Overweight dress clothes carry

Overweight dress clothes carry

This is a discussion on Overweight dress clothes carry within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So I'm still waiting on my carry permit, but I would like some ideas on how to comfortably carry while wearing business casual to professional ...

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Thread: Overweight dress clothes carry

  1. #1
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    Overweight dress clothes carry

    So I'm still waiting on my carry permit, but I would like some ideas on how to comfortably carry while wearing business casual to professional attire. I either wear khakis with a polo or a dress shirt and slacks or a full suit. And I'm overweight, 5'6" 230lbs.

    And I don't know what I'll be carrying just yet. I own a BHP but I think I want something with a longer 1st trigger pull like the P95. My buddies got one and I'm gonna try it out this week hopefully.

    My biggest problem that I see other than my weight is my tucked in shirt. I sell insurance and work at a church so dressing down is just not an option. Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    Pocket carry, or smart carry in appendix position.

    If you do the latter, I might suggest a small revolver without an exposed hammer.

    If the former, either a revolver or a Ruger LCP-like mouse gun would do well.

    Good luck.

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  3. #3
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    Oh I guess I forgot to mention that I'm a complete novice to guns in general. I understand pocket carry but any other terms are outside my vocabulary.

    And I've shot an LC9 and didn't feel very comfortable with it, so I don't think I'd like something smaller honestly.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I wear professional attire and tucked shirts as well. If you wear your suit jacket or a sport coat, you have more options. A lot will depend on how discreet you need to be.

    I do not always wear my suit coat, and do need to be discreet, so Smartcarry or pocket carry is what works for me.
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    Im not petite, 6'2 270. Depends on where your "self" is located imo. I have no size (gun or I) related issues carrying behind my strong side lovehandle, around 4 o clock. That gun is a Colt 1911, Commander length (4.25 inch barrel). Also carry a j frame in my front pocket in an uncle mikes pocket holster.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    At 5'6" and not much room to successfully conceal a very large pistol, I personally would suggest considering a smaller, more-concealable alternative to the Browning Hi-Power or a Ruger P95. Good guns, sure, but the take some doing to conceal easily. Good shape, great equipment (belt, holster, clothing choices). Doing it successfully isn't for everyone.

    My suggestion would be to consider something along these lines, since you're new to the possibilities: If open to revolvers, acquire a decent ~20-25oz .357/.38 revolver with 2-3" bbl. If only open to semi-autos, acquire a decent and dead-nuts reliable pistol of roughly similar size to that same revolver (or smaller, if you can find one that works well). Acquire an excellent gun belt, a great IWB concealment holster for that gun, and possibly a decent pocket-carry holster for it as well. Start with a decently-stiff 1.5" dual-hide leather belt designed to carry heavier loads, and a holster that neatly spreads the loads across your waist.

    Also, realize that your clothing might need to change. Consider that stuffing a holstered gun into your pants either IWB or in the pocket is going to put stresses on the material, seams and shape of your garments unlike anything you've known. Your clothing must accommodate that new "bulge" at that spot, and your body's movements throughout the day must keep it concealed. Not all clothing cuts/shapes/patterns/colors are going to do this well. You might get lucky and find all your existing clothing to be excellent for the purpose already, but I doubt it. If on a relative budget, consider heading to Men's Wearhouse (assuming you're male) to consider having them evaluate whether making some alterations could accommodate it; or to recommend small wardrobe changes that'll nicely accommodate it. Could comprise different pants (different cut, different material, tougher seams, thicker/larger belt loops); shirts of different patterns/material/color; possible covering garments, such as sweaters or jackets.

    Being new to all of this, it's hard to know what will really work for you ... that is, until you try out a couple options. If you head to a clothing/tailor shop where they appreciate such things, they might be able to guide your thinking along these lines.


    Congratulations on the new CHL, by the way. Welcome to a whole new set of responsibilities!
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  7. #7
    Member Array buckeyebersa's Avatar
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    I'm a big guy as well, and I dress similar to you. Here's what I do: my primary carry is a Bersa Thunder Pro UC 9mm. It is a little chunky in the grip, but will conceal very well under a jacket, sweater, cover shirt, or untucked polo. We big fellas have a little advantage in that we tend to be able to conceal better than the skinnier folk. I carry the Bersa IWB in a clipless Remora holster. The Remora can go anywhere IWB, and I can cant it at any angle. I can't carry in my workplace, but the Remora is very easy to throw on after work. I also have a Kahr p380, which for me is the most shootable pocket pistol out there. I carry it in the pocket with a DeSantis Super Fly.

    So, in summary, the Bersa gives me a gun I can carry 90% of the time and shoot at the range without any difficulty. The Kahr is a little harder to shoot, but when I am in a suit or a dress shirt I can't untuck, I can stow it in a pocket. I usually have it in a pocket as a BUG (back up gun) even when the Bersa is with me. Hope that helps.

    A few last points of emphasis: whatever you try out first for carry may not work for you. Don't give up. It's fairly easy to sell or trade guns in most states, keep trying until you find what will work for you. And always at least hold in your hand whatever you intend to buy before you plunk down any cash. If at all possible shoot a rental at the range before you buy. Youtube is your friend, there are reviews out there on just about anything you would want to buy. I recommend checking out Hickok45's Youtube reviews, they are very useful. Best of luck to you.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyebersa View Post
    A few last points of emphasis: whatever you try out first for carry may not work for you. Don't give up. It's fairly easy to sell or trade guns in most states, keep trying until you find what will work for you.
    Important point.

