Like millions of other women out there, I prefer to carry my subcompact pistol in a Kydex AIWB (appendix inside the waistband) holster that clips to a sturdy belt. The trigger is protected, and my gun won't fall out or move. I feel confident drawing from, and going about my day conceal carrying in this manner. Almost everything in my closet works with this method, as I strategically stock my wardrobe with items that accommodate my preferred EDC (Everyday Carry).
When choosing your method of conceal carrying, consider the following:
Are you printing? Printing is when the outline of your gun appears through your clothing. For example, a fitted shirt stretching over your gun will show everyone that you're armed. If you're going to conceal your weapon, why teeter on some bizarre gray line in-between open carrying, and conceal carrying? Realistically, any option where you are carrying on your person will put you at risk for printing. If you read reviews of various conceal-carry products, plenty of women are going to swear they have zero issues with printing. That's a bit of a lie. Form-fitting clothes will be unforgiving, and concealing is even more challenging if you have a smaller to average build. Check the mirror and/or snap a selfie to make sure your clothes are not causing you to print. Make adjustments so that you too, will end up having "zero issues with printing."
Are you comfortable? Are you going to be readjusting your gun throughout the day? Will it be digging in or scraping you? Your carry method should feel comfortable, not tasking or painful.
Can you draw your weapon effectively? Practice drawing from your chosen method. Can you draw your gun confidently, without fumbling or struggling to get to it? Ideally, you'll never be in a situation where you need to draw your weapon, but set yourself up for success.
Are you putting safety first? Don't choose a method that will set you up for a negligent accident. Is the trigger shielded, reducing the risk of an accidental discharge? Could it fall off your person if you bend down to pick something up? Is your gear worn out? Replace it.
There are way too many carry methods out there, but here are three worth considering. I chose these because they're reliable, practical, and safer than many other options out there.
1. Kydex Holster & Belt
Custom molded for your gun for a snug, reliable fit.
Belt loops required- will not work for dresses and skirts.
2. Concealed Carry Purse w/Trigger Guard or Holster
You don't have to cater your outfit to this method.
You might already own a purse or bag that safely works for this.
If you set your bag down, you're setting your gun down as well.
Precious time could be lost accessing your firearm from the designated pocket.
3. Conceal Carry Bands & Corsets w/Trigger Guard
Pros: You can wear leggings.
Cons: Will need to be washed regularly and is likely hand wash/hang dry only.
Now let's discuss one more method, the method I get asked about far too often. Leggings. Most conceal carry leggings on the market are likely not even rated for the weight of your sub-compact pistol. Trust me, I did the math, and you should too. Your gun is going to shift around. So if leggings are a lifestyle/religion for you, use a conceal carry band or corset instead.