Dress Style / Choice of Physical Appearance-MERGED

Dress Style / Choice of Physical Appearance-MERGED

This is a discussion on Dress Style / Choice of Physical Appearance-MERGED within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On another thread the topic of appearance / clothing came up. So thought I'd ask a couple of questions. One: How do you dress when ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Dress Style / Choice of Physical Appearance-MERGED

    On another thread the topic of appearance / clothing came up. So thought I'd ask a couple of questions.

    One: How do you dress when you OC? Do you think it is relevant to the way you are treated when you OC?

    Two: Do you profile, based upon dress style? As part of our situational awareness we keep an eye out for who the BG is. Do how folks dress determine what threat category you place them in?

    Three: If so how do those you ID as threats dress? Be as specific as possible.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    One: How do you dress when you OC. Do you think it is relevant to the way you are treated when you OC?
    I almost always dress business casual whether I'd be carrying or not. Usually a Polo or Button up tucked in with khakis or jeans. I like to look professional and clean.
    Yes I think that the way you choose to dress plays a big role in how you are perceived.

    Why do you think criminals wear suits and ties to their court appearances?


    Two: Do you profile, based upon dress style? As part of our situational awareness we keep an eye out for who the BG is. Do how folks dress determine what threat category you place them in?
    Yes, but in combination with their attitude and demeanor. Profiling isn't an exact science. There are way too many variables.

    Three: If so how do those you ID as threats dress? Be as specific as possible.
    Clothes don't make somebody a threat. It is an indicator that maybe this person needs further attention. Just like Mercop's thread about things that should draw our attention.

    Things that draw my attention are: Really old clothing, Clothing that is way oversized, Pants around ones knees, Sloppy appearance, Tattered clothing, and Dirty Shoes (This is a big one believe it or not. My old boss told me that while looking for shoplifters look at their shoes. If they have really dirty shoes on chances are they are going to steal. And it turned out to be true most of the time.)

    You can even go beyond clothing to look at physical appearance. Unkept hair, signs of drug use, dirty finger nails, nervousness, paranoia.



    Go on youtube and look up security tapes of robberies for more examples.


    We can't be afraid to profile just because its not "Politially Correct".

    Its not Politically Correct to carry a gun either.
    Last edited by dsee11789; March 7th, 2010 at 12:43 PM.
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  3. #3
    Member Array Bkrazy's Avatar
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    One: How do you dress when you OC? Do you think it is relevant to the way you are treated when you OC?

    Edit- Looking at the question again, I really hate that we are in a society that still holds stereotypes to be true. I guess it depends where you are at and who you are interacting with as to the way you would be treated. If I walked into downtown Atlanta with cowboy boots and a trucker hat with tight jeans and my Judge strapped to my hip I dont think I would be accepted very well. Now if I wore those same clothes in say western VA I think they would welcome me in.

    I dont OC often enough to have a good answer. The few times I have it has been in whatever I was wearing which consists of loose fitting "skater/surfer" type clothing. This leads me to your next question.

    Two: Do you profile, based upon dress style? As part of our situational awareness we keep an eye out for who the BG is. Do how folks dress determine what threat category you place them in?

    I dont think we can accurately "profile" based on dress anymore. Especially in the urban and suburban enviroment where what was once stereo typical to a certain sub group has now become more mainstream. The "skater/surfer" clothing I wear would have put me in a group with the "punks" just a few years ago but now you will notice all sorts of people wearing the brands once associated with that group. With Hip-Hop being arguably more popular than rock now you will see alot more people wearing that style of dress.

    As far as SA goes we should all be able to tell the shady characters, they are the ones who look out of place. As was mentioned above the nervousness, the signs of drug abuse, the unkempt appearance are the signs I look for.

  4. #4
    Member Array tenorwizard's Avatar
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    I think DSee nailed it on the head with both points really. When I open carry, which is seldom, I dress business casual at least, looking professional, which it seems to me brings less attention to myself.

    And as for the profiling thing, also its not really the clothes per se, but how they are worn, condition, etc. that sets off SA and makes you watch closer.

  5. #5
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    I don't change my type of dress when I open carry. I wear jeans almost exclusively, either a polo style shirt, or work tee shirts (Dickie brand) and either Roper boots or laced work boot.

    I'm sure I do profile to an extent on how someone is dressed, but I think it is more on the persons demeanor. The persons actions will set off the alarms in my head much quicker than their way of dress.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongRider View Post
    One: How do you dress when you OC? Do you think it is relevant to the way you are treated when you OC?
    In general, dressing better yields better treatment. In general, dressing to blend in avoids special treatment.

    That said, I figure that being badly dressed or sticking out like a sore thumb can mix badly with OC, when OC is seen by someone not expecting it, to the degree the person is likely to see something they've always feared. Avoiding that, if possible, is worthwhile. The trick is, it's rarely possible to alter someone's impression of a gun being seen.

    So. Where does that leave me, when openly carrying? Folks will either mention something or they won't. They'll either be reasonable, or they won't. I have yet to have a truly bad, ugly or patently fearful exchange with anyone, when going OC. In each case, I've been wearing basic "casual/Friday" dress, such as a button polo shirt, Dockers-type khaki or cargo pants, casual shoes (other than athletic shoe style). So far, no treatment has been out of the ordinary.

