A grey man is one who fits in. He doesn’t look tactical in any way and fits in like he is supposed to be there. Please know that when I say “man” I’m also including the better looking, not to mention smarter, of our species.
Then again, women tend to fit in better than men do, because they’re not trying to fit in. Women concealed carriers tend to wake up, get ready, and go. They’re not usually “tactical” so much of this doesn’t apply to women, though it certainly could.
Do or do not, there is no try:
The above quote comes from one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe. He’s a wise little green dude with massive ears called Yoda.
I’ve adapted his quote to fit my meaning here because I doubt he was talking about concealed carry.
My meaning, is that you should not “try” to be the grey man. Don’t “try” to fit in, because you’ll end up standing out. Instead of trying to be the grey man, just be the grey man.
You don’t need any fancy clothing or anything special to fit in, just look and move like everyone else and you’re more than halfway there.
Choosing your clothes:
A big problem, at least as far as I can tell, is that there is a huge market of tactical clothing that folks wear that may be designed to serve a purpose or be comfortable. But instead of helping folks blend in, it makes them stand out.
In other words, to fit in with your surroundings, special care needs to be taken to actually fit in. It means you need to look like other people in your area, and try not to dress like you’re a part of the SWAT team.
One of the main ways I can tell if a person is into guns or carries one is by how they dress. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working for the industry for nearly a decade now, but I can always tell when someone is trying to fit in by wearing clothes made by tactical companies who promise that you’ll fit in, or at the very least, serve a purpose.
The best way to fit in isn’t to wear a pair of tactical pants with 37 pockets, each with their own zipper or clasp, with reinforced knees, but to wear what everyone else is wearing.
This is one of the reasons why I almost always wear jeans and a t-shirt instead of any of the tacticool alternatives.
My goal is to not stand out anymore than I already do, so I wear what everyone else wears.
This does not mean that you cannot wear regular clothes that serve a purpose. For example, I’m a big guy and tend to need tall-sized shirts if I want to hide my gun properly. But it still looks normal because they’re regular shirts.
I refuse to wear button downs with magnetic buttons, under shirts, tactical boots, and anything else that is different from what everyone else wears. Why? Because it’s different and stands out from everyone else.
Choosing your gun, holster, belt, and position:
Okay, so you’ve now chosen your normal, every day clothing to fit in as much as possible. Another important consideration is how you’ll carry your gun, what type of gun, and how.
At first thought, you may believe that a smaller gun will be easier to conceal. And, I guess in theory you’d be correct. But, more goes into it than that because it depends on your position of carry.
For example, if you’re carrying appendix, or right over your crotch, it’s technically easier to conceal a bigger pistol. The longer slide does a better job of pushing the grip of your gun inward toward your gut.
Then again, if you carry at 3, 4, or 5 o’clock (opposite for you lefties), a smaller gun is technically easier to conceal because the gun is right up against your hip bone or butt cheek and cannot go in any further.
So, choosing the right gun for your position of carry is important.
I can’t make this decision for you, instead you’ll have to play around with it to see which works best for you.
In addition to deciding where you’ll carry, you should also consider the holster and belt combination you’ll use. These are important choices that will ultimately help you blend in with your surroundings to be the grey man.
A proper holster and gun belt do wonders to keep your gun where you put it, and to prevent you from having to adjust yourself, which brings me to the next point.
Stop Adjusting Yourself:
A dead giveaway that you’re carrying a gun is that you keep adjusting it or touching it to make sure it’s still there or hasn’t moved.
Ideally, once you put your gun on in the morning, you don’t touch it again unless you need it to defend yourself, or when you take it off at night. People who keep touching their pistols don’t trust their gear, which brings us back to the previous point about having a good holster and belt.
Yes, you read that correctly — having proper gear that you trust will help you stop fidgeting with your gun. Having good gear helps you trust that your gun is still in the spot where you put it.
One of your main goals whenever you’re carrying a gun for self-defense is to blend in. That has to be near the top of your list because if you don’t blend in you can lose your element of surprise if you’re ever attacked.
You’ll want to stack as many cards on your side as you possibly can so you can be victorious if you ever need to defend yourself.
Read next: Should you draw when staring down the barrel of a gun, yourself.