I’ve come to a conclusion that is likely going to get a lot of flak from various different corners of the internet:
The “Tactical”/”Defensive” “Community” needs to give a shit about men’s style. I’m not the only one that shares this opinion. Various instructors who’ve been gracious enough to share some of their time an expertise with me share this sentiment, yet it seems to go relatively unaddressed. Why is that? My best guess is that there’s enough more widely needed/consumed content out there that the dudes that are REALLY good are better served focusing on that material.
In the realm of applied violence, I’m a relative novice. I’ve been to a few classes, trained with a few well known names, and am able to not embarrass myself on some of the generally accepted diagnostic shooting drills. Fortunately, I’m very well equipped to comment on the social nuances of effectively carrying a concealed firearm in areas where it may not be the norm.
Tanner Guzy of Masculine style (who is one of the inspirations for this…..I guess I can call it an article instead of a rant) sent me an email wherein he’s quoted as saying “As I’m sure you can imagine, there are a lot of men who don’t like that I talk about style. They think it’s effeminate, gay, vain, shallow, frivolous, wimpy, stupid, materialistic, and a dozen other things I’ve heard over the years”.
In the gun-carrying world, the cringe-worthy eraser phrase is that you need to [all together now!] “dress around the gun!” This is doubly amusing, because of the cognitive dissonance with two other ultra-popular tropes:
- Nobody pays attention anyways, so it doesn’t matter if I’m printing
- Be the grey man.
…So which one is it? You either need to put forth some effort to blend into your surroundings, and not draw undue attention to yourself, or people are so oblivious that unless I’m wearing a clown suit and carrying an RPG, I’m good to go!
This little mini-series will serve to address the balance that should exist, but for the most part is so woefully skewed either one way or the other in terms of dressing well and living with regular carry of a firearm.
There is a HUGE difference between “Dressing Up” and “Dressing Well”. I’ll differentiate between them during the course of these articles, and if you want to delve deeper into that topic, I’d strongly encourage you to check out Tanner Guzy’s material from Masculine Style. I think he’s done the best job by far quantifying this stuff. Click the links for his website and YouTube channel.