Concealment cover garments


June 12, 2005, 12:35 PM
What do you use?

Some are always saying how belly bags and tactical / photographer's scream gun. Do you care? Is comfort and concealment more important?

What other options for concealing for concealing a 5" 1911 in OWB holster are available?

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Quintin Likely
June 12, 2005, 12:38 PM
I've been able to get by in the summer with a T-shirt about one size too big untucked, carrying a Colt Commander or a Glock 19. In the fall/winter months, a light jacket or a windbreaker works too. But I also carrying IWB, so I've got a little more freedom in choice of cover gear, but I've been thinking about going OWB with my G19.

chris in va
June 12, 2005, 12:39 PM
With my full size CZ75 I've been using a Don Hume OWB, shorts and a loose cotton shirt. Prints pretty good when I go to get something on the lower shelf at WalMart :rolleyes: but I'm far from worried about that.

I like what one guy on here said if someone asks. "It's my PDA". Personal Defense Accessory. :D

June 12, 2005, 02:04 PM
For reference, I'm carrying a 1911 in a cheap IWB holster.

As far as cover garments go, just about anything will work. When I started carrying, I gave a lot of thought to it and made it a point to look for long buttondown shirts I could wear untucked and open; Hawaiian shirts, camp shirts, general Eddie Bauer fare, and the like. In my case, this wasn't much of a change from how I normally dressed when given the choice (I like the extra pockets). In cooler weather, I'd wear a vest or light fleece jacket.

Since then, I've realized that I don't need to be nearly as concerned as I was. With the same gun and holster, I wear a loose T-shirt over an undershirt, with the top shirt untucked; a polo shirt, untucked; pretty much anything an inch or two larger than your unarmed size, left untucked, will conceal just fine. Wearing polos and such has the additional advantage of looking respectable enough that nobody thinks I'm trying to hide anything, and a good knit polo will be stiff enough to minimize printing.

Occasionally, I need to dress a little nicer than that; in those cases, usually some sort of a long-sleeve buttondown, preferably with a pattern, tucked in over the gun and bloused consistently around my waist (being a larger fellow, blousing looks better anyway). Works great; sometimes, even I can't tell if I'm carrying.

Bottom line: don't worry too much about it. Just make sure it A) hangs a bit below your beltline, and B) is loose enough to avoid clinging, and you ought to be fine.

June 12, 2005, 02:20 PM
Check out the following:

Concealed Carry Clothiers (

Smith & Alexander clothing (

I have vests from both. The S&A vests are very lightweight, good for carry during hot weather, while the CCC vests are heavier, better suited for cooler weather. I recommend both.

El Tejon
June 12, 2005, 03:32 PM
Options for carrying a 1911 OWB concealed? Around here we call those November, December, January, February and part of March. :D Not really options though.

Get a good IWB and good belt, untuck your shirt, you'll be good to go (as the kids say). :)

June 12, 2005, 04:09 PM
My rig: 5 inch 1911 in a Milt Sparks VM2

My clothing: usually, shorts or pants, undershirt, untucked button-down shirt (something with a design, preferably something with lots of pictures or lines).

You can't tell if I have anything under there. My sister can't tell when I carry, and neither can my fiancee (that is the surprise- she had no idea I carried to dinner one night until I unsnapped the holster when I got home).

The shirts are the easiest thing to come by- Wal-Mart has them for $10 each, so you can stock up and vary your wardrobe accordingly. This has a benefit over just a T-shirt- you can sweat a bit without it showing, and you look more dressed up.

June 12, 2005, 04:20 PM
5:11 vest only scream gun to gunnies, what they scream to most people is bad fashion sense. The same goes for a fanny pack. I know a few fellows that wear the vest constantly but it kinda works with their look. The same guys were against IWB carry until they threw on my holster which is for a CZ 75 made by HBE Leather. A good IWB and you could conceal a S&W 500 under a tube top.

June 12, 2005, 04:29 PM
Good Belt - 1.5" seems to work better than my thinner belts. I'm using a Milt Sparks

Good Holster - IWB - prefer leather, using a kydex one right this minute for my P99c.

T-Shirt - Russel Athletics Dri-Power - Just like Underarmor without the high price - Academy Sports has it. That keeps the gun from rubbing me. The shirt also wicks away moisture and keeps me cool.

Shirt - My current favorites are some button down silk shirts I got from Target. They all have patterns - some are hawaiian looking.
They have square hems and aren't too long - though I need to get them altered to be perfect. I wear them untucked.
They were priced pretty cheap too.

June 12, 2005, 04:37 PM
Lots of good suggestions.

I am good with IWB and will probably stick with it since we really don't have a winter here. Just looking for other options.

Also, I am considering IDPA and was looking for something that would do both. All the participants at the match I went to were wearing some sort of kydex rig and OWB. I would like to use the same gun for carry and competition.

Right now my carry gun is a 3" Kimber, but I do have a full sized Springfield that would be used for competition and carry.


I like that way you think. I've thought about that as well, but I am not exactly lean and trim. 5'10 and 250lbs. I can't buy much clothing wise at Wal-mart.

