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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Beyond The Wall
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    46,397

    Default THE BASICS OF CONCEALED CARRY

    concealedcarry.jpg

    I will make this short and sweet as I am in the process of packing for our annual corporate meeting on Maui. In the lead image, Greg Nichols and I are at a function wearing tailored suits and carrying Glock 19 sized pistols. And nobody in attendance had any idea.

    I have been carrying a pistol professionally since 1986. And unlike the designers of the 5.11 line of clothing, I have done so on four continents, to include places where discovery would entail summary execution, yet where the environment was so hazardous that going unarmed would be untenable.

    The pistol comes first. That means that it is a given you will be carrying a weapon. It is the first item in your ensemble. The rest of the clothing is chosen to support the carry of the weapon. You do not dress like a low-T hipster with droopy and beltless skinny jeans, a chick's shirt, and then add a pistol. The pistol is there...like one of your arms or legs, thus the clothing is chosen to accommodate that.

    Do not let your mom dress you. Nor your wife for that matter...unless she is also carrying a weapon. Often men will forget themselves and allow others to choose their clothing. That's fine but take note that the choosers are assuming the weapon's presence.

    Don't look like a size medium dude wearing size extra large stuff. Not only is that not necessary, but you look stupid doing it. Some people do not care what they look like and dress like an ad for the third hand clothing rack at the Salvation Army. That is an equally foolish option because it makes you look like a cheap guy wearing old clothes. Today there are plenty of choices in clothing cuts and sizes that you can carry a full size fighting pistol with normal clothing...with just a little effort.

    Don't wear gun stuff in the normal world. Here is northern AZ it doesn't matter, but in Phoenix it might. Nonetheless, I don't choose to wear "Glock" shirts or 5.11 pants. And I tell my staff, that image is important so they should wear outdoor clothing that is "martial but not military".

    Grey men live in fear. I hear it sometimes that some resumed gun trainer tells the students to not wear nice clothes, and not wear expensive watches or jewelry. And to avoid nice cars and other things. And the women should dress unattractively and not wear make up and... No...no...no. Being free means that I will wear my Two Tone Submariner and we will take Cheryl's Audi to dinner and if any thug is myopic enough to select us, we will put so many bullets in his face they will never find the back of his skull. THAT is how to live kids, not dressed in a burkha so nobody targets you.

    Fitness allows better concealment. When the shoulders and chest are a greater measurement than the belt, you can conceal anything you want, anywhere you want. So if that isn't you, put down Recoil magazine and pick up a barbell.

    Most people don't care and won't even notice. The majority of Americans go about their day self absorbed and their noses in facebook. You could walk around open carry all day long and 90% of people you meet won't even notice unless you are making a display of yourself. So don't worry about printing.

    Choose a realistic pistol. That doesn't mean carrying some stupid Zimmerman Kel-tec. But it also means that maybe you need to leave the comped Glock 34 with the light mount in the car and go with a simple Glock 19 instead.

    If in doubt, tailor it. For normal clothing a bit of careful choice will yield a wardrobe that not only looks good, but allows you to conceal anything you want. If in doubt, with a business suit or that sort of attire...get a tailor to make adjustments for the weapon.

    Its not that difficult guys. It is really not that difficult at all.
    Last edited by Gabriel Suarez; 06-04-2018 at 01:27 PM.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    10,107
    Exactly, you don't have to go around looking like tactical Timmy. Here is what work casual looks like for me with G19, spare mag, and fixed blade.
    Tailored slacks, dress boots, designer shirt:
    20180604_134143.jpg
    Last edited by Greg Nichols; 06-04-2018 at 01:42 PM.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols

    #thinkinginviolence
    #tactisexual

    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    The pistol comes first.
    Excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Don't wear gun stuff in the normal world. Here is northern AZ it doesn't matter, but in Phoenix it might. Nonetheless, I don't choose to wear "Glock" shirts or 5.11 pants. And I tell my staff, that image is important so they should wear outdoor clothing that is "martial but not military".
    Former 5.11 store manager here. I can attest to the fact that 5.11 clothing is and always will be out of place, no matter how much they try and fit into the outdoorsy/workout market. The only place you can wear 5.11 pants without drawing adverse attention to yourself is the rural areas, and everyone out there STILL KNOWS what kind of person you are. Working with criminals, I've heard them called popopants. One inmate even said, "I don't know who these cargo-pant, plaid-shirt wearing idiots think they're fooling."

