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How to Dress for Discretely Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Sean Gharabaghli photo

Author: Sean Gharabaghli

How to Dress for Discretely Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Whether you are thinking about getting your CCW permit or already have it, you are making a lifestyle change. Your mentality, your routine, and even the way you dress will change. Once you start carrying a firearm for protection, there is an adjustment phase most people go through. This adjustment phase is where most of the mistakes can happen when carrying a firearm.

So how do you dress to properly conceal your firearm? First, practice at home to figure out what methods of carry work for you. I suggest having at least two methods of carry, but you may want more options.

When testing a carry method, I decide if it’s comfortable when sitting and standing – without having to adjust it in public. If you have to keep adjusting your gun because it’s not comfortable, you will let everyone know that you have a firearm. So get comfortable with your gun. This might require trying different holsters and other equipment experimentation.

Dressing to your firearm is also important. Again, practice at home. Look in the mirror or have someone take pictures – can you see the firearm through your clothes? If you’re used to wearing tight or athletic fitting clothing, you may have go up in clothing size. Give yourself some room to breathe and make sure that you can still get to and draw your firearm quickly. 

Side view of a concealed weapon with the shirt pulled up, exposing the weapon   Front view of a concealed weapon that can be seen on the hip under the shirt   Side view of a concealed weapon that can be seen on the hip under the shirt

In the pictures above, the imprint of the firearm is visible. To prevent this, going up a shirt size will help. Wearing a shirt with a pattern, such as a plaid shirt, will hide imprinting better that any solid color shirt.

Wearing additional layers, such as a button-down shirt, will also hide the imprint. If you’re carrying using something like a shoulder rig, wear a shirt with button snaps instead of real buttons.

To keep things simple, here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Have a sturdy gun belt or shoulder rig
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing
  • Avoid solid and/or light color shirts
  • Dark colored clothing with complex patterns breaks up imprinting
  • Carry the right size firearm!

I prefer to avoid off-the-body carry like a backpack or purse. A bag or purse can be stolen. It also takes longer to draw the firearm. But again, you have to use what works for you. 

There is no “one size fits all” solution. You have to find what works for your body type and size and the firearm you carry.

Hopefully after reading this you have some ideas to try to discretely conceal carry your firearm. Thanks for reading!

Learn more about gun safety and training on the blog or get more information about taking shooting lessons in your area.

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