The Science Behind CCW Clothing - How it Enhances Concealment

The Science Behind CCW Clothing - How it Enhances Concealment

Many people who carry concealed believe they are unnoticed by the average observer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

One of the most important aspects of concealing your weapon is clearing your cover garment and getting to your gun quickly.

Luckily, your clothing can help you accomplish this task. This article will explore how different clothing options can improve your ability to conceal.


The type of clothing you wear plays a large role in whether your pistol is easily concealed. For example, a heavy jacket might be great for concealing an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster in North Dakota on a cold day. However, wearing the same jacket on a warm summer day would draw unwanted attention and be impractical for your CCW needs.

Similarly, too-tight pants might show signs of a gun belt, which can be an easy giveaway. On the other hand, loose clothing might allow a person to sweep it aside with their weak hand and expose your gun without you realizing it.

Luckily, manufacturers now offer CCW clothing designed to hide both waistband and shoulder holsters. These include compression briefs for men and women, with built-in pockets that function like a waistband holster without needing a belt. They are also available in different sizes to accommodate various gun holsters.

Tucking Shirts

Shirts tucked into your waistband or hidden in a shoulder holster are very common for concealing a firearm. Many manufacturers are now offering shirts that are specifically designed to do this. These shirts are usually made from moisture-wicking fabrics that look like your normal shirt, and they also have body pockets on either side that allow you to carry a handgun or spare mags.

A concealed carrier’s choice of shirt will have a huge impact on how well they can conceal their gun. For example, an ultra-tight shirt with a close fit may make it difficult to sweep the garment aside or grab fabric with your weak hand without revealing your weapon.

Choose a shirt with snap functionality instead of traditional buttons for a more comfortable option. This allows for faster access when clearing your cover garment. This can also be helpful if you carry IWB, as it gives you extra room for the gun and holster.

Extra Layers

Shirts, pants, and jackets that conceal carry can help you hide your gun even better. For example, shirts made specifically for concealed carry tend to be larger in the waist than regular shirts to accommodate your pistol and holster and to mitigate any printing that might occur when your handgun touches the fabric of your shirt.

How a garment hangs on the body also determines whether it conceals. Some fabrics, colors, and patterns conceal easier than others, depending on your body type, lifestyle, and the season or climate where you live.

Other options for concealed carry clothing include holster shirts, which feature built-in pocket holsters under each arm; safari/photographer vests, which are long enough to hide waistband or shoulder holsters and thick enough to conceal bulges and tactical gear vests with lots of extra pockets. These are all great ways to prevent printing and make it easier to access your gun in an emergency.


While carrying concealed in a jacket may seem like an obvious solution to concealing a handgun, how your clothes fit can make it difficult or impossible. You can find many garments that leave your firearm easily accessible if you look in the right places.

One popular way to carry a gun is in a paddle holster worn behind your back. This style is a favorite with law enforcement officers and is an excellent choice for Concealment, but it can be slower to draw than a holster on your hip. Plus, it leaves your pistol vulnerable to back injuries in the event of a fall.

Other clothing options for concealed carry include blazers and sports coats designed with internal pocket holsters, perfect for storing a small pistol inside a CCW pocket. Also, you can find khakis and cargo pants that are made specifically for concealed carry and feature pockets large enough to accommodate a full-sized pistol and provide fast access.