Introduction: How to Blend in With Crowds.

Picture of How to Blend in With Crowds.

Being inconspicuous takes practice, skill and cunning. Here are some things that I've learned about staying anonymous.

Step 1: Dress for Success

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Dress so you don't stand out. Normally this means dressing plainly. Although, sometimes you may need to dress up like a zombie to blend in with a crowd.

Anticipate what the rest of the crowd will look like and use common sense. Avoid bright colors or revealing clothing. Avoid anything that could get people to pay attention to you. Avoid being too out of style and too in style. Avoid things with big logos or graphics on it.

In most situations the ideal outfit has dark muted colors, is clean, covers your naughty bits and matches. It should have a timeless look.

Step 2: Don't Draw Attention to Yourself

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Don't behave in a way that draws attention to yourself. Don't scream and jump around. Also, don't act suspicious and keep looking over your shoulder.

Use common sense. Behave the same exact way everyone else is behaving. If everyone is screaming and jumping around, then do the same.

Step 3: Wear a Disguise

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Wear something to disguise your natural features without drawing attention to yourself. It could be as simple as carefully selecting a hat.

You would be amazed how hard it is to find someone you know in a crowd that is wearing a hat that you've never seen before.

Changing the way you walk is also surprisingly effective. You can remove the liner from your shoe to walk lopsided or if you don't mind pain, just put some rocks in a shoe.

Step 4: Stay in the Middle

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Stay as close to the most dense part of the crowd. It is easier to find people straggling about on the edges. It's harder to find people that are in the middle of everything since everyone is moving around you. If people are moving in small groups through the crowd, pick a random one and pretend that you are with them by following closely behind.


zilliana (author)2011-07-30

Uhm, is there ANY way for a hijabi (muslim gal who wears headscarf) who feels stalked to blend into the crowd? I've got a friend who wears the scarf and she feels that there is no way for her to hide short of violating her religious policies. Can you help?

I'm a hijabi but I still have to go to church b/c I'm a convert

Try wearing a brown or grey hijab--it'll blend in with other people's hair

When I'm at church, I try to wear a plaid hijab to blend in with the older women--plus I'm short, so I try to look older.I also adopt a limp and hunch over.

Inshallah this helped!

Kirtap10 (author)zilliana2013-02-10

A hooded sweatshirt, drug rug, hooded jacket, etc. is inconspicuous and modest and it would mostly hide a hijab.

th30be (author)zilliana2012-06-12

tell her to take it off. If she feels that she being stalked and is being endangered then who cares about religion. It is not worth being hurt.

barnowl12 (author)zilliana2012-01-12

Your friend should wear a scarf that isn't bright and is an earth tone or kind of a dull color. I have seen dull colors on other hijabi's and it looks fine

sabu.dawdy (author)2013-02-10

this is a lovely idea :)

Udon (author)2008-12-18

A white dude (tallish, green eyes, hair on arms, porridgey pale skin, spiky but far from I-have-perfect-black-hair-that-looks-like-this-when-I-woke-up-and-it-moves-in-the-wind-just-like-in-Anime-because-I-am-Asian kind of hair, huge and monstrous feet) trying to blend into China. Buddy of mine went to Shanghai for the F1 - he was there for 3 days, and walking on the street he eckons he was the tallest person on that part of the continent. He's 1.8m. Can blending in even be possible?

jeffconnelly (author)Udon2010-09-12

If you're above average height, slouching can help; Below average - high/thick heels.

That guy there (author)2010-06-17

if you combine this hiding technique with this hidden blade then you have a deadly combo indeed!
hidden blade link:

daninja (author)2009-04-07

Thanks for the great instructable! now i can hide the fact that i have wings on my back that i can fold in and the wingspan is 15 feet. Yes, i can fly!

cd41 (author)2008-10-29

A Dues Ex Machina is when the author just spontanieously fixes the conflict with an out of place event and ends the story, like in that Superman movie when he just flies counter-clockwise around the globe to go back in time, but i apriciate the fact that we both read the wikipedia article (and you are using the example about its use in greek plays)

DeusExMach (author)cd412008-10-31

Actually, no, I didn't read the wikipedia article, I passed 10th grade English class.

cd41 (author)DeusExMach2008-11-02

well glad to see teahcers take examples from wikipedia ain't it? just btw not trying to fight but you should consider taking more time and adding in more details to your comments

DeusExMach (author)cd412008-11-02

10th grade english class was 11 years ago. There was no Wikipedia back then.

cd41 (author)DeusExMach2008-11-02

Wow you had one amazing nice psycic teacher then..:)

DeusExMach (author)cd412008-11-03


Udon (author)DeusExMach2008-12-18

And what does any of this have to do with Harrison Ford?

cd41 (author)Udon2008-12-18

Not sure how but he can join the party

kathynv (author)2008-12-18

If you suspect that someone is looking for/at you, immediately develop a plausible reason to be in the area; get a haircut or shave, look at/purchase foods at an outdoor market. If you're doing what all the other people of your gender are doing, it's usually a lot easier to blend.

mysterygirl154 (author)2008-11-03

You forgot to act like nothings weird I almost always do my homework right before its due in class, and I never get caught. It's kind of funny watching other people get caught and it drives my friends nutty.

zero4hero (author)2008-08-10

I found waldo and the wizard now where is that damn scroll?

