how to wear a holster in business attire

Gunning for Fashion - How to Wear a Holster in Business Attire

Gun ownership is a mark of American tradition. That tradition, for some, can pose a barrier to entry for “fashion,” which in and of itself can be a flawed and misunderstood term entrenched with stereotype and prejudice. Guns can be integrated into utilitarian dress like outside the waistband holsters, inside the waistband holsters, ankle holsters and shoulder holsters.

There are many clothing options for both concealed carry holsters and firearm types, especially in appropriate business attire. A door-to-door salesman, an office accountant, or any number of administrative figures could be intimidated when trying to balance the divide between respectable, good-looking business wear and safe carrying with an OWB or IWB holster.

What exactly is fashion?

ccw suit

Fear not. Fashion is for all. Actually, that’s literally what it translates to. Fashion is group identity of a particular dress culture, for example American action sports enthusiasts dress differently than European outdoorsmen. Both areas are fashionable, despite any preconceived notions otherwise. Similarly, businessmen and businesswomen dress differently in one environment than in another. Fashion isn’t limited to clothing either. Style, on the other hand, is individualistic self-expression through dress.

ccw fashion

Bottom line: being fashionable is not a spectrum of income wherein a deeper pocketbook means looking better. It is not a measure of masculinity or femininity. Being fashionable doesn’t gravitate the individual toward one gender or another.

This, too, applies to gun fashion.

There is clothing fashion. And then there is the zeitgeist, which is a German word that means “spirit of the times.” The zeitgeist incorporates all the elements floating about the global, cultural ether, including fashion and firearms.

Second Amendment and Business Attire Culture

gun and fashion

Clothing and firearms are both members of the zeitgeist. They meld together just like any component of it and there are ways to maximize the potential of both as equally valuable.

The cultures of fashion and firearms are not mutually exclusive and the two blend in a number of ways. Business attire is just one of the many intersecting realms of clothing, fashion and, yes, even Second Amendment culture.

Dressing a holster with any clothing is fairly easy with advancements in both areas – but the real crux is effectively using the right holster with the right fit of clothing.

In light of that, tailoring is the name of the game. In business attire concealed carry can be easily accomplished without dreadful printing – which is when the outline of a firearm is seen underneath clothing – when clothing is let out or altered in the appropriate places.

It’s true, however, that tailoring is not always necessary and some clothing will fit fine with a concealed carry holster. If the right items in one’s closet fit appropriately with their specific holster, they should stick with them.

More To A Business Suit Than Meets The Eye

A business suit is a powerful collection of items.

Aside from the respectable, dignified perception it broadcasts, it provides many places for a handgun to be located, depending on the make and model. Width and length of the gun barrel and magazine will affect IWB carry, thereby necessitating alterations to the waistband – adding an inch or two to your normal measurements will compensate for this.

Tailoring clothing doesn’t have to be a chore and it absolutely is not something that has to be done at home. It also isn’t something to be disregarded.

According to the History of Tailoring, the first reference of the word “tailor” was in 1297. Entire guilds, associations of craftsmen and women with overwhelming knowledge of their artistry, were devoted to the craft. And even before 1297, surely there existed well-honed techniques to create clothing much the same as weaponry. In fact, we often know that clothing often had to conceal the weaponry of the time. A blend of the two have always been around in some shape or form.

And make no mistake, just as the atlatl – or ancient spear-throwing device that dates to more than 21,000 years ago – was a skill-based weapon as opposed to strength-based and broke down the societal barriers between men and women because of that, the business suit and modern firearm are also utilized by women. This think piece is not gendered. A woman’s business suit, just as a man’s, should absolutely be tailored.

Altering Business Attire to Maximize CCW

Like a medieval dagger sheathed within the folds of a royal family member’s garb, the OWB holster can be concealed on the waistband beneath a jacket tailored to extend past the stored firearm. Normally jackets can be let out about an inch near the hem located on the bottom of the garment.

Furthermore, the jacket’s sleeve armholes can be taken in to a smaller size so when one raises their arms they do not reveal, for example, a paddle holster. However, the armholes can also be left large to compensate space for a shoulder holster. Stronger fabric or interfacing sewed into a jacket will increase the garment’s rigidity and decrease gun printing. Additional pockets may also be installed to store magazines.

Dress is malleable. So long as there is extra fabric within the seams or areas where additional fabric can be flawlessly added, business attire can be appropriately shaped and draped in a way that makes the professional both undeniably safe and looking good. Even in a three-piece suit, the waistcoat can be extended to cover the last portion of an IWB holster.

tailor suit for ccw

Essentially, speak with a tailor. Have him or her take your measurements, including the measurements of the firearm. Have a conversation and see if they have the ability to make alterations based on your clothing options. It’s worth a small chat.

Apparel and firearms obviously integrate. We all know that. However, apparel can be optimized to maximize the value and function of the interplay between firearm and holster. Clothing is like a building. The walls can be knocked down and added onto to make space for the contents within. Why not renovate your wardrobe to match the fashion of the Second Amendment?

James England  

About The Author

Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.