Dresses are tough, but for a special occasion, you can consider a thigh band for a small pistol (it will not work well with a full sized pistol as that is too much weight). However, if you hated thigh high hosiery, you will hate the thigh band. And, if you plan to wear pantyhose, the thigh band will create some logistical issues in the Ladies room as it is anchored to a band that goes around your waist to avoid it sliding down.
I like two-piece anything. Suits, slack and a blazer, jeans and a sweater, even a belted dress with a jacket can work if you use a holster that fits your belt (but keep in mind a belt substantial enough to hold your gun is not going to be one of the 1/2” sparkly ones that you find in the Department Store. Several manufactures make a contoured and tapered gun belt. When you lay it flat it is slightly curved instead of a straight line, and the front tapers slightly for a dressier appearance. However, expect to spend $100 or more on a good leather gun belt. (Type Contoured Gun Belt into your search engine and you will find many options.)
What are the secrets to effective concealed carry? First, get used to it! If you are fidgeting, adjusting your pistol, others will notice. If you seem unaware of it, most people, if they see a bump at all will assume it is a cell phone.
• Prints hide better than solid colors.
• Dark colors hide better than light colors.
• Layers, especially is they are a little loose or flowing, hide better.
• A jacket, an open shirt over a t-shirt, a cardigan, a vest…all are effective camouflage.
• Nothing too tight so that is outlines the pistol, unless you have a looser cover garment over the top. Then you can have the illusion of a snug fit from the front, but a boxy jacket still covers the pistol.
When you are putting outfits together, think of loose over snug or form fitting. That can still show off your shape (if you are so inclined) and allow you to conceal a gun.
When all else fails, you may have occasion to use a purse, but please use a purse designed specifically for Concealed Carry and NEVER put anything in the gun compartment except your gun! This isn’t the preferred method as you must maintain control of your purse at all times to protect against the innocent, the dumb or the criminal. If you are a victim of a purse snatching, you run the risk of losing your gun, and inadvertently arming a criminal. Don’t think that carrying the gun will help you in a purse snatching, as they tend to be quick and unexpected. However, many concealed carry purses have straps long enough for cross body carry, and have a wire cable running through the strap that will minimize the risk of having the strap cut in a crowd. They make great commuter bags, even when you can’t carry (I cross state lines on a subway into a state where I cannot carry a gun, but often use one of my carry purses to minimize the risk of losing my purse).
With a little creativity, and a good look in the mirror, you can be stylish, and armed. Don’t rely on asking your significant other if they can see it. They know it is there and will be looking for it. Also, men, is she happens to ask “Does this gun make my butt look big?”, the correct, and only response, if “Of Course Not, Dear!”.