Femme Fatals Holsters’ Corset Holster Review

Femme Fatal Holsters’ Corset Holster Review

Femme Fatal Holsters’ Corset Holster Review

The age old frustration by the female shooter inevitably comes back to being “I can’t find a holster that works for me!” How can we carry without looking pregnant or like we’re walking like a duck, without having to wear our boyfriend’s oversized flannel shirt to work, and while keeping the firearm safe from the kids. Let’s chat!

The purse option has never been on my radar – I left a notebook in a public restroom once when I was about fifteen years old and in only the few minutes it took me to return, it was gone! What if that was my purse today? My credit card, wedding picture, car keys and yes, my loaded firearm would be outside of my control. If you’ve ever left a purse in the bathroom or swung it over the back of your chair in a restaurant, I challenge that purse carry may not be for you…

When I’m carrying in the waistband, because of where modern jeans sit on my curvy hips, I have to increase size and style significantly enough that it changes my look to be straight out of the eighties with high waist denim and certainly without form-flattering lines.

I find few women wear belts – and I’m among the lot. And to add that it should be a 1.5-2 inch wide carry belt on sassy low-rise jeans or professional slacks is often simply not practical. So a paddle holster outside the waistband often works for me. Yet swung over low-rise jeans on a female hip protruding like the bottom vessel of an hourglass makes the toes of the person next to me in the line of muzzle direction, not to mention that I feel as though I’m walking like a duck. (Now, when I sling on my dueling custom leather holsters for a Cowboy Action match, don my red feather boa and cowgirl hat, the outside the waistband holsters on the hip helps me have the swagger I need to present the image. But for daily use, it’s just not for me.)

Appendix style carry is quite comfortable for me unless I’m driving, when as a right handed shooter my seatbelt gouges the grip and holster into my skin. Otherwise, I think it’s my most comfortable carry position, and the plastic paddle holster which came with my XDM .45 ACP fits securely over my waistband here, yet I have to wear my husband’s oversized shirt to conceal it (which can be sexy as all get-out ~unless you then look pregnant trying to conceal a full size grip).

Carrying in the small of my back conceals my .45ACP best, but I’d be more comfortable with it if I had eyes in the back of my head. My kids actually say that I do, yet I just don’t like taking the risk that a bad guy or kiddos behind me might be able to reach for it before I can or that I can’t see if my shirt might be riding above it as I reach for something. And I feel like Barney Fife with a shoulder rig, and that just won’t do.

In wanting to keep feeling sexy AND safe, my most common carry placement is now in my Femme Fatale Holsters’ corset holster. It is a lacey little number, comes in great colors, and contrary to the name does NOT cinch you like Jane Austen or your grandma. The sizing directions were understandable and I think I got it right on my first try. It shipped promptly and was in my mailbox within a week – and living where I do in the middle of nowhere, that’s not always the case.

As a 5’9”, size 10, right handed shooter, both a 9mm with compact grip, such as the S&W M&P and the Sig P938, conceal very well with a form-fitting professional blouse or t-shirt. The barrel length is of no concern ~ the barrel of my XDM .45 ACP doesn’t print or dig into my skin as I bend. (I do wonder if a full size barrel when worn in this style holster on a shorter woman might be of concerns as she bends??) However the grip on the larger caliber, full size gun is too difficult to conceal with only C-cups, so I have opted for the compact 9mm as my Carry choice when using this holster…

(Now, reducing ammunition caliber in itself has been a mindset and emotional shift. But at least I am now willing to carry 100% of the time. It does nobody any good at home in a box! )

One last note ~ as I have practiced drawing from a plastic holster from my hip and appendix placements thousands of times, even my trigger finger has developed a sort of memory for what that ‘should’ feel like (to be touching plastic or leather before resting on the slide)!

In my initial experiments drawing from my new lacy Femme Fatale Holster, I realized my brain and trigger finger actually might have this elusive concept of ‘muscle memory’. As I have practiced so many thousands of times from my plastic and fabric waistband holsters, my trigger finger actually seemed to gravitate toward the inside of the lacy holsters so that my finger rested on the polymer or metal of the gun, or to find plastic or leather somewhere, rather than stay atop the lace at the pouch opening of the corset (just under my breasts) as I drew.

I suppose I could have trained my finger to follow the slide inside the pouch as I gripped the pistol and to have it rest directly on the slide as I drew. From a safety aspect, instead I’ve chosen to train my muscles and brain to have it instead rest on the outside of the lace, feeling the position of the frame from the outside as I draw the gun upwards, while having a secure grip which includes my right thumb being wrapped around to the left side of the gun, and my trigger finger then falls directly onto the slide as I draw and expose the full slide until I am ready to enter the trigger guard. Now after just weeks of daily practice of drawing in this manner, my trigger finger isn’t entering the pouch blindly and is in perfect position to rest securely on the slide as it appears from the lace pouch until I am ready to shoot, and I am much more confident to carry in this manner.

