does our choice in apparel give away our advantage?

A friend of mine likes to use some misdirection in his clothing choices. His theory is that, regardless of what they are wearing, "tuned in" people will look at cops and others "in the business" and know they are in some kind of public safety or military role. He has a bunch of t-shirts from volunteer fire departments that he wears in public and claims that this has helped dirty dudes make a choice about what they're seeing and decide to disregard him. He also claims that, dressed this way, some people he's arrested have looked right past him in public situations, such as at the local ChinaMart.

Everyone loves a fireman, right?
 

Sunshine_Shooter

Established
A friend of mine likes to use some misdirection in his clothing choices. His theory is that, regardless of what they are wearing, "tuned in" people will look at cops and others "in the business" and know they are in some kind of public safety or military role. He has a bunch of t-shirts from volunteer fire departments that he wears in public and claims that this has helped dirty dudes make a choice about what they're seeing and decide to disregard him. He also claims that, dressed this way, some people he's arrested have looked right past him in public situations, such as at the local ChinaMart.

Everyone loves a fireman, right?

Interesting idea. If you can't keep them from noticing you, make them interpret it wrong. I like it.
 
This idea could be expanded in a lot of ways to fit the person and the environment. If you look like a hands-on guy, wear a work shirt with somebody's name on the patch. If you look like an IT guy, dress business casual.

I've been told by many on both sides of the law that I either look like a biker or a cop. I live in an area where even people who don't own a motorcycle wear Harley T-shirts, so it can be pretty easy to blend in casual situations.
 

Sunshine_Shooter

Established
I know that I'm posting a meme, but I'm not trying to get laughs I'm trying to prove a point that I feel is relevant to this specific discussion. This came from a meme page I follow on my personal, non-gun account. This was broadcast to non gun people by other non gun people. Notice that the first image is of how a guy is dressed. Yes, we can say "I recognize it, but I'm on the inside!" but that's no longer a valid excuse when the general public recognizes it just the same.


Screenshot_20190316-180238_Instagram.jpg

Look at what you wear. Everyone else is looking at it, too.
 

David Mayeur

Regular Member
What really gives it away are the pants. Then the "tacticool" color palette follows. I see more discount Academy fudd shirts than brand-name-company line gear (the "I'm carrying a Ruger LC9S in a nylon Blackhawk OWB holster" guy). But, it's the "I would EDC my truck, but I'm missing one additional pocket" brands of cargo pants / shorts that sets off assessment alarms. And, it might just be Louisiana. But, the "lower" the brand of pants/shorts, the lower the tier of handgun/holster they carry. Haha

But, that's us. We know what to look for based on what we would and wouldn't consider wearing.

Maybe start dressing like these special Gen-Z kids? Nobody would figure you carried a firearm then. It would hurt the soul though. Haha

I wear $20 jeans and have a RMR'd G34. What part of Louisiana are you in? lol
 
This kind of thinking is why I've slowly shifted my wardrobe over the past few years from t shirts(nothing gun related, I never really thought that was a good idea), 5.11 pants and heavy black leather boots My clothing options are limited by my size and my budget so winter is usually flannel shirts and Duluth Trading carpenter pants or jeans while summer is cargo shorts and a lightweight button down fishing type shirt. In my area (north Alabama) I look just like every other early 40's white guy walking around. I do wear either Chuck Taylor's, New Balance trail shoes, or Keene shoes and sandals year round because they are durable and make many styles in a size 16.

I already attract enough attention when I'm out in public so I dress to blend in as much as possible.
 
This is one of the tough things if you move around. For example, living in Fairbanks, AK. Nobody bats an eye at Arcteryx stuff, or Carharts because both are warm and functional. You visit Colorado for example, still lots of dead bird, but a few more bright colors thrown in along with the other usual higher end outdoor companies.

I definitely looked out of place when I lived in Columbus, GA because most of my clothes come from the climbing/outdoors so bright colors are normal. But the community down there doesn’t dress the same way, more fishing shirts and polos.

I’m lucky that I have a mix of bright/climbing stuff that works very well, and a few more “neutral” colors that are from LEAF, but don’t scream “tactical” when in conjunction with the other clothing.

It’s all a balance. Wear what’s comfortable, rock out in some Chaco’s and be happy.
 

