of an eye catcher, to the expert criminal, than a “tactical” cap.
While I believe in freedom of choice (go America!) and I defiantly don’t want to tell you what to wear, I want to advise you to think, then take a look in the mirror before you head out for the day.
Until we meet again, have a virus free day.