Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Women and SHTF: Dressing Code and Defense

As a woman who likes to look cute, I am curious about how your wife changed her dressed after SHTF. Yourbook talks about your dress code of jeans & tee, but did your wife change her manner of dress as well? What was her "uniform," if so? (Besides the obvious pants instead of a skirt, such as, did she still wear a skirt if it was cool enough for leggings underneath?) Thanks :)

Hello R,
My wife used to joke, saying that if it wasn’t for her I’d live in a dark and damp cave full of skulls, bones and weapons littered all over the place, maybe lit by a couple burning torches. While I don’t think I’m that much of a weirdo my wife does have a point. She does balance me making me more “normal”, which is something I appreciate.
Her dressing code is pretty normal too. She likes dressing nice and that never changed even when things got tough. She used to work in one of the most dangerous parts of the Buenos Aires, an industrial district close to the docks. You have all sorts of factories and shops, among and all around them its mostly poor, very low income houses and shanty towns, and crime is rampant in this area. I’m talking about criminals walking around on broad daylight with their guns openly carried Mexican style (in spite of it being illegal), the kind of place were police officers move around in their patrol vehicles with caution, them not being the ones that are at the top of the food chain in the location. Any drug raid or crack down of known safe houses, would usually involve over a hundred police officers from different departments.  My wife was at work when criminals broke in during a robbery, again, on broad daylight. 

In spite of all this my wife never dressed down and always looked nice.  For her it was mostly jeans with some shirt or top, blouse and jacket or coat.  Skirts she didn’t like so much. Besides its not a good idea to sit on a dirty bus seat wearing a skirt. Sometimes she would wear sandals or some other kind of open shoe, but in winter and especially when going to work she would use ankle or mid women’s boots.  She would walk around a lot running errands and taking the bus, and the sidewalks are mostly in terrible condition. If you add to that that broken glass and all kind of junk that is littered all over the streets it makes sense to have something that covers your feet better.

While dressing very revealing sure is a bad idea, I would say that rather than dressing a specific way its more about being careful and aware of your surroundings. You don’t have to dress with a dirty blue overall looking as if you just crawled from under a truck to avoid getting targeted by criminals. Sometimes its more about walking with confidence and noticing the people around you. If something looks out of place or a suspicious person is moving towards you, then hurrying away, or even run in the other direction. My wife did avoid wearing any fancy jewelry, especially highly prized gold which criminals are drawn towards like flies to honey. Instead she would wear some cheap yet tasteful jewelry and accessories that you could tell weren’t expensive.
Regarding weapons and such, my wife never carried a firearm. She did have a purple Spyderco Delica with her at all times and carried a can of OC Spray. This she kept not only at hand, but in her hand when walking from the bus stop to her workplace. If you can carry a gun, by all means do it and get used to doing so safely and practice drawing and shooting from your normal carry layout. 

So, in a nutshell: Nice hair, make up, dressing nice and feminine doesn’t go away when SHTF. Of course a more informal outfit like jeans allows you more freedom of movement if you can get away with it and don’t need to stick to a more uptight office dressing etiquette. For footwear, getting shoes that you can actually walk with is common sense, but if its comfortable women shoes or boots that you go for as long as you can walk comfortably on them that’s fine. As long as the clothing you go for isn’t unusually revealing, its more about self-confidence, body language, keeping an eye on whats happening around you and a firm grip on your purse.
Take care people,

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