Usually people want to stand out in a crowd. However, there are cases where it helps to go unnoticed. The trick to hiding in plain sight is not to try to be completely invisible, but to be unobtrusive. If you can pass as completely average in a crowd, it will help you blend in without any camouflage. Being inconspicuous means that you look dull and act normal. Even if you're usually the kind of person who gets attention, there are many ways you can avoid being noticed.
Part 1 of 3: Looking inconspicuous
Step 1. Hide your remarkable qualities
Everyone has at least one physical trait that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd. A particularly distinctive facial feature, tattoo, birthmark or scar will all draw attention because they make you unique. Recognize these qualities in yourself and look for ways to hide them.
- For example, if you have prominent eyes, sunglasses (but only in summer) will obscure this feature.
- If you have tattoos on your arms, a long sleeve shirt will cover them up.
- If you have a distinctive facial texture, you can evenly distribute your features by growing facial hair.
Step 2. Dress discreetly
If you want to be unobtrusive, then it goes without saying that you don't want to dress particularly chic (unless you're trying not to stand out at a formal event). For most ordinary situations, it's a good idea to dress as you think a completely average person would. Avoid clothing with eye-catching logos or designs.
- Your clothes will ultimately be dictated by the environment. For example, if you're attending a formal event, dressing too casually will only draw negative attention.
- It helps to know what other people will interpret as 'normal'.
- Although second-hand clothes are often a good choice to not stand out, there is a risk that those old clothes will become fashionable again, or are noticeably out of fashion.
Step 3. Apply camouflage
If you are in a natural environment, wearing camouflage will help you blend in with your surroundings. While camouflage is only useful when you're trying to hide from a distance, it's the most well-known way to actually hide in plain sight of others.
Wearing camouflage material in a public setting will attract a lot of unwanted attention. Special camouflage clothing is only recommended if you have the chance to be completely hidden, and not just inconspicuous
Step 4. Leave the accessories at home
Accessories, such as watches, pins, jewelry, and patchwork, are there to make a person's appearance more distinctive. If you want to avoid attention, it's a good idea to avoid these little additions completely. If you have people around you, a watch or necklace will make you more interesting to look at.
- If you must wear a watch, choose a discreet, non-metallic watch. Avoid anything big, coarse, shiny or shiny.
- The reason you'll want to avoid accessories, especially shiny ones, is because the sparkle will draw attention and make you stand out.
- The only exception to wearing accessories is when you are in an environment where everyone is wearing an accessory for religious purposes, such as a hijab.
Step 5. Make yourself as plain as possible
While being unkempt will grab its own kind of attention, a bold haircut will stand out. If you don't want to be seen, keep your hairstyle sleek and vague. Avoid anything aesthetic like hair gels or a tan. Just make sure your hair is relatively clean.
- If you usually put gel in your hair, go without if you don't want to attract attention. If your hair is all-natural, it won't be particularly noticeable.
- If you have noticeable hair and don't want to change it to hide, wearing a hood or hat will be enough coverage.
- An unusual hair color (usually light-colored) or texture (i.e. with a lot of volume) compared to the masses can be very noticeable, so if you have either one, cover it up under a hat or something similar.
Part 2 of 3: Avoiding attention in public
Step 1. Obey the rules
Nothing draws attention more than breaking the norm. This is especially true if you break the law. In addition to risking a criminal charge, you're pulling all kinds of eyes in your direction. While this applies to obvious crimes such as assault, it also includes things you can accidentally do, such as just crossing a street or stepping onto grass in a park.
Try to be aware of all the laws and regulations in any environment you try to hide in
Step 2. Train your situational awareness
An important part of hiding from people is knowing where to look. Even if you're trying to be inconspicuous in front of everyone, it certainly helps to know what people are looking for, and what they're up to.
By having a healthy sense of your surroundings, you will be able to avoid areas where people pay more attention
Step 3. Follow the behavior of the people around you
Losing yourself in a crowd means adhering to all the standards of the crowd. If there's ever a point where you're not sure what to do, look at the people around you, for example. Is there a common mood? Do the people around you walk fast or slow? All these details can be used to blend in with the crowd.
- Stay near the center of the mass, but avoid the absolute center or edges.
- The most inconspicuous spot is halfway between the center and the outskirts.
Step 4. Stay still
While silence is not always possible in some situations, it is an important part of blending into the crowd. While you are trying to hide, avoid unnecessary conversations and interactions with others. Make as little noise as possible, even if you are in a relatively busy environment. Even something as harmless as a cough or sneeze can draw attention to you if you're not paying attention.
- If you must use your voice, do your best to speak half as loud as normal. With this, you should still be able to communicate when needed, but you won't get the attention of someone you don't want.
- When traveling abroad, it helps to speak in the region's dialect or accent. A foreign accent will immediately set you apart from the crowd.
Step 5. Be a pleasant interlocutor
In some cases, you cannot avoid a conversation with other people. If this is the case, make an effort to be pleasant and friendly without trying to speed up the conversation in any way. Smile, nod and agree with what is being said.
