Women's Concealed Carry Clothing: Questions Answered

— Kat StevensCADRE Dispatch

When you get into concealed carry, it’s common to start questioning clothing choices. Would wearing something different make it more comfortable to carry? Is there clothing made for women that’s specifically designed for concealed carry? Should you change your entire wardrobe?

We’re here to help with answers to common questions related to concealed carry clothing for women. We have a few suggestions, tips, and tricks to help you out along your way.

Safariland concealment padel holster with M&P Shield 2.0
Carrying concealed with the Safariland concealment holster for a M&P Shield 2.0 [Photo: Jason Mosher]

concealed carry clothing for women?

Yes, there are entire lines of clothing devoted to concealed carry for women. This might seem excessive or off-putting at first, but most of these clothing lines provide legitimate solutions to issues related to concealment.

Women’s clothing tends not to lend itself to making carrying a holstered firearm easier which is why it can be worth checking out some clothing made for it. A few popular women’s concealed carry clothing lines are made by:

  • 5.11 Tactical
  • Propper
  • Vertx
  • Undertech Undercover
  • Legendary Whitetails
  • Elegant and Armed

In these clothing lines, you can find everything from pants to camisoles to jackets designed to facilitate simpler concealment and access to your firearm. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to buy new clothes to be able to carry a holstered gun.

Appendix carry for CCW.
Appendix carry is another popular carry method for CCW. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Do you need special concealed carry clothing for women?

A common misconception in the gun world is that you must change your entire wardrobe to carry. In reality, you might just need a different holster — or a smaller gun.

It’s entirely possible — and common — to carry your gun without excessively altering your wardrobe. Clothing tailored for carry can be nice in some situations, but it isn’t mandatory.

Here are some tips for successful concealed carry:

  • Choose a carry position on your body that allows full concealment of your gun. Sometimes it’s the spot on your belt that’s the issue.
  • Use a holster that holds the handgun into your body, not away from it.
  • If possible, carry a handgun that’s the right size and shape to more easily blend into your body shape and size.
  • Understand that wearing skinny jeans makes concealed carry more challenging than wearing jeans that are a bit looser.
  • Wear shirts that are long enough to drape over and around the handgun, helping conceal it.
  • Pay attention to the cut of specific shirts. Some are far better than others for concealment.
  • Use a well-made holster and sturdy gun belt. The wrong holster and belt can make carrying a lot more difficult.
  • Check your silhouette in the mirror for signs of printing but try not to obsess over it. Be realistic about what the average person is likely to see.

Although you’re unlikely to need to overhaul your wardrobe to carry, you might need to make some changes here and there.

legendary whitetails jacket
The Legendary Whitetails Women’s Concealed Carry Saddle Country Jacket is a great option in cooler weather. (Photo credit: Legendary Whitetails)

What about women’s concealed carry underwear?

A topic that should be addressed is the prevalence of concealed carry underwear or clothes designed to be worn under your outfit. This might include corsets, wraps, or tight shorts made of thin material. Most of these items are intended to serve as holsters or pockets of some sort to hold your handgun.

Rather than go over specific brands or styles, let’s consider what you should demand of your holster. Your holster should:

  • Protect and cover the trigger and trigger guard.
  • Be molded to the shape of your model of gun.
  • Provide at least some retention.
  • Stop the gun from shifting or moving.
  • Hold the gun in a position where it can be readily and safely drawn.
  • Be constructed from material that cannot fold, drape, or otherwise catch in the trigger guard.
  • Stop the trigger from being manipulated in any way by any outside interference.

These factors must be taken into consideration when selecting a holster, and that includes holsters that are somehow built into an article of clothing. If the way a concealment garment is constructed doesn’t allow the firearm to be properly holstered, you should put serious thought into whether it’s a safe option for carry purposes.

women’s concealed carry clothing for summer

During the summertime, you might wonder whether there are specific women’s concealed carry clothing for the warm season. There are some shorts and tank tops on the market designed to make carrying in hot weather easier.

But if you’re concerned with what to wear during the summer, the answer is the same as the rest of the year: if you’re going to carry your handgun for self-defense purposes, you need the right holster and belt combo—or a holster that doesn’t require a belt. That means you might have to adjust your clothing accordingly, wearing looser or longer shorts or a baggier top than you might otherwise want.

With the correct gear, you can conceal your carry gun in a wide variety of outfits. It’s all about trial and error.

What holsters are good for women’s concealed carry?

Safariland Species IWB holster for Max 9 pistol.
Carrying the Ruger Max 9 in a Safariland Species IWB holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Safariland designs and manufactures a vast array of holsters that are fantastic for women’s concealed carry. This includes IWB (inside the waistband) models such as these:

For OWB (Outside the Waistband) carry, consider the 5198 Open Top Concealment Paddle/Belt Holster with Detent. It does require a larger cover garment, but it’s a sturdy holster that has an adjustable tension device.

If you prefer an additional layer of retention, check out the Solis ALS Concealment OWB Holster, which features the popular — and effective — Automatic Locking System.

Whatever you need, Safariland has a holster for you.

Do women need bigger pants for concealed carry?

Women don’t necessarily require a larger size of pants for concealed carry. It depends entirely on the handgun and holster being combined with the style of pants. Most pants will accommodate a holstered firearm. Of course, some styles will not, in which case you can get a larger size or consider other carry methods.

Can you wear leggings and concealed carry?

Yes, you can practice concealed carry and wear leggings and yoga pants. Again, it’s all about finding the correct pieces of gear for the clothing you have in mind.

To successfully carry in leggings or yoga pant you’ll need to wear a top that drapes in a way that it provides coverage of the handgun. There are tank tops and tee shirts alike that accomplish that with no issues.

As for the holster, the type you use depends on the specific pair of leggings. There are women’s concealed carry leggings on the market that have strong enough waistbands to handle a fully loaded gun belt and there are leggings with thin waistbands that you can’t clip a holster on. That doesn’t mean you can’t utilize a beltless system to carry under leggings, though. There are options.

Do your homework and find the method that works best — and safest — for you.

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