The goal of concealed carry is to keep your firearm protected and completely hidden from the public. The fashion choices you make while carrying can either assist or hinder the cause. Of course, the type of weapon and style of holster will affect your clothing choices, but here are 3 basic tips for choosing optimal conceal carry clothing.

1. Buy Loose but Comfortable Pants

If you carry in your waistband, you’ll need pants that accommodate extra bulk, but not too much. If there’s too much slack, you’ll be adjusting your clothing constantly, which will only increase the chances of an inadvertent display of your gun. Additionally, when choosing the best clothes for concealed carry, reconsider those tactical or cargo style pants. Strangers will assume you’re carrying if you look like an off-duty police officer strolling through the grocery store.

2. Opt for Button-down Overshirts

The purpose of carrying your weapon is defeated if you can’t get to it quickly. T-shirts, pull-overs and polos don’t allow for easy access because they have to be adjusted before you can reach your weapon. Button-downs and specially designed overshirts for concealed carry are the best options because they include features where the hand can be easily slipped inside the shirt without having to manipulate too much clothing in the process of drawing a firearm.

3. Use Prints To Avoid Printing

When referring to concealed carry, ‘printing’ happens when the outline of a firearm is visible through clothing.  Don’t assume the only way to hide the gun bulge is by wearing a larger size. Wearing prints and patterns like plaids create an optical illusion, hiding the printing outline and effectively concealing the weapon. Use this trick to your advantage when you’re not wearing an overshirt or jacket.

When thinking about the best ways to protect yourself and others, consider how your dress will affect your purpose. The attire you choose can be just as important as the weapon you carry. You can be both stylishly outfitted and secretly armed.