Dressing up. Street Camouflage

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Street Camouflage: Dressing up in other peoples clothes then passing unnoticed in a public place.

Street Camouflage is an un-extreme sport. Quite unlike extreme ironing. It’s a sport for subversives rather than exhibitionists.

Success in this sport is subjectively self-assessed using the following guidelines:

  1. Secret: do not publish (verbally or otherwise) that you partake in this sport.
  2. ‘Outing’: wearing one or more items of some-one-elses clothes in a public place for at least 6 hours.
  3. Permission: Secure the current clothes-owners permission to wear them.
  4. Secret II: If the clothes owner guesses your motives you must attempt to gain their promise not to publish your participation in this sport.
  5. Different: clothes must not resemble anything in your current wardrobe.
  6. Exposed: clothes must be visible (underwear doesn’t generally count).
  7. Contra-aspirational: clothes should not be something you would consider purchasing for yourself . Don’t borrow stuff because you ‘like’ it.
  8. Camouflage no-one should comment on the clothes’
    1. strangeness.
    2. not suiting you.
    3. ill-fit.
    4. comments like ‘you look nice in that’, or ‘i haven’t seen you wear that before’ are acceptable. With the latter question you are morally obliged to ask follow-on questions to establish whether you have effectively passed this item of clothes off as being one of your own.
  9. Honest: answer questions about the clothes honestly. If you are asked ‘is it yours?‘ then you have failed to obtain street camouflage with this item.
    1. This is not a sport of deception. It is extending the boundaries of your self-consciousness and other person-awareness through subtle couture challenges. Respect your audiences ability to spot you, respect their ‘care’ in attempting not to embarrass you by identfying your ‘outing’
  10. Respectful: Return the clothes in the same condition that you received them.
  11. Creative: themed outings are encouraged. For example you might introduce a season with a 1970’s theme, a ‘Sports’ theme, which-ever seems most distant from your normal couture.
  12. Ageless: street camouflage is so safe that people of any age can participate in this sport.

If you are considering taking up the sport competitively you should keep a Blog with photographic evidence of the clothes, grouped by themes. Identify your successes and failures and what you’ve learned from them. Use a suitable sport-relevant psuedonym for your Blog. Help new-comers to the sport by including ‘tips and tricks’.

Later this summer I’ll publish an interview with a master street camouflager. 6″4, 35yr old “Dis Guys” has been actively Outing in Street Camouflage since 1980 when he started wearing his brothers soccer kit to local playing fields. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

The difficult thing is getting clothes without increasing the number of people that know you do this. But you’d be surprised what people keep in their closets. Even more surprised by how happy they are to show you then lend you things because of your genuine interest. My biggest success was a Gothic theme. I really dislike morbid clothes and black especially. It was tough to do. Evidently I’ve just got the right physique and complexion for Gothic. No-one challenged me. I had to be careful about progressing to some of the more horrendous outfits that included crosses and fake spider-webbing. I have to thank the clothes owner for generously lending clothes that were very special to him. My biggest mistake was thinking I could pull off wearing a pink tutu in a Shopping Mall.

I’ll be publishing the rest of this interview later in the summer. Please feel free to use the comments section below to add links to your own Street Camouflage Blogs and questions you’d like me to ask ‘Dis Guys’ to extend the interview.

Wendy under-cover-journo

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