1. Take your measurements with your firearm Ė when working with a new tailor, be upfront that you are carrying a concealed weapon before he measures you. Some clothiers may have an issue, and itís best to be transparent before you find yourself in an awkward situation.
2. Add an extra layer of lining or canvas to the bottom 12 inches of jacket; this will increase the stiffness and as mentioned reduce printing. Extra fabric to prevent printing of a concealed carry firearm can be added after the fact, but it is best if itís designed and woven into a custom jacket or suit where you have full control.
3. Add an extra Ĺ to 1 inch of length to the jacket (depending on your height) Ė this extra length will help ensure when you raise your arms you do not reveal that you are carrying a holstered firearm.
4. Make sure to have small arm holes to minimize the rise of the jacket when raising ones arms; this is related to the above point, but is separate as it cannot be altered and should be paid attention to when the jacket is purchased . Custom jackets and suits should be made standard with this feature.
5. Have small weights sewn into your jacket lining at the font bottom corners of your jacket, and ensure the corners are more square than rounded. This added weight and shape with extra fabric will help prevent you from flashing to the world you conceal carry. Another option is to turn the jacketís corners into small pockets where you can store a heavy coin such as a silver dollar or commemorative coin.
6. Select dark colored fabrics for your suits, sport jackets, and trousers; also patterns that break up lines such as herringbone, nailhead, and birdseye work well. Avoid pin stripes on a suit Ė they accentuate a bulge in the fabric and should never be worn when you look to conceal a firearm. Also avoid mixing light colored trousers with a dark suit Ė this draws the eye to the midsection where you may be carrying your weapon.
7. Consider stiff & heavy fabrics such as cotton, flannels, and winter weight wools. These naturally resist printing and require little if any of the specialty adjustments we discussed. Unfortunately they only look natural in cool weather areas.
8. Wear a matching dark colored vest. This eliminates the stark contrast between the light colored shirt and your firearm and if worn under your jacket enables you to take your coat off without startling your officemates. Few suit vests can properly conceal a gun, so this is a supplemental item and does not substitute for a jacket. Wearing both a jacket and vest over your concealed weapon should be avoided if possible as it makes it harder to reach you weapon.
9. Sew in a plastic rod or zip strap like piece along the jacketís front openings. This stiffens the fabric edge and enables you to easily flip it out of the way for a quicker draw.
10. Consider a sartorial distraction such as a pocket square or boutonniere. A man wearing a flower in his lapel is less likely to be suspected of carrying a weapon by a casual observer. Nevertheless, this trick calls attention to the wearer, so it is only advised if the wearer is otherwise the center of attention, such as when delivering a speech. Like any magician will tell you, the key is to direct your audience's attention on what you want them to focus on.