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View Full Version : Polo-type Shirt Over IWB Carry


lwestatbus
May 8, 2012, 09:11 PM
I have been wrestling with concealment strategies in Florida where my typical attire while carrying is shorts, t-shirt, and an unbuttoned overshirt. My usual carry is an IWB strong side carry about at about the 4:00 O'clock position. But I have issues with my shirt blowing open walking to or from my car (we live near the ocean and get a steady breeze most of the time).

I'm considering changing to a polo or other closed bottom shirt worn outside the pants to conceal my handgun. This would, of course, require an extra move to bring my weapon into action.

Does anyone else carry this way? Any opinions on the practicality of this approach?

Thanks.

Larry

shooter_john
May 8, 2012, 09:24 PM
I find a button up shirt (buttoned) to me much more conducive than a polo type shirt. It just seems that they are cut more generously to allow for carry. It seems as though we have very similar carry styles.

I usually get the thin cotton Columbia/ Royal/ Robbins/ Mountain Hardware/ etc. type shirts. I'm a big guy and it gets equally hot here in AL.

ohen cepel
May 8, 2012, 09:29 PM
I've worn a t-shirt (makes the holster more comfortable) and polo for years to CCW. If you are worried about the polo blowing around or not being long enough a 2nd sun shirt hanging open works well (I'm fair skinned so it works well to have the sun shirt on also).

In the decades I carried that way I haven't had any issues with it.

MLeake
May 8, 2012, 10:24 PM
I saw a post on TFL a couple weeks ago about the new line of Woolrich concealed carry wear. As a result, I ordered four of the shirts, two in solids and two in plaid.

Bottom button is a false button; closure is held by magnets, and will resist wind but is easily opened by hand. Additionally, the bottoms of the side seams are Velcro closures, and can be ripped open if necessary.

I received the shirts five days after ordering directly from the Woolrich website, and have been carrying a full size 1911 IWB under them for the past few days.

They fit loose for size, but not excessively so. I normally wear size L; with the Woolrich L, there is enough room that the 1911 does not print, nor does the double mag carrier opposite side, although the fabric is light.

paknheat
May 8, 2012, 10:45 PM
How about some pics?

paknheat
May 8, 2012, 10:52 PM
Here's a few, Cold Steel Roach-belly knife & a Ruger SR9.

paknheat
May 8, 2012, 10:54 PM
Here's the SR9 in a Crossbreed iwb rig

cbuck
May 8, 2012, 11:02 PM
i normally carry my 1911 or sr9c in just a polo or button down shirt and a cheap ace iwb holster. when drawing your non dominant hand moves your shirt up as your dominant hand draws your weapon. ive never been a fan of open overshirts

foxytwo
May 9, 2012, 06:06 AM
I always wear a polo shirt when I carry. Never have a problem clearing the shirt from the firearm, but you should practice to get it down pat. You want to make sure that it fits a little loose.

Don P
May 9, 2012, 07:57 AM
I carry either a Gov. or Commander size 1911 in a OWB. I wear a wife beater T-shirt to keep the holster and gun from irritating my skin and just a T-shirt over that. Works for me. You may want to try a size larger than needed T-shirt to help avoid printing and for comfort

Beentown71
May 9, 2012, 08:11 AM
I have no problem clearing a polo. I pull with the offhand and rake my thumb up my side with the gun hand. Even if the weak hand is busy I can stull draw with the gun hand with the thumb leading the way.

Mike thanks for posting those shirts. Going to look into them.

Willie Sutton
May 9, 2012, 08:48 AM
You are obviously wearing your Polo's untucked?

Up here that's how we "make" guys carrying... everyone else tucks their shirts into their pants.

Any suggestions on how to tuck in a shirt and carry at the same time? Seems no good options for those of us who don't walk around untucked. The "tuck in" holsters are a pain to use.


Willie

.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 9, 2012, 11:50 AM
It is a very practical way to carry and around here a pretty common clothing style in the summer (either that or North Texas is much better armed than I had imagined).