    You shouldn't be a "gray man", but you should at least have the knowledge and awareness to know the areas you're walking around.
    James 1:5 - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    6,077
    Dress as though you actually want to attract the opposite sex.

    Sounds flippant but seriously.

    Stand up straight, wear some nice looking clothes (they don't have to break the bank) and act like a professional. Fake it if you have to, it gets easier.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Third Coast
    Posts
    4,472
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Nichols View Post
    Exactly, you don't have to go around looking like tactical Timmy. Here is what work casual looks like for me with G19, spare mag, and fixed blade.
    Tailored slacks, dress boots, designer shirt:
    20180604_134143.jpg
    hyena print shirt, awesome !


    I would add that a tailored vest over a tucked dress shirt and slacks provides concealment and instant access to your system A tailored vest means fitted and not "silky" material on the back of the vest (that's for reducing friction when wearing a JACKET). This makes for stylish wear (Like to the next production of Hamilton or Wicked) without having to wear a sportcoat/suit in 90 degree weather. A good vest is designed to be worn with or without a jacket and should NOT feature a fitting strap on the back. I will see if I have those in the closet at this location and get a picture if possible .

    Here is an example in GENERAL

    https://www.josbank.com/1905-collect...-birdseye-vest

    Under something like this I can make a G19, spare mag, knife, and phone disappear.

    A shirt like Gregs would also go with pressed jeans and boots here on the third coast , as would guayaberas and slacks/linen pants and deck shoes.
    Last edited by coastalcop; 06-04-2018 at 02:46 PM.
    NEVER CONFUSE GETTING LUCKY WITH GOOD TACTICS (unless you are at the bar)

    I'm not in the business of Losing

    A stab to the taint beats most of the mystical bullshit, most of the time

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Exiled in Texas
    Posts
    7,282
    Shifting to AIWB made concealing a gun easier for me. I could manage things in a strong-side holster, but AIWB requires less thought. I can bend over to pick something up without worrying about the gun printing.

    In a suit, I still carry at 3:30. You should be able to unbutton your jacket at the table. Failing to do so makes you look rigid and uncomfortable.

    With suits, there is great value in a good tailor. I have two bespoke suits that I never wear, because they simply cannot accommodate the gun. I should have turned around and left as soon as I met the tailor. A colleague recommended the guy, who flew in from Bangkok. When I peeled off my jacket to expose the pistol and explain my needs, he recoiled as if I had just unleashed a cobra. He was visibly nervous throughout the fitting, which should have been a sufficient clue that this guy would have no idea how to work around a pistol. But--because of the situation--I went ahead and ordered a pair of suits. They fit horribly. It is some of the finest material I have ever felt, and it is stitched together beautifully, but it just doesn't fit.

    I had one suit fitted by a local seamstress, who did slightly better than the Thai master. The clue there should have been that my suit was the lone business suit hanging in a rack of Carhartts. The Matanuska Valley is not the ideal place to shop for a suit. It is, however, a great place to buy beaver mittens. (Now I'm wondering what Greg is going to do with that line.)

    I finally found a little Korean lady in Anchorage, Rose, who knows how to fit a suit around a gun. The easiest place to find a good tailor for this--in my experience--is the suburbs around Washington, D.C. The area is replete with federal agents, who have to wear a suit and a gun. I would think that Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami would also be pretty good bets. Years ago, I would have given the nod to JosABank as the leading contender--their in-shop tailors were decent and reasonably experienced. (Cops generally go mid-tier with suits, because their budgets don't allow for Brooks Brothers.) Recently, though, the quality of JosABank has tanked. I'm not sure who to recommend today.

    Think about magazine placement. Concealing the pistol perfectly doesn't do you any good if your spare magazines are sticking out. I still want my first spare on the belt, but I'm open to placing additional mags in other places--pocket, ankle, briefcase, etc.
    Virtute et Armis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,720
    The majority of my suits are Brooks Brothers and have been my go to clothier for about 25 years now. They have had no problem tailoring to fit around a G19 and mags. Jos A Banks I have a few suits from them for when I know I need something f not as nice as my B.B. suits (meeting with customers CEO followed by a walk around the factory or construction site) and I don’t care a ton of they get damaged. jAB has always been able to tailor around a gun as well. No hassles and no drama.

