The Garter Holster
I had about 15 minutes to get dressed and ready for a vow renewal ceremony. I found an easy dress and then realized....how was I going to carry my gun?
As you can see, it's a jersey-like, clingy and fitted kind of material. The most unforgiving fabric for concealed carry. And it didn't open around the waist area which eliminated my bellyband. If I was going to wear a gun on my body, I'd have to reach it from the collar area or under my skirt.
I already had a garter holster from Can Can Concealment that I had purchased, tried on once, and scratched my head trying to figure out how to wear this without needing a hoop skirt.
Here's what it looks like if I wore it as designed. It's a right-handed holster and I carry a Glock 19. It's not the lightest or slimmest gun, but it's what I train with and what I'm most comfortable with. (I wore it over pants to keep things tasteful, ha!)
As you can see, the grip pokes out. The grip will always be the part that "prints" under your clothing, whatever holster you're wearing. The tricky part is that the grip should also be free and clear so you can grab your gun easily once you clear your garment.
So I tried putting the gun on the inside of my thigh. The butt sticks up quite a bit. Under a dress, it would look like a gopher was trying to pop out. Plus, it would require me to rotate my hand awkwardly to find and get a good grip.
So in my hurried 15 minutes of trying to figure this out, I thought "What if I switched legs?"
I reversed the garter belt it comes to align the straps that held up the holster. Normally the garter belt has a pretty lace material on the outside. The reverse is plain.
Now the butt of the gun jutted inwards, and into that little valley between my thighs. Everyone has this little space where their thighs curve down. No one has block, square thighs. That little cavity is the perfect space for your gun butt to hover quietly and not bother anyone.
You will notice that one of the straps travels under your crotch with this reverse wear. Not to worry. What you see in the photo is the most tension that strap will have while you're standing. Unless you're doing lunges while you walk around town, it won't push up against your crotch. Also, when you sit, the strap slacks even more.
Here's what it looks like from a birds-eye view. (Like my socks?)
When you sit with a dress or skirt, the material always rides up and bunches up a little in your lap. Any width your gun has will disappear when you sit. Plus, chances are, your lap is under a table, desk or your folded hands.
Remember, this is a Glock 19. There are plenty of other guns much skinnier and more petite that will disappear even more easily.
Can Can Concealment asks you for body dimensions and gun dimensions when you order. It's not a one-size fits all kind of holster. They're not cheap, either, but they are well made. I see it like a quality purse. It will last you reliably for years and you'll get your money's worth in the long run. Or think of it like a car. You have been using your car for so long that you intuitively know where everything is, the dimensions of your car when you park, and all without really having to look. If you wear the same holsters regularly, it only helps build your muscle memory and take away the panic should that day ever come when you have to draw.
I am one of those that prefer my gun on my body. I'm wary of purse carry only because I have a young boy who is VERY curious, VERY rambunctious, and with little sense of danger.
My sister in law greeted me at the vow renewal ceremony and immediately scanned my outfit. She knows I carry, saw the kind of dress I was wearing, and said to me "Where is it? I can't see it!" That's exactly what I wanted to hear! I was happy I could wear a dress or skirt and have a way to carry.