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Old August 5, 2009, 09:30 AM   #1
Join Date: March 13, 2008
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Shirt Keeps Blowing Open

I need some suggestions for a CC problem I have regularly. I live in Florida and my job doesn't require a jacket. My preferred carry approach is an inside the waist holster from Andrews Custom Leather at about the 3:30-4:00 o'clock position. My usual attire is a t-shirt with an unbuttoned Hawaiian or other sport shirt over the t-shirt/pistol.

I am regularly walking outdoors in this rig, whether for my morning exercise or just going from the car to a building. I have a pretty regular problem with my shirt blowing open so far that the pistol would be exposed. I end up either walking with a really unnatural carry of my right arm keeping the shirt in place or even tucking the right side tail of the shirt in my pocket or waistband to keep it in place (which looks really dorky).

What do others with similar climate conditions do about concealing your pistol? I'm reluctant to adopt a non-button shirt as I think it prints the pistol too much and would interfere with access.
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Old August 5, 2009, 12:42 PM   #2
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Perhaps only buttoning some of the buttons would work.
Maybe you could carry at a 5 O'clock position.
If you like their styles, there are CCW specific shirts that have false buttons (actually snaps).
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Old August 5, 2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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Try using your belt loop to your advantage? I dunno, sew a couple of strings to the inside of the shirt and tie it around one of your belt loops. I'm sure we can think of some solutions for this...
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Old August 5, 2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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Just button the bottom one or two. I do that very thing on a daily basis.
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Old August 5, 2009, 01:01 PM   #5
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Sew a few lead fishing weights into the bottom hems at both corners.
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Old August 5, 2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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What Carne Frio (good name for someone in Alaska) suggested, only if you don't have lead fishing weights, try sewing a penny or two of them into the bottom corner hem of each side of the shirt. Sure cuts down on blowing open. (I carry like you do about half the time, as well.)
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Old August 5, 2009, 01:20 PM   #7
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I also live in Florida and also conceal under a Hawaiian shirt.

Couple of things I do:

Hold the shirt tail with your fingers and tuck your thumb in your waistband.
Hold the shirt tail against you while idly scratching your stomach.

Or just hold it. No one will notice, much less get suspicious.

Don't worry about looking dorky. Unless you're a supermodel or on fire, no one is going to pay any attention to you.
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Old August 5, 2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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+1 to buttoning the bottom one or two. I also do this frequently.
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Old August 5, 2009, 01:26 PM   #9
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I have a similar issue from time to time and it seems like its ALWAYS the gun side that blows open <sigh>.

Solutions that have worked for me include...

-Wearing my cell phone (on a belt clip) in front of the gun and using the cell clip to "clamp" down the shirt (can work well depending on the shirt).
-Holding your car keys in your hand (it's an excuse to hold your arm closer to your body.
-Hooking my thumbs in my belt as I meander along (it allows you to clamp your elbows in without looking too strange.
-Buttoning the shirt (sometimes you just have to do it)

I can think of at least two times I've been tempted to add a velcro patch to my beltloop but I haven't actually done it
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Old August 6, 2009, 02:32 PM   #10
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Just button the bottom one or two. I do that very thing on a daily basis.
This is also my preferred way of dealing with this issue.
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Old August 6, 2009, 03:33 PM   #11
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Walk backwards...

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Old August 6, 2009, 03:56 PM   #12
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Shave the hairy chest and take off the gold chain. For god sakes man!

On a more serious note by a tighter shirt and button the bottom three, you will be good to go.
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Old August 6, 2009, 05:06 PM   #13
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Sew a few lead fishing weights into the bottom hems at both corners
+1 on that. I have also read that people sew a nickle or two inside the hem (weighs a bit more than pennies suggested above). Sounds like you only need one on the right hand side (assuming you are right handed).
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:53 AM   #14
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Thanks for the interesting suggestions.

I don't see myself performing alterations on my entire Hawaiian shirt collection (my wife unjustly claims that I have too many).

For the moment I'm using two very similar approaches. First if I'm not driving I'll use a small-of-the-back carry. Second is moving the pistol further around toward the 5:00 position (almost s-of-the-b).
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Old August 9, 2009, 08:19 AM   #15
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Button only the top button... Then use your arms to hold the shirt close as your hands are tucked in your pockets... Seems to help if you lean back a little as you walk
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Old August 9, 2009, 08:22 AM   #16
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I tried weights to hold my shirttails down. They only work in very light breezes. When the wind blows, they're useless.

Buttoning your shirt will work, but it sorta screws up your draw, don't you think? You either have to unbutton your shirt (just when your fine motor skills have gone to hell) or lift your shirt, grab your gun and hope you don't get a handful of shirt along with the grip!
Or you can rip your shirt open like Superman. Of course, that'll take both hands. If the fight's already started, you might not have both hands available for shirt-ripping.

I have very strong negative opinions on any carry method that requires two hands to get your gun out.
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Old August 9, 2009, 08:32 AM   #17
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Shirt Keeps Blowing Open

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Old August 9, 2009, 09:53 AM   #18
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I had the same problem. Happened all the time.

Buttoning the shirt worked in terms of keeping it closed, but it also slowed down the access to the weapon considerably.

I went with a heavier-weight fabric over-layer... something along the lines of a Levi's or Wrangler jeans jacket with the sleeves whacked off, a heavy Carhartt or Levi's blue denim shirt, or one of the khaki fishing vests from Cabelas. The heavier material was a bit stiffer and didn't blow away in every breeze like the Hawaiian shirts.

For other occasions I went with a Kahr PM-40 in a pocket holster in the right trou pocket of a pair of khaki slacks.

(OTOH, I don't live in Florida....)

These guys also have some potentially useful options:

Best with it,

Treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect....but have a plan to kill them just in case.
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Old August 9, 2009, 10:21 AM   #19
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I just throw my untucked white t-shirt over it also if my button up blows open the white t is still covering the pistol. I find it is still easy to draw by lifting both shirts from the bottom especially since when I am not wearing this setup I wear a regular shirt over my pistol which is most of the time.
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Old August 10, 2009, 04:33 AM   #20
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I wear the shirt buttoned

I usually leave the shirt buttoned. (IWB holster)
This allows me to conceal, and with practice you can get used to drawing very fast despite the shirt.

It also allows me to use an external holster in the cold July - August months, when carrying a large chunk of cold-metal IWB is rather unpleasant.

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Old August 10, 2009, 04:40 AM   #21
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I wear an undershirt, generally Under Armor, because it keeps the metal off my skin.
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Old August 10, 2009, 07:32 AM   #22
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Try wearing a fly fishing or photographer's vest over you Hawaiian shirt. It looks good with a green Las Vegas poker visor and mirrored shades or shooting glasses. Works well for me.

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Old August 10, 2009, 08:34 AM   #23
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I use these and am very happy with them.
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Old August 10, 2009, 08:37 AM   #24
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I only pocket carry with my LCP because I don't have to worry about situations like this. Of course there are many on this board who despise .380s for ccw, but it has always worked for me. I just can't stand IWB or OWB carry, the only time I want to think about my gun is if I have to use it.

Whatever solution you end up with, hope it works for you.
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Old August 10, 2009, 11:26 AM   #25
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If you are going to CCW, you are going to have to dress for it. Thats just the way is has to be. It is possible that you change your carry style to be better suited for a specific dress but lawfull weapon concealment is a higher priority than style.
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