Recently I have taken a lot of questions both in classes and via social media about customized clothing for concealed carry and should you consider it for your wardrobe. The short answer is hell no!
Here is the problem, anytime you create a specialized piece of clothing it is just that…specialized. Therefore it will be limited in scope and application. Let’s address some of the most common issues starting with you are going to wear a suit and tie daily and be armed. There is a limited number of individuals this actually applies to and in speaking with some them as well as training them it is not feasible to “customize” their wardrobe. Yes, they are in suits the majority of the time, but the cost of tailoring their entire wardrobe quickly becomes cost prohibitive. If they come to rely on a feature for one item of the clothing they have to modify all their clothing in order to create continuity. But here is the real kicker, when you look at those “modifications” they all are unnecessary if you adopt a more universal approach to defeat methodology.
Keeping it simple…again
The next common group of individuals who might wear a sports coat as a cover garment typically don’t. After completing a recent Concealed Carry seminar to a group of law enforcement officers I have asked those who’s duties include being armed in plainclothes and the reality is they are not wearing sports coats, like at all. That is not to say they don’t have them, they opt not to wear them for the majority of their duties. Again, why would they expend resources to customize cover garments they infrequently wear. They are better off investing in a broader wardrobe to better suit their daily concealment needs in the performance of their duties.
Sharp dressed man
Then there is corporate America and business attire. Having addressed this issue in the past many workplaces prohibit carrying concealed. A suit jacket or sports coat is one of the least advisable cover garment options for them since it is so narrow in it’s ability to conceal. The moment they enter their office, board or conference room and the first person takes off their jacket it is a domino effect except for the one guy trying to conceal their blaster. If they were to run the risk of being terminated for violating corporate policies this method of concealment is the worse option for them since it is the easiest to discover the presence of a concealed firearm.
Many of the custom tailored options seem like a good idea, but they are crutches. It is far better to invest in a broader wardrobe and then spend quality time training on defeat methodology that covers a wide spectrum of clothing. From summer to winter, single layers to multiple layers you want to work at developing a better method for defeating your cover garments. What many folks forget is you may not be in the pristine range conditions when you have to defeat your cover garment. You could be on the ground, in a seated position or moving aggressively towards an objective. It is the methodology, not the clothing that will be critical in these situations.
Risking discovery is an everyday risk when you carry concealed, working to improve your stealth abilities with off the shelf items you can purchase anywhere is a far better investment. No one said it would be easy, but it is well worth the effort.