Concealed Carry for Women

Printing… What Can You Do?

What is Printing?

When you are “printing” it simply means that you are able to see the outline of your gun through your clothing. This is also the term to use when you can see the shape of your gun through the fabric of a purse. Printing can be a problem if you are around people who don’t understand or fear guns and those who carry them. It can lead to questions and confrontation. If they are extremely disturbed, they may call the authorities. As you can see, keeping your concealed carry gun well concealed is important… Are you really printing?


How do you Know You’re Printing?

I know that many of you think you’re printing and it can be especially nerve-racking when you start to carry, trust me, I know! I would look down at my waistband or look in the mirror and all I would see is “GUN”. It was larger than life! Because I was looking for the bulge, I saw a bulge. The truth is, no one is looking at you like you look at you!  Most of the people around you aren’t paying any attention. Think about this; how many times have you noticed someone else’s gun? Have you ever noticed one without really looking for it? Likely not.

What’s the point of this? People do not know you’re carrying without really, really looking. Most people will assume that the lump on your hip is from a phone or some other item. A gun is most likely far from their minds. You can see your gun printing because you are hyper aware of your situation. If you are wearing a good holster properly and incorporate smart how to dress for concealed carry principles and avoid touching or adjusting your gun or holster, your secret will be safe.

How Do You Avoid Printing?

If you are printing and it is noticeable, or you would feel better taking additional precautions, there are a lot of steps you can take. First, think about the 5 C’s of concealed carry.

  • Carry Position
  • Clothing
  • Cant
  • Compact
  • Comfort

How You Carry Makes a Difference

Carry position is important to ensure your safety and your ability to draw from your holster quickly and safely. It is also advised that you carry in the same place everyday so you can get used to your holster and gun. However, there are times when this will not work. As women, our clothing options are limited especially in the summer. When your clothing becomes less, consider switching to a smaller carry gun and switching your carry position for to a deeper concealed holster. Options like an underarm holster, bra holster, pistol pouch, or thigh holster may be a better option when clothing is smaller, lighter and thinner.


Change Your Clothing

You don’t have to totally change your personal style! Just tweak it here and there. Here are some easy things to incorporate into your wardrobe: busy prints, loose fabric, cover-ups, high-waist pants, peplums, folds, and ruffles. Instead of buying that solid blue t-shirt, look for one that has a floral or paisley pattern. Anything that is not uniform will distract the eyes from any noticeable printing. The same can be said for any shirt that has billowing folds, a peplum, knots, or extra fabric on the bottom. Distracting the eye from your waist, if you are carrying IWB, is the key. You can also take advantage of trends. Are cardigans in style? What about kimonos or tunics? You can find all of these in light-weight fabrics that will not be too heavy for summer heat. If you need help, read my summer concealed carry fashion article.

Also, you can wear a hat, scarf or prominant necklace or earings to draw eyes up and away from your carry location.


Cant Can Make a Difference

You can leave your gun where it is in the holster it is in and completely change your situation. All you need to do is change your cant! If you seem to print and your gun is sitting straight up and down, you can shift your holster to sit at an angle. You can purchase clips that will allow you to cant your holster without spending too much or changing your carry position drastically.


If You Can, Carry Compact

Sometimes smaller is better. If you are loving your full-size firearm and can’t imagine carrying something smaller, stick with what you are comfortable with. If you are new and not sure where to start, look at the smaller gun options. Though many small guns are light and therefore have higher recoil than larger guns, they can be great for concealed carry. You need to be able to carry with relative comfort or you may avoid carrying all together. If you are comfortable shooting a compact gun, you should consider carrying one. The smaller your gun, the easier it is to conceal.


It’s All About Comfort

Yes, you should be physically comfortable when you carry, but it is always important to feel your gun and be reminded of the huge responsibility  you are carrying. What is most important is your psychological comfort. Printing is more of a worry when you start carrying and becomes less worrisome as time goes on. Carry every day, do what you can to get used to having the firearm there on your body and the worry about printing and discomfort of knowing your gun may be slightly visible will diminish.