The more I think about it, the vests and fanny packs only scream gun to people who knows what the look for. How many of you try to make out who is carrying? I know I do. It is a game similar to what you do with the kids on a long trip. See how many different state's licenses plates you can find. Same thing except with guns.

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2005, 04:46 PM
I carry under a T-shirt, or other untucked garment all the time.

You can find instructions to make my IWB holster at

June 12, 2005, 05:55 PM
I use my IWB rig in IDPA, you do lose a little edge to the gamers but I like working on my draw from what I actually will be drawing from.

June 12, 2005, 05:58 PM
I carry a 5" 1911 OWB with an unbuttoned hawaiian shirt over it and in a maxpedition versipack if I don't feel like wearing an over shirt.

June 12, 2005, 06:51 PM
Jacket, or vest or s/s button down shirt (unbuttoned and worn over a tee shirt) over gun and mag pouches on my hips. Sometimes a very loose fitting golf shirt.

June 12, 2005, 07:04 PM
Denim Smith & Alexander vest for me - looks very nondescript when biking and even when not biking does not maybe shout carry as loud as some photo vests.

I overheat easily but this vest makes little difference and is excellent for concealment - even controllable with the ''WalMart parking lot wind blow''! :p

If it says ''Carry'' - so what? I am not printing and so folks can guess all they want - in summer nothing does as well. Best I have found yet by far.

June 12, 2005, 07:14 PM
Colored wife beater with a Hawaiian type over shirt or some type of short sleeve button up.
When it gets real cold in the winter I wear a long sleeve shirt and a real T-shirt

June 12, 2005, 09:00 PM
Almost anything will do for concealment. I personally wear a t-shirt with a button up over it.

For competition (IDPA), I wear a vest from

Full disclosure: I am 50% owner in the site and helped design the vest.

Dave Sevigny wears our vest and his endorsement adorns our website.

Check it out if you need something for competition or for concealed carry.

Moderator(s): If this is bad juju please delete :D

June 12, 2005, 09:17 PM
OK, this is a little off topic, but I was wondering, as a non-carry person, a resident of the PRC, how do you keep your gun from corroding when it is held against your body all day. I would think that any sweat and body oils would be like acid.

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2005, 09:26 PM
OK, this is a little off topic, but I was wondering, as a non-carry person, a resident of the PRC, how do you keep your gun from corroding when it is held against your body all day. I would think that any sweat and body oils would be like acid.

That's a real problem, and my holster design solves it. Basically, it has a flap of leather on the back which goes between gun and body. I sweat-proof my holsters with Sno-Seal (you can get it at Wal Mart). As an added benefit, the back flap breaks up the outline and also makes the gun more comfortable, since it spreads the pressure over more area of your body.

In addition, for guns carried cocked-and-locked, it has a "button" or leather cam which engages the safety and forces it to remain in the safe position.

You can see pictures and find directions on how to make this holster at

June 12, 2005, 09:42 PM
even controllable with the ''WalMart parking lot wind blow''! Wow! Glad to know I'm not the only one who deals with that!

For me, it's usually a camp/hawaiian shirt or polo shirt - Basically, anything that fits loosely on me. If it's too hot, then the snubbie IWB, wearing a t-shirt underneath a "beater" undershirt does the trick for me too.

For winter, I usually keep my shirts tucked in and wear a leather jacket, or even just a loose-fitting sweatshirt.


June 12, 2005, 09:53 PM
A good IWB and you could conceal a S&W 500 under a tube top.

Anybody else get turned on by that? :D (I feel so wrong... ;) )

I've got a weakness for Hawaiian shirts, the bigger the better. Luckily I liked Hawaiian shirts before I got my CHL so I didn't have to change the wardrobe much.



June 12, 2005, 10:19 PM
I made the decision some time ago to adjust my wardrobe to accomodate my 5" 1911, plus the spare mag. Sportcoat, Hawaiian shirts, baggy t-shirts, whatever. As some of you may have heard, summers are rather warm in Texas.. :eek: , but I'm not going to let that dictate my concealed carry.

Travis McGee
June 12, 2005, 10:29 PM
I have nothing to add to this thread, I live in the People's Republic of Cali.
But I'm moving to Floribama next year, and I look forward to my CCW!

June 13, 2005, 12:06 AM
DWS: I'm no lightweight myself (5'11", 235 lbs, XL shirt and 39" waist), but those Wal-Mart shirts work jsut great. The XL is more than large enough for me, and they come in larger sizes (I think those are another $2 or so).

If you do a bit of weightlifting to broaden your shoulders, you can hang anything on your belt under your arm; nobody will ever notice.

June 13, 2005, 10:07 AM
I had trouble carrying anything large. I saw one of these at a gun show yesterday.

I have never liked belly bands but this thing works well for me when used in the same position as a shoulder holster. I put on a (fake) large Desert Eagle and it disappeared! I wore it out last night and it was comfortable and worked well under a shirt (it probably does need a t-shirt to keep it off your skin). I modeled if for friends who were amazed that they couldn't see a full-size Beretta 92FS or a Ruger P345D under a thin tucked shirt.

