The idea of changing your entire wardrobe to pull off concealed carry is a myth that I’m here to bust. Just because you see a lot of baggy tactical clothing content online doesn’t mean you have to dress that way to hide your gun.

In fact, there are a few important reasons why you’ll want to continue to dress as usual.
 

Table of Contents

The Case for Dressing as Usual
Pistol and Holster Considerations
Shop Your Closet
Concealment Tips and Tricks
Small Changes Might Help
Adding New Wardrobe Pieces
Final Thoughts

The Case for Dressing as Usual


First, as much as some of us women would love an excuse to go shopping, buying an entirely new wardrobe is impractical. It would be expensive, and honestly, it sounds exhausting!

Second, keeping your current style will help you stay discreet. Concealed carry is all about hiding your gun and maintaining the element of surprise. Imagine if you started showing up to work in tactical cargo pants and oversized sweatshirts when you usually wear jeans and a fitted top. That’s sure to draw attention.
 

Concealed Carry Clothing
I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, but I believe you can conceal in any outfit with the right tools and knowledge. (Photo: Elizabeth Bienas/Guns.com)


Now that we’ve busted this myth, we know you don’t need new clothing for concealed carry. Let’s look at how you can make your current outfits work so you can spend money on ammo and training instead.
 

RELATED: Pros & Cons of Tactical Concealed Carry Pants – Are They Worth It?
 

Pistol and Holster Considerations

 

Concealed Carry Clothing
I have a few different sized pistols I rotate through for concealed carry. (Photo: Elizabeth Bienas/Guns.com)


How concealable is your current pistol? I’m an advocate for carrying the largest gun you can conceal, but at 5 feet tall, I know my limits. A Glock 19 is difficult for me to hide in anything besides a hoodie, but the thinner Glock 48 is my sweet spot. And in certain tighter-fitting outfits, I go even smaller to my Glock 43, which is a breeze to conceal. It’s perfectly fine to have options.

Next, you need a good quality holster that makes concealment easy. I prefer a minimal-style inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, so I don’t have any added bulk. I also use a holster with a concealment wing, which is a game-changer for reducing printing. 
 

Concealed Carry Clothing
These days, there are many beltless options like the Enigma, bellybands, and underbelts. (Photo: Elizabeth Bienas/Guns.com)


The pistol size and holster style make a more significant difference than the outfit most of the time. Thankfully, there are many creative ways for women to conceal these days, like bellybands, corsets, carry leggings, underbelts, thigh holsters, and the Phlster Enigma. Don’t be afraid to try different setups as long as they are safe and have full hard trigger coverage.
 

RELATED: Best Concealed Carry Holsters for Women
 

Shop Your Closet

 

Concealed Carry Clothing
This feminine top is lined, so it conceals well, and adding a layer always helps. (Photo: Elizabeth Bienas/Guns.com)


Now, for the fun part! Take a look in your closet and pull out the pieces you think will work. Put a few outfits together and wear them with your concealed carry setup. Now, stand in front of a mirror and move around.

Are you printing? If so, can you make any adjustments, like adding a cardigan, vest, or flannel? Do you need a different holster or to change your carry position?

Usually, a few tweaks will do the trick. And over time, you’ll learn what works best. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
 

Concealment Tips and Tricks

Having a variety of holster types helps me carry in almost any outfit. (Photo: Elizabeth Bienas/Guns.com)

  • Prints, patterns, and dark colors are your friend for concealing. 
  • Accessories like jewelry or scarves can help draw the eye away from your gun.
  • Natural fabrics tend to be sturdier and drape better for concealing.
  • Use style elements like peplum, ruching, buttons, and more.
  • Don’t be afraid to try multiple holsters. Women tend to wear various outfits, and choices are your friend.
  • A strategically placed half-tuck can help your shirt create what I like to call the “concealment bubble” to reduce printing.
  • Standing and sitting up straight is the best way to avoid your shirt getting caught behind your gun. And you get the bonus of looking confident.
  • An extra layer, even a lightweight one, does wonders for concealment if your base layer isn’t cutting it.
  • A sturdy belt and quality holster can make a big difference.
     

Small Changes Might Help


Ok, now for the part that you might not want to hear. While you don’t have to change your entire wardrobe, you may want to swap a few pieces depending on what you currently wear. There are a few clothing choices that will be challenging. If these fall into your personal style, I encourage you to try to make them work but not to be discouraged if they don't.
 

Concealed Carry Clothing
Dark shirts are great for concealing, even if they fit close to the body. (Photo: Elizabeth Bienas/Guns.com)


Ladies, if low-rise jeans are your preference, you’ll probably struggle with concealment. A short rise leaves almost no room to conceal below the belt and can make your gun feel like it’s tipping over your belt line. Try mid- or high-rise for better concealment.

Skin-tight shirts are also going to bring challenges. I’m not saying you must wear a baggy T-shirt, but anything that clings to your body will also cling to your gun. Leave a little breathing room in between, and you’ll be good to go.
 

Adding New Wardrobe Pieces


Now that I’ve been carrying for roughly a decade, it’s at the front of my mind when shopping for new clothes. I do most of my shopping online, so I can try things on at home with different holster setups, which is very convenient.

When I go to the mall, I focus on one type of outfit, and I wear the holster I’d typically wear while trying on clothes. For example, if I’m looking for athleisure, I’ll wear my Phlster Enigma. But if I’m shopping for jeans, I’ll wear my belt and IWB holster.
 

Final Thoughts


Thankfully you don’t have to change your entire wardrobe for concealed carry. Evaluate what you currently own to see what works and needs tweaking. And remember, clothing and personal style are not barriers to getting started on your concealed carry journey today!

revolver barrel loading graphic

Loading