This would, of course, require an extra move to bring my weapon into action.

Take a look at this link: http://www.bayoushooter.com/forums/showthread.php?8796-Drawstroke-101

It does a great job of showing a 4-count drawstroke that works well with this type of carry. As Beentown 71 described, if you have both hands free, the off hand lifts the cover garment as you establish the master grip on count 1. If one hand is occupied, you use the thumb to rake the cover garment and have to be a little more deliberate about it. Like anything else with firearms, it has to be practiced to be proficient.

This also works with Hawaiian shirts (ever popular with gunwriters for that reason), guaybara shirts, etc. The knit polo shirts are a little more stretchy though which makes them a little easier to work with. Go with normal or relaxed fit polos that hang straight down. No tapered cuts and you probably want to avoid the polyester-stretch ones that tend to be more form-fitting.

Bailey Boat
May 9, 2012, 04:18 PM
I also wear shorts and an untucked polo in the summer and carry either a K frame Smith or my Colt Defender. If you practice a little it isn't a problem....

1911Jeeper
May 9, 2012, 05:53 PM
Slightly over-sized 100% cotton Polo shirt with stripes, untucked. If the wind is blowing, slip your strong hand causally into your pants pocket an inch or so, and hold the shirt bottom with your thumb. Works with IWB or OWB.

Nnobby45
May 9, 2012, 06:36 PM
Polo shirts work good for some of you skinnier fellows, since reaching all the way across and lifting with the opposite hand is required for the draw. Either that or lifting with the same hand and then drawing.One way takes two hands, the other is slower.

I sympathize with the loose over shirt. If it's likely to blow in the wind, it's also likely to be clingly and hard to brush back to access the weapon.

If I wear a short sleeved shirt, it's a heavier one---like Cabela's Safari or something similar. I've found it not to be too hot in N. Nev. in the summer.

My favorite carry is the vest. Especially the one made by Bratwear. Just call in, they'll take your measurementsby phone and custom make it for you. It looks reasonably nice with black suede coller, has big pockets, including inside zippes on both sidesr for BUG, and it's compfy in the summer--at least for me. It's long enough to accomodate outside the belt carry.:cool:

Wasn't trying to change the subject away from polo shirts---they work well for some. But something else to consider.

zxcvbob
May 9, 2012, 07:57 PM
I carry a revolver OWB with an untucked heavy cotton tee shirt or a polo shirt. Nothing thin or clingy. About half the folks around here wear their shirts untucked.

I bought a tuckable IWB holster (semiauto) for when I need to wear a suit -- might have to take off the jacket -- but don't have much occasion to dress up. It would also work with just a tucked shirt but I need to lose some weight. (just looser pants won't help unless I wear suspenders)

Tickling
May 9, 2012, 07:58 PM
Up here that's how we "make" guys carrying... everyone else tucks their shirts into their pants.

Y'all tuck your polo's into your pants?! :eek:

lwestatbus
May 9, 2012, 08:27 PM
Thanks for all of the great responses and ideas. The video clip on drawing is great. I had to chuckle at the post about tucking in polos. I don't really weal polos that often. But "polo" was shorter than "Reyn Spooner half-button Hawaiian shirt". My wife unjustly accuses me of having too many of these but they wear great and old geezers like me wear them untucked all the time.

ms6852
May 9, 2012, 09:14 PM
The key thing to any conceal carry is that the shirt has to be oversized. Regardless of the style if it is oversized even if you tuck it in as with the crossbreed supertuck holster it will not be noticeable to the non-shooting public.

Edgehill
May 10, 2012, 07:49 AM
The untucked Cuban or Hawaiian style shirts seem popular here in South Florida. My boss wears one everyday, and he's not carrying ever.

