Dress and a CCW
Disclaimer: I am a n00b and awaiting my CHP that should arrive any day.
I have noticed several guys posting pics of how they carry. I am still trying to find my carry "vibe" as I test-drive holsters and carry options. Far too many options involve long vests and baggy plaid shirts, or commando-style attire. Fanny packs or a man-purse? Puh-leeze.
In my line of work and with my activities, I need to be able to dress comfortably around a ccw without a WalMart makeover or looking like I crawled out of a lumberjack's laundry basket.
I am now experimenting with a shoulder rig under my suits and IWB options for more casual attire such as dress slacks and a polo. I live in the Southeast, so warm, humid weather is on tap most of the year.
I guess I'm looking for ideas from guys that need to be around others most of the day in business and social settings and (for better or worse) needs to look "professional".
I'm not putting anyone down, it's simply my world, and I wouldn't dare show up even in my own house wearing an untucked plaid shirt or baggy denim vest.
What are trying to hide?
HBE tuckable or a shoulder holster under your button up may be your best bet.
You could always ankle carry a j-frame.
Just a few comments on my own situation which seems to be like your's I live in Fort Worth, where it's hot, and work where I need to wear at least nice slacks and a tie, and usually a sportcoat or suit coat. I have a Comp-Tac M-TAC inside-waistband holster. With a coat, this rig is great. It is very comfortable and the gun is easily reached. It's perfect for carry at church, for example. If I am not wearing a coat, the "tuckable" feature is convenient, but I never really feel that I can trust that everything will remain tucked in as it is suppposed to. I am seriously considering a front pocket-carry gun and holster for those times when I am not going to be wearing a coat.
Deep cover options include smart carry, belly band , tuckable holsters, holster t shirt ect.
Being in a warm climate much of the year, and having to wear coat/tie or casual shirt/slacks on Fridays, I have found a tuckable IWB holster an excellent solution. I have the comp-tac mtac and it's great though others make a similar holster (tucker gunleather, crossbreed, etc). It works in all situations even when it's hot out an I tucking my shirt over my Kimber pro CDP.
It would help if we knew what your weapon choice is. For a generic answer, we tend to refer to dressing around the gun". But if business suits is your normal mode, you're in luck. Gotta be about the easiest, most options there.
OWB with a suit should be no problem. The jacket normally covers the bottom of even a large handgun/holster nicely. A shoulder holster is another great option.
If you need to remove the jacket frequently, look at a tuckable IWB. While these can work, drawing from a tucked shirt will slow you down a bit. But it can be done.
If that doesn't work out, consider a smallish firearm, either pocket carried or ankle carried. I prefer pocket of the two. J Frames, Kahr PM9, other small 9mm's or even a .380's are viable options that should keep you safe. You could also consider the Smart Carry option. I don't have one (yet...) but many here get good results with them.
Ideally, if you are comfortable with a slender profile weapon (single stack) with a tuckable IWB you should be good to go.
For my shirt and tie days (suited or not) I wear a kahr cw9 in a tuckable IWB, or a PM9 in my pocket.
While I am not in the workforce, I do wear suits to church.
I fail to see where a shoulder holster is better than a good IWB or OWB. I almost never wear a IWB, but do not have any problem with an OWB printing. If you were to remove your coat either would show.
My own preference is for a good pancake OWB for a suit, and when I do not wear a coat and keep my shirt tucked I carry in my pocket. Pocket carry does limit the gun you carry, but sometimes a steel 1911 just not practicable. The largest gun I carry in the pocket is a 642, but prefer a KT P3AT.
Sorry - I should have posted my EDC rig: currently a Kimber Ultra CDP II. I just picked this up because my Sig P226 (a fantastic and reliable weapon BTW) is just too much gun for a ccw in my circumstances.
I am also working at the gym and at the dinner table to lean out my body so I don't have to buy a new wardrobe. I am 6'1" tall and my 36" waist slacks have been snug this winter due to too much bad food and drink. I am trying to lean myself down to a snug 34", and then use the extra size in my pants to accomodate an IWB option as many use here.
