The hot weather of summer can make concealed carry quite a challenge, and for many women, this results in leaving the gun at home. Unfortunately, criminals don’t take the summer off, so we must find ways to carry in every season.
I wish I had the one true simple fix for you, but I don’t. Here, however, are some suggestions that can help you better and more comfortably conceal as the temperatures increase and your clothing decreases! Remember though, there are times, as an armed woman, you will have to make some adjustments and sacrifices to accomplish carrying effectively and safely throughout the year.
Go Looser and Longer
Thankfully, light, loose clothing never goes out of style. Looser, lighter clothing is not only more comfortable; it’s cooler because it allows the air to circulate. Wear a long cotton shirt with your summer shorts and skirts to easily conceal your firearm in the waist or on the belt. The new OWB/Convertible Holster can be worn both inside the pants and outside the waist. Patterned shirts and dresses work well to camouflage and minimize the appearance of any bulges.
In-the-waistband carry is a great option. The IWB by The Well Armed Woman is I think one of the best, slimmest in-the-waistband options there is. The Magnetic is a very popular holster for the simple reason that it requires no belt or heavy waistband to secure itself to. If wearing summer dresses, the bra holsters are a good bet, as is the Pistol Wear Under Arm, which is made with breathable fabric.
Summer weight pants, shorts and skirts mean lighter and weaker waistbands, which can make on-the-waist or in-the-pants carry more difficult. Try a holster that isn’t dependent on the waistband such as the Pistol Pouch that ‘buries’ the firearm down on the pelvic area. A Breathable belly band worn low and on your hips can also be a solution. Keep in mind however that going deeper brings with it some challenges — mainly accessing your gun quickly and safely. Practice these draws regularly with your unloaded gun.
Although not the ideal solution, as we don’t want to give up firepower if we don’t have to, carrying a smaller gun in the summer months is an option and is better than not carrying any gun at all. If you can afford a second gun, the very small and compact semi-automatics and lightweight revolvers are very easy to hide. Some are now so slim that they don’t create a bulge (and who needs more of those?). You may want to research the available holsters for these models prior to purchasing to make sure the type of holster you want to wear is available for it. Keep in mind that smaller, lighter guns will have quite a bit more recoil to contend with. They simply don’t have the weight and size necessary to absorb the energy.