Concealed carry Clothing - the right clothes for carrying a concealed handgun
A concealed carry permit allows a person to keep a firearm on his person without having to tell anyone else about it. It's a special privilege to be in one of the very few countries in the world that allows nearly any citizen this ability. As such, the concealed portion of this argument is important escpecially when considering winter vs. summer concealed carry adjustments.
Clothing gives away a lot about who we think we are. Based upon appearances, the person wearing tactical clothing arrangements is going to get pegged first in a crowd as the person most likely to be carrying a firearm.
Is it easier to conceal a firearm in an inside the waistband concealed carry holster in a pair of tactical khaki trousers as a pair of slim leg dress pants? Depending on how the person carries his or her weight in those trousers – yes.
However, a compact conceal carry pistol can be hidden among layers of clothing in almost any ensemble.
A tank top and cargo shorts? Yes.
Dress suit? Yes.
Jeans and a sweater? Yes.
Chicago Bulls mascot outfit? ...Y-yes?
See where this is going?
Advantages of NOT Wearing Special Clothing for Conceal Carry
Any criminal worth their weight in salt is going to do his homework before knocking off a venue, house or person. Does that mean he won't move on someone who is wearing tactical clothing? Absolutely not! If anything, that's a risk he can at least calculate for because he can see it.
There's two strategies a lot of concealed carriers adopt – some without even knowing they adopted it.
Case A: “I'm going to look like I could be armed so people know not to mess with me.”
Case B: “I'm going to blend in as much as possible so no one knows I'm a threat.”
For criminals who are looking for the low hanging fruit, Case A can do a pretty good job of filtering those people out. For those criminals who are not dissuaded by that, however, Case A just became a priority target.
Case B, however, doesn't get spotted because he doesn't look out of the ordinary. His clothing style matches that of his surroundings. He's a sheep dog hiding among the sheep. A wolf lunging in won't realize what he's in for until it's too late.
In order to become Case B, all you need is the clothing you normally wear and a great inside the waistband concealed carry holster. If it's an issue of worrying about showing off a holster, go compact and wear a button-up shirt that covers the waistband completely.
Police officers, government officials, armed men and women – these are all considered targets that have to be neutralized from the mindset of any criminal who wants to survive to collect his earnings. Why make that man's life any easier?
Concealed Carry Requires Situational Awareness
The basic concept is derived from the United States Marine Corps' idea of camouflage:
“When using camouflage always remember that objects are identified by their outline, shadow, texture, and color. The principle purpose of camouflage in the field is to prevent direct observation and recognition.”
This breaks down into situational awareness – knowing what's around you and how it's reacting to your presence. And the next part is knowing how you look. This doesn't require special clothing – just the right holster and situational awareness.
And training. Always training.
Do you have any favorite pieces of clothing to wear when concealed carrying? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.