    Two: Do you profile, based upon dress style? As part of our situational awareness we keep an eye out for who the BG is. Do how folks dress determine what threat category you place them in?
    I primarily base it on physical behaviors, non-verbal behaviors, eye/hand movement, indicators of tension. In addition to that, I'll add in the "look" of a person, in so far as it corroborates other primary indicators. Occasionally, I know I have guessed correctly when I see a person quickly readjust direction or attention.

    Three: If so how do those you ID as threats dress? Be as specific as possible.
    Almost to a "T" they have been under-dressed, dressed in the "gangsta/hood" type manner. But much more important has been how they've been carrying themselves, how they have walked, how they have directed their attentions to others and to me, the intensity of their look, the nervousness of their movements, and how quickly they redirected their movements or gaze when it was clear that I saw them doing what they were doing.

    In short, "dress" is a secondary element. It's an indicator, surely, but, in my experience, by itself clothing has yet to pinpoint anyone.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    I can't OC, but if I were able to I think that I would make sure my clothing doesn't accidentally conceal the weapon and would not get in the way of a draw.

    I will admit I profile. I learned growing up to recognize what is out of place for your situation and I am able to use that skill to this day.

    I'll answer your third question with an example of me growing up. I grew up in a rough area and I got mixed in with the streets. I wore the baggy pants around my butt, not waist, with Doc Martins and usually a shirt buttoned only at the top. When it was cold I had an old Army long overcoat with chains wrapped around one arm, like a uniform lanyard.

    I was profiled all the time, every store I went in to and every Cop I passed. I asked for it and they were ususally right by profiling me.

    Is that how BG dress these days, who knows. John Gotti dressed pretty well, before the state issued jump suit.

    A lot of profiling isn't so much the clothing, but also the demeanor. That is why I look everyone in the eyes, it is easier for me to tell that way than what they wear.
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    I can't OC here in FL, so it's not a concern. When visiting my grandkids in MI/IN, I did try to OC a few times and always dressed casually.
    I think that the more natural one looks and acts, the are going to notice less.
    It also has a lot to do with the having seen others CCW and probably think it must be an undercover cop...OMO...or they just don't SEE the obvious.
    After all, are aren't they?
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I try to stay away from dressing like Lady GAGa,I notice how her name has gag in it,I dress in blue jeans with either a T-shirt or button up shirt,get a haircut when needed and I have never had a problem.
    I have a friend who is a doctor and at one time a Deputy Sheriff on the Swat team as the medic,he has had a coupla warddrobe failures and the way he dresses you would never know he is a Doctor,he had the cops called a couple times when his CC pistol was peeking out under his shirt
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  10. #10
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    I always dress biker/farmer or military. I am a biker, farmer and military man. I don't have time to dress for an event. The better you are dreesed the better off you are.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paco View Post
    I wore the baggy pants around my butt, not waist ...
    Yeah, pants around mid butt cheek is a dead giveaway.

    So, how do you keep 'em from draggin' in the mud? The pants, I mean. Thankfully, fewer and fewer are wearing that sort of get-up, around here. It rains quite a bit and every one of them is soaked to the kneecaps during the wet months. Always seemed sort of silly, to me. But then, there's no accounting for taste.
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  12. #12
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    In FL OC is now allowed, but still believe that the way you dress matters when OCing.
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  13. #13
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    1- I OC in whatever I have on at the time. If I've been cutting grass it's a ratty t shirt and dirty pants. Normally, jeans and a t shirt. Just the way it goes.

    2- yes, partially at least.

    3- Most of it's been covered. Odd dress for the place, dirty, etc. I just got back from Walmart and honestly, if I profiled everyone that dressed like that I would never get my shopping done. I keep my head up and looking around as much as possible. 2 guys were dressed in the gangsta look that caught my eye for a second. One of them I am positive I work with, I did not make sure, but did not worry. The second was with a girl and a kid, right or wrong I did not worry about him much.

    The guy that caught my eye looked to be an early 20's college kid. Clean cut, well dressed, empty handed, and walking quickly down the cereal isle. As odd as it sound it caught my attention.

    Demeanor is huge for me. If a group of young guys comes through the door and maybe a bit loud but goofing off I don't worry so much. Same group walks in "crip" walking or some such, cursing, and being loud to get attention not goofing off then I would pay them much more attention. Same as folks that act kind of twitchy or nervous. Or last night, the guy approaching the gas station window on foot. Foot traffic at a gas station generally gets my attention.

    Is it right, maybe. Does it happen, definitely. I get profiled by the types I am profiling. They stay away from me generally, probably think I'm a cop.
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  14. #14
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    On my few trips north of the border (GA has OC), we generally wore camo -- they were hunting trips. Evenso, I think a smile, friendly hello, and nice looking holster with thumbstrap had much to do with keeping the girl at the c-store relaxed when two guys with guns walked in at 4AM.

    Clothes aside, if the holster is nice and your demeanor is non-threatening, folks tend to relax.

    If you wear long sleeved hoodies in Florida, you're on my SA watch list. (Of course, if you wear a bikini top, you could get on my watch list, too.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array camsdaddy's Avatar
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    Dont worry FL yall scream FL hunter. We generally dont notice your guns here in Ga just your wallet and the sight of your tags southbound on Sunday evening. Yeah I agree. I dont open carry but I know those I have seen normally dont get much attention. I notice those who are acting thugish and wanting attention and then those who sneaking as to avoid attention. Generally friendly people who smile and speak no matter their dress sorta slip under the radar.

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