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Old April 8, 2021, 03:30 AM   #1
Moonglum
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The Specialized Clothing Issue Always Seems To Come Up.

I know that a discussion on this topic was recently closed but my understanding is it was closed for being SIXTEEN years old NOT for content.

I know this is a valid topic because it comes up at least a couple of times a year on every single internet gun forum I participate in. There is a discussion on this topic on Glock Talk that was started in August of 2011 that is TwentyEight Pages long and is still active. So, I know this is something that people give thought to.

This is what I've gathered from the discussions I've read.

The vast majority of people you run into everyday are paying you no attention. You could probably open carry and they would not notice.

True story, I was at work one afternoon (uniformed security guard) checking a city building when I was surrounded by five cop cars. The cops got out, asked me if I had seen anything suspicious or anybody else walking around the area then they told me that they were responding to a call of a man with a gun sitting in the woods across the street from where I was at. (Where I was it was the building I was checking and then the street out in front of it and then a patch of woods then a railroad track then the interstate. The concern was that the man with the gun was going to start shooting at cars on the interstate). After they told me all this the cops told me to go ahead and continue my rounds with caution and then one of them asked me if I was armed. They were literally standing in a circle around me and none of them noticed whether or not I was carrying a gun.
That's when it was driven home to me that most people really aren't paying attention.

However, you will draw the attention of some people and the people who are most likely to notice are the people you are least likely to want to draw the attention of.

The first group is other gun people and it may cause some random idiot to decide that your 5.11 pants (there are a gazillion brands of "Tactical" clothing out there. Why is it always 5.11s?) make you a kindred spirit. There is a guy who posts on the S&W forum who claims that when he sees somebody wearing the "Tactical Tuxedo" he calls them out on it in public just to be a jerk. If I can avoid that kind of interaction in my life why not wearing 5.11 pants I'm all for it.

The second group is Cops. The guy who started the discussion on Glock Talk said "Cops notice people who dress like them and criminals notice people who dress like cops." and it makes sense.

The next time you see a cop being interviewed on TV take a look at what he's wearing because it's almost always the 5-11 pants and a polo shirt. It makes sense to me that if a cop saw somebody in clothing that closely resembles a police uniform they'd give that person some extra scrutiny if for no other reason than to decide whether or not they're trying to impersonate a cop. Again, if I can avoid that type of interaction I will.

The last group is criminals. A criminal may not be able to look at those pants and say "Those are the 5.11 Royal Robbins Tactical pants." but I bet he can tell you the cops wear those clothes. Especially if he's ever been arrested by somebody wearing them.

I remember in one of these discussions a cop saying that he'd seen criminals pick up on something as small as a handcuff key on your key ring. He said that they become good at recognizing cops because that's how they stay out of jail. Another cop claimed to have seen a dope dealer walk up to a marked police car and offered to sell them drugs. I have no idea if he was serious or not.

I try not to wear "Tactical" anything. There's a lot of people in Colorado Springs that dress like they do all their shopping at REI. Generic cargo pants just fade right into the background. I went to an appointment a year or so ago with my audiologist. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my wife and I looked around and I realized there were two other guys in the room with us and all three of us were wearing the same kind of pants (Walmart Wrangler Cargos) The only difference was the color. I stood out like a Cheerio in a bowl of Cheerios.
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Old April 8, 2021, 04:58 AM   #2
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Makes a lot of sense. We gravitate towards people like our own selves. Looks like a duck must be one. I try to look more like “surprise I gotta gun “. But my SA is on full alert.
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonglum View Post
The vast majority of people you run into everyday are paying you no attention. You could probably open carry and they would not notice.
Depends on who you are, no? Try saying this of the buxom blonde in aisle 9 of the supermarket, open carrying. I guess this is true for us plain looking (male) folk. Women get checked out way more than us guys (I think, I hope I am not being sexist for saying this).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonglum View Post
you will draw the attention of some people and the people who are most likely to notice are the people you are least likely to want to draw the attention of.

The first group is other gun people and it may cause some random idiot to decide that your 5.11 pants (there are a gazillion brands of "Tactical" clothing out there. Why is it always 5.11s?) make you a kindred spirit. There is a guy who posts on the S&W forum who claims that when he sees somebody wearing the "Tactical Tuxedo" he calls them out on it in public just to be a jerk. If I can avoid that kind of interaction in my life why not wearing 5.11 pants I'm all for it.

