In today's society, it's best to carry a weapon any and everywhere you go (that the law allows of course). Protecting you and your family should be your highest priority. The weapon I am going to focus on here is the handgun. Pistols come in various sizes, but mostly the same shape. We won't get into handgun selection here as I've already covered that in a prior blog.
The best practice is to use a mirror and check to see how well your carry gun shows with whatever is in your wardrobe. Colors, patterns, and fabric all play a role in how well you're able to hide the firearm. Some sweaters easily snag on the edges of some pistols as well. When you do this, make sure you move around to see how well your outfit does. If you're going shopping for instance, make sure the firearm won't show when you do things like bend over, reach up, or squat down. The length of your shirt can come into play if it's short enough that when you put your arms above your head the shirt comes up enough to show the firearm.
As the title of the blog states, we will talk about dressing to the gun. I could write a book on this topic and give hundreds of examples, but this will be a general overview. Carrying concealed doesn't mean you have to dress like you're in a 5.11 catalog, you can wear almost whatever you want as long as you're smart about it. There are several factors to be taken into consideration when dressing to the gun.
- Size of the Gun: Full size handguns will provide challenges when deciding what to wear, while compact handguns are easier to conceal.
- Body Type: Slimmer people like myself will have a tougher time concealing larger handguns, but it can be done. Larger framed people will have a less tough time. We all come in different shapes and sizes, some of these will present their own challenges.
- Activity: What will you be doing? What kind of movement will be required? Are you going to be in close contact with people who don't need to know you're carrying?
- Weather: Hot weather can mean dressing in clothing that doesn't conceal as well. It can also mean more perspiration, which can provide challenges. Cold weather will obviously make it easier to conceal, but can provide the challenge of having more layers to get through to the gun.
- Holster: If you want to read more about this, read my blog on it by clicking here.
- Purpose: Business? Pleasure? Do you need to blend in?
These are just some of the general considerations when dressing to the gun. As I said before, we could write a book on this. The idea here is just to throw some out there and get you thinking.
The best practice is to go through your clothes and find what conceals your firearm best so you have a good idea of what you can and can't wear. When you go shopping, think of your considerations for carrying.
When I took this picture originally I posted it and jokingly said, "always bring your gun when trying on new jeans". I was really serious though, as I do believe you should make sure whatever jeans you buy have enough room for you to comfortably carry.
When I teach carrying concealed, I usually am talking to "alpha males". Some of which like to dress to show off their work in the gym. I usually tell these folks they are going to have to learn to be less vain and dress less to show off their muscles and more to conceal the firearm. This doesn't mean you have to dress baggy, you just can't wear compression shirts. Below there are a few examples of clothing that's good or bad to wear.
|While black is one of the better solid colors to wear, moisture wicking garments like Under Armor is not a good choice. As you can see here, my M&P9c with Raven Vanguard 2 is easily shown due to the fabric hanging over the pistol.|
|Lighter color fabrics are best when they have a pattern. A pattern is good with any color as it helps break up the outline of the gun or whatever you may be carrying.|
|Again, black is a good color for solids, but not the Under Armor type fabrics. As you can see here all I had to do was bend forward a little and when I stood back up straight the fabric was hanging on the pistol.|
|Again, a pattern works great for hiding the outline of the pistol. |
So that's your intro on how to dress to conceal a carry pistol. Maybe when I have more time on my hands in about 4 years I'll sit down and write a more lengthy bit of instruction, but this will get you started. Most folks will be able to figure it out from here. Feel free to comment below if you have anything to add or if you have any questions.