    I still carry at 4 and not AWIB but no one ever knows I have a G19, 1-2 mags, my Chinook for a stab by item and usually a gang unit and often a J frame on me as well.

    Like Gabe said. The gun just needs to be planned around.
    I carry two kinds of trauma kits. One for fixing it and one for causing it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Third Coast
    Posts
    4,472
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    Shifting to AIWB made concealing a gun easier for me. I could manage things in a strong-side holster, but AIWB requires less thought. I can bend over to pick something up without worrying about the gun printing.

    In a suit, I still carry at 3:30. You should be able to unbutton your jacket at the table. Failing to do so makes you look rigid and uncomfortable.

    With suits, there is great value in a good tailor. I have two bespoke suits that I never wear, because they simply cannot accommodate the gun. I should have turned around and left as soon as I met the tailor. A colleague recommended the guy, who flew in from Bangkok. When I peeled off my jacket to expose the pistol and explain my needs, he recoiled as if I had just unleashed a cobra. He was visibly nervous throughout the fitting, which should have been a sufficient clue that this guy would have no idea how to work around a pistol. But--because of the situation--I went ahead and ordered a pair of suits. They fit horribly. It is some of the finest material I have ever felt, and it is stitched together beautifully, but it just doesn't fit.

    I had one suit fitted by a local seamstress, who did slightly better than the Thai master. The clue there should have been that my suit was the lone business suit hanging in a rack of Carhartts. The Matanuska Valley is not the ideal place to shop for a suit. It is, however, a great place to buy beaver mittens. (Now I'm wondering what Greg is going to do with that line.)

    I finally found a little Korean lady in Anchorage, Rose, who knows how to fit a suit around a gun. The easiest place to find a good tailor for this--in my experience--is the suburbs around Washington, D.C. The area is replete with federal agents, who have to wear a suit and a gun. I would think that Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami would also be pretty good bets. Years ago, I would have given the nod to JosABank as the leading contender--their in-shop tailors were decent and reasonably experienced. (Cops generally go mid-tier with suits, because their budgets don't allow for Brooks Brothers.) Recently, though, the quality of JosABank has tanked. I'm not sure who to recommend today.

    Think about magazine placement. Concealing the pistol perfectly doesn't do you any good if your spare magazines are sticking out. I still want my first spare on the belt, but I'm open to placing additional mags in other places--pocket, ankle, briefcase, etc.
    To piggy back on this, Cops buy low/midrange as the issued guns/cuff/mags etc. generally tear up the inside liner of the jacket in short order (where OWB is required) and one good scuffle tends to ruin a suit (where the agency has a limit on what they will reimburse for damage). A good tailor can take so/so suit and make it better. A gun tailor can take a suit and add a liner for the wear points to the inside, a length of 1/16 -1/8 steel coated cable to the dominate side leading edge (to help a jacket not print AND aid in clearing during the draw) as well as adjust or reinforce belt loops on the pants. Dont overlook the break of the pants either, a West Point cuff looks great but needs to be geared to the footwear ( where low quarters, cowboy boots, or dress boots all make a different break). Try to wear the SAME footwear you intend to wear with the suit to your fitting.

    I generally went to Dillards/ Jos. Bank at seasonal transitional periods and bought my suits then when severely discounted so i could spend a little more to get better wearing materials (good wool, linen, etc.) . I also tended to ruin two to three suits a year during that period. I was and am still lucky that an off the rack , athletic or "extreme trim" suit in long only required minor fitting and adjustment to be perfect for my frame with my kit.

    That said, Easy Spirit (yes the ones that featured women in heels playing basketball) used to make an oxford and wingtip that were just awesome Faux heel ( by incutting the arch area) and professional on top , and concealed athletic shoe on the bottom and inside. You could literally do you qualification runs in these things..... Then they quit making that model.
    Last edited by coastalcop; 06-05-2018 at 04:46 AM.
    NEVER CONFUSE GETTING LUCKY WITH GOOD TACTICS (unless you are at the bar)

    I'm not in the business of Losing

    A stab to the taint beats most of the mystical bullshit, most of the time

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3,372
    I like the suits Gabe and Greg are wearing. What brands are they?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    46,397
    Not sure of Greg's. Mine is a British brand whose name I can't recall. I had it tailored to hide appendix under the shirt or under a vest. Cut so it shows that I lift...but not too much. Nothing off the rack unless it fits well by happenstance.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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