concealed-revealed-9mm-2

Concealed/Revealed: Flowy top and jeans with IWB Holster

In this series, we show different styles of women’s clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear. Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, jeans with a flowy top and an in-the-waistband holster:

Jeans with a flowy top
Jeans with a flowy top

 

IWB Holster in jeans
Revealed in-the-waistband holster

 

IWB Holster
IWB Holster from the Well Armed Woman

 

I don’t normally carry my Sig Sauer P320 9mm on body as I find it difficult to conceal with most of my clothing choices. However, when I have the opportunity to wear a loose and flowy top like the Eileen Fisher silk tank and open front cardigan like I have here, it’s great to have the option to carry my larger handgun on-body. Jeans are NYDJ skinny leg jeans. Heels are old and no longer available. Similar here.

Holster is the Well Armed Woman IWB holster ($50). There are several things I like about this holster. First, it’s molded Kydex with great retention. Second, the hook is set higher on the holster, which allows the handgun to sit lower on the waistband, providing a low-profile. Third, the hook is adjustable so you can readily adjust the position or cant of the handgun grip. What I don’t like about it is the Kydex can be a bit irritating on bare skin if worn for a long time, and I’m not one who typically layers her clothing, so my bad.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

Concealed Revealed purse holster

Concealed/Revealed: Dress and jacket with purse holster

In this series, we show different styles of women’s clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear. Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, a work-appropriate dress, jacket and heels, with a purse holster:

Concealed Revealed dress and jacket
Work appropriate dress and jacket
Purse holster
Purse holster
Concealed Revealed inside purse
View from inside the purse
Crossbreed purse defender
Closeup of purse holster

I know there are many strong feelings about the idea of off-body carry in a purse or handbag that I plan on addressing in a future post. There are inherent risks and issues that require extra diligence if you choose to off-body carry. Regardless, I sometimes choose to purse carry, and this Crossbreed PurseDefender holster has been the best option available so far – although I do have some issues with it. While it’s great to be able to carry in any purse I own, the fact that the gun is clearly visible in the bag as soon as I unzip it is concerning for me when I’m paying for groceries or a coffee and I want my carry to remain, well, concealed.

As for the outfit, the dress is the Aditi 2.0 (machine washable!!) dress by MM.LaFleur. The jacket is the Drape-Front Colorblock Jacket by Eileen Fisher. The heels are the Colcotta 100 in black patent by Christian Louboutin. The handbag is the Kate Spade Cedar Street Harmony medium tote, similar here. The handgun is my absolute favorite Sig Sauer P320 9mm in the Carry/Medium size with optional small grip module.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

concealed-revealed-top-skirt

Concealed/Revealed: Top and Skirt with Thigh Holster

In this new series, we’ll show different styles of women’s clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear. Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, a work-appropriate long-sleeve top and pencil skirt, with a thigh holster:

concealed-revealed-top-skirt
Concealed: Long Sleeve top and pencil skirt with pumps

Concealed Revealed Concealed Carry Thigh Holster

Revealed: Thigh Holster

This holster is one of my favorites for concealed carry when wearing skirts and dresses: the CanCan Concealment Thigh Holster. I had originally planned on wearing the top untucked and using a belly band, but it looked better tucked into the skirt so I had to regroup and go with the thigh holster.

The top is the Winfrey top in Boysenberry by MM.LaFleur. The skirt is Armani Collezioni in a pink and grey tweed, similar here. The shoes are a Manolo Blahnik t-strap pump in Bordeaux leather, similar here. The handgun is my easily-concealable Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

What to Wear at the Range

What to wear at the shooting range

When I first started shooting, I really didn’t know what to wear to the shooting range. Here are some quick tips on what to wear, and what not to wear, so you can hopefully avoid some of the painful mistakes I made.

Always remember there are several hazards at the range (besides the obvious) that you should take into account when deciding what to wear:

1) Brass is ejected from your, and your neighbors, gun every time they shoot. This brass is HOT and it can (and HAS) caused burns when it touches skin; and

2) there is lead particulate all around the range, including on every surface, on your clothes, skin and hair, on your shoes, bags, etc.

My recommendations are focused on how you can minimize the impacts of both of these hazards with your clothing choices, and always remembering that any range, no matter indoor or outdoor, or how new or “clean” it is, is inherently dirty.

Eyes & Ears & Hair

You should ALWAYS have proper eye protection and ear protection when shooting. No matter what. No excuses. Eye protection protects your eyes from flying bass, debris and particles. Ear protection protects your ears from the extreme noise of shooting firearms repeatedly.

How you style you hair at the range is partly personal preference, partly practical. I have long hair, and I find it easier to concentrate on my shooting when hair’s not in my eyes, so I always pull my hair back into a bun or ponytail. It also helps reduce some of the lead particulate from spreading around after the fact.

Some women, and men, with shorter hair wear a hat (baseball style is great as the brim helps deflect flying brass). Again, it’s recommended, but unlike eyes and ears, optional.

Range Day outfit option
You CAN look stylish and be practical at the range
Tops

For women especially, choice of top is critical, because there’s this thing called the “hot brass dance” that happens when a woman decides to wear a low-cut or v-neck top to the range.

Let’s just say those little suckers have some sort of homing beacon for women’s cleavage, I kid you not. If you remember ONE thing, besides your eye and ear protection, it should be to wear a crew-neck or high-necked top when shooting at the range.

