Author Topic: Women Buying Firearms Creates Concealed-Carry Fashion Market  (Read 616 times)

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Taurian

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Women Buying Firearms Creates Concealed-Carry Fashion Market
« on: September 15, 2016, 06:59:27 AM »
Quote
“Does this gun make me look fat?”

For decades, women have had few choices when it comes to the clothing they can wear to hide that they're carrying a firearm. They could wear baggy T-shirts or coats, or put it in a purse and hope it didn't get swiped or that they didn't have trouble getting it out in an emergency.

Enter holsters, corsets, camisoles and other clothing designed to be flattering, feminine — and functional — for the pistol-packin' mama crowd.

"I don't want to dress in tactical gear and camo all the time. I love tactical clothing for the range. It's comfortable. I don't want to ruin my everyday clothing," said Marilyn Smolenski, who in 2012 created Nickel and Lace, a company that caters to women who want to carry a firearm concealed but don't want to trade in their femininity. "But I don't want to wear it to the grocery store."

Smolenski started her company right around the time when Chicago city laws changed and she could again legally carry a firearm. When that happened, she struggled to find something that didn't make her look frumpy and didn't broadcast that she was packing heat. Most of the clothing was geared to men — coats with hidden pockets, or holsters that tuck neatly inside a waistband. But until the last few years, those weren't always great options for women who don't wear belts as frequently and are more likely than men to wear form-fitting clothing, making it difficult to hide the fact they're carrying a firearm.

"When you put a man's holster on a woman's body it sticks out. It doesn't hug the body," said Carrie Lightfoot, founder and owner of The Well Armed Woman in Scottsdale, Arizona, which does everything from providing firearms instruction to women to selling a variety of concealed carry clothing. One of her company's first missions was to design and produce a holster that recognized the differences in body types and clothing styles between men and women.

Women's waists tend to be shorter, providing less room to withdraw a gun from a holster. Hips and chests can get in the way too, she said.

Lightfoot and Smolenski said that some manufacturers tended to "shrink it and pink it" — thinking that taking gear produced for men and making it smaller and brightly colored would satisfy female customers. They and their counterparts emphasize they are driven first by function and safety before aesthetics come into the equation.

"Women need to know they can carry effectively," Lightfoot said. "I think the key is finding a way to carry it so you can be comfortable and move through your day without being poked and having a big hunk of metal in your pants and not be able to sit at work."

Both also are advocates for providing women with information and guidance on ways to feel secure and be safe. For Smolenski, that goal has led to the creation of the annual Firearms and Fashion Show which includes seminars on personal safety. Her company actually got its start with a line of jewelry — from necklaces that can be pulled away easily and then used as a weapon to "chopsticks" that can both be used to hold up hair and then be wielded against an attacker.

For Anna Taylor, the founder and CEO of Dene Adams LLC — named after her grandfather, who first taught her to respect firearms and handle them safely — the road to creating a line of concealed carry clothing began at around the time she became a single mom and the safety of the family rested on her shoulders. When she got her first concealed carry permit in 2013, she went through seven different holsters.

"Some were hard and uncomfortable. Some of them I'd have to take off and set down when I went to the bathroom and I was afraid I would go off and leave it just like I've left my phone behind before. Others, belly band types with a print so bad you could see the grip or outline of the gun through my clothes," Adams said. "So when I went out in public, I felt like I had these awkward arms always trying to hide this thing."

Her first design involved a mousepad and a post-partum corset to create a soft holster. She was able to carry the kids around, nurse, give the kids baths — even jump on the trampoline — "and I could forget that it was there." With her last $200, she found a manufacturer willing to do a small run.

Flash forward three years and she now has products on shelves at nearly 100 dealers around the country. She has expanded into safety and training and is now an NRA pistol and rifle instructor. She even has a few men who buy her products — including, she said, air marshals, who gravitate to the snug, comfortable designs.

"We have options that don't have lace. We have solid black," she said.

Source: Gun Insider
What most 21st Century Americans simply do not grasp is that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written to to give rights to the citizens of our then-new nation, but was instead written to tightly constrain the federal government.

M1911A1

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Re: Women Buying Firearms Creates Concealed-Carry Fashion Market
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 01:51:35 PM »
OK, I looked at both Dene Adams (http://www.deneadams.com/) and Nickle and Lace (http://www.nickelandlace.com/).
I have the same complaint about their concealed-carry clothing that I have about almost all other fabric (or elastic) holster systems: The concealed gun is so deeply buried inside the "holster" that one cannot establish a full firing grip before beginning a presentation.

If the carrier cannot quickly establish a full firing grip while the gun is still holstered, then the presentation must include a mid-stroke shift in the grip.
Shifting the grip in mid-stroke slows one down quite a lot, helps "telegraph" to the BG what one is doing, and even gives Murphy a chance to get one to drop one's gun entirely, as one's "small-motor skills" deteriorate from in-rushing adrenaline.

I understand why this is so: The garment maker cannot predict which gun will be concealed within the outfit, so "one size fits all" prevails. But, of course, that really means that "one size fits none."

Jean and I have confronted this problem with Jean's favorite carry system, the SmartCarry pouch. Our solution involves stuffing the muzzle end of the pouch with scrap fabric, so that her pistol sits in it with its grip properly exposed.
Security is provided by the pants under which the SmartCarry is worn. The gun can't fall out. We've tried that, and we are sure of it.

I believe that the instructions which accompany Dene Adams and Nickle and Lace products should explain the problem, and should also suggest solutions to it.

Later: I have contacted both companies with my suggestions.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."

oldranger53

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Re: Women Buying Firearms Creates Concealed-Carry Fashion Market
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 10:01:40 AM »
Since Suzi has discovered the NAA Mini revolver, her interest in EDC has skyrocketed!

(Smiling)

I've purchased two different  holster options...so far only two...there's sure to be more in the future.

One is the "FlashBang" and another is the "Homeland Undercover Concealment Holster".

Both are Kydex and both use the clamshell effect to retain the piece.

I'll attempt to insert pics from the Internet in this post.

I've been impressed with her little mini revolver.  I continue to be impressed with the accessories for it.

FlashBang




Homeland Undercover Concealment Holster





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M1911A1

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Re: Women Buying Firearms Creates Concealed-Carry Fashion Market
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 01:57:50 PM »
Jean tried the FlashBang system, with her Kel-Tec P-3AT, and had lots of troubles with it.
It either concealed well but was extremely uncomfortable to wear, or it was comfortable to wear but concealed very poorly.
The difference had to do with whether or not the rig had to ride within the margin of the bra.
Further, since Jean wears many layers of clothing, access was not quick. And reholstering within the limits of public decency was impossible.

We tried to return the rig, but the maker/seller was unresponsive. We finally just gave it away.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."