The second group is Cops. The guy who started the discussion on Glock Talk said "Cops notice people who dress like them and criminals notice people who dress like cops." and it makes sense.

I try not to wear "Tactical" anything. There's a lot of people in Colorado Springs that dress like they do all their shopping at REI. Generic cargo pants just fade right into the background. I went to an appointment a year or so ago with my audiologist. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my wife and I looked around and I realized there were two other guys in the room with us and all three of us were wearing the same kind of pants (Walmart Wrangler Cargos) The only difference was the color. I stood out like a Cheerio in a bowl of Cheerios.
I didn't even know what 5.11 pants were, I had to look them up, they look cool.

Carhartt and other cargo pants are equally functional imo and have more of a working class, less conspicuous tactical look.

Yeah, it is the Colorado look : ) Also bicycling outfits, but good luck trying to conceal anything in those tight biking shorts ha ha.
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pistoler0 View Post
Depends on who you are, no? Try saying this of the buxom blonde in aisle 9 of the supermarket, open carrying. I guess this is true for us plain looking (male) folk. Women get checked out way more than us guys (I think, I hope I am not being sexist for saying this).

What does this have to do with the topic at hand?
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Old April 8, 2021, 11:29 AM   #5
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The Specialized Clothing Issue Always Seems To Come Up.

I think there will always be those that won’t notice and there will be those that do. I understand your example. In my experience the average police officer isn’t necessarily that much more observant than the average person, even if you might expect them to be.

Taking 5.11 for example they have some pants with pockets everywhere that might give someone who is very observant something to notice. When I grew up cargo pants were a big thing so it doesn’t seem particularly odd to me to see pants with pockets, plus they’re pretty common around here. Some outdoor brands also have similar synthetic pants with pockets so it’s also not just tactical gear. 5.11 also offers more “covert” type gear that has fewer pockets and where the logos are subdued and not readily visible.

For me personally someone wearing 5.11 or similar clothing might be carrying a gun, they might just like hiking, or maybe they just like the look. I’m not sure compared to say Carhartt that it screams gun owner. We have plenty of people wearing Carhartt and carrying guns too. I do think being mindful of how your choice of clothing fits into your typical background isn’t a bad idea.


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Old April 8, 2021, 02:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Moonglum View Post
What does this have to do with the topic at hand?
I was trying to be funny.

But some people draw more attention than others just because their physical looks, that's all. And so it is not correct to think that "the vast majority of people you run into everyday are paying you no attention". That is true for me, but it depends on who you are.

Good looking people (I am going to refrain from specifying gender) get "checked out" and noticed much more than plain looking folks, regardless of what they are wearing. And concealing anything would be harder for them.

That was the point I was trying to make.
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Old April 8, 2021, 07:29 PM   #7
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I once took the Glock Armorers class. I am in law enforcement but I wore jeans and a polo. Everyone else looked like they were in uniform. Polo and 511 pants. One person sure, but 20 people in the same outfit, in the same place, stand out.

I was at lunch today after the gym. Group of about 10 guys as a table. Immediately noted them as cops. All wearing polos and tactical 5.11 type pants. They got up to pay and sure enough, badges and guns on most. some with embroidered badge polos.

I agree, most people wont notice. However the people that do notice are generally of concern. This will be the less reputable denizens of my city, other cops, and gun people generally.

With that said, I really like the functionality and usability to 5.11 type gear.

What I have gone towards it hiking/outdoor gear or hunting or old military camo. Generally no one bats an eye if your in hiking pants, jeans the old woodland camo or hunting camo. But the newer camos or digital camos really seem to stick out.