Skans
May 10, 2012, 07:51 AM
Pocket carry. I can't wear untucked shirts (nor do I want to). Pocket Carry is my only option without going to something like thunderwear.

bikerbill
May 10, 2012, 09:28 AM
I'm with Skans ... I'm retired and live in Central Texas, where it's already been over 90 several times ... I wear mostly tank tops or t-shirts and hate the feel of plastic or leather against my skin, so I pocket carry in one of the many pairs of cargo shorts I wear 9 months out of the year. I can carry my Kahr PM9 without any fear of printing, don't have to wear two shirts to cover an IWB holster so there's something between me and the holster and if I feel the need, simply sliding my hand into my pocket gives me a head start on presenting the gun if needed.

I do like Hawiian shirts and have a few Tommy Bahamas, but they're too expensive -- $100 for many of the Reyn Spooner shirts somebody suggested! I understand the feeling of many that carrying a full-size gun is the only way to go. For me, pocket carry is the solution ...

lwestatbus
May 10, 2012, 09:00 PM
Slightly over-sized 100% cotton Polo shirt with stripes
Do the stripes help with concealment or are they a fashion statement?
The key thing to any conceal carry is that the shirt has to be oversized.
:( I come complete with my own "oversize" that creates a natural tenting overhang that can conceal a pack howitzer tucked in my waist.
so I pocket carry in one of the many pairs of cargo shorts I wear 9 months out of the year
I actually do this a LOT with a 3" S&W Model 60 but the only shorts with pockets deep enough to take it are ratty looking, even when they're brand new, and they drive my wife crazy. (So do the Hawaiian shirts but she's used to them.)
I wear a wife beater T-shirt to keep the holster and gun from irritating my skin and just a T-shirt over that.
This is a good idea. I've never worn a tank-style undershirt but I do need to lighten up on the layers in the humidity here and do want to have something between my firearm and me.

Thanks again to all.

mete
May 11, 2012, 06:31 AM
A knitted fabric will print easier than a woven one .
A plain shirt will pattern easier than a patterned shirt .

Edgehill
May 11, 2012, 08:04 AM
This is a good idea. I've never worn a tank-style undershirt but I do need to lighten up on the layers in the humidity here and do want to have something between my firearm and me.


The old timers here in South Florida constantly tell me that even though it's not intuitive that wearing a undershirt actually will make you cooler in the tropical climate.

Don P
May 11, 2012, 08:41 AM
The old timers here in South Florida constantly tell me that even though it's not intuitive that wearing a undershirt actually will make you cooler in the tropical climate.

The dampness of the shirt from sweating will cool you as the breeze passes over you, other wise as example, not wearing a shirt would allow the perspiration to evaporate in the breeze, hence no cooling effect.:D

MLeake
May 11, 2012, 09:43 AM
Desert nomads traditionally wore layers of light fabrics, to help stay cool. I think the working principle is of a layer of insulating air, but I could be wrong.

1911Jeeper
May 11, 2012, 10:10 AM
Do the stripes help with concealment or are they a fashion statement?

Naturally the stripes are incredibly fashionable. :cool: They help with concealment.

TailGator
May 11, 2012, 10:52 AM
The old timers here in South Florida constantly tell me that even though it's not intuitive that wearing a undershirt actually will make you cooler in the tropical climate.

I would agree if not for being labeled an old-timer. I guess if the shoe fits, though . . . .

NWPilgrim
May 11, 2012, 02:01 PM
I used to wear tucked in polo shirts and pocket carry. Recently I decided I wanted a larger pistol and adopted the untucked shirt approach. works really well.

Woven is better than knitted (knit cloth forms around the pistol grip grip more whereas the woven fabric tends to tent over it). Thicker fabric is better still.

Darker color is better than lighter (not us much contrasting shadows in folds around grip), but pattern is even better to mask this.

I really like the Cabela Safari shirts though they are a bit longer than some. They are cool although heavier fabric. And lots of pockets. I'll have to check out the Woolrich carry shirts, sounds good, too.

Royal Robbins has some good lightweight cotton button shirts. Fishing shirts are a natural as well.

When an untucked shirt is too casual I go back to pocket carry. For me, the majority of the time I am happy going more casual with an untucked safari shirt with a larger pistol, then sticking with tucked in and settling for pocket pistol.

