If 10 random people were taken off the street and lined up for a threat assessment, we would tend to make stereotypical judgments about the relative danger the people were in, based upon their appearance.
For example, picture the commonly stereotypical computer-nerd college student.
They would probably be carrying a laptop computer in one hand and a latte in the other.
They may be sporting a leather driving cap or wearing a wool plaid designer coat, but how what image do they project – one of strength and awareness or one of ineptitude?
This type person isn’t generally seen as threatening or dangerous. Where concealed carry and personal defense are concerned, this is highly relevant if you want to blend in and become a “sleeper” threat. By definition, a sleeper is an armed citizen, hidden in plain sight.
Another way to help hide the fact that you are carrying is to utilize fabric patterns certain colors of clothing in order to modify the way you appear to others.
We can learn quite a bit from fashion magazines in this regard. The orientation of lines on clothing is often used to move the eyes upwards instead of sideways. Vertical lines can make a short person appear taller because they draw the eyes upwards. Horizontal lines can help reduce the perceived profile of a person who wants to appear shorter.
And then there are colors, which also play a part in conveying your attitude. Black hides contours. On the other hand, lighter colors can enhance bumps and curves. Armed with this knowledge, you can make educated decisions about what to wear, which will help you to better hide holstered firearms under your clothing.
There is also an exciting new trend among several clothing manufactures, which is to bring us tactical garments that are functional for concealed carry and that look good at the same time.
You can find a number of sharp-looking dress shirts, for example, and as author Scott W. Wagner mentions in his article “Blending In: The Attire Lets You Keep a Low Profile” on USConcealedcarry.com, there are even tactical sweatshirts in development:
“Besides having enough length to cover a waistband-carried handgun, the BLACKHAWK! hoodie features a discreet handgun access point in the hand warmer pocket. There is a slit on both sides that allows for a surreptitious draw from a front waistband carried pistol. There is a zipper accessed front pouch pocket to hold wallets and ID as part of the warmer.” (Read more about concealed carry fashion choices here)
You may find that the learning curve associated with understanding how to blend in convincingly is a little steep at first. And to make it harder, you’ll need to consider the seasons, which change the type of clothing you need wear to keep warm or stay cool.
As an exercise, study the general population when you’re out and about, and take note of whose style blends in the best. Perhaps you can adopt some of their clothing choices, and implement them in your own “under the radar” look.