Changing your appearance during surveillance is a great way to throw off your suspect and avoid their suspicions of being followed. Subtle changes are often enough to trick the human mind into being uncertain of whether or not they have seen someone before. Often it is easier for a woman to change her appearance than it is for a man and we tend to have more options available than just changing our shirt or jacket or putting on a hat. Combine your options to get a drastic transformation instantly.
- Change your hairstyle. Try
not to put too much effort into fixing your hair before going out on
surveillance. Keep your hairstyle simple and nondescript while making
sure it fits into the area where you are working. If you will be
following your suspect to the gym, start out with your hair down
straight and carry a pony tail holder. Don't put hairspray in your hair
that morning. Use barrettes or head bands instead. When your suspect
goes into the gym, then take a moment to put your hair up into a pony
tail or bun and head inside for a tour of the facilities to see what
your suspect is doing.
- Put on or take off make-up.
It's amazing how much different most women look with make-up on. If you
wear it daily, keep make-up remover wipes in your surveillance vehicle
at all times. If you think your suspect may have seen you, clean your
face and remove the make-up. Likewise, if you never wear make-up, keep a
little in your car and put it on for a drastic change in your
appearance as needed. Usually all you need is foundation and mascara but
it never hurts to add eye-shadow and lipstick if you have time. Just
avoid using bright colors or any shade that stands out against your skin
tone too much.
- Add or remove clothing layers.
Wear a tank top underneath your shirt that coordinates with your main
outfit and the backup shirt you have ready for a quick wardrobe change.
This gives you the benefit of having 3 shirts ready and the ability to
achieve multiple looks. You can hide the tank top completely or use it
as an accent piece. Scarves, belts, gloves and costume jewelry add equal value to wardrobe changes.
- Change your accessories.
Ideally your surveillance day starts with a small pair of
barely-noticeable earrings or no earrings at all, no bangles, bracelets
or necklaces. Keep a large, gaudy pair of earrings and some matching
chunky bead jewelry in your surveillance vehicle and change into them as
needed. Always have another pair of sunglasses on hand, preferably a
different style than those you wear most often. These tend to cause
people to notice your jewelry more than your face, thus limiting the
chance they will look you in the eyes or recognize you from earlier.
- Put on a skirt or dress.
Since typically you sit in your surveillance vehicle in comfortable
clothing, changing into something entirely different is little
challenge. If you wear sweat pants in the winter, keep a long, black,
casual skirt in the vehicle and slip it on over your sweats for a quick
change. In the summer if you're wearing a dress to beat the heat, keep a
pair of pants with you simply tuck your dress into the pants and throw a
shirt on over it when possible. Alternately, if you're wearing pants,
put on the dress and slip the pants off.
- Ditch your purse.
Get a small wallet to keep in your purse with your surveillance
licenses in it and some cash. Whenever you follow your suspect, place
the wallet in your pocket or hand-carry it and avoid being seen with
that stylish handbag you love. If you follow the suspect somewhere that
having a wallet becomes an issue, grab the cash and stuff it in your
pocket. Ideally, avoid carrying a credit card to avoid anyone seeing
your name should you need to pay for a purchase.
- Change your shoes. Keep in mind the outfit you have on and take along a second pair of completely different shoes for a change in looks. Swapping tennis shoes
for heels while wearing jeans adds height and a slimmer appearance to
your instant make over. Likewise, swapping heels for flats shortens and
softens your overall look. That gym-ready, yoga pants look easily
becomes teen casual by changing to flip flops.