Concealed Carry Clothing and Holster Options for Women
The number of people applying for concealed carry permits continues to rise. Not surprising really, when you consider that violent crimes are also on the rise and the news is filled with reports of active shooters, robberies, and assaults.
Those concealed carry permit requests include an ever-increasing number of women who want to feel safe and take their security in their own hands. Whether you’re considering a CCW or have years of experience, knowing what clothing, holsters, and accessories work best for concealed carry is critical to your safety and success.
Women’s Concealed Carry Clothing
The proper concealed carry clothing for women should focus on functionality, comfort, and versatility. The most important feature is that it helps you conceal your firearm without obstructing access. With options like jackets, pullovers, and hoodies, this is easy enough in colder months/seasons/climates. However, concealing your firearm in warmer conditions can be trickier, as you must find the right combination of concealment and comfort while staying cool and dry. We’ll guide you through a few options that can make all the difference in the summer.
And there’s more good news. Just because you’re buying clothing for concealed carry doesn’t mean you can’t look good, too. Modern women’s concealed carry clothing is not only functional, but stylish, as well.
Carrying a firearm in a holster on a belt can add quite a bit of weight to your person. You need a pair of tactical pants that can stand that extra load and the wear and tear of daily life. The right pair of tactical pants should have everything you need and have extra pockets for carrying optional extra magazines.
You will want to make sure the pants are durable and rugged, with extra reinforcements at the knees and hems. Depending on your everyday carry (EDC) items, you may want to opt for pants with cargo pockets.
Shirts and Tops
Again, the idea is to conceal your firearm and avoid “printing”, so others don’t know your carrying. Bulkier clothing like sweatshirts and jackets works great in colder months, but what about summer? It can be difficult to hide a gun while wearing a t-shirt or tank-top, so a good strategy is to obscure the outline of your gun by wearing tops with a pattern. Flowy shirts are popular in summer, and they work fantastic for hiding a gun. Pair your shirt with an accessory like a necklace or other jewelry to help draw attention away from where your gun is holstered.
Other great options include cover-ups like wraps or even a light scarf. These allow you to carry easily and discreetly without others knowing.
Jackets & Vests
Jackets, vests, windbreakers, and flannels make fantastic options for concealed carry clothing. These items are naturally bulkier so covering up is a breeze, and people are less likely to notice that you’re carrying.
Check out our Yulia Vest. Longer in length with a convenient full zip, you’ll have easy access should you need it, but can also quickly cover up, as well. The added pockets are great for other EDC items, while the drawstring waist helps make the overall appearance more fitted.
Looking for a way to stay warm and trendy? Our Louise Shirt Jacket is the perfect look for those cooler months. Featuring a bold, plaid print (ideal for obscuring the profile of your gun), the Sherpa fabric lining will keep you cozy, while the side seam vents keep air flowing when you’re ready for a break.
Concealed Carry Holsters for Women
When you think of holsters and carrying a firearm, you likely picture an outside the waistband (OWB) holster with thegun secured on the side of your waist. But there are a variety of holster and conceal carry positions available to women. Which one is right for you depends on several factors, including your body shape and type, your manner of dress, and which option gives you the quickest draw.
Other holster options include thigh holsters, ankle holsters, shoulder holsters, bra holsters, and even corset holsters for the more adventurous.
Be cautious when considering a shoulder holster, as most are not designed with women and their bodies in mind.
Ideally, you want a holster that is comfortable enough to wear every day, but no matter what you choose, complete trigger guard protection is a must, whether it’s made of leather, kydex, material, or polymer.
Other features to consider in a concealed carry holster for women include:
- Active retention
- Stretch and stain-resistance
- Stiffness and durability
Concealed Carry Belts for Women
It is easy to assume that one of the everyday dress belts you already own is fine for holding your holster and firearm. Unfortunately, those types of belts are usually not designed properly for concealed carry and lack the strength and durability to shoulder the load of a holster and gun.
You need a belt that is extra stiff with reinforced stitching, so your CCW and pants don’t sag. A good CCW belt also provides the right tension and width for your holster so that it won’t shift while you’re moving around during the day.
Our Elas-Tac belt offers rugged, heavy-duty construction and hook-and-loop adjustability for the perfect fit. The Women’s 1.25” Athena belt was specifically designed for women and is constructed of durable 840D nylon web. It is reinforced in the proper spots making it ideal for holster and CCW wear.
Remember, don’t underestimate the importance of a tough, versatile, and comfortable belt for concealed carry.
Concealed Carry Bags and Backpacks for Women
One of the easiest ways to conceal carry is off-body in a bag or backpack. This is especially useful if you generally use some kind of bag to begin with. The most important consideration when carrying off-body is ensuring that your gun is secured ideally in its own dedicated pocket and/or in a holster with the trigger guard completely secured. 5.11 has a plethora of great bag and backpack options that allow you to conveniently and safely carry not only your firearm, but also your other EDC items.
Don’t want to lug around a big, bulky backpack? No problem. A smaller waist bag like our Rapid Waist Pack that fastens around your midsection is a great option for smaller firearms.
Whatever you choose, always remember to practice your draw regularly until you can’t get it wrong. Remember also to check the laws in your state and jurisdiction so you know where and how you’re allowed to concealed carry and any rules you are required to follow. For a full breakdown of all things concealed carry, be sure to read our Concealed Carry Basics guide which breaks down the dos and don’ts of concealed carry.