Concealed carry can help you feel safe and be prepared for the worst-case scenario. However, it can also be a challenge to find an effective method to conceal your firearm. This is true for both men and women, but women often have unique concerns as many products and techniques are focused on a male body type and a more masculine style of clothing. Luckily, there are a variety of options for women to conceal carry effectively, and you likely won’t need to change your style of dress as much as you may think.
The options for where to place your conceal carry holster are similar for men and women. For both, inside the waistband (IWB) is the most common placement for everyday carry. This doesn’t work for every single outfit or body type, but it is a tried and true method that works well for both genders in many circumstances. Over-the-waistband (OWB) carry is fairly similar but tends to work better in cooler months when you can add more layers.
For outfits where IWB or OWB styles are hard to conceal, many women use a belly and or corset holster. These can be harder to access quickly but becomes easier with practice. A thigh holster or concealment shorts may also work in these circumstances. Bra holsters are one option that is uniquely available to women and while there are some safety concerns, this can be a good choice if you are careful about how you draw your firearm.
In addition to options for on-body carry, some women prefer to place their holster in their purse. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to worry about your gun’s outline being visible for certain outfits. However, off-body carry is generally not recommended in most cases. It can be harder to get to your firearm if you need it and your bag could be stolen or get lost.
Dressing for Concealed Carry
Assuming you are carrying on your person, you will need to make sure your gun is not obviously visible under your clothes. The goal is to minimize the gun showing through the clothes (printing) while also strategically distracting the eyes from the location where you keep your firearm. The way you dress is unique to you and as a result, your strategy for concealed carry will also need to be. The best way to find out what works is to try out different outfits, holsters, and carry methods. You shouldn’t need to change your entire wardrobe, but you might find that certain outfits require layering or that you need to use an alternative firearm placement. In addition to seeing how the outfit looks when your gun is holstered, practice drawing the firearm to determine how easy or difficult this is. Over time, you will find options that work best for you.
The Importance of Training
No matter what placement you use or how you dress to conceal your firearm, training is essential. You should be confident in your ability to draw your gun quickly and fire accurately if you ever need to do so, and this confidence is possible only with consistent practice. At The Hub, we have a variety of firearm training options, including concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit classes. Many of our offerings, including the CCW class, have sections that are exclusively open to women.