Dressing Around Your Weapon
April 15th, 2019
3 minute read
Carrying concealed requires more than just choosing a firearm and holster, tucking it in your pants, and going on your merry way. If you’re female, there are several additional facets of concealed carry that you’ll need to think about, including how to wear your gun with a variety of outfits. Warmer weather means that the coat or jacket you’ve been wearing all winter isn’t going to be handling the concealment aspect for you anymore.
If you’re going to carry a gun, there are a few rules that come with it. Safety for both you and innocent bystanders around you should always be the top consideration. To carry safely, you’ll need to ensure that your firearm is both accessible and secured. That means you’ll need to make some hard choices about your attire.
Dress Around Your Gun—Don’t Carry Around Your Outfit
Some female shooters want to fit their weapon into the clothes they’re already wearing every day. That’s not always possible; while there are many different holster options out there for carry, not all of them will allow you to carry safely if used with the wrong clothing.
Caleb Koller, artisan holster designer and owner of Bitterroot Gunleather, says he often gets requests from prospective female clients who request a custom holster that will work for yoga pants or leggings. He urges them to find a more practical means of carry and explains why.
“A firearm isn’t an accessory,” Koller points out. “A firearm is a deadly weapon. The clothing you choose to wear every day should be conducive to a safe, effective, and practical way of carrying your firearm—not the other way around.”
That might mean foregoing your favorite leggings or yoga pants when you’re out in public, in favor of a pair of jeans or pants that can take the weight of your firearm. It could require you to put on a light button-down shirt over your cute summer tank top to keep your gun concealed. It might even mean switching out a heavy firearm for a smaller or lighter one that is more easily hidden. The point is ensuring that your weapon—including the ability to carry it safely and get to it quickly—is the focus.
Don’t Get Holster-Happy
It might be tempting to have several different holsters to work with different outfits; an IWB for jeans, ankle holster for the wide-leg yoga pants, or even a thigh holster for skirts and dresses. The problem with that is muscle memory.
If you’re training with your firearm, you’re teaching your body to reach for a specific place for your gun, every time. If you’re switching your gun’s location based on your clothing that day, you’re going to reach for your gun in a given position and realize it’s not there. Even a two-second delay while your brain and body try to readjust for where your gun is can mean the difference between life and death.
By all means, try out different holsters—but choose one. Train with it, become proficient with it, and make sure that whatever you’re wearing will conceal your gun properly and allow you to carry safely and effectively.