Just because you started concealed carrying doesn’t mean you stopped enjoying wearing cute clothes, right? Skinny jeans and form fitting tees can be tricky, but how do you concealed carry in a skirt or a dress? To figure out how to effectively conceal carry with more “challenging” outfits, I created a game I call, “Where’s the Gun?” This generally consists of me getting dressed in a seemingly carry un-friendly outfit, and then asking a family member to identify where the concealed pistol is holstered. If they can’t locate it, I win the game, and the carry configuration gets included in my regular rotation. If I lose and they point out where I’m printing, I know I didn’t manage to conceal it effectively and it’s back to the drawing board. Skirts and dresses present the biggest challenge, but here are some of the ways I’ve found to “win” that concealed carry game.
This one’s pretty much a gimme. With the right thigh holster, and the right position, a thigh holster is one of the most subtle means of effective concealed carry when wearing a skirt or a dress. The holster has to work against the thigh’s tapered shape, and gravity’s downward tug. It also has to stay out of sight when sitting (which causes one’s hemline to rise a couple inches), and while moving. Garter holsters help this a great deal, but there are wraparound holsters (often witch some kind of rubberized backing to help them “stick”) that’ll do the trick—especially for a light little mouse gun. A downside to the elastic (wraparound) holsters is that the tension that helps keep them in place can get uncomfortable if worn for several hours. However, my friend, concealed carrier and firearms instructor, the lovely Gracie has a clever ladies’ concealed carry alternative that solves this problem.
As demonstrated in the video embedded above, Gracie often opts to wear a pair of “short shorts” under her dress. Shortie shorts are generally short enough, compared to more generously-hemmed skirts and dresses, to remain concealed while providing a waistband that can accommodate a more traditional waistband holster. This ladies’ concealed carry trick allows Gracie to keep her pistol comfortably concealed and easily accessible. A similar solution are pocketed compression shorts, like UnderTech’s “Under Cover Short Shorts” pictured right.
If thigh holsters or undershorts aren’t really your thing, you may want to give a belly band style holster a try. As the name denotes, these holsters wrap around the waist and tuck under the bosom. Most wraparound holsters allow for different positioning around the body (shoulder strapped variants are generally more fixed in position), which allows the wearer to find the ideal location for pistol placement on their body (usually in the underarm area or on the front of the torso directly under the bosom). Like elastic thigh holsters, a wraparound belly band (as opposed to the shoulder-strapped style) will often have the tendency to slide down or up on the body til it rests on the smallest portion of the waist. However, shoulder strapped models help resist that ever-present gravitational pull on your carry pistol and can make for more comfortable all-day wear.
Dressing for ladies’ concealed carry can still be fun and feminine. Thigh holsters and belly bands provide ladies’ concealed carry options that aren’t reliant upon having a sturdy waistband. Or, if you’d rather stick with comfortable (and practical) waistband carry, you may want to pop a pair of shorts underneath that skirt. Take my excuse to get dressed up, play a few rounds of “Where’s the Gun,” and find your winning ladies’ concealed carry methods.
Featured image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.