Figure out how to wear it properly (plate placement, etc.), and you're already ahead of 80% of people who are issued them. Don't hang stuff off it you don't use (not just for appearance, don't because it's smarter), and from their focus on not replicating every public range stunt that makes you want to wear a plate carrier at the range to begin with.
Honestly, the best designs for civilian applications are the ones that look the least military. A relatively slick plate carrier in a solid color is cheaper and more practical than the sort of wannabe kit you're trying to avoid, so simply focusing on having the capability you need and leaving behind the weight, cost, and hassle of unneeded items.
عندما تصبح الأسلحة محظورة, قد يملكون حظرون عندهم فقط
کله چی سلاح منع شوی دی، یوازي غلوونکۍ یی به درلود
"Being able to do the basics, on demand, takes practice. " - Sinister