Don P
May 11, 2012, 07:08 PM
Naturally the stripes are incredibly fashionable.

Horizontal stripes make me look fatter than I am, and I already look like I shop at OMAR the tent makers store:eek:

Stevie-Ray
May 11, 2012, 08:12 PM
Does anyone else carry this way? Any opinions on the practicality of this approach?
Only thing I had to change when I started carrying was wearing my shirts out rather then tucked in, a change of 25 or 30 years. It was worth it and I now wear Polo shirts or even Tees over my OWB weapon. Have now for many years without incident. Very comfortable.

CountryUgly
May 14, 2012, 05:29 PM
Just button the bottom 3 buttons of the shirt you are already wearing during those breezy trips. That's how I roll:cool:

My draw stroke doesn't change regardless of how I dress. Real easy...Thumb out slips under shirt and sticks to my body hand goes up shirt riding thumb till i've cleared my weapon thumb still in contact with body and slides down behind grip wrap fingers around grip draw and present. as long as your thumb stays in contact with your body your shirt can't get hung up. no need for the two hand grab shirt pull up and find the gun with the other hand stuff.

Lambdebois
May 16, 2012, 07:56 AM
I'll add my experience.

I have been wearing t-shirts or polo style shirts untucked 95+% of the time since I got my ccw. That's how I usually dress anyway in the summer for casual attire so I didn't have to change a thing. I was pleasantly surprised how well a Glock 32 concealed iwb just under a light shirt as I thought I'd want a small pocket gun for hot summer days. I seem to like the cheap nylon uncle mike clip on anywhere from 3:30-4:30 the best. (it's only temporary until my TT hostler shows up but still I forget it's there almost. The handle can print slightly if bending forward but because of my back surgerys... I don't bent forward so it's not a problem. I can't wait till my reinforced iwb from Tim Thurner shows up as I understand it will conceal the handle better because it holds it more secure and to my body and keeps it more stable just as a good custom fit holster with opposing loops should.

Wahoo95
May 16, 2012, 08:42 AM
Polo or t shirt is my norm whether I'm carrying iwb or owb

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

Vermonter
May 16, 2012, 09:46 PM
Jeans owb G27 mah pouch and a polo untucked. No issue at all

kinggabby
May 16, 2012, 11:32 PM
Come Nov 1st I am not going to worry about printing and accidental exposure. But until then I will continue to carry IWB appendix.

Polynikes
May 17, 2012, 01:19 PM
With a Crossbreed Supertuck, I can wear just a plain T-shirt pulled over the top of my handgun and it's completely unnoticeable. No need for layers or other cover garments. I can't talk up that holster enough.

Jason_G
May 19, 2012, 04:59 PM
You have to dress around the weapon. Unfortunately, some weapons require more "dressing around" than others.

lwestatbus, I may have missed it, but I never caught what sort of pistol you are trying to conceal.

Thinner pistols are generally easier to conceal, although even some thin pistols might have some corners that are just "print prone."

I have found that dark colors conceal much much better than lighter colors. I can easily make my 1911 disappear under just a black or navy T-shirt, with an A-shirt (AKA wifebeater) as an undershirt. If I tried that with a lighter color shirt, the printing would be noticeable on the beavertail. I doubt that others would think "gun," but it's enough to make me look for darker colored shirts when I'm getting dressed to go out and about.

As mentioned by some others, patterns do help break up the print as well.

For polo style shirts, I know someone who is a LEO, and his department sometimes gets free stuff from big-name distributers like Blackhawk, 5.11, etc, so sometimes he gives me any free stuff he doesn't want. One of the things he gave me was a 5.11 polo with a velcro front pocket, in navy. It's probably one of my favorite warm weather concealment shirts. It does not say "5.11" anywhere, so it won't make you look like "Tactical Ted," and the velcro pocket is great for a cell phone. It won't fall out if you bend down, and it frees up your pants pockets a little more. It conceals my 1911 very well. I have no idea how much they run price-wise though, but I will probably pick up a few more eventually.


Jason