These days, there are more options for carrying a firearm than there have ever been (especially for women), but petite and small-framed women can still experience challenges when it comes to carrying concealed.
So, what's a short or small girl to do? No need to stress, we have the answers! Take a look at these tips and holster suggestions that can help petite and small-framed women solve their concealed carry challenges.
We'll start by mentioning that there is a difference between petite and small-framed body types. Not all petite/short women are small-framed but both body types experience similar concealed carry challenges because of a reduced amount of real estate to work with (both vertical and horizontal body space).
There are still plenty of options for petite and small-framed women, but it's important to know what your limitations are so you can work around them and make the right choices.
There's a popular myth that short or small women can't carry full-size pistols, and that's simply not true. The caveat is that if you do choose to carry a full-size gun, you need to choose the right position on your body and the right holster for that carry style.
For example, carrying in the appendix position with an inside-the-waistband holster (AIWB) is a good option for carrying a full-size gun - many small and short women find this position comfortable and can still get to their gun quickly.
The best way to find the right carry position is to experiment until you find a position that's comfortable and allows you to draw quickly, safely, and without any hangups.
In addition to a traditional IWB holster, there are several holster choices (many made just for women) that can help solve the challenges associated with being petite or small.
For both compact and full-size guns, a belly band like the Can Can Hip Hugger holster is a great option for short and smaller women with curves because it offers a lot of versatility. With a Hip Hugger, you can choose where to locate holster pocket along your waistline (appendix, at the hip, behind the hip, cross draw, small of the back). It can also be worn low on the hips or high at the waist and under or over your clothing and offers magazine and accessory pockets, which are great for saving space along your waistline.
A Hip Hugger is a great holster if you're new to carrying and aren't sure what position will turn out to be best since you can get a single holster and experiment with several carry positions. It can also be worn under skirts or pants and it has a universal fit, so it can be worn with any gun model (including revolvers).
For small/petite women with straighter body shapes (or for men), a Sport Belt is a good option for concealed carry. This holster has similar features to the Hip Hugger, but with a velcro closure vs hooks/eyes and it can easily conceal compact to full-size guns.
Concealed carry corsets like the Dene Adams Corset holster are very popular with our smaller and petite customers. These corsets keep the gun high at the waist and away from the waistline, which makes them perfect for Moms who may have to carry kids and who want the gun out of the way. Like the Hip Hugger, the corset can be worn with skirts or pants and the fit is universal.
For on-body non-waistband carry, there are several options that work well for smaller and petite women. the Flashbang Bra Holster and Thigh Holster Shorts are good options if you carry a smaller gun. If you would like to carry off-body, a concealed carry purse will work for any body type. When done correctly, purse carry can be a good option - you just need to follow some basic rules to make sure you're always safely carrying.
Regardless of what gun you carry or what position, making the right clothing choices is even more important for smaller and shorter women. To reduce or eliminate printing, choose clothing with patterns and prints, which helps mask shapes under your clothing. For dresses and skirts, try wearing a fuller skirt and use a garter holster to conceal your gun.
If you've read through all the above options and you're still not sure which carry choice will work for you, feel free to reach out to us, no matter what your body type! If you're a curvy girl, make sure to take a look at our curvy girl carry tips!