Chic carry

A very specific problem plagues women’s gear. I’m calling it chic carry.

Chic carry, like tacticool, is a pejorative term. It refers to women’s gear specifically designed and marketed as stylish or sexy. The essence of chic carry is not function. It’s style.

Looking more like a feature in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, chic carry holsters are rarely able to meet the needs and demands that a good concealed carry holster should.

Triggers are often unguarded and unprotected. In some instances, as I discovered in a recent article, a negligent discharge is but a bump away.

Retention seems like an afterthought with chic carry holsters. Many I have found feature retention loops and straps that offer the illusion of safety but in reality hinder as oppose to help.

Rather, chic carry gear focuses primarily on flirtatious colors and luxurious fabrics. Sexy is the name of this game. Will sexy help you in the fight for your life?

A good holster’s focus shouldn’t be on making you or your gun appealing. The focus should always be on allowing your gun to reside safely on you while allowing you to draw efficiently and quickly should you need it.

Yes, there are attractive concealed carry products that err on the side of safety (Can Can Concealment comes to mind); however, overwhelmingly this idea of chic carry has saturated the women’s market. Insidiously promising to make concealed carry gorgeous, convenient or luxurious, its leading women down a dangerous path.

There’s an influx of new shooters in the community and these new gals don’t always know what constitutes a solid holster. The thinking is if a company is selling it, it must be safe, right? (The answer, by the way, is no.)

I don’t think holster manufacturers set out to make unsafe products. In fact, liability is a word I hear often from companies in the business of making gear. Most companies simply want to provide options for the growing women’s market. While I applaud the industry for stepping up to meet the influx of women, I implore them to think about the products that are flooding the women’s market.

We don’t need more products, we need good products.

And, ladies I beg you, please do your research before buying a holster. Don’t be deceived by comfort or style. Remember that the gear you choose plays a part in your survival.

Choose wisely. Choose well.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of

Safety warning: Jacki Billings is an NRA certified concealed carry instructor. Any methods or information described in this article is intended to be put into practice only by those serious about self defense with proper training.

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