There are always two important factors when deciding what to wear while carrying concealed. Access and Concealment (obviously). I know it’s hot outside and it’s likely to get hotter as the summer progresses, so let’s talk about carry options for both men and women. During these months, typically, it’s more convenient to carry a smaller, lightweight handgun such as a snub-nosed .38 special, or a 380 (such as the Sig P238, one of our 50 Best CC Guns).
Guys, I realize you don’t want to be wearing both your t-shirt and then another short-sleeved button-up over that, plus jeans, and belt. Girls, let’s not harp on how difficult our wardrobe is (especially if we choose to conceal carry everyday), but I understand first-hand that there are so many choices and it’s hard to know what’s best (especially if your man, dad, or protective uncle wants you to carry). It’s not like it was easier to pick what to wear in the first place, but if you conceal carry (or want the women in your life to carry) then you need to know the options. Luckily there are a few carrying options to keep in mind that can allow both men and women to wear your shorts and t-shirts while still being able to keep your weapon concealed:
First, pocket carry.
It’s important to find a sturdy holster that will help keep the weapon upright and the trigger protected. We suggest our Comfort Cling Holster. It fits in most men’s pockets; about the size of a large cell phone. A good holster will also make sure no accidents happen when drawing or reholstering. Unfortunately, this one of the most frustrating options for women. Guys, the women in your life do not have very large pockets (don’t ask why; we don’t know) so this carry method not an option for most of us.
Second, IWB carry (Inside the Waistband).
For the summer, this is my primary carry for my snub-nose Smith and Wesson .38 Special. I can wear just about any pants or shorts without a belt with a long t-shirt and stay concealed and comfortable. The Comfort Cling Holster is also an option for IWB, but our Stingray Holster is a viable option if you choose to wear a belt.
Third, Off-body carry.
There are numerous messenger bags, backpacks, and purses out there that are perfect for conceal carry. Drawing from a bag is much different than drawing from a holster, so just as much practice needs to go into creating muscle memory for drawing out of a bag or purse as drawing from a holster. Every bag is different, so if you have multiple options, you need to double your practice.
When you choose any of these methods, remember that your primary concern should be access to your weapon and concealment. So, you probably shouldn’t wear that sheer or mesh crop top because you’re not going to conceal your gun. T-shirts are the safest bets. Carrying a smaller pistol will enable you to wear the slimmer cuts and no one will know that you’re armed. For the ladies, remember to stay away from super tight, short shirts—I recommend flowy, tank tops (it’ll keep you cool and still remain fashionable—plus your weapon will disappear on your frame).
So what’s your favorite summer carry pistol?