Spinning_Rings (author)2008-06-16

Interesting. So what this boils down to is that I think of literary devices as techniques, guidelines that enforce rigidity, whereas you think of them as tools, prompts that encourage thought. A rather simple difference of views, as far as I can see. Alright. We've both adequately explained or views, and neither of us has been swayed. Unless you have something else you think will persuade me, then it's time to either end the conversation or change the subject before the tension builds any more. ... ... ... So, how about this weather?

Spinning_Rings (author)2008-06-16

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. You see, I wasn't arguing the point that it was only applicable to plays, I was trying to explain why I was confused. I totally agree that it's not just for play. When DeusExMach explained it, the first thing I thought of was the Emilist from the Animorphs book series I liked when I was a kid. So I wasn't trying to argue there. On the other hand, I am going to argue the second point on the grounds that: A.) If you weren't trying to say that, then you failed miserably because that's exactly what "literary devices are only important to know about if you plan on reading a book," sounds like it to me. And B.) I don't agree that it's "somewhat Important" for readers--refering back to those animorphs books, I liked them just the same before and after I'd heard of Deus Ex Machina--, but for writers... You see, the way I think of it (and I doubt many would try to argue this,) writing isn't a science, it's an art. Now on the one hand, learning the techniques another artist has discovered can help make an artist's work more vivid and detailed, like when an artist first learns of shading or one-point-perspective. But on the other hand, too much emphasis on studying the techniques of other artists and not enough on discovering and developing one's own techniques leads to a lack of creativity, a regurgitation of what's already been done. So while I'll admit it's of some importance, I think it's something you need to be careful not to put too much emphasis on.

Spinning_Rings (author)2008-06-14

"The term translates as "God out of the Machine", referring to the contraption used to lower the actor into place." I'll also have you know that knowing literary devices and being able to read have nothing to do with each other. I can enjoy Terry Pratchett, Anthony Horowitz, William Shakespeare, Neil Gaiman, or any other writer without being able to write a three-page paper on the use of foreshadowing in one of their books.

oh. I apologize for wasting your time. I thought we were here to learn about things we didn't otherwise know. Forgive me for trying to include a little bit extra in answer to a direct question. Unless it was a rhetorical question, and if so, I'll answer it with rhetoric. To whit: "Knowledge is power" "Deus Ex Machinas are overused in american cinema, literature, et. al." "You're makin' us look like jerks... READ A BOOK!".

I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to insult you, I was just arguing the point that how many literary terms I know has nothing to do with my ability to read. I am an avid reader, and I find it highly offensive and elitist towards scholars to say that I'm not good at it because I don't know all the scholarly terms. I'm not mad at you, I was quite grateful to you for explaining the joke, I liked it, it was funny, and I got to learn something new. But I don't like being told I'm a bad reader because I didn't already know it.

generalmayhem (author)2008-05-22

See also Harrison Ford's escape from Tommy Lee Jones and the rest of the Federal Marshalls by blending into the St. Patrick's Day parade crowd in the movie "The Fugitive". He obviously read this instructable first.

Sypran (author)generalmayhem2008-05-22

why in every movie is there a St. Pattys day parade that the good guy can blend in to escape?

Spinning_Rings (author)Sypran2008-05-22

It's the writer's convenience.

A Deus Ex St. Patty's day?

Um... What?

A "Deus Ex Machina" is a literary device in which an actor playing "God" would descend from the top of the stage, and fix the situation for the protagonist with a helpful and timely intervention. The term translates as "God out of the Machine", referring to the contraption used to lower the actor into place. It has since become synonomous with any random plot device that serves as a "Saving Grace" for the main character in a story. ...and now, you know.

IkilledKenny (author)DeusExMach2008-06-14

people like green?

killarowa (author)DeusExMach2008-06-11

and knowing is half the battle. G.I. JOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DeusExMach (author)killarowa2008-06-11

Sure, knowing is half the battle. And you know what? So is losing. Losing is half the battle. Let's focus on ALL the battle, here.

Oh... I get it now. Funny!

cecilomar (author)Sypran2008-06-14

Because everybody is drunk?

Spinning_Rings (author)2008-06-14

I think I can get through life just fine without knowing a couple of play terms, thank you very much.

tsieling (author)2008-06-04

I'd avoid changing one's walk so much that it becomes noticeable. Don't change your walk into a limp, for example, as people can pick out a lame walk pretty quickly.

dwalk51 (author)2008-05-29

mmmkay thanks Jason Bourne

drummonkey92 (author)2008-05-23

haha the bear cant spell lol cool 'ible, im not sure when i could use this new knowledge but its handy to know

Gjdj3 (author)drummonkey922008-05-24

, Psst! I think it's Russian! ,

Gjdj3 (author)Gjdj32008-05-24

why didn't that work?

Gjdj3 (author)Gjdj32008-05-24


' psst '

Gjdj3 (author)Gjdj32008-05-24

Oh, there we go! The first one!

drummonkey92 (author)Gjdj32008-05-25

that explains the k in circus, but what about parlament not being parliament?

maybey i should ease off a bit..he doesnt even have opposable thumbs lol

Gjdj3 (author)drummonkey922008-05-25

True. Haha. Hmmm... I wonder if they sell protesting bears. I want one.

bosherston (author)Gjdj32008-05-27

That sentry box stands outside the Czech parliament in Prague, the whole castle complex in Prague ( where the parliament is housed ) is totally awesome, well worth a visit. I believe in this instance the Czech Green Party was trying to highlight the plight of the native bear population.

drummonkey92 (author)bosherston2008-05-27

ahh rite, cool

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