Hello OC'ers! I'm the new fella here. I live in Northern Ohio, and am thinking of doing a little more open carrying, as I mostly CC now. I've OC'ed twice in my life, and I'm man enough to admit that it's intimidating. However, I do realize that if more of Americans don't take advantage of this right, it will slowly disappear. So, I hope you will give me some input, and take the edge off for me. I am familiar with a few of your forum posters from Ohioans for Concealed Carry. Maybe it's time for me to get together with some of these guys.
One thing that bothers me is talk of "dressing the part" or whatever you want to call it. I work construction, and it's winter now. My hair is sort of shaggy, and I have my winter beard in full effect. I have 2 or 3 dress shirts, and they pretty much only come out for funerals and weddings. I think it shouldn't matter how I dress or style my hair, but I guess it's just the way it is for now.
It's good that you care about your appearance when you carry, but carry when dressed for construction work is still appropriate. Your appearance will have an effect on how people perceive you and OC. So, like I said, it's good that it is on your mind. Just don't let it slow your OC roll.
I think I'm in the minority because I never found open carry to be intimidating or scary at all. I didn't know much about it until 7-8 years ago, and then just started doing it. I figure as long as I'm confident in myself, I don't need to worry about others.
Your demeanor is really the key to dressing the part. Dressing appropriately for what you are doing, keeping your cool, smiling, and acting confident are just as appropriate as gearing up with the Dockers and polos (and keeping your cool, smiling, and acting confident). I can point you to a number of folks I know whom I've never seen wearing anything more formal than an flannel shirt. Not all real people wear suits <grin>.