Six Quick Points of Disguise

by MasterChen

So, you find yourself in a place where you shouldn't be, and you need a quick escape.

You've stayed low profile and haven't stood out too much, but you know that if you went out the way you came in, it would definitely be suspicious.  Whatever the case may be, a quick disguise would aid in a safe escape.  Now, before we continue, let me remind you that all information can be used for good or evil, so what you do with this is your decision.  I accept no responsibility.

Wherever I go, I always carry a backpack with me that is equipped with a few items.  These include a change of clothing, sunglasses, a razor, a hat, a wrist watch, a notebook with pen or pencil, reading material (your favorite issue of 2600 maybe?), and prescription or non-prescription reading glasses.  To effectively disguise yourself, you need to change at least six features about yourself.  I will be describing myself as an example for this article just to demonstrate what I am discussing.

Before Look

Prior to going through any sort of transformation, my typical appearance would be an Asian-American computer nerd with a shaved head, contact lenses, a little facial stubble, jeans and a plain t-shirt.  I have a pretty plain description, but this is good.  Why?  When you are disguising yourself, you should think as if you are a blank page on an easel.  All additions are details that hide the white space.

The Change

If you have the option to go to the nearest restroom, by all means, take it!  Here, you can take the time to start from the bottom up.  If I'm wearing pants, my change of clothing would usually consist of shorts.  My t-shirt would be replaced with a short-sleeve, button-down, collared shirt.  I would use the razor to shave what little stubble I had, and I'd replace my contacts with my glasses.  Finally, I put on my hat and the wrist watch, and I am ready to go.

After Look

Now, my hat is covering my shaved head.  My glasses alter the overall shape of my face, which is also a bit smoother now.  My clothes are completely changed from what I started with, and the wrist watch adds a little extra detail.  People in general do not have an eye for detail, which is why you need to have this skill.  Take the time to analyze your features or traits.  Then, see how well you can change them on the fly.  Can anyone say Superman?  All he did was take his glasses off.

The Next Step

Logically, the next thing you need to do is get the hell out!

Pack your things nice and neatly, and leave immediately.  It is important to note here that this is a quick disguise used for even quicker escapes.  If someone stares at you long enough, it can spell disaster for you.  How can you make a quick escape without running or even seeming like you're in a rush?  This is where your notebook or reading material comes into play.

You can use your notebook and pen to walk around in the general direction of your exit as if taking notes.  This may add a look of authority to you; hopefully, it will be at least enough not to be challenged about your presence.  The reading material can be used to make an incremental progression to the door.  It may be cliché in movies, but just sitting down with your disguise and reading for a little bit can evade people who are just passing by.  You don't have to cover your face and cut out a hole to see through your material.  That's just nonsense.

Points to Consider

There are a few things you might want to do to help make your escape as easy and trouble-free as possible.

First, try to avoid leaving the premises from the same place you entered.  Your disguise should match your environment, so if you're in a business environment, clothes that are business to business casual would be a wise decision.  Pack as lightly and as cheaply as possible.  If you have to ditch your supplies after the transformation, it would be best not to carry brand name items.  And, finally, from beginning to end, bring little to no attention to yourself.

Advanced Techniques

If you have ever taken a formal acting class, or if you think that you can pull it off, you can try disguising your demeanor as well.  This can be done for example with a slight limp or by hunching while you walk.  Whether or not you need to talk to anyone before you leave, you might want to keep the idea of changing your voice inflection in the back of your mind.  Your new voice can fit your new personality if you want to take it that far.

Last Words

Remember that disguises are subtle, but at the same time detailed.

An effective disguise is subtle enough not to bring attention, but detailed enough to evade familiarity to anyone who saw you previously.

Suggested Reading

The Spy's Guide: Office Espionage by H. Keith Melton, and Mind-Sword: Mastering the Asian Dark Arts of Mind Manipulation by Dr. Haha Lung

Shout outs: #telephreak, #ca2600, #nv2600, #infoinject, gid, bgm, sneaksy, isfbf702, chOpst1x, Yasumoto.

Return to $2600 Index