You’ve read on these pages before that there are record numbers of women buying handguns. Well, apparently there are so many women now with their concealed carry permit that some inventive people are responding to that with clothing designed specifically for women who carry concealed in mind.
We’re not talking about lace belly band holders, although there’s nothing wrong with that. No, women gun owners are tired of having to choose shapeless dresses and over-sized t-shirts in order to conceal their holsters. Two women, Marilyn Smolenski and Carrie Lightfoot, are creating comfortable, attractive, and stylish clothing made specifically for this market.
An Associated Press article quotes Smolenski as saying, “I don’t want to dress in tactical gear and camo all the time. I love tactical clothing for the range. It’s comfortable. I don’t want to ruin my everyday clothing. But I don’t want to wear it to the grocery store.”
Smolenski created Nickel and Lace in 2012, at a time when Chicago’s laws changed to allow her to legally carry. The company creates clothing for concealed carry that is still attractive and feminine. The article quotes Carrie Lightfoot, founder and owner of The Well Armed Woman in Scottsdale, Arizona, as saying, “When you put a man’s holster on a woman’s body it sticks out. It doesn’t hug the body.”
These women are ignoring the typical advice for women’s items to “shrink it and pink it,” and instead are designing clothing and holsters that recognizes that women’s bodies have more curves as well as being smaller. And that understands the fashion demands of women in the workplace are different than those for men.
Women don’t want a holster that sticks out or jabs into their skin. I’d wager that men don’t want that either, it’s just that they may feel that they don’t have the choice, or that whatever holster they choose to use is ok because they can always wear a large shirt, jacket or suit coat to hide their gear. For women, that’s just not always the case.
Anna Taylor, founder of Dene Adams LLC, makes clothing for women that is still feminine but can hide the fact that they’re carrying concealed. She says that not everything for women has to have bright colors and lace. In fact, some of the items they make are solid black. Women, and men, want choices and they want something that is comfortable and practical. Let’s hope that these companies continue to offer people useful choices.
Concealed carry purse image courtesy of deneadams.com.