I think there is also the bias to look for similarities. You get a new car, all of a sudden you see your make/model everywhere when you had noticed them before. similarly, you wear 5.11 or tactical pants as a choice, you notice others wearing them.
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:37 PM   #8
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5.11 and a black or gray polo is the "going to training or a class" uniform of cops. The average person probably won't notice but law enforcement and criminals will. I prefer to look like I'm going for a hike than a LE seminar.
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:43 PM   #9
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It almost sounds like we should be more concerned about wearing polos than 5.11.
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:04 PM   #10
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Noooo!!
I have 20 polo shirts.
But no tactical pants!!
What else do you wear in Florida?
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:04 PM   #11
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It almost sounds like we should be more concerned about wearing polos than 5.11.
To me, in my experience anymore, a polo, especially a tucked in polo, says police or Marine.... Paired with 5.11 type pants, 100% a cop. So yes, I feel a polo is as much a dead give away as the pants.
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:07 PM   #12
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Thank God - I seldom tuck mine in Because I’m concealing
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:19 PM   #13
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Noooo!!
I have 20 polo shirts.
But no tactical pants!!
What else do you wear in Florida?
Board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt
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Old April 9, 2021, 01:14 AM   #14
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Be careful with the Hawaiian Shirts!! Is it the "Boogaloo Boys"?? Some group has chosen Hawaiian Shirts as "Uniform" Like the black clothes of ANTIFA,it says "One of us"
I'm not "One of them"
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Old April 9, 2021, 07:05 AM   #15
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Every time I've looked at 5.11 clothes, the thought went through my mind that if they are designed for CC, then wouldn't they be a giveaway that you are CC?

Hiking type clothing for me. Generally with a loose t-shirt.
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Old April 9, 2021, 04:17 PM   #16
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So, my usual getup is flannel shirt, Husker Du t-shirt, old jeans, and Chuck Taylors. Run silent, run deep, I guess.

The whole "black polo shirt, khaki pants" getup just sticks right out. Those guys might as well have a CCW badge on their belt.
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Old April 9, 2021, 05:25 PM   #17
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I'm still half heartedly experimenting with clothes my self even though I've been pocket carrying for... I don't know 10 years? 15 years? I've learned that pockets with diagonal openings really help with the draw. Blue jean pockets that have a straight up horizontal mouth are nearly impossible to work with, and jeans are so tight. At least mine are!

Also, fancy pants don't always have wide enough belt loops. Cargo pockets are nice for wallet and keys but I can manage without them, I just look like I've got bulges on my hips.

I have yet to try tactical shorts or pants, but as long as they have those diagonal pockets I'd probably be happy with them. And why do clothing makers always make pocket material so weak? Can't they at least use a scrap of the cloth the rest of the pant was made of? It's always that thin white material.
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Old April 9, 2021, 06:41 PM   #18
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Bro.. there are always going to be fan boys and there are always going to be haters. Fan boys can be spotted a mile away by just about everyone. Personally, I dont care what people want to wear and I dont see the whole "tactical profiling" issue as being an issue at all. It doesnt really matter what you are wearing, skilled individuals ( including criminals) can spot a squared away person even if they are wearing a freaking track suit.

5.11 makes some decent pants and if they are conducive to what I need to be doing, I will wear some. I dont put on 5.11 to go walking around the mall or to the grocery. If others want to wear 5.11 type pants as their daily uniform.. fine, I dont think it much matters, I really dont. If wearing tactical style clothing is doing anything, its signaling who probably ISNT a operator.
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Old April 9, 2021, 06:57 PM   #19
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I'm a senior citizen. Regular pants,such as Wranglers,tend to sag. Even with a tight belt.

Keeping the pants up so as to not show the old plumber butt smiling backwards is a full time job even without the weight of a gun.

While the fashion statement is questinable,I mostly wear bib overalls these days.Black Carharts for dress up. Blue Big Smiths,etc blue denim for comfort.

And a variety of other stock Carhart colors. Tee shirt up top,and over it a baggy flannel shirt.

Low key.
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Old April 9, 2021, 07:09 PM   #20
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The Specialized Clothing Issue Always Seems To Come Up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl View Post
I'm still half heartedly experimenting with clothes my self even though I've been pocket carrying for... I don't know 10 years? 15 years? I've learned that pockets with diagonal openings really help with the draw. Blue jean pockets that have a straight up horizontal mouth are nearly impossible to work with, and jeans are so tight. At least mine are!

Also, fancy pants don't always have wide enough belt loops. Cargo pockets are nice for wallet and keys but I can manage without them, I just look like I've got bulges on my hips.

I have yet to try tactical shorts or pants, but as long as they have those diagonal pockets I'd probably be happy with them. And why do clothing makers always make pocket material so weak? Can't they at least use a scrap of the cloth the rest of the pant was made of? It's always that thin white material.

