Fashion and Concealed Carry

Well, I went and purchased a Ruger LCP (despite one salesman trying to convince me to buy a S&W Bodyguard instead) and while I haven’t yet fired it, I’m committed to training with it enough to overcome any inherent shortcomings of the weapon. I’ve already got the magazine issue figured out (with some help from J, after I got over myself enough to let him help me, that is!) and my laser sights came in the mail so (hopefully) tomorrow I’ll be hanging out with my SIL and installing the lasers on both the LCP and the Glock 19. Hopefully my .380 snap caps will arrive soon.

However, I’m also coming to the conclusion that the whole wardrobe-overhaul is going to have to happen sooner rather than later. Unfortunately I have quite a few favored shirts that are simply unsuitable for concealed carry – they’re way too tight and unless I were willing to ankle-carry (which would require new pants!) there’s no way to keep a handgun, even one as tiny as the LCP, from printing. Thankfully I do have a couple shirts of the looser variety that I can wear while stalking discount stores for better options. (I already found two perfect long-sleeved blouses, but so far the fall has been too warm for them.)

I picked up a cheap belly band holster at the same time I bought the LCP, and I’ve really liked the concept so far. The execution of this particular belly band leaves something to be desired, however. It’s made out of a scratchy elastic and has a huge velcro fastening, which makes wearing it against the skin rather uncomfortable – especially when sitting. Particularly because the velcro fastener is directly opposite the holster pouch instead of offset at some reasonable angle for carrying on one’s side (kidney? still learning the terms) instead of small of the back. Also, I’m not skinny. In an ideal world, I would be 30lbs lighter – and it’s going to take me a while to get there! I need to experiment more with the undershirts and tube tops that I have squirreled away somewhere, but the whole “curves” issue was pressing.

So my idea was to go get one of those feminine underthings designed to slim one’s silhouette, and I tried on a few and settled for a sort-of corset thingy. Of course, when wearing it under the belly band, the band promptly slides up to my waist because the outer surface of the corset is smooth. However, while wearing a shirt that’s not a big problem; I can still access the LCP if I need to. I’m actually thinking of getting some taupe-colored 4-inch elastic and sewing a belly-band-style holster right onto the corset in the correct position to be hidden by my jeans. Comfort + better positioning to draw!

I did have to fashion my own retention strap for the belly band, but that wasn’t difficult. I think I need one for the extra magazine pouch too!

The other wardrobe problem, though, is what to do for all my dresses. I’m not giving those up! But wearing a belly band means I’d have to hike up the hem really far to access the LCP, and while I’m not really worried about flashing the world if I have to draw my gun (I’d have much bigger things to worry about in that case), it’s just not practicable. I’ve heard some negative feedback about thigh holsters but I just don’t see an alternative for on-body carry when wearing a dress! More research required, definitely. I also want to find a IWB holster that is designed to rest against bare skin instead of an undershirt, which means no hard plastic or hard, scratchy leather – though perhaps sticking with the belly band is my best bet. Far less opportunity to have a bathroom-related mishap.

Of course, my dear dad insists that I get a 9mil for concealed carry – I placated him with the promise of eventually getting a 9 mil and having the LCP as a back-up. I found an indoor range not too far from my house that will let you rent guns, but like all the indoor ranges the cost is just sooooo much, and I much prefer the (cheaper!) outdoor range even if the weather isn’t perfect! But for getting a concealed carry 9mil I will actually go and do hands-on research. I’m kind of thinking of the LCP as an introductory step towards actually getting something of a reasonable caliber. It’s tiny and cute (and since I got the brushed stainless steel slide, shiny!) and therefore somehow psychologically far easier to want to conceal carry, even if the single-stack 9mils are only slightly larger and would probably be perfectly concealable by anything that I buy to conceal the LCP. Ah well. It’s one of those things where the tool you WILL use is far preferable to the ideal tool you will leave in a drawer somewhere gathering dust.*

*Metaphorically speaking. But I’ve heard this said for floss and toothbrushes as well. Probably also applies to exercise equipment.

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