Should we dress down to stay safe ?

Dec 28, 2010
19
0
I am a businesswoman and always dress smartly in business skirt suits and heels I sometimes at night feel a little overdressed especially while commuting from work, and for the most part I receive admiring glances from my fellow travellers of both sexes. However a month or so back I got some very unwanted attention. Shortly after exiting the station I became aware of to youths following me, I had noticed them staring at me on the train but thought little of it but now on the street which was empty seeing them behind me unnerved me, they closed up on me, firmly clutching my handbag I quickened my pace a little but the pencil skirt and heels made running out of the question, besides I still could not be sure of their intentions. It soon became clear, the two thugs started to run, easily catching me, I screamed, one of them grabbed me from behind and clamped his hand over my mouth, the other began punching me I was terrified, they continued their brutal attack punching and kicking me to the ground, ripping of my watch and jewellery laughing as they did so I think they were on drugs. They finally left me with a parting kick to my stomach and grabbing up my handbag ran off into the night. I am convinced they assaulted me because I looked wealthy in my suit plus they knew that it would be impossible for me to get away. This is not the first time I have been the victim of street crime and I cannot help but think I was singled out specifically because I was smartly dressed and vulnerable.
 

Jesssh

Member
Jan 20, 2012
6,493
199
"Vulnerable" might be the key word. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

I would dress down in areas I felt unsafe. I would not want to attract attention on the commute. If someone who seems unsafe pays attention to me, I ignore, avoid, move away, make it clear nonverbally that the attention is unwelcome.

I wonder if you could do some strategic changes on the commute like pulling hair back, wearing more mobile shoes and changing into heels at work, wearing a coat and hiding your purse. Maybe take a self defense course and work on posture, walking purposefully, and facial expression. I was told to walk with my keys in between my fingers to be ready to use them as a weapon. I work out by doing punching and kickboxing movements so those become second nature. Plus, I have an athletic build so I may not look as vulnerable. My street energy screams "Don't mess with me" even though I am very non-confrontational and approachable IRL. (Got that from my Dad. :biggrin: )

There is probably a lot that you could do to prepare yourself. I feel pretty safe in my community and I have never been attacked, so I don't really know the tricks.

A long time ago, I wore a business suit while I was working downtown and I walked into a less desirable block. A homeless women looked at me and said, "gimme some money." I ignored her and kept walking, and she said, "I ain't THAT ugly." It gave me chills. I turned around and walked quickly back to the office.
 

KrissieNO.5

Member
Dec 16, 2010
2,207
12
NYC
I am a businesswoman and always dress smartly in business skirt suits and heels I sometimes at night feel a little overdressed especially while commuting from work, and for the most part I receive admiring glances from my fellow travellers of both sexes. However a month or so back I got some very unwanted attention. Shortly after exiting the station I became aware of to youths following me, I had noticed them staring at me on the train but thought little of it but now on the street which was empty seeing them behind me unnerved me, they closed up on me, firmly clutching my handbag I quickened my pace a little but the pencil skirt and heels made running out of the question, besides I still could not be sure of their intentions. It soon became clear, the two thugs started to run, easily catching me, I screamed, one of them grabbed me from behind and clamped his hand over my mouth, the other began punching me I was terrified, they continued their brutal attack punching and kicking me to the ground, ripping of my watch and jewellery laughing as they did so I think they were on drugs. They finally left me with a parting kick to my stomach and grabbing up my handbag ran off into the night. I am convinced they assaulted me because I looked wealthy in my suit plus they knew that it would be impossible for me to get away. This is not the first time I have been the victim of street crime and I cannot help but think I was singled out specifically because I was smartly dressed and vulnerable.
I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. I too have been a victim of street crime numerous times so I completely understand. My mother always tells me that waking around with a birkin is going to get me robbed or potentially hurt when I am not in a safe area. The thing is the attention we are getting we cannot be sure if its admiration or there is a sinister reason behind the stares.

I agree with the above poster...make an effort to de glam yourself while commuting. Pull your hair up, hide your jewelry, wear comfy shoes so you won't be vulnerable and you will be able to run and maybe put your handbag inside a non assuming canvas bag or any unassuming bag. It sucks bc we want to be chic but I think our safety is more important! Also, try not to exude fear or uneasiness. I am guilty as charged because I always do this an my fiancé tells me that it's obvious and criminals sniff out fear like a dog. So try to present yourself as someone who cannot be messed with. Self defense is a great option. Krav **** is awesome. It makes you almost completely fearless because you learn to disarm someone instantly and to be more in tune with body language etc. as women we have to be careful. It's a scary world out there and we need to do anything we can to protect ourselves!
 