Final Thoughts

Printing can be a problem but it is easily remedied. All you need to do is take the time to look at what your specific issue is and what is causing you to print. What is one thing you can change that won’t cause you discomfort? Start with something small and work your way from there.

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14 thoughts on “Printing… What Can You Do?

  1. Brandie says:

    I really need a good running option. The gun can’t touch my skin otherwise I get excoriated, the gun had to be concealed in running clothing. In Florida heat, the gun itself is hard to hide and still be accessible. Any reccomendations for runners. I’d prefer to carry on my chest but I’m a A cup- not much bulk to hide a thing.

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Brandie, take a look at the following options we have and hopefully one of these will work for you!
      The pistol wear sport – this is considered deep concealment but the entire gun sits in the holster.
      Pistol wear underarm holster – this can be worn right under your breasts almost like a high belly band. However, this holster has a shoulder strap which will help with keeping the holster up while you run.
      Thunderwear – this is another deep concealment option but we have a lot of customers who have good success with this holster.

  2. I have been reading and looking at your conceal to carry options, I’m a bigger lady and thinking of the belly belt. I’m not a big jeans person I love yoga pants and jeggings. I’m wondering if I should get kendx to put my sw body guard 380 with built. Laser in it with this belly belt not sure that will work. I just want comfort.

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Bernice,
      It is up to your personal comfort on whether or not you would want the trigger shield. You shouldn’t be able to feel the trigger shield on your body so that wont make much of a difference comfort-wise. However, if you are worried about accidentally getting your finger caught in the trigger guard while holstered in the band, then I would say get it.
      We have customers who use the band without a trigger shield and customers who use it with. You can always order the belly band first and see how you feel and then order the trigger shield later. (Just a note, our Trigger shield is currently unavailable – we are working on a new prototype that should be available soon)

    2. Dawn says:

      That is exactly what and how I carry. Im in scrubs, leggins or joggers for work and im on the bugger side. I love the belly band

    3. Lucy Lu says:

      Theres leggings made to conceal your firearm. Try looking into Alexo Athletic

  3. rita gormley says:

    I prefer appendix carry and have a variety of scarfs I wear around my neck to mid waste to distract from the small bump. Also, Hawaiian print shirts are so easy!

    In fact, whenever I see a person wearing one…..I wonder (smile)

  4. Corey Rawlins says:

    Great article! It’s nice to see my 5Cs are taking off…We need to spread the word! Keep up the great work!

  5. Judi says:

    Great article, very informative, thank you for publishing it, sure do appreciate it. Also thank you for so many of your other articles which are as well very informative.

  6. Florence says:

    Since I’m on my church security team, I have to carry. Under dresses with garter holster or thigh holster shorts, I carry my Sig Saur p238 because it’s lightweight. Under more bulky clothing especially in winter I carry my favorite, ,”Kimber” hammerless revolver 38 snub nose. It’s fun to come up with cute outfits. Thank you Florence

  7. Anne Davis says:

    Great article. Thank you so much. I appreciate all the advice, ideas, and good counsel offered.

  8. Michele Gonzales says:

    I work in an office that does not allow any weapons of any kind, nor does it allow pepper spray, mace,… The car I currently have does not have a locking glove box. I have a gun box that can be locked into the car, but the only place it fits is under the seat. Pretty awkward to get to, and I feel like I am advertising when i put it in and get it out of the box. I thought of the steering column holster, but that just seems like it would be too easy to see through the windows.
    Do you have any other suggestions? Help

    1. Florence says:

      I keep a gun safe in my jeep for when I can’t carry. It’s the kind with a steel cable I wrapped around the front passenger seat. The safe is on the floor under any passenger’s feet. I have a pretty purple bath rug covering the safe and no one even knows what’s under their feet. The safe stays in my jeep, I don’t take it out. Thank you Florence

  9. Wenona says:

    Great article!! Very good tips!!

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