    It's one of the reasons many of us have drawers full of holsters, several belts, and have made some changes to clothes over the years. Not everything's a slam-dunk for fit. You don't know until you try it. And unless you get fitted for it specifically, quite often it's not what you thought it would be, once you get holstered up and see the results. Sad, but oh so true.

    Don't give up. You'll find the right combination at some point.
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  9. #9
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    I'm open to a j frame revolver, so I may go that route. As of right now, there's really no time I don't have my shirt tucked in. I just don't see how carrying IWB could work. If I ever had to draw my weapon, I would have to untuck my shirt and hope that doesn't throw my holster and gun on the ground.

    What about the those deep cover belly band holsters. I guess if I was wearing my suit jacket, which is only on Sundays, I could wear one of those shoulder strapped ones (I don't know what they're called). But it's seeming like pocket carrying a j frame revolver is my best/only bet. How does a .38 compare to a 9mm in stopping power. I know I could/should get a .357 but honestly a 9mm is the biggest round I've shot and I didn't like the kick out of the lc9, I doubt I would care for a .357 out of something smaller.

  10. #10
    Member Array buckeyebersa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierLife View Post
    I'm open to a j frame revolver, so I may go that route. As of right now, there's really no time I don't have my shirt tucked in. I just don't see how carrying IWB could work. If I ever had to draw my weapon, I would have to untuck my shirt and hope that doesn't throw my holster and gun on the ground.

    What about the those deep cover belly band holsters. I guess if I was wearing my suit jacket, which is only on Sundays, I could wear one of those shoulder strapped ones (I don't know what they're called). But it's seeming like pocket carrying a j frame revolver is my best/only bet. How does a .38 compare to a 9mm in stopping power. I know I could/should get a .357 but honestly a 9mm is the biggest round I've shot and I didn't like the kick out of the lc9, I doubt I would care for a .357 out of something smaller.
    A .38 snubby is not a bad way to go. A few thoughts:

    1. All handguns are really inadequate man stoppers, even a .44 Mag. We carry handguns because they are convenient. If I really needed to stop someone I'd carry a long gun.
    2. Having said that, a .38 can perform similarly to a 9mm with the right ammo.
    3. Options like the smart carry don't work for me personally, my spare tire gets in the way. But as I wrote above, pocket carry works well for me.
    4. If you want to, you can certainly try one of the smaller 9mm's in a suit pocket. But I seem to recall that you didn't like the LC9, so that may not work. Even still, it might be worth your while to try out a Beretta Nano or a Kahr CW9.
    5. It is statistically unlikely that you will fire more than 3 shots in an altercation. A standard .38 snubby has a 5 shot capacity. If you end up going in this direction it's not a bad choice.

  11. #11
    Member Array buckeyebersa's Avatar
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    I just realized that you asked about a belly band, not smart carry. Two different things, my apologies. The main disadvantage to a Belly Band is that it is a pretty slow draw compared to IWB or in the pocket. I am not saying don't do it, but I am personally not comfortable with the speed of the draw (or lack thereof).

  12. #12
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    I don't know what a smart carry is.

  13. #13
    Member Array buckeyebersa's Avatar
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    I encourage you to spend a lot of time on Youtube, it helped me tremendously: Concealment Holster Review: SmartCarry Holster - YouTube . It is good that you are asking a lot of questions

  14. #14
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyebersa View Post
    I encourage you to spend a lot of time on Youtube, it helped me tremendously: Concealment Holster Review: SmartCarry Holster - YouTube . It is good that you are asking a lot of questions
    Well that just seems like the scariest thing any guy could ever do. I guess if I had a double action, it would be hard to have an accident. But, no pun intended, that takes a lot of balls to carry like that.

    Question is, would that type of holster work for a fat guy? And could I carry a p95 down there.

    And how do you use the restroom with one of those?

  15. #15
    Member Array crusade's Avatar
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    I carry a Glock 30SF (technically a .45-caliber "sub compact," but it's more the size of a Glock 19, the "compact" 9mm... anyway) in a Comp-tac CTAC. I'm a little overweight at 6'1" 240ish, and I tuck in my shirt all the time. You just need a baggier shirt. I am planning on getting a round-butt revolver once I can afford it because I like the .357 magnum round and I also don't like the sharp pokey edges of my Glock jutting out... something rounded out would be better.

    Anyway, just practice and you'll be fine. Sure, untucking a shirt will always be slower than just lifting up an un-tucked shirt, but it's really only an extra stroke and in my opinion, well worth it to just always have your gun on you if you need to tuck in your shirt. I have practiced my draw a lot and have gotten alright at it so that it's not terribly slow and I just tuck my shirt behind the firearm while drawing to keep my shirt out of the way. No problem. I searched and searched for the perfect tuckable IWB holster and went with the CTAC. It's alright... I liked the kydex for the re-holstering capabilities, but I think it makes it poke out more... anyway. Enough of my banter.

    I am a slightly overweight dude and I carry a .45 in a tuckable IWB holster at 3:00/3:30ish and tuck my shirt in all the time. You just have to get baggy enough shirts. I really like L.L. Bean's dress shirts. Make sure not to get the "slim fit" ones, though.

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