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Gray Man Theory 101

by Daniel @HolsterCentral on June 25, 2020
Estimated 5 Minute Read

Gray Man Theory 101

Being a "Gray Man" means blending in, trying to be invisible, doing nothing to stand out.
It means not making yourself a threat, not drawing attention to yourself and the fact that you might have valuables, property, resources ...

It's about fading into whatever environment you are in....

and being bland to the point where nobody can remember seeing you!

gray man theory

Gray Man is useful if you want to avoid being a target if you are going somewhere where you are likely to be at risk.

Maybe you are out of town on a business trip or on vacation and are not familiar with the place you are visiting and don't want to be a victim if you stray into the wrong part of town.

Although you may be concealed carrying you would rather not get into a situation where you may need to use your gun altogether. 

Being a Gray Man doesn't mean always dressing in gray, or even dark or bland clothes, it means to fit in with whatever your environment is, you want to blend in to the crowd.

For example:
  • If you are skiing you want to wear the same sort of ski wear as everyone else.
  • At the beach you look like every beach goer with a towel, swim shorts, a cap.
  • In the corporate world you are wearing a suit like everyone else, nothing flashy. 

So how do you achieve this?

You don't want to look or act out of the norm or draw any attention to yourself by wearing a bright shirt, designer hat, a Rolex watch and unusual eye catching jewelry.

In a business environment if everyone is wearing suits, try to pick the most average bland looking suit but make sure it is as close to theirs as possible. If everyone is wearing expensive suits it would be appropriate to wear a nice suit but equally remember to do the same with your tie, theres no good dressing gray man and fitting in if you then wear a super loud tie that stands out. 

Loud Tie

Try to make your self indescribable.
Wear clothes that fit correctly, nothing too baggy or too tight.
Neutral colors work best, but again you don't have to be wearing Gray to be "Gray Man".
You need to plan ahead of time where you are going to be going and what the setting and suitable attire will be so you can fit in and dress the part. 

Think of when the police ask for a description of a suspect. If all you can remember is he was a male and you can't remember what he was wearing or any other details, he did a good job of being a Gray Man!

However, if you can say - yes he had a red hat on and blue shirt, he had tattoos, a beard and white Nike sneakers on, he had a gold watch and baggy shorts - you were very observant, but equally he gave you a lot of details that stood out and helped you remember him.

Here's a really good example of the opposite of a Gray Man, you do not want to look like this guy - 


opposite of gray man

Let's break down all of the issues with his appearance.

1. Memorable Accessories - Hat and Sunglasses - flashy hat and designer sunglasses.
2. Not a plain solid or neutral color. People will remember "the guy in the striped shirt"
3. Beard - People are more likely to remember someone with facial hair than clean shaven.

People think a beard is good for being a Gray Man for disguise purposes.
Perhaps if someone is trying to ID you and you are wearing a fake beard or grew one to mask your appearance. But in terms of Gray Man a beard makes you stand out even though nowadays tons of people have beards. Someone is more likely to say "he's 6 foot, has a beard and a striped shirt" They are less likely to say "he's 6 foot, clean shaven" 

So if you want to be a Gray Man try to wear things that won't make it easy for people to remember you and identify you.

For example, wear a a plain black T shirt versus a shirt with a logo. 

Sports team logos and popular brands are all bad things if you want to blend in.

Glock Hat or T-Shirt the worst idea for Gray Man, you just let everybody know you highly likely have a gun.

Tactical looking clothing? Probably not if you want to blend in. If you are on a plane and everyone is in tourist clothes and you are looking like you are about to go to war in Afghanistan, wearing tactical clothing just short of full military uniform, you are standing out!

You are not Gray Man!

Other things that can make you stand out are:
    • Talking loudly - "The man with the thick English accent"
    • Tattoos and piercings on show -"Oh the muscular guy with the full tattoo sleeve and pierced lip." 

Muscular tattooed guy not gray man

    • Even something like cologne can prevent you being a Gray Man. A smell can make an impression on someone, they might remember the man who walked past with nice cologne.
    • Also consider accessories, your back pack, laptop bag, you want to be carrying as little as possible. Tactical back packs with patches all over them are out, flashy laptop bags also are not a good idea.
    • Flashy cars, flashy designer phone cases, designer sunglasses all draw attention to you. 

Remember first impressions count - everyone will remember a first impression and we don't want to leave any impression - we want to be forgettable! 

The sun light hitting your gold watch, your show stopping big framed designer glasses, smoking a cigarette when nobody else is smoking - these are things that make you memorable.

Whereas bland neutral colors, lack of accessories, lack of property/valuables on display mean there is nothing to draw attention to yourself.
Fit your environment, look the part and stay safe.

Now the other part of the Gray Man Lifestyle is not just clothing and appearance, but also OPSEC (operational security).
The extension of Gray Man is your Home OPSEC.
Here are some examples of things to watch out for to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
  • If you are stocking your house with supplies, drive the car into the garage, close the garage door before you unload.
  • Do not let people see you loading your car with guns on the way to the range.
  • Don't brag to friends about being well prepped by saying things like "if SHTF I'll be good, I have a generator, 6 months supplies of food and my gun collection". Comments like that are a bad idea.
  • This also goes for social media, broadcasting to everyone that you are ready for the apocalypse is not smart!
  • Leaving tons of Amazon Delivery boxes in your recycle bin shows you just had resources delivered. Other recyclables can give away clues to your level of preparedness.
  • Leave ground floor window blinds shut so people cannot see into your home for potential resources. 

In conclusion The Gray Man mindset is all about keeping a low profile. 

If you are in a crowd, you don't want to wear or do anything that would make you stand out.

It's about blending into society, the crowd, your environment and not alerting people to your presence or level of preparedness. 

Let us know your thoughts on being a Gray Man in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading guys!


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