Whew, it’s starting to heat up! Summer in Oregon doesn’t officially start until July 5th (at least that’s the running joke), but we’re already seeing warmer than usual weather. I don’t know about you, but I always feel like my concealed carry mindset shifts during the warmer months. Concealment is certainly more enjoyable in the cooler months, both from an ease of concealment and physical comfort perspective. That being said, I have one very simple concealment tip that makes summer carry much easier and more comfortable!
I find myself faced with two main concealed carry issues when it’s hot out:
- Sweat! Particularly with my skin against a kydex holster
- It’s more difficult to conceal in a summer wardrobe consisting of lighter colors and lightweight fabrics
Insert the camisole. Ladies, this is likely a familiar concept. Guys, replace the word “camisole” with “undershirt” and you’ll be set. I know what you’re thinking: why would I add another layer when it’s hot?! Trust me, it’ll soon make sense. Let’s talk about how a camisole can help solve these two summertime concealment issues.
Even when it’s not all that hot out, I sweat like crazy when I have kydex right up against my skin. Not only is this annoying and uncomfortable, but it can lead to sweat stains in an area I don’t want to draw attention to while I’m carrying. It also means I have to clean my gun more often.
By simply layering a camisole between my body and the holster, I’m able to cut back on the sweat situation. I may still find my cami a little sweaty by the end of the day when it’s super hot, but this mostly addresses the sweat issues I mentioned above. The cami protects my skin from the kydex, thus reducing my body’s need to sweat, and it helps wick away any sweat that does occur. This goes a long way in making sure I stay comfortable throughout the day.
Summertime wardrobes often consist of lighter colors and lightweight fabrics that may not be favorable for concealed carry. With lighter colors or sheer fabrics, I can often see the dark shadow of my firearm through my shirt.
Rather than shying away from those colors or fabrics, I layer a black camisole behind my firearm. This allows the firearm to blend in with the background the cami provides, and makes my concealed carry setup nearly undetectable through lighter colors or lightweight fabrics.
Before we go buying up all the camis for our summer wardrobes, we have to consider the fabric! Natural fibers like cotton or silk will absorb moisture, help regulate your temperature, and allow your skin to breathe. Look for camisoles that are 100% natural fabrics, or as close to 100% as you can find.
Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon, lycra, or nylon. Many synthetic fabrics are designed to trap heat and/or repel moisture, meaning they will not wick sweat away from the skin and instead will trap moisture and heat against the body. Not a good time and definitely not a good choice for our summer wardrobes! Unfortunately for us, many camisoles we see in stores are made of synthetic fabrics.
Does this make it harder to find a camisole that will be the best option for summer wardrobes? Yes, yes it does. It also means we may have to go with a more expensive option. Keep in mind that more expensive, natural fiber camisoles are often of higher quality, which means they will last longer, better stand up to the wear of your concealed carry setup, and not become entirely useless after a couple of washes—you know what I’m talking about! I start my camisole searches with brands like Everlane, Wear Pact, and Gap. I’ve found that I have the best luck shopping for camis online rather than in store.
Give this summertime concealment trick a try and let me know how it goes in the comments!