What is a word or phrase to describe the way you're dressing or dressing in a way to avoid/not attract attention to yourself?

For example, a celebrity going out in public would want to dress in a way(dull-colored, non-attractive clothes, clothes/accessories that doesn't attract attention, etc. etc.) so that she doesn't draw as much attention to herself so she could do whatever she likes free from disturbance. In other words, she dresses [?] in order to avoid attention, or she tries to dress more [?] in order to avoid attention.

I guess the example I gave is an adjective, but other than the adjective I'm looking for I guess it could be a verb as well such as, she [?] to avoid attention. Now this doesn't limit to only celebrities as I'm just using it as an example, but could be anybody in general that dresses to avoid attention.

  • Incognito is also a possibility. For a military person, you say in mufti (civilian clothing rather than a uniform).
    – user21497
    Jan 19, 2013 at 1:54

3 Answers 3


You would dress inconspicuously.


Besides already-mentioned inconspicuous, some of the following may apply. I am not suggesting these words specifically mean dressing in a way to avoid attention, but any of them might be used to describe how someone looks who has dressed to not draw attention when among people dressed in a variety of ways. (If everyone else has dressed alike, a person dressed differently will be obvious and memorable, no matter how inconspicuously they meant to dress.)

bland, “Lacking in taste or vigor”
nondescript, “Without distinguishing qualities or characteristics; unexceptional”
mousy, “Quiet, stealthy”
dowdy, “Plain and unfashionable in style or dress”
unassuming, “modest and having no pretensions or ostentation”
innocuous, “Inoffensive; unprovocative; not exceptional”
forgettable, “Easily forgotten”
plain, “Ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation; unembellished”
dress down, “To wear casual or informal clothes”
blend in, “To fit unnoticed into a surrounding. [eg] He disguised himself as a businessman to blend in with the others wearing suits. The aliens adopted human form in order to blend in.


To the various already apt word offerings, I would like to add the following: to dress in an understated, laid-back, muted, subdued and/or unpretentious way.

  1. Understated = presented or expressed subtly yet effectively .
  2. Laid-back = relaxed, easygoing.
  3. Muted = not expressed strongly (as in loudly) or openly
  4. Subdued = soft and restrained
  5. Unpretentious = pleasantly simple, functional; modest.
  • 1
    James Waldby's answer shows one way of including definitions, although it predates SE's current guidelines of requiring an explicitly-cited source for quotations.
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 15, 2020 at 7:48

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