I'm very excited to welcome you to the very first post in my new Style Me Concealed series. When I first launched Style Me Tactical there were many areas I wanted to cover. First and foremost, one of the driving factors of starting SMT is my Girl Meets Gun series. I wanted a place to document my experiences of being a first-time female shooter and potential gun owner. Additionally, I wanted to showcase that women could be self-reliant and still be fashionable. Style Me Concealed was a natural progression after buying a gun and what better way to explore another part of this self-reliant lifestyle than to document it here. My goal with this series is to show you that as a woman you don't have to sacrifice your style in order to carry concealed. I’ll be figuring this all out as I go and I’m excited for you to join me.
As with my Girl Meets Gun series, I plan to be open and honest about my trials and tribulations navigating the concealed carry lifestyle. What I’ve seen online is that not many women carry concealed and even fewer carry on body. Meaning that most women prefer to carry off-body, in a purse or bag of some sort. For now, I’m going to focus carrying on-body mainly because I haven’t yet seen a purse that I like.
A few things I’ve learned in my research in regards to carrying concealed (or is it concealed carry?!):
Carrying a full-size gun (like my HK VP9) concealed isn’t practical for women; women should opt for a small gun if possible so it’s easier to conceal
Women will need to change their wardrobe to accommodate carrying (ie., bigger and baggier clothing #nothanks)
Adding a fisherman style vest over anything will help conceal your gun
I’ll need some special carry belt because you can’t just use any type of belt
There are a whole new slew of acronyms I need to learn: OWB, IWB, AIWB
If I choose to carry AIWB (Appendix Inside the Waistband) I’m going to shoot my femoral artery
I can basically carry anywhere around my waist that is comfortable and conceals the firearm
Being comfortable while carrying is a personal thing as everyone’s comfort level is different
What Can You Expect from this Series?
I’m going to show you the outfits I’m wearing, how I’m carrying in them, the holsters I’m using, and sharing my thoughts on why it works or why it doesn’t from my perspective. I’ll also share any tips and tricks I learn along the way.
First Steps to Carrying Concealed
It is honestly overwhelming the amount of opinions and advice being given online in different message boards, articles, and social media. So I’m going take that information but apply what I think is important to me. One of the things I didn’t see much talk about was carrying at home. Now this might seem a bit “kindergarten” to some of the avid carriers or gun professionals but it makes perfect sense to me.
Whenever I buy a new a pair of shoes that I decide to keep, I never just wear them outside on the first day. I always wear them around my house for as long as I can to get them broken in, to get a feel for how they really fit after wearing them for a few hours, and to see what outfits they would pair nicely with.
I don’t see how carrying my gun around the house would be any different. I can safely carry in the comfort of my own home. I don’t know what I’m really doing yet, I still need to get a permit, which at this time I can’t in DC (only in VA which I plan to get) and I have no idea how carrying feels or how it would fit into my current wardrobe. So carrying in my home while I figure it all out sounds like a pretty good starting place for me.
Concealed Carry Accessories
There are two main things that people agree you need when deciding to carry and that’s a proper carry belt and a holster. The husband actually ordered me a few different holster from Alien Gear and StealthGearUSA. I initially tried the Alien Gear and, sorry Alien Gear, but you are not for me. It was way too bulky for my liking. However, the one from StealthGearUSA seemed great during the initial “try on".” So I’ve been wearing one from StealthGearUSA around the house. As for belts, well I’m not using a belt made for concealed carry…yet. Apparently there are special belts that are made that are thicker and stronger in order to hold the firearm in place and keep it from sagging. Well I took a quick look at some of those belts and they are definitely not made for the girls that care about their style. So for now, since I’m only carrying around my house I’m going to stick with regular ol’ belt from the Gap and see how that works. Baby steps right?!
As I mentioned above, I’ve learned a whole set of new lingo in the form of acronyms when it comes to concealed carry. I’ll explore some of the different positions to see what I’m comfortable with but the initial position that I’m gravitating towards is appendix inside the waistband better known as AIWB. For me, the gun is placed in a position that I feel I can easily get to if I need it.
Concealed Carry Gun
While I don’t actually have what people would consider a “proper” concealed carry gun my thoughts are that if I can make the HK VP9 work with my wardrobe then anything smaller should be pretty effortless. Also, you’ve read about why I’ve chosen this firearm and since I’m still a newbie especially when it comes to shooting I don’t want to add anything new to the mix in terms of gun handling. I feel comfortable with my VP9 and so that’s going to be what I choose to start this next chapter.
So this post is my first take on carrying concealed around the house with my HK VP9 and StealthGearUSA holster. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought. I mean there is definitely weight added around my waist and I surely know it’s there. I can feel it with every movement. I did like this position because I felt like I could easily access the gun in a hurry if I needed. Sitting for a anything longer than an hour really started to get uncomfortable and I can also see the “gun penis” that’s been referred on many online forums. While I think this looks right, is it? Any “experts” want to tell me if something looks wrong?
For me, this outfit is a very typical night out look...skinny jeans, heels, casual top, and a bag. Something I have always done with my tops is what I would call the “partial tuck.” It’s where you tuck just part of the front of the shirt in. I realized that this technique of mine might come in handy for carrying. I didn’t notice any major issues with this shirt and this gun. The dark black color of the fabric seems to really disguise the eye from any possible bulging.
I’ll keep at it and until next time.