Whether you choose short- or long-sleeve, whether you choose to wear a button-up shirt or jacket over your top is all a matter of the temperature, the location (indoor or outdoor range), and personal preference.

I do recommend that ALL of your range clothes be machine washable, again because you’re going to want to clean them separately, with a lead-removal laundry detergent, when you get home from the range.

Bottoms

Choice of bottoms is again, mostly personal preference, but with some practical consideration. Shorts and skirts can be worn, but know you will likely get hit in the legs with flying brass (which is not as painful as the “hot brass dance” but you will end up more direct lead exposure through contact with your skin), and depending on what, where and how you’ll be shooting (indoor vs outdoor, handgun vs rifle), you may end up kneeling or laying in the dirt.

My preference is either jeans or tactical pants (even though I am very much a skirt/dress girl in my daily life).

I often wear jeans when we’re going to our weekly range date at the indoor range, because frequently we may stop for dinner out beforehand. I will wear tactical pants when we go for weekend-long training courses, because they can better accommodate an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster and belt, and are more comfortable and sturdy for all-day shooting marathons in the dust and dirt. I personally love 5.11’s tactical pants – they have good sizing and color options for women.

Shoes

Unlike clothes that can be machine washed with lead-removal detergent, my recommendation is to dedicate a pair of shoes to the range, or at a minimum, a pair of shoes that will only be worn outside. You want to minimize your and your loved ones’ exposure to lead, and the bottoms of your shoes are prime sources of tracking lead indoors once you’ve worn them at the shooting range.

The other thing to consider is comfort. If you’re shooting a handgun, you will be shooting standing up, usually for an hour at a time, on a concrete or other hard surface. Doesn’t sound like a lot but your feet can tire quickly.

I’m a big fan of the Merrell Moab Hiking Shoe for when I will be spending a lot of time at the range. I’ve worn these at weekend-long pistol training courses where you are on your feet in gravel and hard-packed dirt for 8-9 hours at a time, and they not only withstand the dust and dirt, they are also quite comfortable.

I also have a pair of “comfort” ballet flats that I wear sometimes when we’re just going for our weekly practice at the indoor range, and I know we’re stopping off for dinner or errands before we go to the range and I don’t want to look all “tactical.” Comfy tennies, like my favorite Chuck Taylors, are also a good and inexpensive option.

Just remember that lead exposure is a real issue when you spend time at the range, which just means you should take precautions.  See my previous post – Lead Poisoning – Shooting’s Hidden Risk – for more tips, techniques and products on how to manage lead exposure.

Be sure you’re washing your clothes after range time separately with a lead-removal laundry detergent, and that you’re removing the shoes you wear to the range at the door and not tracking lead dust through your house.  Just remember to practice often, and look stylish and practical while you’re doing it!

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

Concealed Revealed Jeans T-shirt belly band

Concealed/Revealed: Jeans with belly band

In this new series, we’ll show different styles of women’s clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear. Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, jeans with a fitted t-shirt and jacket for a night at the movies with the family, using a belly band holster:

Concealed carry outfit jeans tshirt
Concealed – Jeans with fitted t-shirt and jacket

 

Concealed carry outfit with belly band
Revealed – belly band at hips

 

Concealed carry outfit jeans tshirt
Concealed without jacket to show minimal printing

 

The holster is The Well Armed Woman 4″ Belly Band. The jeans are NYDJ Sheri Skinny Jeans, t-shirt is H&M, similar here, jacket is AG, similar here, ballet flats are COACH, similar here. The handgun is my easily-concealable Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380.

I was really pleased at how well this belly band concealed my .380 even considering my wearing a relatively fitted t-shirt and jeans. One of the nice things about this belly band is the ability to tweak the carry location by moving around the placement of the band’s holster. I normally like to do kidney carry, but since we were going to see a movie I knew I would be sitting for awhile and that can get quite uncomfortable. This worked out quite well, and as you can see, with minimal printing.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

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Concealed/Revealed: Fitted dress with thigh holster

In this new series, we’ll show different styles of clothing with different holsters for concealed carry. One of the biggest challenges faced by women who concealed carry is how to effectively carry our handguns while not giving up the clothes we want to wear.  Here we’ll present different approaches and options that work with our actual, everyday clothes.

For your consideration today, a fitted, office-appropriate dress with thigh holster:

Concealed fitted dress
Concealed – work-ready dress and pumps
Revealed thigh holster
Revealed – Thigh Holster

The holster is the CanCan Concealment Thigh Holster. Today it was worn on it’s own (no hosiery), but it also has a separate matching garter belt. The dress is the Etsuko in Crackle by MM LaFleur. Shoes are Donald Pliner, similar here. The handgun is my trusty Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380,

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

NoPolitics

Well they’re finally starting to pay attention

At least a little bit anyway.

The Washington Times just ran a short piece on how the “Fashion world finally catches on to the pistol packing woman.” They don’t add much by way of new information, and they don’t talk about the fashion world either, but they do at least acknowledge that, (1) there are lots of women who carry guns and like to shoot, and (2) the industry to date hasn’t really paid much attention.

What I would like to see is more of a recognition that women have particular challenges around finding an effective way to concealed carry and some real solutions on how to solve it, other than “shrinking and pinking” products designed for men.

I know we’ll be starting that dialogue here in this forum – be sure to let me know what you think.