For years the trend by manufacturers has been to make everything tactical. Pants, shirts, boots and hats that all look like they came out of a PMC supply catalog have flood the market and the streets and shopping malls. But, if the new products on display at the SHOT Show are any indication, that is about to change.
Want to start an argument with a bunch of cops or military operators? Ask their opinion on wearing tactical clothing – cargo pants, boots or contractor style ball caps. Some will admit to owning such items and occasionally wearing them when not at work or on the range. Others will launch into a tirade about trying to look “tactical cool,” being a poser or even making yourself a target. It’s almost as bad as bringing up politics! Well, good news. The latest trend in tactical is not looking tactical at all.
To be honest, I fall into the former category. I own a lot of tactical pants, polos, jackets and assorted items. The primary reason I have them is for work, and I wear them almost daily. But I also wear them off duty – usually while involved in some outdoor related activity but sometimes around town too. Sometimes it’s easier than finding something else in my closet. Other times it’s because normal jeans or khakis do not fit as well when carrying concealed, especially when loading pockets down with other EDC items. You want to talk standing out? Try carrying a Glock, knife, extra mag, cellphone, badge, etc., when all you have is 4 pockets!
Well, major manufacturers have heard the yelling and have responded accordingly. This year’s catalogs are filled with the newest trend in tactical clothing – jeans, shorts, shirts and boots that look like the came from American Eagle, not 5.11. This latest version of covert tactical clothing removes the outer pockets, OD or coyote colors and military contractor look. Instead you have traditional looking jeans, stylish shirts and hiking boots that look like they belong where you will wear them- on the street, at the mall or out to grab a bite.
Sure, there are times when these new options will allow you to blend without giving up readiness. But it’s about more than that. It is also about being able to be ready all the time, no matter what the occasion. Being able to comfortably carry what you need when and where you want is important. Traditional tactical clothing will still have a place in your closet, but now it will have company.
Personally, I have no problem if someone wears tactical pants to the mall – it’s better than your pajamas. But I am glad that there will finally be another option, one that takes into account why those who actually need tactical clothing wear it to begin with.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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