Many times we decide what clothes we are going to wear based on what we are doing or where we are going. Your weekend clothes may be more casual than your workday clothes or what you wear to a nice dinner. And if you are working in the yard you probably choose to wear something entirely different. So, what about if you are concealed carrying? What do you need to wear to concealed carry?
While there aren’t set rules on proper clothing for concealed carry, because ultimately it’s a personal preference, there are some suggestions we have outlined for you in this article. In order to meet the standards for concealment, loose clothing is going to lead to less printing and therefore be better than tighter clothing. You may also have to make a few adjustments to compensate for the added size and weight of your gun and holster.
You may be thinking ok that makes sense but what does it mean exactly. Well, here are some concealed carry clothing tips. Let’s start with the basics, what kind of shirt do you need for concealed carry?
What kind of shirt do you need for concealed carry?
First and foremost what may work for one person may not work for another so experimenting at home using a mirror and various shirt styles can help you discover what works best for you. We have found that loose-fitting shirts are going to work better than tight-fitting ones. These could be t-shirts, dress shirts, polos, no matter the style a looser shirt is going to show less printing with your carry system.
Another thing to consider when choosing a shirt to wear with your concealed carry setup is the color of your shirt. We found that darker colors mask printing better because they do not show shadows as much. If you wear a white or light-colored shirt you are more likely to see the shadows of how the shirt lays against your gun and holster.
So, when it comes to shirts we found that loose-fitting and darker colors are best. But try a few shirt styles and look in the mirror to see what works best for you.
What kind of pants should you wear for concealed carry?
Pants with belt loops are going to be ideal for concealed carry because the holster is most likely going to work best with a belt. These could be shorts, jeans, dress pants, etc. With the addition of a gun and holster, if you are carrying inside the waistband, your waistband size may increase. While some people found they can continue to wear the same size pants as before others may need to go up a size or two to compensate for the extra width the gun and holster add. The best way to find what pants work best for you is to try them on with your carry system.
Another important part of your concealed carry attire is your belt.
What kind of belt do you need for concealed carry?
The average belt is not made to support the weight of your carry system. A gun belt is designed with tougher materials, making it stronger and able to hold the necessary shape. The durability of a gun belt reduces the sag that can occur with a regular belt. If your belt sags, and you are concealed carrying, the grip of your gun can be pulled away from your body causing a print. Our Vedder Cobra® Quick Release Belt is a great addition to any carry setup. For more information on gun belts vs. regular belts check out our article.
When purchasing a gun belt you will want to make sure you have the correct size. A typical pair of pants has a degree of stretch to them, whereas due to the rigidity of a gun belt there will not be that same stretch. Beyond that, the added size of your gun and holster between your waistband, with IWB carry, will require additional space. We’ve created a video to help with sizing for your gun belt, you can watch it here.
Should I wear a jacket for concealed carry?
Is it necessary? If you are in a warmer climate, no. If you reside in a colder climate and want to wear a jacket you can still concealed carry with no issues.
While a jacket may help conceal your weapon better because of the extra layer to hide any printing that may occur it is not required. Many people easily concealed carry without wearing a jacket. And in warmer climates, like here in Florida, you definitely don’t want to be wearing a jacket all day as you will probably get quite warm.
Having a jacket on adds an extra layer of clothing and if you are trying to reach your gun you will have to take into consideration that extra layer. You may want to practice drawing your gun with a jacket to become more familiar with the adjusted draw you would need to accommodate wearing a coat for a situation where you needed to reach your firearm.
Wearing a jacket as a part of your concealed carry attire is a personal preference and a climate-based decision. If you need a jacket absolutely wear one, but if you live in a warm area like our sunny Florida it is by no means required for concealed carry.
Should I wear a holster for concealed carry?
Last, but certainly not least, a holster. Probably the most important part of your carry setup and concealed carry attire. A holster is going to keep your gun securely attached to your body throughout the day or duration you are carrying. It protects the trigger from getting pulled inadvertently and reduces wear and tear on your weapon.
There are many holster types and styles but for those of you just starting out in the concealed carry world, we suggest our Vedder LightTuck™ IWB Holster. It is a lightweight holster made of sturdy Kydex and securely clips to your belt for all-day wear. Inside the waistband holsters are popular for concealed carry because, well, they are easy to conceal. With a simple loose t-shirt it is oftentimes conveniently hidden.
But, you may find another holster works best for you. No matter what holster you choose the important thing is that if you are carrying a gun, is it best to use one.
Each person may find that one way of dressing for concealed carry works better for them over another and that is ok. We found that loose, dark-colored shirts is what works best for many of our customers. When it comes to pants you may need to adjust to a larger pant size to accommodate for the addition of a holster and gun. Jackets aren’t required for concealed carry, but depending on the weather you may want one. A proper gun belt can help hold the weight of your gun making for easier concealment. And don’t forget the most important part, a holster.
Ultimately, it comes down to what you find comfortable and what meets your needs. We recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.
Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, laser, first aid, maintenance, and more.