Carrying Concealed and Remaining Feminine

Carrying Concealed and Remaining Feminine

This is a discussion on Carrying Concealed and Remaining Feminine within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't claim to be the expert on this subject, but as one woman who likes to look like a woman I can only relay ...

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Thread: Carrying Concealed and Remaining Feminine

  1. #1
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    Carrying Concealed and Remaining Feminine

    I don't claim to be the expert on this subject, but as one woman who likes to look like a woman I can only relay my experiences of trying to remain feminine while packing heat.

    When I started my concealed carry journey just four years ago I was stuck in a whirl-wind of trial and error. I had days of horrible printing or poor concealment. I had days of looking unkempt and trashy because I wore clothes purposely too big in attempts to cover my gun. I tried many different holsters and means of carry and while the journey is one that never ends I do feel like I have learned a few things to pass on to my fellow female carriers who wish to carry and retain their femininity.

    First, let me point out that all of my clothes are now size appropriate. Let me say that again. They are ALL size appropriate. Buy clothes to fit YOU. Believe me, you are a lot LESS noticeable when your clothes fit than when you are walking around looking like you are dressed in your big sisters clothing. If you are smart about what you buy in your size there is no reason to size up to hide a gun.

    Second, let me say that in the following pictures I am in only one outfit with a variety of cover garments. I would NOT wear many of these combinations out of the house or suffer the wrath of the fashion police. This is just to illustrate different cover garments, not to show off my lack of style.

    Third, let me state that the advise laid out is for those who wish to carry on body, around the waist, preferably just behind the hip on either side of the body. After trying everything from ankle carry to appendix, shoulder and back again, this is the place I have found most comfortable, accessible and concealable.

    So, let's get started.

    This is me:



    I am 105 lbs. 5'3" and carrying a Glock 19 in an OWB holster with a double magazine pouch filled with two magazines. I chose this setup for these pictures because many would like to tell you (or even men) that it is impossible to conceal so much on a small frame. THAT IS HOG WASH! I have been concealing full size guns, spare magazines, knives and other tools since the day I turned 21. Shop smart and you'll be amazed at what you can conceal.

    A NOTE ON PANTS:
    Girls, pay close attention to this part because it is important. It has taken me much anguish to bring you this little secret and as far as I have discovered and discussed this part is almost universal to all sizes and shapes.

    Remember these two words: MID RISE!

    High rise pants have a tendency to hold the firearm too high unless you get a holster that purposefully sets the gun a little lower on the belt line. It can cause digging or stabbing in the ribs. Most women I have talked to who find high rise pants comfortable for carry are open carriers with duty holsters who don't have to bother with concealment. Once concealment is added to the mix and the holster has to carry the firearm as close to the body as possible I start to hear lots of complaints about comfort.

    If the rise is too low you get two different problems. One, the weight of the gun starts to pull your pants down (especially when carrying a heavier gun) and two, the hip makes the grip jut out making it very difficult to conceal. Again, an open carrier may not have a problem but for concealed carry you are going to have to start wearing your husband's sweat shirts to conceal properly unless you have absolutely no hips to speak off and are straight as a board.

    Now, I did say that it is ALMOST universal. Of course, with the vast differences in shapes and sizes there are those who can and do conceal wonderfully and comfortably with high or low rise pants but more often than not, mid-rise is the way to go for strictly concealed carry.

    Mid-rise pants seem to be the sweet spot. The curve of the hip pushes the grip of the gun right into the curve of the waist but not high enough to stab the ribs when sitting or bending to the side. The draw is comfortable and your pants stay right where you want them to all day long.

    Let me draw your attention to the photo below:


    As you can see, the grip and even the spare magazines are held close to the body. The grip sits in the curve of my waist and back and the comfort is unmatchable.

    If you are having a hard time getting your carry set up comfortably concealable I would first start playing with the rise of your pants. You might be amazed at how quickly your concealment and comfort issues vanish.


  2. #2
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    Loose and Hanging Fronts Are Our Friends:



    Again, though I may not wear this sweater with this particular outfit it is a FANTASTIC cover garment that is extremely feminine and light. The loose and hanging front easily conceals any hint of a gun behind it and can easily be swept out of the way for an easy draw.



    Because it is long and slightly fuller and patterned at the bottom I can reach my arms to any length and still not worry about concealment issues. A girl can still look exceptionally feminine and carry a good sized gun plus spare ammo without a seconds worry for concealment.



    However, because this sweater is so smooth in the back, care must be given when bending over. A straight bend at the waist would cause printing so bending at the knee is vital with such a smooth, straight back.



    Here is another example of loose and hanging.



    This sweater is a little more loose all over so quite a bit more forgiving for bending and reaching.




  3. #3
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    Casual and Comfy:
    Nothing is quite as comfortable as a hoodie. Keeps you warm but is generous. A feminine color in the appropriate size and you might as well forget you are carrying at all.



    Even pulled tight from my hands being wedged in my pockets and even a trained eye would be hard pressed to identify a gun.


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    The Vest is Best:

    We are in the golden age of concealed carry clothing, girls. We really are.