My 2 concerns are moisture and longevity of the material. - But if I NEED to take a larger handgun with me this is the only option I seem to have.

Here is the actual web site.

June 13, 2005, 11:56 AM
the same setup as Logistar...a belly band worn mid chest, with the firearm grip resting just under the left armpit. I have one black and one white, so as to not show through ( band through a white shirt ). Shirt tucked in or hanging out, it's as deep concealed as I need...and still get to in a hurry. :evil:

1911 guy
June 13, 2005, 12:20 PM
When informal, I wear a t-shirt, 5" 1911 owb, and a polo or button down untucked over it. Formal, a sport coat covers me up.

June 13, 2005, 12:23 PM
I also wear a smith and alexander much everyday....I've always worn vests though..even as a kid.My wife IS pretty sick of seeing the black vest though :D
If it's REAL hot ,I just go for the un tucked button-up shirt....haven't been "made" yet, that I know of.

June 13, 2005, 12:30 PM
I have started to buy "Cargo" type shorts with the idea of carrying in the pocket, not the large cargo pocket, that should break up the print of the gun. Now, I want to carry a .380 in a pocket holster, has anyone done that? Does it work? I am a new carry permit owner and am looking for ideas. Is the 380 too large/heavy (Bersa 380) for a pocket carry? Need to know before I start ordering up a pocket holster.....



June 13, 2005, 01:40 PM
Another excellent supplier is Coronado Leather (, particularly for concealment during cooler weather. Expensive, but amongst the highest-quality products I've yet seen.

Carl N. Brown
June 13, 2005, 02:02 PM
I have trimmed MRE entree cardboard boxes to serve as
pocket liners to break up the outline of the gun for jacket
or shirt pocket carry.

I carried a J-frame .38 in one of the elastic band "shoulder holsters"
while exploring a remote area with my son with no problems;
howver, a .38 double derringer in the same rig always worked
up and out of the pocket. Always test-carry about the house
before going out in public.

Old Dog
June 13, 2005, 02:11 PM
What? You mean when I'm wearing my safari/photojournalist vests, people might think I'm covering up a firearm? So what? The pockets are really handy, too. So some of you folks actually do not wear clothing because you think "screams" gun-carrying? Frankly, I think the plethora of Hawaiian shirts (in Washington state, for cryin' out loud) I'm seeing around here now "screams" gun-carriers are abounding ... after all, this is the Pacific NorthWest, and if you're not wearing stuff made by Columbia, NorthFace or REI, you're outta step ...

Hey, I see plenty of vests up in this neck of the woods, especially fleece or Columbia vests, and they don't look out of place ... guess it all depends on the region. I submit that dark-colored microfiber "camp shirts" are really the biggest boon to gun-packers since the IWB holster. I wear my camp shirts over well-worn reversible mesh tank-tops (basketball practice jerseys) even when packing a 5" 1911 OWB and it's cool even when I'm down at the family homestead in Arizona during summer ... I personally think the flower-pattern shirts when out of style when "Magnum, P.I." went off the air ...

I second Preacherman's recommendation for Coronado Leather -- awesome products!

Jim101: IMO, a .380 the size of the Bersa is awfully large for pocket carry ... but that's just one man's opinion ... Even a .32 Beretta Tomcat is pushing the pocket-carry limit for me (and I'm pretty big).

June 13, 2005, 02:20 PM
I have carried extensively, and still do, in the pocket mode. Now, I do have a lot of people tell me the shortcomings of this method. I also frequently carry in most of the other ways already discussed in this thread. The real reasons behind pocket carry are the convenience and yes, speed. It's the fastest "deep cover" type of carry as opposed to fanny packs and the like.

It's not faster than any good strong side IWB or OWB but it does give you the option of having your hand right on the gun without looking like you're planning on a gunfight. If there turns out to be no threat, just take your hand out of your pocket. It does limit you to somewhat looser pants though. Stainless guns are best since you will sweat but I frequently carry a Glock 27 this way and no one has ever spotted it. In your offside front pocket, it also works pretty well as a spot for a back-up gun when in uniform.

June 13, 2005, 02:23 PM
A good IWB and you could conceal a S&W 500 under a tube top.

Anybody else get turned on by that?

Only if I get to imagine my girlfriend instead of kngflp!

June 13, 2005, 06:35 PM
Like Logistar and Gunnutz13, I also use the elastic band from HolstersRus. It works well with everything from a full size 1911 to a snubby .38. It is much more comfortable over a t-shirt though. (They make a thigh model too that works great in Ohio for in-vehicle plain sight carry :fire: ).

I have also used the SmartCarry ( to carry a snubby, even under a pair of sweatpant shorts, and it is virtually undetectable.

I also like the big loose fitting shirts from WalMart, and use them to cover a Don Hume JIT OWB for my 3" and 4" XDs and snubbies. Sometimes I carry a snubby pocket carry in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster, with an untucked shirt covering the top of the pocket.

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