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Thread: Dress to Impress...

  1. #1
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    As I read through the many interesting posts and replies, I notice a commonality of members vocalizing phrases such as: "I was dressed nice in khakis and a polo shirt" or "the way you dress means a lot" and "follow the basic rules of civil conduct, proper attire and smile."

    I understand public perception and stereotyping based on the way you dress, but 90% of the time I'm out in public I'm dressed casually. I'm a business owner in Cary, and drive a nice car, but my attire does not typically match that profile. I'm usually dressed in cut off camos or cargo shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops. I wear dress clothes most of the time to work, so when I'm away from work I like to be comfortable.

    My questions is, should it really matter how you dress as to whether you get approached by LEO just because you're legally exercising your constitutional right? Are we expected to be neatly and properly dressed to exercise our rights? If wearing casual clothes, I shouldn't be approached by LEO any more than my business partner who may be in slacks with a shirt and tie.

    By the way, I've OC'd around Raleigh with my Springfield XD9 and Fobos holster, "dressed like a bum" as my mom would say, without incident. I just found it odd that so many people addressed the importance of dressing nicely while OC'ing. Call me a rebel, but I don't see the significance...

  2. #2
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    Your right, I dress with what clothes I have in my closet. For me, it happens to be non bummy clothes. Not nice expensive clothes (I'm a poor college kid) but nice as in not sloppy clothes. However, when I'm doing work in the yard or something like that I'm OCing with a greased up t-shirt and wrinkled shorts with dirty Vans shoes. Neighbors don't seem to care, and neither did the HPD LEO that was parked across the street from me on an unrelated matter.

  3. #3
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    Right or wrong, how you are dressed says a lot about you. Or more accurately, how you are dressed will affect how people perceive you.

    If you dress like a thug, and OC, it will bring about a lot more consternation from the sheeple (and LEOs) than if you dress nicely.

    I often OC dressed in ratty shorts and nasty T-shirt because I am out working on my rental properties. I look like a hard-working contractor and little notice is paid when I am in Lowes or Home Depot. But if I stop to pick up something from the grocery store like that, lots of heads turn (thankfully I know most of the people working there).

    When I am dressed in "REALTOR" mode, (khakis, dress shirt, dress shoes) no one seems to pay attention to it no matter where I am.

    I make a concerted effort to only go where I need to when I am in "blue-collar" dress (which, ironically,is when I feel OC'ing is better due to areas of town I am working in) where as in "white-collar" mode, I go where ever (though since my CCP came in, I tend to CC to prevent scaring my sheeple clients and co-workers in the office).



  4. #4
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    ItsMyRight2Carry wrote:
    I understand public perception and stereotyping based on the way you dress, but 90% of the time I'm out in public I'm dressed casually.
    My questions is, should it really matter how you dress as to whether you get approached by LEO just because you're legally exercising your constitutional right? By the way, I've OC'd around Raleigh with my Springfield XD9 and Fobos holster, "dressed like a bum" as my mom would say, without incident.
    I'm with you to a point, I'm not changing clothes to exercise my RIGHT to carry or my Right to vote, my freedom of religion or any other Right. It shouldn't be a wardrobe issue, it's a Right. That said, I have noticed more looks when I'm not clean shaved and dressed business casual. Will I tolerate a lot of B.S. from cops when I'm looking a bit rough ? Nope.

    In Raleigh I have never had any problems, period. Raleigh officers tend to be pretty decent folks.

  5. #5
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    Thank you! There's the response I was looking for. I agree. I refuse to change the way I dress to exercise MY RIGHT, hoping that the LEO won't approach/question/harass me. No where in the 2nd amendment does is state or imply that in order to bear arms you must be nicley dressed and neatly groomed.

    BTW, even though my mom thinks I look like a bum, I'm really only dressed in normal fashion...

  6. #6
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    You should see when I go out wearing shorts, flip flops, t-shirt and a big ole stainless steel 1911 with The Punisher skulls on the grips. Yeah, I get looks. F- em! I hope they are never in need of my political statement.

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    LOL, you sound like me! Cut off camos, a t-shirt and some flip flops with my XD on my side (although not as flashy as your stainless 1911). Honestly, the way I dress isn't representative of my attitude towards the law...

  8. #8
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    Should it matter? No. Can it have an impact on how you are viewed/treated? Absolutely. I'm not saying that's right, or that you should change your outfit, just that we have to deal with the reality that some people will judge you on the way you dress and otherwise present yourself.

  9. #9
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    As the previous person said, should it matter, no... does it? It always will.

    Perceptions are something everyone carries around with them...

    If you see some teenager dressing with his pants hanging around his ass and his hat cocked to the side in the middle of the night walking around your neighborhood, you're probably going to have your gun near you.

    Now, if you see that same guy jogging around your neighborhood in an army shirt on an sweat pants, you're going to be far less concerned.

    Yeah, it can be a bit of a hassle, but that's why you should also seek out a concealed carry permit. On the days you wanna dress comfortably, carry your XD in an IWB (Supertuck)... it's fairly comfortable once you get the holster worn in.

    It might be your right to carry, but it's your duty to carry responsibly. And the others' perception of you is part of that.

  10. #10
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    I don't make a habit of dressing like a slob, but I'm certainly not going to modify how I dress just to make a good impression. I'll let my sparkling personality and sharp logic do that!

  11. #11
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    New to the boards here and I'm thinking about some limited open carry. Thanks to the group for the good information and I have found it helpful to read other's experiences.

    Regarding how a person is dressed, people's perceptions are based on reality. By being more concerned about a sloppy person carrying a gun, they are just "playing the odds."

    Sure, there are always exceptions but the truth is, neatly dressed people tend to be more responsible.

    Another example; if I'm walking down the street and see a black lab, I won't be too concerned. If I see a pit bull, I'm more concerned simply because a pit bull is generally more aggressive. Yes, the pit bull might be the sweetest dog in town and the lab might be a red zonedog but most of the time, that won't be the case.

    Remember, there's alot of truth in every stereotype. My good liberal friends don't like to admit it... but it's true.

    Personally, I prefer to dress casually but I won't be surprised or offended if I get more stares if I'm carrying while unshaven and wearingold clothes.

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