    Long, flowing, decorative vests are extremely popular right now and with the light-weight material being used you don't have to worry about adding too much heat or having to suffer looking like a fisherman or a photographer or wearing what has been deemed the "shoot me first" tactical vest.

    I urge all women to go out to their local department stores and stock up on some of these cute, concealing, finds.






    (Pardon the tag sticking out..lol)

    When the weather gets colder you can switch to a fleece vest and still be comfy and concealing.



    Unfortunately, for the length of this vest you can see the bottom of my holster but switching to IWB would easily fix this problem.





    And do not discredit something just because it is relatively see through. Remember that patterns are our friends and even something that is a loose knit with what could seem like gaping holes can be a concealment garment provided you make the right choices for what you wear underneath.



    Step 1: Don't have a stainless gun. Or if you do, this may not work. Stainless, or any really shiny slide may, indeed, shine through the holes in the light so it might not be an option for you.

    Step 2: Match your undershirt color as closely as you can to your gun and holster color.

    Step 3: Put on the cover garment.

    Step 4: Gun disappears.






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    The Oxford:

    Okay, maybe it's not really an oxford shirt, but never underestimate the concealability of a beautiful button up.



    Again, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing this combination in public, but the patterned, feminine print on such a cover garment is cute but very concealing.


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    Jackets:



    A jacket with a longer waist and some funky pockets could easily be your best friend. This 100% cotton jacket my husband found me at a local department store even has roll up sleeves for those moments where you start getting a little warmer than you expected.

    The feminine fit and decorations on the coat make it perfect for the female carrier.



    And of course it remains very concealing.


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    The Draping Garment:


    Last, but certainly not least, never underestimate the usefulness of a nice draping shirt or sweater. Long and flowing are very in style this season and finding things that drape and flow is as easy as walking in a clothing store these days.







    Not to mention they are exceptionally comfortable.

    Final Notes:


    As mentioned, there couldn't be a better time for women who want to carry concealed. Styles are ripe with many options that are long and flowing.

    When shopping remember the general rules:
    1. Mid-rise pants
    2. Loose and Hanging
    3. Vests are Best
    4. Patterns are our friends
    5. The Oxford
    6. Jackets
    7. Draping Garments


    Also, remember to take your gun and holster setup and a good friend who knows you carry with you on your shopping trips to check for the concealability of the garment in question. If you can't take a friend make sure you use those wrap around mirrors and bend and reach to check for printing and other issues.

    Have fun shopping and keep on packin' girls.

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    Thanks Lima....I will be sharing this with my wife...
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    What a great write-up......a concealed carry fashion show! I'm always on the look out for carry ideas for my wife so I looked at this thinking about her, and may even have her look at this later.

    However two things come to mind:

    1. She can't wear jeans to work, so she misses out on the use of a belt that is adequate for a holster. Most of her dress clothes don't utilize a belt and those that do aren't really functional for a holster. Actually she can't carry at her work anyway (state law).

    2. Most importantly, I'm positive that she won't wear any cover garment, she'd say that "I'll burst into flames". She might wear a cover garment if we visited the Arctic Circle.........she's a bit hot-natured.

    Once she retires, and it's winter, we'll see what happens.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    2. Most importantly, I'm positive that she won't wear any cover garment, she'd say that "I'll burst into flames". She might wear a cover garment if we visited the Arctic Circle.........she's a bit hot-natured.
    ppkheat, Since right now my only holster for the Glock is an OWB I haven't gotten to experiment with carry without a cover garment but I will do so (possibly with one of my 1911s) and post back. Yesterday I was carrying my 3" 1911 IWB with nothing more substantial than a simple t-shirt and was concealing fine.

    This was the Glock concealment try out in the Lima and JD world and I told JD he might as well get pictures while we were at it.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Lima for a great write up! I will be sharing this with my wife, it will be very helpful!
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    The point you made about midrise pants and the position of the pistol are spot on and in fact are universal for both men and women. The position you showed in your second picture is exactly where I carry my pistol, right behind the hip at the 4:30 to 5:00 o'clock position. I carry my Walther PPS in a Tucker Cover up Plus IWB holster. This position coupled with how I wear my pants makes that position incredibly comfortable when I'm sitting or in my car. If you also note the position of where the pistol is right above the back pocket which were I keep my wallet. This position would allow me to discretely draw my weapon while making it look like I'm going for my wallet if a BG happened to get the jump on me and were trying to mug me.

    When it comes to cover garments you may or may not need one depending on the gun you are carrying. A gun that is thinner, has a shorter grip, and shorter barrel can easily be concealed with just a t-shirt.

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    Great stuff Lima! I am going to share this with my wife; now that AZ has constitutional carry I am trying to get her to carry some, and this might do the trick!
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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    Glad to see you carrying your GLOCk....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sporty79 View Post
    Glad to see you carrying your GLOCk....
    Well, I haven't officially carried it more than at home and to the range. I still don't trust it (or myself with it). Not that I don't trust myself with a gun but I'm still getting used to shooting it and the changes in grip and making sure it is reliable (considering all the failures I've had with it whether my fault or the guns or a magazine). Anyway, I have every intention of carry it as soon as I trust it. Obviously I can conceal it.

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