Survival Clothing: An Urban Fashion Statement

April 6, 2012 4:56 pm

Survival Clothing: An Urban Fashion Statement

How do you hide out in plain sight and still gather intelligence – be inconspicuous. You need to manage your attire and attitude for long term survival – stay out of the fight. Women more than men are at risk. Staying warm and dry, comfortable and ready to move is all part of the plan.

Why are You Hiding?

Every preparation you make for your survival is based upon an organized evaluation of the potential threats you may face and what risks will influence your preparedness. Understand the psychology related to attitude and leadership. You must be prepared, be ready and be smart.

What factors will influence your actions? What is the extent of the threat and how does it pose a risk to you; DEFCON Condition? What is the strength and capacity of your family and forces; STATFOR – Status of Forces? What is the situation with respect to intelligence of your surrounding community – SITREP – Situational Awareness? What is the impact of time on your preparations and potential actions – IMPACT 2222? What are the defensive and offensive actions you should be prepared to implement? Do you have the right Survival Operations Protocols for various situations – your SOP? Do you have the moral strength to do what is necessary?

Integrate these factors into your plans and you will be better prepared.

Win the Long Fight

Our first priority is to survive, win the long fight and that begins by being prepared and that includes understanding your need to remain inconspicuous and stay out of the fight as long as possible. Under these circumstances we are not thinking about our web gear, weapons, uniforms or camouflage by their military definitions.  We need to ‘fit in’ as just normal people, concerned about the problems we all face but not aggressive in our posture or as we are perceived.

Urban Fashion Statement

This article deals with your attire in an urban, suburban environment. Select normal clothes; jeans, shorts, flannel shirt, t –shirts, hat, just comfortable simple nondescript attire. This is not the time for your BDU – Battle Dress Uniform – or black SWAT gear.

We emphasize comfortable and nondescript. Wear everyday clothes but be conscious of the weather and understand you will have to wear these clothes for a few days. Let them get dirty, look worn, old, distressed; be inconspicuous but you should have good comfortable shoes and socks, jeans or cargo pants (lots of pockets are great) if it is warm, wear light dryable cotton or light polyester, if it is cold wear fleece, heaver clothes. Always wear light breathable underwear, something that wicks away perspiration and dries quickly. You need to stay comfortable and dry. There may be times you will be out for a period of days or walking to a new location or safety.

Wear an over shirt, not tucked in (weapons concealment) or a rain jacket or warm jacket, waterproof and breathable if possible. I always recommend an appropriate hat and gloves if the weather is cold. Dark colors, muted plaids, just fade into the environment. This is not a time for bright, striking colors or clothes that give any indication as to your preparedness or state of mind. Just be quiet, go about your business and look around. It is fine to wear the same clothes for a few days, let them get dirty and haggard. You want to look like you have nothing and just need a good bath.

We also suggest the women wear gender neutral attire. This is not a time to be ‘attractive’ – just the opposite.

Be mindful, concerned and check out the neighbors and those that are new to your neighborhood. If a local family invites 3 – 4 older teenagers with guns, stocked with cold beer and partying, you may consider them a potential threat to your family in the near future  if times worsen rapidly.

Be subtle, however, blending into the neighborhood, does not mean you do not have a weapon or two. A concealed – really concealed – pistol and a pocket knife should be part of your attire. But be sure no one knows you have a weapon. You are in a 99% defensive posture, avoid an aggressive look and appear timid. If you have a concealable bullet proof vest, wear it; concealed.

Neighborhood Intelligence – Changes over Time

This is a time for you to be gathering information about others. Make mental notes; ask questions about the preparedness of others without making it obvious. Learn who has what and what are their plans.

You and your family should all dress in the same manner. Try to just be part of the neighborhood. The first few days will probably be calm and people will be disarmed about the potential problems. This is, of course, is based upon certain disaster situations. As the time becomes as issue IMPACT 2222 – 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years – the situation and your clothes will change.

The first set of survival clothes will be your most comfortable inconspicuous everyday clothes. Make sure your bag if you are getting out of town contains the appropriate clothes including changes of socks, underwear, jackets, hats, etc. you will of course adapt to the weather conditions but the principals of your urban disguise remain important.

We will deal with the proper attire for rural survival situations and extreme climates in another article.

As time passes you want to remain in your inconspicuous clothes. Let them get dirty, look ragged. Appear hungry and concerned. Keep your eyes and ears open. As time passes, go out less. If you hear gun shots at night in the distance listen to see if the shots become more frequent or get closer. The longer you can stay out of sight and out of the thoughts of others the safer you will be.

When Times Get Worse

You should maintain your civilian ragged attire as long as possible. As the times worsen limit your day time walks and plan a few late evening ‘patrols’. At night you should remain in civilian clothes but wear darker clothes, not 100% black but dark and broken patterns, a hat, stay in the shadows. Go out in pairs of pairs, keep weapons concealed but ready. Let one pair watch the other as back up, avoid other groups. They may have aggressive plans or be looking for a hostage. Have a story if you are questioned. Do not become ‘peeping toms’ staring into the windows of your neighbors – will get someone shot.


Maintain your conventional attire, comfortable, durable, good shoes, with lots of pockets that fit the weather. You must always stay warm and dry. These items can be packed in your bag. If you are leaving the office you want to get out of your business attire as soon as possible. Blend in with the local environment. If you know you are going to travel through a certain neighborhood, fit in. be sure your weapon is concealed but at the ready.

We will discuss more uniform related clothing and web gear in related articles.

Your mindset is a part of your disguise. Are you a good actor? You need to be vigilant and on your guard. Your clothes will represent you as oblivious to the problems but in reality you must be subtle, discreet yet cautious and observant. Be prepared to be inconspicuous as long as possible. Be prepared to survive and thrive and unremarkable for as long as possible.

Survival Operations: preparation & operational security for threatening times.

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