Thanks for all the great ideas, guys. 'preciate it.
Living in South Alabama and having to dress business cuasual most days I use SmaryCarry or a HighNoon Tuckable
M&M, At work I wear pleated dress pants and shorts with polo shirts during the summer months. I find what works best for me is a SmartCarry, my EDC is a compact M&P40. I find it to be a great system that conceals very well, worth a look see.
A good tuckable IWB holster will fit the bill in most cases. When wearing a coat you can leave it untucked with the coat covering it, or if you elect to go without a coat or to remove your coat it is just a matter of tucking it. This option also works well for more casual dress as well such as polo or tee shirts.
After trying the proverbial box o' holsters and testing many different options, I am carrying a G30SF (which is a thick gun) in a Crossbreed Supertuck IWB at 3:30 tucked or untucked. Works pretty well. I live in FL so warm weather all year long, no jackets, no sweaters most of the time.
Hope it helps.
I have to dress in slacks and dress shirt and tie. No jacket (that would make it easier). I carry a Kahr CW9 in a tuckable IWB holster (High Noon Split Decision).
As soon as I have the funds together I plan to get a Crossbreed Supertuck IWB with the velcro clips that go "inside" the belt. This way there is nothing showing.
If you go with the crossbreed many of my friends have suggested getting the combat grip cut they offer. It makes accessing the gun much easier.
Well you asked for opinions :embarassed: so here's mine:
I do not care for any "tuckable" holster. I love the idea of one but the bottom line is you have to very obvious hooks on your belt with no logical reason for them to be there. Now a dozen folks will say that the sheep just don't notice. I believe that's true 9 times out of 10 but what are the circumstances and consequences of that 1 time when they do notice?
Now if you're in a carry friendly work environment this may be no big deal but in many professional areas (hence the dress needs) I think it could be a huge deal. Plus keeping a shirt bloused just right may be a hassle.
If you can wear a suit coat all day without having to take it off you're covered for a good IWB (i'd avoid shoulder as I think it'll print more) with a very thin gun and you'll have to watch how the grip prints through the jacket since you're probably wearing thin lightweight suits.
Without the coat and if you pass on tuckables, then you're very limited. I've used Smart Carry and it works for small compact weapons but it's a love/hate thing. Some people love it, some hate it and I suspect that few continue to use it long after they initially try it. Pocket carry is a very doable option but weaon choice is very limited unless you're a big guy with big pockets. If you're my size 5'7", 160 lbs, then a J frame feels like a huge bulky think in the pocket and prints bad without a good holster. So now we're talking LCP's and P3AT sized weapons. If you can carry a Ruger SP101 or Keltec PF9 or something like that (even a Kahr PM9) I think you're probably a bigger guy with bigger pockets.
Ankle carry is something I've never tried but I can't believe for a moment that it's comfortable and I'd think sitting in meetings, that it would possibly print. Again, the bigger you are the easier this would be.
I think business casual dress in hot environments with tucked shirt is one of the hardest scenarios under which to carry.
Another option for really deep carry are these underarmor type shirts with a build in holster. With a very small, very flat and thin gun like a PM9, I think you might be able to carry securely and comfortably in an office environment. Tough to get to your weapon but a viable alternative.
I've tried belly bands and absolutely hate them. They print with a lot of my dress/casual shirts and they're very uncomfortable to me.
If carry in my office was allowed, I would try the under armor type shirt. Then pocket carry.
If I tried a tuckable and someone asked "what are those for?" I'd hate to lie and what could you say they are? To me that draws attention to me and the fact that my answer is evasive makes it all the more attention and I don't want that!
I actually was questioned by a supplier when he saw the clip of a Benchmade Griptillian folder knife. I carry it IWB at about 5-5:30. My belt hides most of the clip but not all. He asked me how my company felt about me carrying a "weapon" :gah:
You can get a tuckable holster where the clips attach by velcro to the back of your holster. Never tried one but imagine I'd be always fussing with it or worried if it was staying all together in the right place.
Good luck finding what works for you!