Reviews

Femme Fatale Holsters: Pretty Holsters That Work

Let’s face it ladies, most of the mainstream holster manufactures do not cater to us. When I discover a company owned by women designing shooting-related gear just for us, I get excited about it. No one knows better about the struggles we go through to find gear that not only fits but also looks good, than other women shooters. Holsters, in particular, are difficult to find that fit the contours of our body and work well with our cutest outfits. Donna Bickert of Femme Fatale Holsters knows these struggles and offers three solutions: the ankle soxXx, garter, and corset holsters.

Donna grew up shooting guns, but it was only after getting her CHL a few years ago did she decide to design her own holsters. Just like the rest of us, tired of ill-fitting, uncomfortable and ugly holsters, she took matters into her own hands. “I literally cut up an old, long-line girdle and fashioned a waist cincher corset holster for myself,” she says.

With a background in design and marketing, Donna set out to create a holster that not only looks pretty, but functions as well.

Handmade of fine lingerie material by seamstresses in North Texas, each holster has wide corset elastic, embroidered lace, hook and eye closures, and bra padding. Both the thigh and corset holsters are covered in delicate, embroidered lace and available in six colors. The ankle holster comes in three colors.

One thing I love about Femme Fatale holsters is the sizing. One of my complaints of other women-specific holsters is the one-size-fits all designs—which we all know is untrue. Even the Flashbang bra holster—an excellent design—does not fit well on a gal with smaller breasts. Sized to fit rather than one size fits all, Femme Fatale holsters will fit women of all sizes. Though the corset holster standard sizes range from 28 to 42 inches (measured around your chest right under your breasts), Donna can create custom orders for women who are smaller or larger. The standard gun pocket in the corset holster fits up to an 8.5-inch barrel, but a longer pocket is available by special request. Another thing I love about these holsters is you can hand wash them just as you would your lingerie with mild detergent and cold water.

Sizing

Fitting instructions for each holster are on the Femme Fatale website. Simply measure around your body where you want the holster to lay. For the ankle soxXx, it is right above your ankle, for the corset, it is right under your bra line, and for the thigh holster measure 5 inches above your knee to find your correct size.

The sizing directions for the corset and thigh holster were exact. However, the first ankle holster I received was too tight. The Femme Fatale website says, “Round measurement to the nearest half inch.” For the ankle holster, I rounded down when I should have rounded up. If you are in doubt of what size to order, for a holster that slips on easily and fits securely, try one an inch larger than your ankle.

Gun Fit

The pocket of the corset holster measures 8.5 by 6 inches. The ankle holster is 5 by 4.5 inches. The garter holster is 5 by 5.5 inches. To see if your gun will fit, measure it from muzzle tip diagonally across the gun to the bottom of the grip.

I tried the holsters with two different guns—a Kel-Tec P3AT and a Charter Arms .38 Undercover Lite revolver. The Kel-Tec is an extremely flat and small pocket gun with a 2-inch barrel. While the Charter Arms also has a 2-inch barrel, it is a wider gun with a thick rubber grip. Both fit in all three holsters; however, the Charter Arms was too bulky for the ankle holster.

Corset Holster

Camouflaged as lingerie, you would never suspect the wide black corset elastic with embroidered laced corset is actually a gun holster. Along the back are eight traditional hook and eye bra-style closures with three rows to adjust for size. In the front is an 8-inch padded pocket to securely hold your gun. Lined with smooth, waterproof material the padded pocket protects your gun from sweat. The holster fits directly under your bra or around your waist and extends 6 inches down your torso. Mine hit just above the waist. I first wore the corset holster without my gun inside to get used to it. It is not as uncomfortable as I imagined. It is not restrictive like a full-length corset or waist cincher. You can still breathe, bend down and sit as normal. The corset, on the first set of hook and eye closures fits securely without much movement. Throughout the day, however, it moved down just slightly, but not enough to obstruct a smooth draw with my gun. Without the gun, about half an inch of the bottom flipped up on top of itself. Every time I got up from sitting, I had to readjust. However, with the gun inside the pocket, the material stayed flat against my torso.

When I got used to the fit and feel of the corset, I holstered my gun. It went in smoothly and stayed there. No bulk or printing occurred while I was wearing a t-shirt or a cotton sleeveless maxi dress. However, when I sat down the barrel of the gun poked me right in the belly. Feeling extremely uncomfortable and not very safe, I had a smaller woman try the corset. The smaller tester with a flatter belly did not have the same problem I did.

