Dressing for CCW as a young gun owner was a struggle for me. I’m 27,so I will admit I’m growing closer to the age of comfortable pants and fashion you would find in your dad’s closet rather than a cool trendy millennial. I remember when I turned 21, the concealed carry market was geared towards the 50- and 60-year-olds who loved rocking the cherished CCW vest that looks like a fishing vest. I thought it was terrible then and honestly, it never got cooler, it’s still awful!
CONCEALED CARRY CORNER: Dressing For CCW As A Young Shooter
In the Beginning
I remember starting out trying to conceal guns I had no idea where to start. I thought baggy clothes and layers were the best way to go. After that, I must have gone through every carry option possible to try and find the best method to conceal. I really didn’t enjoy carrying Inside the waistband because every holster I had dug into me or cut me. Once I decided against it, I totally wrote off inside the waistband for a few years. Thankfully I woke up and found out IWB carrying is one of the best ways to conceal a gun comfortably. For me, It took trial and error to figure out what works when it comes to concealing a firearm under your everyday clothes. There are still some general rules that I live by when trying to decide what gun will work with your clothes.
Concealment Starts with the Gun
Usually, the number one factor in figuring out how to dress is the size of the firearm you’re trying to conceal. Wearing a form fitted graphic T-shirt with a Glock 34 isn’t going to happen. You’re not John Wick and this isn’t a movie. Try to keep the size of your carry gun in mind when looking at things to wear. The larger the gun, usually the more work it’ll be concealing it. I think one of the best tools people who carry don’t utilize is professional button-up shirts. I usually like checkered or striped shirts that aren’t super tight. They usually break up the pattern of anything you may be carrying really effectively. Solid colors tend to enhance shapes under the shirt where patterned shirts tend to minimize the number of shapes under your shirt. Trust me being kind of chubby, I know this from my college days of trying to pick up ladies. That effort was usually a massive failure, but it gave me background knowledge for carrying a firearm. Ultimately, I call it a win!
There are some awesome companies out there now that tailor to concealed carry mindset but are inconspicuous. Two companies that do a fantastic job at this are Vertx and Viktos. Both sell clothes and gear to help the average person conceal a firearm easier with various products. I always encourage people to go check them out and see what’s new in their lineup. When you start carrying a firearm and gear, there has to be a mindset shift from “does this look good on me” to “will this work with my firearm and everything I carry.” I have been in Eddie Bauer’s dressing room more than once trying out my IWB holster with the pair of jeans I am trying on. I always encourage people to try things out at home or in the fitting room to figure out if it will be big enough to fit your concealment needs. Your clothes need to fit your gun in a holster, spare mags, and whatever else you decide is necessary to carry.
Try Before You Buy
The idea of shopping for clothes with carrying a gun in mind may seem crazy at first, but trust me when I say it’s a must when shopping. I have made mistakes in the past, where I bought something only to realize my loadout doesn’t work with new clothes. If you plan ahead and try to take these things into consideration, it’ll give you more options for daily carry. Keeping your loadout in mind when shopping will create a healthier mindset for you in the long run.
The Importance of Carry Belts
One of the biggest mistakes people make is with carry belts. I still make this mistake even today sometimes! When it comes to carry belts always remember to buy a belt strong enough to support your carry gun and gear. The second thing to remember is to always buy a size bigger when picking up a carry belt. Your holster, spare mags, and anything else you carry are going to add weight. You need to have a belt big enough to fit everything. If you plan ahead it makes you feel more comfortable during the day. I have been using the Blue Alpha Gear Hybrid EDC belt with a mini cobra buckle. I’m very happy with this belt and I plan on doing its own write up in the near future. There’s a ton of different options for carry belts whether its Nylon or leather. There are pros and cons to each, but it’s important to have a belt designed for concealed carry.
It Gets Easier With Time!
It’s important to think about how you dress and to figure out what gun works best for a given time of year. Being able to conceal carry is a huge advantage to someone wanting to ensure their own personal safety. The upside of being new at dressing around your gun is that the majority of people in society are going among their day and won’t notice if you have a little bit of printing on a T-shirt. I would try to conceal the gun 100%, but if you’re still learning, keep in mind most people aren’t looking at you or trying to figure out if you have a firearm on your person so take a deep breath and always try to learn more!