Ladies, do you want to concealed carry but don’t want to give up wearing the styles you love? You’re not alone.
I can personally attest to the challenges of making feminine fashion coincide with CCW practicality. Over the past couple of years that I’ve been carrying, I’ve learned through a great deal of trial, error, and shopping around, a number of outfit combos, carry gun sizes, and holster styles that make carrying a concealed firearm possible for me, but I still have frequently found myself wishing there was an “easier way.” In the hope of making the journey of concealed carry easier for other females, I’ve posted a few articles on this site with recommendations for what to wear (you can check out one of the series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). As more and more women consider CCW, their calls for concealed carry fashion that lets women tote their self defense guns without making concessions to the things they like to wear.
Some firearms accessory manufacturers have expanded their lines with “pink” or other colorful add-ons, aimed to catch the female eye. Beyond hue, however, there has been a more involved movement to create women’s concealed carry friendly gear. One place you can see the evidence of this new product direction is at any one of the increasing numbers of women’s concealed carry fashion shows. Some of the larger shows have been held in the past couple years in the US fashion capitol: New York City, NY. Another successful show was hosted earlier this month in new-to-carry Chicago, IL.
The Firearms & Fashion show was first hosted by native Chicagoans, Karen Bartuch (owner of AlphaGirls, a female-oriented firearms education company), and Marilyn Smolenski (owner of Nickel and Lace, an online firearms fashion and accessory retailer geared toward lady firearms enthusiasts), soon after the news hit that Illinois passed its concealed carry legislation. Their second event, successful enough to catch mainstream news attention, showed earlier this month, featuring hot fashion, designed with women’s concealed carry fashion in mind, including work by Wisconsin-born designer Sarah Church.
If you’re looking for a holster to fit female hips, or just something cute to wear that still lets women carry comfortably, don’t fret. There are options out there, and there is also a rapidly growing community of female shooters and concealed carriers—myself included—who’re happy to help you find what works for you.
Featured image courtesy of contributor ariwasabi via istockphoto.com