Dec 28, 2010
19
0
"Vulnerable" might be the key word. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

I would dress down in areas I felt unsafe. I would not want to attract attention on the commute. If someone who seems unsafe pays attention to me, I ignore, avoid, move away, make it clear nonverbally that the attention is unwelcome.

I wonder if you could do some strategic changes on the commute like pulling hair back, wearing more mobile shoes and changing into heels at work, wearing a coat and hiding your purse. Maybe take a self defense course and work on posture, walking purposefully, and facial expression. I was told to walk with my keys in between my fingers to be ready to use them as a weapon. I work out by doing punching and kickboxing movements so those become second nature. Plus, I have an athletic build so I may not look as vulnerable. My street energy screams "Don't mess with me" even though I am very non-confrontational and approachable IRL. (Got that from my Dad. :biggrin: )

There is probably a lot that you could do to prepare yourself. I feel pretty safe in my community and I have never been attacked, so I don't really know the tricks.

A long time ago, I wore a business suit while I was working downtown and I walked into a less desirable block. A homeless women looked at me and said, "gimme some money." I ignored her and kept walking, and she said, "I ain't THAT ugly." It gave me chills. I turned around and walked quickly back to the office.
Thankyou Jesssh yes I am a lot more careful and cover up my expensive clothes and only put on my heels when I reach work, but it is a shocking inditement on our society where a woman has to do this to avoid becoming a victim of the thugs low lifes that think nothing of attacking a defenceless woman
 
Dec 28, 2010
19
0
I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. I too have been a victim of street crime numerous times so I completely understand. My mother always tells me that waking around with a birkin is going to get me robbed or potentially hurt when I am not in a safe area. The thing is the attention we are getting we cannot be sure if its admiration or there is a sinister reason behind the stares.

I agree with the above poster...make an effort to de glam yourself while commuting. Pull your hair up, hide your jewelry, wear comfy shoes so you won't be vulnerable and you will be able to run and maybe put your handbag inside a non assuming canvas bag or any unassuming bag. It sucks bc we want to be chic but I think our safety is more important! Also, try not to exude fear or uneasiness. I am guilty as charged because I always do this an my fiancé tells me that it's obvious and criminals sniff out fear like a dog. So try to present yourself as someone who cannot be messed with. Self defense is a great option. Krav **** is awesome. It makes you almost completely fearless because you learn to disarm someone instantly and to be more in tune with body language etc. as women we have to be careful. It's a scary world out there and we need to do anything we can to protect ourselves!
Thank you too Krissie
 

colony

Member
Apr 23, 2011
207
0
Wow that's awful! I commute to work on a bicycle so I'm always in sporty clothes then try to glam up at the office, but I'm always envious of the smart women in suits and heels on the train.

There's no easy solution, why should you have to dress down. Perhaps a change of shoes and a can of pepper spray is the best option, but you should have to change who you are!
 

Businesslady

Member
Dec 12, 2010
39
0
London England
My heart goes out to you dear pursuing purses, I too was the victim of a brutal mugging a few years back I was set upon dragged into an alleyway by a gang of yobs who beat me up and robbed me of my handbag and jewellery. I also feel that the way I was dressed was most likely why I was attacked, I was walking from my office to my car I too was in a business skirt suit and heels carrying a handbag and briefcase I suppose to those thugs I had victim written all over me.
 

Harpertoo

Member
Feb 5, 2013
783
24
Europe
OP,
I'm so sorry this happened. I think it's just appalling.

I've been mugged, but I was lucky in that I was just carrying a small wallet that was easily hidden and my more accessorized friends were the real target. They gave up their purses....the man/boy had a gun...probably fake, but who wants to test that in Chgo.
Anyway, I'd like to just comment that my mugging took place in a great neighborhood...there were people with cash coming out of nice restaurants...the mugger was hiding on a quiet side street near our car, waiting for some vulnerable people.
since then I've avoided heels when out alone. I hate the feeling of being a slow target. I have insurance, I can spare some cash from my wallet, but what really bothers me is the senseless beatings that people receive when they don't resist. It's possible there is nothing you could have done to avoid this incident. I just always try to listen to my gut and stick to populated areas.
 
Dec 28, 2010
19
0
OP,
I'm so sorry this happened. I think it's just appalling.

