Printing is only too easy when wearing the figure-flattering styles to which we women seem to gravitate, but grabbing a cover garment is one of the easiest tricks for obscuring your gun’s profile while still letting you wear your favorite skinny jeans (you know, the ones that fit “just right”). In this article, I’ll talk about a few of my favorite ways of making your “cute clothes” also work as your “carry clothes” by using cover garments.
It’s still warm out (well, warm-ish… I do live in Wisconsin, after all), but as fall approaches, jackets are one of the easiest solutions for hiding a stubbornly-printing concealed carry firearm. Here in WI, it’s winter about eight months out of the year, so in my time of living here, I have amassed a considerable collection of hoodies and a few lighter jackets. As with conceal-friendly bottoms, the thicker the fabric, the better it’ll conceal. I find that a tighter top helps keep the gun grip (the part of the pistol that I have most issue with printing with IWB carry) close to my body, while a loose jacket creates space between the visible layer of fabric and the imprinting pistol.
For ladies’ concealed carry, layers are your friend. My history working at a clothing retail store left me with disdain for holiday shopping, and an overabundance of layering tanks and tees. I still hate the crowds at the mall from November til year’s end, but the shirts I’ve been able to put to good use. As I started concealed carrying, I found that a pistol that printed in a tshirt, printed less when I wore a cami underneath that tshirt, and less still if I popped a little cardigan over both of those. (See, Dad, I needed the same tee in 5 different colors — for concealed carry!) Layers are a fun way to dress cute while keeping that self defense gun effectively concealed. However, during the four days that Wisconsin experiences “summer,” it gets a little warm. I have a different solution for those occasions.
I love the trend that has deemed these types of tanks (pictured right) as “fashionable.” They’re flattering on most body types, and they’re loose enough to give a lady’s concealed carry pistol room to breathe, so to speak. These tops that flow around the waistline are a happy compromise between women’s fashion and effective concealed carry. They’ve become my go-to shirts for summer carry due to their combined warm weather and CCW friendliness.
This option’s pretty much a concealed carry no-brainer. If it’s cold out, those poofy warm coats and vests will keep you toasty, and will double as more-than-adequate cover garments. However, when wearing a coat for winter carry, I also keep in mind that I may find myself in a spot where I need to remove that coat. One trick I use is to wear something carry friendly, but tuck it in behind my holster while I’m wearing my coat (to make sure drawing is simple and snag-free, should the need arise). When I go to remove my jacket, I discreetly un-tuck my shirt(s) from behind my holster, and then slip off my coat.
I have a cute little backpack style purse I often tote. Besides being able to carry the kitchen sink, it also happens to serve ideally as an atypical kind of cover garment. The bag rests just at the top of my pistol’s grip, obscuring any printing while staying out of the way of my draw. Another bonus is that I can wear it any time of year, even with the least conceal-friendly tops.