Blitzer613

Amateur
I’m not a fan of logos on apparel, but especially “tactical/gun” branding. Dead giveaway. But even in the form of the clothing. When I started playing golf I started wearing Under Armour polo shirts all the time. Then I started getting more serious about Concealment, switched to appendix carry, and had to buy different shirts to facilitate AIWB. As I started buying button up shirts from 5.11 and others I noticed that I was looking slightly less “goofy” and borderline tactical timmy. I noticed it early so I have been able to be cautious about what style shirts I acquire and tend toward stuff that doesn’t look like I just got back from hiking. I’ve bought a LOT of Magpul shirts because of some deep sales recently and in a large they are just the right fit for me to be able to carry a 19 w/RMR & TLR7 without printing. They trend more toward a casual Van Heusen look rather than 5.11 so my clothes don’t scream the signs of “he’s a concealed carrier.” Categorically I never wear gun brand caps unless I’m going to meet with friends at someone’s house where I don’t mind being obvious, which is an unfortunate waste because my Geissele cap and other freebie caps are collecting dust.
 

RobbieRob

Newbie
That screams new cop or Federal Agent. You have to say Federal Agent like they do on NCIS LA.

I usually look like a broke hiker or a broke farmer. I try hard not to where anything that gives away my profession. I don't leave the house in uniform or any part of it. Surprisingly shoes are a good indicator.

I'm getting interested in going with the broke farmer look. Ft. Polk is fairly rural, typically I'm wearing chuck taylors or some old sneakers, my lineman's boots need resoling and there are no local places who can do that within an hour of my location.

Do you wear overalls and work boots?
 

David Mayeur

Regular Member
I'm getting interested in going with the broke farmer look. Ft. Polk is fairly rural, typically I'm wearing chuck taylors or some old sneakers, my lineman's boots need resoling and there are no local places who can do that within an hour of my location.

Do you wear overalls and work boots?

Ft. Polk is rural, but you would blend in with a Columbia PFG shirt year round.
 
Ft. Polk is rural, but you would blend in with a Columbia PFG shirt year round.
Those lightweight button up fishing shirts are the perfect camouflage in the deep South during summer months. Lightweight, quick drying, relatively loose fitting, and wearing them with cargo shorts means you look like every other basic dude in the same zip code. I do wish somebody would start making them in 4XLT with some flex built in though.
 

David Mayeur

Regular Member
Those lightweight button up fishing shirts are the perfect camouflage in the deep South during summer months. Lightweight, quick drying, relatively loose fitting, and wearing them with cargo shorts means you look like every other basic dude in the same zip code. I do wish somebody would start making them in 4XLT with some flex built in though.

I have a few of the Magellan (Academy brand) stretch fit fishing shirts. Has arm pit mesh and dries quickly. I went to Bass Pro the other day and looked like 90% of the other people in the store.
 

HighTower

Regular Member
I always have a real issue going from BFE to Denver. Here there is a range of blue jeans to wrangler rip stop to carharts, and unless some one looks like they are from Boulder, its safe to assume that 50% or more of locals have a CC or a vehicle gun.

Some folks are out there with open carry Safari land holsters (I think they are trying too hard) around here. So there is smidge norm in these parts.

Going to Denver, blue jeans are at the edge of normal, but Chinos cover the gamut.

Body posture for an individual is more my concern. On a college campus that is no carry, the individuals who appear to be confident but with out the ten pound ego are spores for CCW types. If the EGO requires its own chair next to them, its likely they are not CCW folk, but semi-veterans (one contract non deployer types who think going to basic made them Rambo types)

I settle on out doors V. In door, County v. City. Also size, as a short man I know its a pain to not print, average and taller folks get the space to better CCW. Its touch and go in Colorado, but with violent crime being a bigger population issue, im not worried about my local high school supporting sub 1000 students being the next STEM school shooting.
 
Maybe not “more out to be a victim”, but more likely to be the first victim.

If shit goes sideways, would you like to surprise people with the fact that you have a gun or be the first one everyone looks at because they know you have one.

On the other hand and to be blunt, I’d shoot him first if he and a few others simultaneously became a deadly force threat because I know he’s holding.
My wife calls them shoot me first shirts. Because she knows where the gun is. We dont want to be that person. Years ago now, two cops were killed in Las Vegas during their lunch. The suspects crossed the street to hole up in Walmart. The first suspect entered with a gun out. Concerned armed citizen drew his concealed weapon only to be gunned down by the second suspect he didnt even know was there. Just as good guys hide, bad guys hide. Everyone, us and them, is somewhere on a spectrum between being good at it and bad. Dont let the first guy you catch slipping tilt your hand too far, you could be suprised
 
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