The right clothes can enhance your concealment by hiding your firearm and holster. But don’t stop there. It would help to practice clearing cover garments and drawing your weapon. Look for clothing made from dark colors or patterns to reduce the appearance of printing caused by your concealed carry setup. Also, consider going up a size in your shirts to accommodate a gun belt and holster without the telltale bulge.
Many people think that they need to wear baggy tactical pants or other gear to carry a gun daily. However, you can look stylish and feel safe by optimizing your wardrobe to accommodate a concealed firearm. You can do this by looking for jeans and pants that don’t show the outline of your gun when you bend or move in certain positions. It’s also important to avoid fabrics that make it difficult to clear or draw your weapon by catching on the grip or barrel.
A great way to eliminate these issues is wearing purpose-built concealed carry jeans. These jeans blend fabrics that create elastic in the waist area, eliminating hot spots or putting unnecessary pressure on your gun when you bend or sit. This allows you to reach for your weapon comfortably without fumbling or delays in an emergency. You can also achieve a similar effect by wearing a pair of high-waisted jeans and a shirt with a tie front or knot front that hides the outline of your gun behind the fabric.
As a cover garment, shirts can enhance concealment while providing safe access to your weapon. The best clothes for concealed carry offer no-snag fabrics to reduce the likelihood that your gun’s texture could snag on your clothing during a draw. In addition, many shirts come designed with snaps that can be rapidly ripped open to reveal concealed pockets for emergency or medical supplies. A tie-front or knot-front shirt also helps minimize printing by creating a little bag around the waist that your weapon can sit behind. While this can be trickier to master than simply tucking your shirt in, it’s well worth the effort as it can make all the difference in whether or not you comfortably and confidently carry it throughout the day. Consider making an album on your phone of your favorite go-to concealed carry outfits; this can be a great reference to keep in mind when getting dressed for the day. It’ll help you identify if there are any potential printing issues before you step out into the world.
When carrying concealed, it’s important to have cover garments that help mitigate printing (the telltale bulge under the clothing that exposes your firearm) and can facilitate a speedy draw. Lighter cover garments, fishing shirts or even sweaters work well to reduce printing and act as camouflage for your gun. Most concealed carry holsters fit a bit wider than most standard jeans and slacks, and when worn over a thin cover garment, it’s easy for the gun to hit against the fabric, creating an uncomfortable or painful hot spot. This also creates additional force exerted on your pistol in the holster, making drawing from that position more difficult and slower. A solution to this issue is to wear a cover garment that’s a little thicker, such as a blazer or sports coat. These are typically more expensive to buy, but they’ll help you avoid exposing your firearm to the slightest breeze and will enable you to clear that garment in the time it takes for your support hand to reach out and grab the gun.
Shirt jackets designed specifically for concealed carry are a great choice to keep your weapon close and secure while you travel. The style is more fitted in the chest and waist area but flares out at the bottom for easy access to your firearm with almost no printing. They are also an excellent option for dressier occasions and look in the right place as a suit or coat would when worn with a gun holster. Another great option is a safari/photographer’s vest long enough to conceal shoulder holsters and thick enough to hide any bulges created by carrying a concealed handgun. It can also be secured with snaps or Velcro, which makes it more accessible than a zippered coat. And if you’re going to be wearing one of these, I’d recommend getting a size bigger than what you normally wear, as this mitigates the printing caused by your firearm. The extra fabric will also make it easier to draw your weapon.