When I retired out of law enforcement in 2010 I gave away every piece of even remotely tactical-looking clothing that I had. I had some original Royal Robbins pants (the predecessor to 5.11) which were practically a rare collectors item…but they went too. I even went to far as to give away my nice Columbia fishing shirts (just like the one in the picture) because they had epaulets.
Ya think I went to extremes? I have heard the argument that no one really notices tactical clothing (or PALs-laden tactical packs), which may be true. But that armchair opinion entirely misses the point. I’m not concerned with Joe and Mary average person. What I don’t want are BGs, or even other cops, to notice me, and you can be sure that both of them do in fact notice target indicators like tactical clothing, etc. (I make an exception for low-key cargo pockets on shorts because they are so common.)
There’s a place for tactical clothing, and that is on professionals who aren’t in uniform but have no need to hide the fact that they’re armed. Detectives, security, contractors; it fills a real need there.
But there’s no reason to dress like a tough guy. Some one may decide to see if you really are.