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Plate Carrier as armor without inserts

For the armor rules to count, the rule book states that armor must "appear functional".  Most of my team is coming in with plate carriers, which look like this.

In the real world, those vest by themselves offer absolutely no protection until you slide armor plates (thus the term "plate carrier") into internal pockets.  The only outward way to tell if someone has said plates installed is that the gear will look a little more bulky.  A couple of us have made fake plates out of EVA foam but if someone decides to not use plates in the carrier, will the vest count as armor per the rules?

Thank you.
Plate carriers are fine, plates or not, since they 'look like armor.' The "Armor" path is what you get benefits from, but that doesn't stop someone from wearing a plate carrier/other armor even if they don't have the skill; we'll always let you look cooler.
Thank you, Matt. I'll let the team know.

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