Concealed carry means your gun should stay hidden until it is needed to save a life. Effective firearm concealment is a matter of trial and error. You have to match your desire to be protected with your fashion sense, your comfort and, in some cases, your budget.
Clothing that is more form-fitting can make it hard to keep your firearm concealed. Be sure to look in the mirror to see if you can see the outline of your firearm before you leave home. And don’t just stand still, move around and see if your firearm is exposed or shows
For those newer to the self-defense lifestyle, what is it called when you can see the outline of someone’s firearm through their clothing?
What are your go-to pieces of clothing to help conceal your concealed carry?
For me, the most important part is loose shirt for IWB / AIWB or full zip vest / polar / jacket for OWB.
I hate hoodies or 1/4 zip clothing - these make my drawing very slow and uncomfortable.
To minimize “printing / peeking / flashing” (please choose the proper word) I’m trying to avoid plain color shirts / t-shirts. More patterns - better concealment. If I have to use plain color, it always has to be other color than my pants.
I wear loose fitting shirts. I prefer dark colors and patterns. All of those help to break up the shape of a gun if it happens to get pushed against the fabric. I carry in an UnderTech UnderCover tank top.
A lot of the concealment game is where on your person you carry. I use an OWB holster nowadays at around 2-3 o’clock so a tank top undershirt (to minimize sweat and oil transfer from skin to item) and a long, loose outside shirt. As @OldGnome stated above, darker colors and patterns help break up the outline if the piece gets pushed up against the fabric. I used to carry a full size piece in a padded nylon pancake holster in the small of my back and could go anywhere without the fear of printing. Only problem is it makes it almost impossible to retrieve quickly in the event you need it. If you wear a jacket or sport coat, a shoulder holster may be a good option.
A proper holster and belt go a long, long way. Your carry piece staying right where you want it is a big part of the battle. Shirts are another big part. There are companies that cater to the lifestyle, and their shirts reflect that. Last, but certainly not least, leave it alone. Don’t constantly adjust it, or check it. You pistol didn’t walk off, stop fidgeting with it.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where these shirts go unnoticed, they are the best concealers. Personally a good mix of floral, formal and batik makes great everyday wear. Always wear one size larger. In addition, these make me the grey man! Solid dark colors where I live make you suspect. As well as the vest with a thousand pockets.
I guess flashing gets you arrested but a long overcoat hides a firearm very well. Peeping is not taken lightly & will get you a visit from the police. As for printing in warm weather I prefer an undershirt & a button down sport shirt or 4 pocket Cuban style. When cooler temps prevail in Wisconsin I like thermal long sleeve & polar fleece. Carry cross side mostly iwb, winter owb with a larger firearm mostly.
I’m using an IWB right now so the only thing that might show is a line where the grip is, I don’t worry much about that, like many other places, I can open carry here in Utah so if someone sees an outline, “Oh Well”.
I use a tank top under shirt under an oversized Tee shirt in the summer, in the winter its sweat shirts and winter coats.
You get less printing if you wear an IWB holster. I sometimes wear a tucked in T-Shirt just so the grip texture does not rub on me and a button down shirt over that. My jeans are stretch jeans and I wear a good stiff 511 belt on my pants. I Make sure I have the proper clip on my holster to wrap snug on the belt. Also my holster is kydex for better retention. Like it was also in a previous post I do look in the mirror before leaving home just to make sure I’m not printing and make my adjustments before leaving home.
I couldn’t agree more. The right holster and belt combo is so important. When first found out about the concealment claw, that was the game-changer for me. I usually wear somewhat form-fitting shirts, but I am still able to conceal my thick Glock 30 without any problems. I serve on the security team at my church and spend a lot of time hanging with and talking to the uniformed police officer. We are always talking shop, so I figured I would ask him if my firearm looked obvious under my shirt. Shocked and surprised, he looked hard to find it but could not figure out where it was. He gave me a fist pound and said “You’re doing it right”. I smiled like a 5-year-old who made his daddy proud.
I carry AIWB in Florida. I normally wear shorts everyday and wear anything from a tee shirt untucked to a short sleeved button up. I recently purchased a KORE gun belt and carry a SIG P365 and one magazine right up front with no issues.
The holster that I have is adjustable so that I can move it down further below the waistline for deeper concealment. However, I need enough gun above the beltline to gain good “purchase” on the grip for a fast enough draw.
I’m not concerned with “printing” anymore after carrying for the last 20 years. Most people are so fixated on their phones or on other things that I can blend right it and glide amongst the masses unseen and un-noticed.
I carry a 1911 OWB in a high ride holster w/forward cant at 3:00 with a t-shirt and untucked oversized loose shirt. In the winter with a heavy coat I will carry a pocket pistol in the outside pocket in case I cannot get to the 1911.