I've been mugged, but I was lucky in that I was just carrying a small wallet that was easily hidden and my more accessorized friends were the real target. They gave up their purses....the man/boy had a gun...probably fake, but who wants to test that in Chgo.
Anyway, I'd like to just comment that my mugging took place in a great neighborhood...there were people with cash coming out of nice restaurants...the mugger was hiding on a quiet side street near our car, waiting for some vulnerable people.
since then I've avoided heels when out alone. I hate the feeling of being a slow target. I have insurance, I can spare some cash from my wallet, but what really bothers me is the senseless beatings that people receive when they don't resist. It's possible there is nothing you could have done to avoid this incident. I just always try to listen to my gut and stick to populated areas.
You are so right, it was a senseless beating, I was terrified, they took what they want I did not resist..how could I, and yet I was brutally battered by these thugs
 
Dec 28, 2010
19
0
My heart goes out to you dear pursuing purses, I too was the victim of a brutal mugging a few years back I was set upon dragged into an alleyway by a gang of yobs who beat me up and robbed me of my handbag and jewellery. I also feel that the way I was dressed was most likely why I was attacked, I was walking from my office to my car I too was in a business skirt suit and heels carrying a handbag and briefcase I suppose to those thugs I had victim written all over me.
Thankyou businesslady I feel your pain
 

ooo

Member
May 4, 2012
226
9
Dress for the area you're in is my motto.

I always flip or hide expensive-looking jewelry and phones/ipads/etc. on the train. Always. I don't care how high of a neighborhood I'm in. I especially did that when I lived in the city. No white headphones, no loud music. Always turned rings around, even relatively cheap silver rings.

I always had less nice bags while commuting. In winter I could put "nicer" bags under my coat without it being noticed.

In actual bad neighborhoods, I dress like crap. No jewelry, period. No gadgets visible, period. No nice bag, no nice shoes, no jewelery, no nice clothes-- period. Ditto if walking the streets alone at night in the city.

I don't see what wearing hair up would do. That doesn't seem to make a difference.

In the ghetto, I take a cab. Always. In bad areas where you feel out of place, other people can often tell. My friends joke that I develop a certain persona in the hood.

I try to blend in. I never looked at a map when I rode the trains. I never thought twice about crossing the street if alone and there was only one person (or a group of shadier characters or young people) anywhere behind me. If I start running and they are innocent, the worst that could happen is they think I'm weird. If they're not innocent and I don't run, the worst is... much worse.

Always give a mugger what they want. ALWAYS.

You can replace your crap, but you can't replace your face.

I once had a friend who said she would fight for her $20 bag (and $5 worth of contents) just because "it's hers." Clearly she had never lived in the city. That's an incredibly stupid way to live. If someone wants it, they'll take it... and I would prefer to be alive without my crap than fight an irrational thug. Always give them what they want. It's stupid and ridiculous not to give them what they want. With that said, try to avoid the situation altogether... if in secluded area or alley at night, take a cab. Put the nice stuff away/hide as much as possible in public. No nice stuff in the hood, period.

Populated areas or not, things can happen. But, usually, populated areas mean pick-pocketing and not as much violence against random strangers.

If in the hood, I put a small wallet down my shirt. It's not visible. I carry no bag, no nice clothes, no jewelry period, no late night alone walks. It's served me well, and I've been in some HORRIBLE areas/neighborhoods all over the world.
 

PrincessD

Hello!!
O.G.
Jan 23, 2009
4,241
19
Canada
Sorry this happened to u! When I commute to and from work, I usually wear running shoes and change shoes when I get to work. It's important to dress appropriate at work, but its also important to keep your safety in mind knowing u r commuting to work.
 

Carnel

Nobody's purrfect
Feb 9, 2013
574
2
Europe
When I have to use the subway to go to work I tend to dress down...a pair of sneakers, long sleeves, my old LV bag, and my ering is turned inside the palm of my hand if that makes sense. But I always have several lovely pairs of heels to choose from in my office!

I don't feel the need to impress my coworkers who don't care for fashion and wouldn't make the difference between a Chanel and a 20$ copy, and instead I dress up when shopping in the weekend with my DH as my bodyguard!
 

Ghettoe

Ghettoe
Sep 2, 2012
714
234
USA
To be honest, I think it has to do with vulnerability more than cloths. I've heard of people who have been brutally mugged wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Personally though I think a self defense course is really helpful. Also did you know some of the things you wear make great weapons? Heels make great weapons even your bag could be the ticket to a good get away.