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Fashion and Concealed Carry

Cotton_Guayabera

The Guayabera or Mexican Wedding Shirt

I believe for CCW folks to ‘fit in’ with the mainstream, they must dress in a similar fashion.  Most of the time here in the Southwest, this is not a problem.  Hawaiian shirts, square-cut camp shirts, and Mexican wedding shirts are in abundance, and even the lowly colored T-shirt can provide enough concealment for casual wear in this 100+ degree environment.  (not me in the photo!)

This has not always been so for me.  Working @ TMCCC, initially men were required to wear shirts and ties (management being from the Eastern United States clothing meme) and as the company prohibited weapons, one had to be discrete with regard to what kind and where one was possessing.  Being a known quantity (the gun guy) in my department, I was especially singled-out for surveillance.  One time, a black nylon eyeglass case I wore was accused of being a holster, another time, management prohibited all personnel beneath a certain level from carrying brief cases!

Style also enters into this equation.  Col. Cooper oft made pronouncements pooh-poohing fashion, saying the utility of proper concealment was of more importance.  Of course, he lived in the high desert outside a small town and could pretty much wear whatever he wanted.  He wasn’t constrained by a business environment expecting 80’s cut suits (with tiny belt loops – in the 80’s).  Last time I saw him in person was a warm day during which he wore a very heavy (and not stylish) suit coat over his 5″ 1911 (in a holster on a beefy belt).  I know he was wearing the 1911, as he removed the coat, much to the consternation of the young turk law enforcement types in the audience at the time.  You see, he was speaking on a community college campus and firearms were not permitted there.  A couple actually lunged out of their seats, as though they were going to wrestle the old man to the ground and arrest him!

They didn’t.

Women who CCW are a whole different issue.  Many choose not to carry on their bodies, but use purses, briefcases and backpacks designed for such a purpose.  This, of course, has both utility and drawbacks.  If one chooses to leave their purse in the car, or with an unknowing luncheon partner while visiting the restroom, for example.  Or grabs their wallet out of the armed purse to run into the stop and rob convenience store, because the purse is such a pain-in-the-ass to lug around!

Of course, they might utilize one of those new bra holsters, and carrying something like a .32 or .380?

The point is that one must make allowances for fashion, but decide what works specifically for them.  I’ve a fused right hip.  Wearing an ankle holster on my right leg is hardly a valid choice for me.  And wearing a heavy suit jacket in the Summer just invites attention.  (Reminiscent of those ‘guys in suits’ (security) who hang around Las Vegas casinos not gambling in the Summer!)

I remember visiting the shopping district in a high-end neighborhood some years ago.  I paid particular attention to the men I thought might be carrying a concealed weapon.  I think I spotted nine men, no women, because their clothes didn’t quite fit right (they kept adjusting their belts) and seemed overly concerned about how their jackets or shirts were riding.  One doesn’t do that with a cell phone.

Make right choices, for both your clothes AND your armament.

Be safe, but be comfortable.  And inconspicuous.

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Fashion and Concealed Carry

  1. Ankle holsters don’t go well with shorts and flip-flops either. Many cargo shorts though do have deep square cut pockets (nor the cargo ones) that allow carrying of a decent “pocket” pistol. Compact .380 or 9mm work well. I would suggest discrete suspenders to keep the shorts from sagging. The Guayberra, Hawaiin, Bowling, Camp etc shirt do a great job concealing and if you get the colors right can fit in well in most social settings. The flash bang holster, for a womans bra, comes in sizes to handle some pretty serious handguns depending on the bust they will hide under.

    Posted by Matt | June 24, 2014, 1:32 pm
  2. Not like Mork. That,would distract people from looking for guns though. Dickies makes a suspenders with plastic j hooks that slip over your belt. They can be worn under an untucked shirt without notice. ,I buy mine at Walmart, about ten bucks.

    Posted by Matt | June 24, 2014, 7:00 pm
  3. Good points, and fishing shirts are a savior during the summers!!!

    Posted by oldnfo | June 24, 2014, 9:47 pm
  4. The cooler Alaska summers (some folks say we don’t actually have summer, but it gets up to 80 for a day or two, every few years … heh) allow greater choice. It’s reasonably fashionable to wear a fishing vest in the warmer months, if wanted, but I tend toward Hawaiian shirts year-round. A fashion-plate, I ain’t.

    Posted by Rev. Paul | June 25, 2014, 8:03 am

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