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What To Wear For OWB Concealed Carry

concealed carry for women

What To Wear To Cover An OWB Holster

A lot of people prefer to OWB concealed carry whenever they possibly can, including both women and men. Carrying a gun outside the waistband is incredibly comfortable, and access is incredibly fast.

It has a whole lot of upsides, which is why so many people prefer it if or when they can utilize this concealed carry method…or why some people stick to it no matter what.

But…everything comes at a cost, of course, and the hitch with OWB concealed carry is concealment. Now it isn’t necessarily rocket science; you just cover the gun and holster and go. The difficulty is dressing around in a way that’s stylish. 

Not everyone wants to walk around in an oh-so-obvious IDPA vest. Just…say…no. Ick. 

So, what can you wear to cover your OWB holster and still look great? Here are some fantastic choices in cover garment for OWB concealed carry.

Choosing The Right OWB Holster

There are lot of OWB holster designs on the market, some of which are great for concealed carry and many that are not. If you intend on concealing your holster and pistol, you need to choose one that is. 

Gun choice is also somewhat important, as the bigger the gun, the harder it is to conceal it outside the waistband. A slim, subcompact 9mm? No problem. A big, hulking double-stack .45 Thor’s Tactical Hammer? Not so much!   

First, look for a holster that has all the features a holster should have. It should be made for your make and model gun, it should completely cover the trigger guard for protection, carry the pistol securely, and create a stable platform to draw from and reholster to. 

It should also be comfortable enough to wear all day, so you’ll actually use it. 

What you want to find is an OWB holster that rides high on the belt and close to the body. This is essential, as you want the gun to basically fit into the contour of your body, so it doesn’t create the tell-tale bulge through clothing. 

There are plenty out there that can fit the bill, but make sure you choose an OWB holster that’s made for easy concealment, as well as safe and comfortable carry. And also make sure to pair it with a good gun belt, because you’ll need the extra support. 

A Concealed Carry Sweater Is Great For OWB Cover

If you have a slim pistol and an OWB holster that rides high and tight, a concealed carry sweater is a great cover garment. 

Obviously, the draw is the same as wearing an IWB holster; you lift it to clear, draw and present the pistol to the target. 

With that said, what you get from a concealed carry sweater is a bit of warmth during the cold months and – if you pick the right one – stylish to boot, keeping you feeling good and looking good at the same time. 

What you want to find is a sweater that isn’t thick; basically a large shirt made with sweater material that isn’t too warming to be uncomfortable, like merino or cashmere wool. It should have a generous hem and a slightly roomy cut, which makes concealment easy. 

The right concealed carry sweater can be worn with almost any outfit and, depending on the climate in your area, for most of the year. You can conceal in comfort and style! 

Flannel Shirt: The Classic OWB Cover Garment

Arguably the classic, the mainstay, the default cover garment for OWB concealed carry is a flannel shirt, worn for decades by men and women alike to cover a high-riding OWB holster. 

Here in the Northwest, where Tactica Defense Fashion is headquartered…flannel isn’t just a fashion choice. It’s a way of life. 

An untucked button-up makes the perfect cover garment so long as you pistol and holster selection works with it. If a flannel shirt fits into your wardrobe, it’s a no-brainer pick for this purpose. 

You can wear it unbuttoned for fast access, or button it up and cover just like any other shirt. 

What you want to look for is a flannel shirt with a hem that’s long enough to cover the pistol. Since most people will carry behind the strong side hip with an OWB holster, it’s also a good idea to look for a shirt yoke a bit longer than the sides, but not too long as to be awkward. 

It works as a cover garment for all but the warmest months, and a great layer for the dead of winter to keep you warm as the temperature plummets. It’s just a good idea to have one period, let alone for anything gun related.

The Right Concealed Carry Shirt With The Right Gun And Holster

woman wearing kangaroo pocket concealed carry shirt

In some cases, OWB concealment is completely doable with just a concealed carry shirt selection, but the margins here are a little slimmer in terms of gun and holster selection. 

If you need to class it up a little more for the office or just because you dress a little more stylishly on a daily basis, a two-piece top also works incredibly well.

In other words, a big fat pistol with a holster to match is not likely to work. If you’re dead set on carrying a Beretta 92…just concealing with a shirt is probably out. However, a high, tight riding holster with a S&W Shield or a Kimber Micro 9…is easily done.

That said, you do have to choose the right shirt and it has to work for you, otherwise it’s not going to be the most viable selection. 

If your natural waist is closer to your belly button, which tends to be the case for women, then you’ll have an easier time of this than most men. However, the lower the gun rides on the belt, the harder complete concealment is with just a shirt. 

Look for a shirt that has a roomy fit and a long hem, so it has a bit of room inside and drapes down to around or even a bit past the pants pockets. This gives you the coverage necessary to conceal a pistol and holster worn outside the waistband. 

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