How To Properly Wear an IWB Holster For Comfort and Effectiveness

Carrying a weapon on your person is more than sticking the weapon in a holster, clipping it to your belt, or sticking it in your waistband and going about your day.

You need to be comfortable while wearing your gear, and it must be effective in using it at a second’s notice. While there are other options, inside the waistband (IWB) is still the most popular for concealed carry and open-carry options. 

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There are two basic considerations to any person carrying a weapon, and how to wear IWB holster is no exception. Let us discuss below: 


I prefer an IWB holster for its effectiveness in concealment. I travel a lot, and some states do not allow open-carry, so this option keeps me (and my carry) concealed and protected. It effectively provides the smallest imprint and allows the weapon to stay secure and close to the body. While carrying, I like to feel it as I move, without worrying if it will slip, tilt, or fall out as I go about my daily routine.

Not only do you need to be able to draw your weapon quickly, but you also need quick access to draw it. So let’s talk about clothing and accessories. 

Practical Clothing to Carry IWB 

As a female, our pants tend to fit snug in today’s fashion, not leaving a lot of room to add another 2 inches to our waistline. Males tend to wear their pants a little more on the loose side, so they don’t need as much adjusting as females. Either way, when you buy your holster, consider how your pants fit and get a good belt! Don’t buy fancy fashion belts. No, you need a solid, tough belt, and don’t forget to consider the extra inches.

You can get a good measurement idea here. Wearing an untucked shirt will help conceal your weapon as well. How to wear IWB holster will help you decide how to wear your tops as well. If you want to keep your form-fitting tops, you will want to consider adding an outer layer to cover your weapon. As my wardrobe changes from week to weekend, I accommodate both depending on where I travel. 

Comfortable Carry Solutions 

You want to carry to protect your family, friends, neighbor, and self. If you can’t do that comfortably, you are likely to leave your protection at home. I went through so many holsters, trying to find one that fit me best when I missed the number 1 important step: placement. I’m a petite female with a little extra middle in the front, so appendix carry is not an option for me, but I thought I needed to have my pistol at my front close to my hands at all times. Eventually, I learned about placement and how key it is to comfort. 

When you get your new holster, fit your pants just right, you need to decide where it is most comfortable for you to put it. The most popular places are at 3 or 9 o’clock, 12 (at your belt buckle) or 6 o’clock. It depends on your body and if you draw right or left-handed. Now that you have the desired area, you may need to continue adjusting. The cant of the weapon makes a big difference in comfort. Even as little as 15 degrees tilted forward can avoid the barrel or grip from digging into you. Some people even wear an undershirt to keep the weapon from rubbing on their skin. 

No matter where you put your holster, the important thing is the make sure you cover the basics:

1. Be effective in your placement for easy access and quick drawing.

2. Make sure you are comfortable wearing everything; otherwise, your weapon will end up living in a safe.

3. Get a good belt. And Finally: Always practice your draw, clearing clothing, and holstering your weapon. 

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Author: Andy Bredenkamp

Andy is the founder of Master The Target, where he gets to live out his passion about responsible firearms use. His mission is to guide gun enthusiasts in picking the best gear and ensuring their safety with each use.