Getting Dressed Up All Fancy? Keep Carrying With These Concealed Carry Tips For Formal Attire


Tuxedos and formal business attire are the hallmarks of looking classy in society.  In this article, we’ll talk about some tips that will help you dress for success, look your best, and carry on.

Tip 1: Limited Space To Conceal? Downsize Your Carry Handgun

James Bond is a fictional character but there’s a pretty decent reason why Sir Ian Flemming initially gave his protagonist a compact, lightweight and easily concealable semi-automatic pistol — it just fits better with formal attire… Granted, the original .25 ACP Beretta may not have been the best choice but luckily the protagonist got upgraded to that infamous Walther PPK.


In the middle of a celebratory or sombre event, your task as a concealed carrier isn’t to get into a protracted exchange of gunfire.  A firearm is an added piece which may expedite your movement to safety and little more.

Tip 2: Can You Tuck Around Your IWB?

Not all inside the waistband concealed carry holsters fit the same way on the body.  Some tuck in deep below the waistline, like a Lenwood Specter IWB, and others, like Stealthgear, keep the pistol firmly holstered half above and half below the waistline.

If your IWB allows you to tuck your shirt around it, great.  Crossbreed Holsters makes a Super Tuck class of IWBs that allow for that.  However, some formal shirts and attire don’t play well with working around holsters.

Possible alternatives to tucking over the holster include:

Tip 2a: Cummerbund

If you’re at a wedding or similar event, a cummerbund adds an additional layer around the midsection.  It can act as a concealing layer in a tuxedo so that you can store your handgun inside the waistband but above the underlying shirt.

Tip 2b: Vest

This is probably the classiest way to store a firearm above a tucked in formal shirt but yet still beneath a concealing layer.  Be advised, having an actual vest on may complicate the draw process — but at least the firearm is there and ready to use.

Tip 3: Wearing a Kilt? Consider Sporan Carry


For weddings, processions, and other events, some gentlemen prefer to wear a kilt.  While a kilt is usually tailored to the individual, it may not leave a whole lot of room to wear an inside the waistband holster.  The good news — a micro-compact pistol would fit extremely well in the accompanying sporan, or pouch that accompanies a kilt.  Something like an L.W. Seecamp or similar would fit fantastic and serve adequately in an emergency.

Tip 4:  Avoid ankle-carry.  Not only is it inconvenient and dangerous, but it will draw added attention to your exposed ankles.

I don’t know how many emails and messages we’ve gotten from people who idly say, “oh I lost my gun while ankle-carrying” like it’s no big deal.  Lost a gunAnkle carry.

A big urge in formal attire is to place the gun in an ankle holster.  It seems like a convenient place, right?  It’s not.  If you’re moving about, dancing with others, or doing any sort of activity other than occasionally sitting or standing, an ankle holster is a liability.

There’s other alternatives.

And finally…

Tip 5: Inside The Waistband?  Keep At 3 Or Push To 5 o’clock

Respectively, 3:30 – 4 o’clock is pretty much seated right on the love handle.  With a tailored suit coat or tuxedo blazer covering it, there’s a good chance you will print at least partially while in a seated position.  At 5 o’clock, the chair is usually obstructing anyone else’s view and 3 o’clock, you’re still safely covered beneath your suit coat.  So long as you intend to keep your suit coat fastened throughout the evening, you may even want to consider 2 o’clock so that it passes smoothly along the fabric.

Your body is going to dictate whichever is best and please, attend a restroom before adjusting your holster in public.  Good manners and steady, judicious aim may get you through this evening yet.

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About the Author

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 26 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his Sig Sauer SP2022 in a Dara Holsters Appendix IWB holster.

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Vedder Holsters

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