My second tester has a shorter torso than I. Meaning the corset hit further down her waist. Further, she got the dreaded muffin top when sitting down. When sitting straight in her chair and standing, no indication of a muffin top or corset shown through her button down cotton shirt. Because the corset sat much further down her torso, higher-waist pants would not work. On the thinner tester, the corset did not slide down and stayed in place. She gives the corset holster two thumbs up.

My third tester chose to wear the corset around her belly, like a waist cincher. She positioned the gun at her hip and at the small of the back. Both she found extremely comfortable and preferred the fit of the holster in this manner rather than worn under her bra.

Drawing from the holster takes practice. However, no matter what holster you choose, practice drawing at home with an unloaded gun before carrying loaded. You draw the gun from the top of your shirt, as the barrel points down toward your belly and the grip points up at the top of your breasts. It is best to wear with a button down shirt, a stretchy-topped dress (as I did), or a deep v-neck for easy access to your weapon.

In conclusion, the corset holster for a rounded-belly woman would only work safely when standing only. For the flatter bellied, the corset holster is a comfortable and practical holster.

Garter/Thigh Holster

I was very excited to see the garter holster—finally a thigh holster that doesn’t require an extra strap for belt support reminiscent of your mother’s old period belts!

Constructed of the same wide corset elastic and embroidered lace as the corset, the garter holster has sticky silicon around both the top and bottom of the holster so it stays in place.

At first, the thigh holster felt very tight, like the blood pressure cuff at the doctor’s office, but it does not take long for the holster to stretch and conform to your thigh and feel less restrictive. As I walk, the gun rubs my opposite leg, but not in an obstructive way. A slight angle adjustment solves this problem. I turned the holster slightly forward, so the gun sits away from the inner thigh.

After three hours of wear, the holster started to slip down my thigh, to just above my knee. After lots of walking, sitting, standing, and bathroom breaks I never readjusted, because I never worried it would actually fall completely down over my knee. The fit is secure.

Drawing is smooth and snag-free. While I tested it, I was wearing a cotton maxi-dress. Accessing the gun was quick and not awkward in any way.

Ankle soxXx

Made from wide elastic with a pocket with hidden plastic insert, the ankle holster slips on just like a sock. Though the ankle soxXx is tight, the fit is perfect. There is no slippage or movement at all. The stretchy material accommodates my leg without being uncomfortable. The ankle holster only works if you wear a long skirt or boot-cut or wide-legged pants. Even with my flat Kel-Tec, I find the ankle holster to be bulky. The gun’s grip, even deep inside the pocket, rubs my opposite leg. However, in my experience, this is a default on ankle holsters in general and not specific to Femme Fatale holsters.

Ankle holsters are awkward to draw from. I always fumble trying to stand on one leg to draw or alternatively feel extremely vulnerable trying to bend down to draw. The ankle soxXs is available with or without a Velcro® thumb strap. My Kel-Tec is tiny, so I found the thumb strap unnecessary. My gun fit deep into the pocket without safety being an issue.

The flexible material of the hidden plastic shield protects your gun and is comfortable. It contours to the shape of your leg nicely.

A good holster covers the trigger guard and keeps your gun securely inside. All three of these holsters do just that. In a cotton maxi dress, I can wear all three comfortably without printing. Best of all, I did not have to seriously adapt my wardrobe on a hot Texas summer day.

What is your favorite way to carry? Share your concealed carry experience with us in the comment section.

For more on women’s holster, read the following blogs:
The Flashbang Bra Holster-Concealed Carry Just For Women
Concealed Carry Clothing for Women
Concealed Carrie: Fashionable Carry for Women

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. Donna,
    Thank you for your tip. After slightly angling the gun, not only does it sit in the pocket safer, it is also easier to draw!

  2. Thank you for the review, Suzanne.

    Please note, when using the corset holster, the proper gun positioning is to place the gun in the pocket so that it forms an inverted V. The barrel should angle off one side, the grip off the other & the hammer area should nestle between the breasts. This placement keeps the weapon secure & keeps the gun from “poking” in the stomach.

    For both the garter & ankle holsters, place the gun deep within the pocket & angle it for maximum concealment.

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