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How to size your pants for IWB carry.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Pancho, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Pancho

    Pancho Well-Known Member

    I currently carry a Ruger LCP in a shoot through wallet holster. I would entertain a larger gun but I'm confused what to do about IWB holsters and my pants size. Do I put away all of my 34" waist pants and buy a whole set of 36's to accommodate the IWB?
  2. Doc7

    Doc7 Well-Known Member

    My plan to deal with this is to take my holster to a store and try on pants in the dressing room. This may work for you, before settling on a particular size / method that may or may not work for your particular body shape, and comfort levels.
  3. YZ

    YZ member

    For most common IWB CCW your own size is fine, if you loosen the belt.
  4. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Well-Known Member

    I do add 2" to the waist size on my IWB pants. It isn't strictly necessary, as I've made it work in a pair of shorts that weren't up sized, but it's more comfortable with the extra room.
  5. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Depends on the gun & holster and on how tight you normally wear your pants.

    For a Kahr CW9 in an El Paso Saddlery Summer Cruiser holster, I let my belt out one extra notch (1") to accomodate. When wearing my PPK in a bellyband, the same applies, but I could probably get away with a little less adjustment. It's just that my belt doesn't have half-notches.
  6. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    It depends on how large of a roscoe you want to pack. Figure the slide on a medium size semi-auto will run 1"+ (and most revolvers) and then add the thickness of the holster. The quality and material of the holster will make a big difference.
  7. YZ

    YZ member

    Plus size pants will be then dedicated to having a gun inside.
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Kind of depends on how tight you wear your pants normally and the style of your pants.

    I don't have to switch up from 34" to 36" pants to go IWB, but I do loosen the belt a couple of notches. If you're already working a shoehorn to get into them, you probably should go for the next size up! :D
  9. HankR

    HankR Well-Known Member

    That's what I do. Then I tend to grow into the pants, and need them a little bigger...
  10. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    That tends to be a problem, and another is that the pants dont look like they fit right. The waist isnt the only thing that gets bigger.

    I've always carried "full size" handguns IWB, and just wear my normal size pants, and its never been a problem. If anything, it tends to be a help.

    While the pants feel slightly snug when the holster is first inserted, the material quickly "gives", and things feel fine and comfortable. That slight snugness actually help hold the gun/holster in place, and there is little movement once your belt is cinched up.

    Another big help is one of the "Instructor" type belts. They arent dependent on hitting a hole for fit, and are infinitely adjustable through their whole size range. They help make things a lot more comfortable, and secure.
  11. YZ

    YZ member

    Truth is, the larger your spare, the more difficult it is to live with an IWB CCW. Another reason to watch your waistline.
  12. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    Yep. Ayoob, or whatever that dude's name is, says thats a good way to make yourself carry every day-if you don't, your pants won't fit.
  13. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    Ive carried IWB both fat and skinny and in between on the way down, and never really noticed much difference in comfort or a problem concealing the gun.

    If you wear clothes appropriate to your size, I dont think its really a big deal.
  14. YZ

    YZ member

    I should be so lucky.
    The distribution of fat counts. Also, some keep the belt around the waist, others let it drop under the belly. Then there are gangsta baggies. And so on.
  15. Monster Zero

    Monster Zero Well-Known Member

    Try Duluth Trading Company

    Don't know how familiar you are with this company but I buy stuff from them. Cheesy ad slogans but really high quality - no kidding, every bit as good as what you're probably wearing now that begins with a C, and many of the pants they sell have a hidden stretchy thing in the waist. Perfect for IWB.

  16. YZ

    YZ member

    I don't carry IWB for different reasons, but often see guys at the range whose love handles overflow their IWB weapons, making it a challenging draw and probably a daily PITA.

    Duluth catalogs have followed my relocations with a frightening regularity :D
  17. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Well-Known Member

    I agree with the two inch rule myself
  18. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Well-Known Member

    I add about one inch for a 1911, but two would likely be better for most other pistols or revolvers. Also consider that you may need to punch an extra hole in your belt between two existing holes to get the fit right.
  19. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Well-Known Member

    I take my holster with me to try on pants. To begin with, once I settled on a new size I simply replaced my currently owned pants with the new size as the old ones got worn out.

    I think it was maybe a 1 to 2" waist size difference... not sure exactly. I now wear the same size pants with or without my IWB holster, as long as I'm wearing a belt everything fits fine without looking awkward. My IWB carry thickness ranges up to 2x layers of leather, 1x layer of kydex, and a 1.2" thick handgun. Then again, I've always worn relaxed fit pants and I don't partake in the fad of men wearing skin-tight pants so you have to account for whatever is your own personal style. Obviously, YMMV.
  20. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the shape of your body, and where in your waist you carry.

    I'm shaped like an oval, with my front and back being pretty flat. So if I carry at 3:00, I'll probably need an extra inch or so. But scoot the gun forward or back a little, and I really don't need any extra room. This is how I carry, so my 34's still fit well :).

    Carrying a gun can be a huge R&D/ trial and error process. Just gotta figure out what works best for you.

    GREAT advice! I do the same.

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