- If you are asked questions about yourself, keep your answers short and to the point. Do not ignore the person, as that would only attract unwanted attention.
- The word "Yes" will be your best friend if you're trying to go unnoticed in a conversation. It can serve as a response to questions and answers.
Step 6. Check your movements
If you're in a stressful situation and it makes you feel anxious, try to keep your movements casual. Be aware of the pace and style in which you move. Keep your movements flowing without appearing rushed or nervous.
- A person walking faster than normal will send a fearful signal to anyone who is watching. This can attract curiosity and attention.
- If you have time to prepare, it often helps to practice in front of a mirror. That way, you'll have a better idea of how others will perceive you.
Step 7. Avoid eye contact
Eye contact is an important way for two individuals to acknowledge each other. Take your gaze away from others around you. A good trick is to keep your eyes on the ground ten meters in front of you. While you should keep your head down, you don't want it to be obvious that you're deliberately avoiding eye contact.
Remember, there's a difference between casually avoiding eye contact and looking as if you're deliberately avoiding someone's gaze. You will inadvertently draw more attention to yourself if someone gets the impression that you are trying to go unnoticed
Step 8. Aim for the center of a crowd
If you are hiding in an environment with a lot of people, don't be afraid to use other people as a resource. Placing yourself in the middle of a crowd will make it harder to recognize you. Avoid the front, side, or back of a crowd, as these are usually the first places people check when looking for someone.
Avoid the less crowded places. People are more likely to notice each other if there aren't many people to watch
Part 3 of 3: Making an effective disguise
Step 1. Dye your hair in a discreet color
Changing the color of your hair is one of the easiest ways to change your look. If you want to disguise and blend in with the crowd, it's a good idea to choose a hair color that looks natural and generic. Shades of black and brown are good choices in this regard.
Keep the region in mind. If blonde or ginger is more prevalent in the area you are in, dye your hair those colors
Step 2. Hide your look with accessories
Accessories like hats and sunglasses work well to cloud someone's regular appearance. Sunglasses and hat on their own are like a good general disguise. Other accessories such as jewelry and bows will not directly hide your appearance, but they will add a different tone to your appearance that those looking for you are not used to.
- If you tend to dress conservatively, a bunch of jewelry or flashy colors will obscure your familiar identity, even if your clothes would otherwise draw attention to you.
- Keep the accessories simple and discreet. If they're too eccentric or gorgeous, they'll draw attention, making people take a closer look. They may eventually recognize you!
Step 3. Make yourself older
You can add years to your look by using makeup. Squeeze your eyes together and darken the creases with an eye pencil. It is important to keep these cosmetic changes subtle. Otherwise it will be easy to notice that it is a disguise.
If you are older, smooth out your facial folds with skin foundation. Dye your hair to mask the gray or white -- this will also help disguise your identity
Step 4. Change the way you walk
Walk for a while in your typical, own way, and analyze your personal step. Then change the way you walk to match your intended disguise. You can tell a lot about a person's character and mood by the way they walk, so that others may not recognize you anymore. For example:
- If you're trying to look older, walk slower than you normally would. Consider shuffling or dragging your feet.
- If you are a fast walker, disguise your identity by walking slowly. Similarly, if you are a more relaxed walker, you should speed up your gait.
Step 5. Make your face puffy
If you are in a video surveillance area, you can take steps to change your facial structure. Puff up your cheeks and fill your nostrils with toilet paper to change the shape of your face.
- This technique can help you escape any facial recognition technology that could be used to track you down.
- Don't do this for long periods of time, as the actions (such as puffing your cheeks) can eventually draw more attention.
Step 6. Use fake facial hair
Using a fake mustache is perhaps the most common and well-known disguise. You can buy some facial hair at a costume store. Apply some beard glue (spirit gum) (a substance that actors use to apply fake facial hair to) on the area where you want to have a beard, then put the disguise on your face and give it some time to harden.
- If you need to quickly disguise yourself and are familiar with facial hair, shaving it off will quickly change your appearance.
- This may even work if you are a woman. However, you will need to contour to make the rest of your face more masculine.
- Looking at pictures of animals in camouflage can give you some inspiration if you're trying to hide in public. Some animals can change the color of their skin at will as a way to distract predators.
- While blending into the crowd can be a very effective tactic, finding a place to actually hide is arguably more reliable.
- Your ability to hide also depends on how much someone wants to find you.
- An inconspicuous hat or beanie is your best friend because it covers part of your face and many people wear it. Opt for a baseball cap, beanie or hat.
- An inconspicuous jacket also works well in the non-summer months. Puffed coats can change the look of your body, as can all coats to some extent.
- If you're trying to hide because you're in danger, it's highly recommended that you find a way to get out of the area as quickly as possible. Get help if it's available.
- While there are some instances where hiding is good, don't try to make it a habit. In most cases, you should be proud of showing other people who you are.