That is one advantage of tactical pants in that the pockets are generally usable, even just the standard pockets. The openings of the pockets are also generally reinforced, which is nice in that the clips on knives or lights don’t chew the heck out of the pocket (I’ve had this happen with Carhartt, which honestly I’ve never been impressed with durability wise). To be fair we could also argue that having light and knife clips visible give people an indication as well. I try to make sure those aren’t visible, but at some point I trade some discretion for accessibility. Hiking or other pants also generally have good pockets. Functionality of jeans seems to vary a lot by the maker and what those pants are meant for.


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Old April 9, 2021, 07:38 PM   #21
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To be fair we could also argue that having light and knife clips visible give people an indication as well.
I'm not a lawyer. Please do not take this as legal advice.

I'm sure it varies state to state. My understanding of Colorado law:

1) A concealed carry permit is only good for a concealed handgun. No other weapon may be carried concealed.

2) A knife clipped to a pocket showing as "visible" is not considered concealed.
Stuff it down in the pocket,its concealed.I'm pretty sure a blade under a certain length is not considered a "weapon"

Of course,I could be wrong
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Old April 9, 2021, 08:36 PM   #22
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Fair point. Knowing your local laws is important.
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Old April 9, 2021, 10:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by HiBC View Post
I'm not a lawyer. Please do not take this as legal advice.

I'm sure it varies state to state. My understanding of Colorado law:

1) A concealed carry permit is only good for a concealed handgun. No other weapon may be carried concealed.

2) A knife clipped to a pocket showing as "visible" is not considered concealed.
Stuff it down in the pocket,its concealed.I'm pretty sure a blade under a certain length is not considered a "weapon"

Of course,I could be wrong
Colorado specifies a 3.5 inch blade but I'm pretty sure it's situational. I've never heard of anyone being arrested for a pocket knife.
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Old April 9, 2021, 10:14 PM   #24
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The only 5.11s I have any experience with are the Royal Robbins pants. My wife picked up a pair in a bundle of second hand clothes. I liked them but I had no idea what they were until I got issued several pairs at work. I had no idea they were a "Tell" until I read about it on the Internet.

To me the magazine pocket is awkwardly placed and if I put anything it my leg burns. The cargo pockets are too small to be of any real value but I liked that strap because I could hang the key ring for my work keys on it.
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Old April 9, 2021, 10:29 PM   #25
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The Specialized Clothing Issue Always Seems To Come Up.

I’ve owned the Stryke and Apex pants and the Covert Flex shirt (the names are a bit much).

The first is meant more as a duty pant. I’ve used them in multiple training courses and they hold up well (the knees are reinforced inside and the fabric stretches and holds up to stains fairly well). I mainly use the pockets for storage but I have tried using the magazine pockets, rifle and pistol. They work, but I’m not executive protection and outside of that I am not sure the point as any duty rig seems like it would be better and when I carry concealed I have belt mounted options that are easier to access (I don’t conceal rifle magazines though, so if that’s a concern maybe it’s a plus, and I guess you could stuff your pockets with pistol magazines). The pocket placement and size is absolutely a tell.

The Apex pant is meant to be more discrete in that they don’t shout tactical from a distance. They look more like something you’d see at REI than a full on duty cargo pant. The pockets are a lot more subtle as is the styling. Certain colors also make it harder to tell the pants are “tactical” (darker colors hide the stitching more) . They still have the provision for magazines in the pockets and the material is pretty good stretch and stain wise.

The Covert Flex shirt is cut in such a way that there is a bit more room around the torso and waist so it doesn’t print as much against a pistol. The buttons are actually snaps and can pull away (except the top button). I can honestly say I don’t think whoever designed them used them much with firearms. The breast pocket is open and will trap the butt of a rifle if moving to a high ready and left handed. The interior hem near the buttons isn’t sewn shut and likes to catch rear pistol sights as you press out during a draw if the garment wasn’t cleared fully. There are much better hiking shirts or flannel shirts.

If you are looking for 5.11, don’t pay full price. Both 5.11 and their resellers do sales fairly often for say 20% off. Even then the prices aren’t cheap and it’s a fair argument that you’re just as well off with other options. My experience has been some 5.11 gear is thought out, others isn’t, and some frankly isn’t much better than what else is out there.

I’ll add that footwear according to officers I’ve talked to is another tell. Around me many officers wear the same cross trainers or trail running shoes on and off duty.


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