 

This is a terrific holster for me and has significantly increased my mental willingness and practical ability to carry anywhere, anytime. My gun doesn’t do me any good hiding at my bedside if I’m too uncomfortable to carry it! FemmeFataleHolsters.com ~ Thank you for selling me a great product! You’ve got a winner in my book!

*I received no goods or services in exchange for this review.

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  • Paul Plotkin

    From my experience, I dont see this “Holster” as a good alternative to a good old IWB. The biggest problem with this holster is that it doesn’t support natural biomechanics of the body when deploying or when fighting. Also it is very hard to blade if ever encountered into H2H confrontation. I would first test it in full combat scenario training before posting. This review talks a lot about comfort etc.. When you have a firearm on you, the last thing you want to feel, is comfort. Weapons are for one purpose only, Eliminate threats(I’ve been very soft explaining what the purpose of weapons) if you can. Eliminating threats is not comfortable so I don’t support the philosophy of comfort. Holsters should not be comfortable 100% they should remind us that we have a weapon on our body.But as I said early I would first test any piece of gear in realistic 360 degree scenarios H2H, Low light…….etc before posting. We have a responsibility to help people educate about self defense. I am not saying this holster won’t work I am just asking to test it in dynamic un staged environment. Holsters are not fashion item.

    Paul Plotkin
    Meron Group

    • High Caliber Women

      Paul, valid points about training before posting. I wish you had asked if I have done so before presuming that I haven’t… Secondly, style and comfort ARE important to many women. Often a woman will leave her gun at home because she’d like to go to the theatre or to work or grocery shopping without it being ridiculously obvious that she is carrying. We know that this CAN make us the first target to ‘take out’ for the bad guy with mal-intent. With hips, thighs and breasts typically protruding in ways differnt from males, kids clinging to us, and the desire to not change our entire wardrobe in order to enjoy the ability to protect ourselves with a firearm, we DO indeed often have different challenges than do men. This particular holster works for me, and I’m glad that I still have the right to find and share what works FOR ME, as do you have that right to choose what works for yourself. Last, we have all (I hope!) practiced the draw from waistband and know it like the back of our hands. As I stated in the gear review, I have had to retrain my brain and body in a uniquely different manner than that which I was originally taught and have practiced in various scenarios thousands of times. And, just as I developed muscle memory for that particular draw stroke, I continue to develop muscle memory from continued practice drawing from my new holster. And the fact that I, even as an instructor, have gone from carrying maybe 20% of the time to 100% of the time (as legally able to do so) is empowering and will be life-changing should I ever have the need to draw and use my firearm. I hope it is for the thousands of other women who find it challenging also. Thanks for your insight, Paul. Have a safe night!

    • MSG L

      Paul said..”Holsters are not fashion item.”. Paul, I agree, for you and I fashion does not play an important part of our lives. We are not Women. Women, not all, but a large number of them, consider fashion in everything they wear including weapons. If you dout this, look in my Sweet Baboo’s closet. There must be a hundred pairs of shoes. If comfort was the only consideration, Women would not wear heels. I applaud all who carry, no matter how, just safely.

  • bronz

    I have to agree with Paul.

  • granny

    This granny has a purse that is perfect. Fits over the shoulder, leather and a secret compartment that is easy accessible. It also holds extra clips. The purse looks like any other purse & carries all the goodies that I need, all those that are afraid of people that carry…..do not know the gun exists. Personally I think the shoulder holster (Secret Service Type) is better than the Corset shown above…..that’s just a personal thought tho.

    • Hi Granny! I LOVE that purse carry works so well for you!!!! YOU GO, GIRL! I’m loving that the free market is producing products to reach each of our desires and needs! WHOOT! 😉

  • Elenor

    (Paul and Bronz): Sorry, but written like a man. {sigh}

    Unless we want to look like ‘big butch’ women — or as Lynn said, waddle like a duck — fashion absolutely has to come into it! What’s your first assumption when you see a fanny pack on a man? He’s carrying. For women to carry — to effectively carry, which means to be able to carry all the time regardless of the ‘dress code’ where they are going or having to appear, then fashion is absolutely vital! Wearing your husband’s flannel shirt in order not to show means you can’t carry to work (depending, of course on where a woman works). An IWB works pretty well for some women’s bodies — but I’d bet not for MOST women’s bodies! We have curves most men don’t. And curves get in the way of even a small gun! The demands (and they are) that society places on how women look, how they dress, interfere with the ability to just ‘wear whatever clothes hide a weapon.

    It’s not vanity or even mainly comfort that drives how a woman has to work to conceal a weapon! Comfort is important — for men or women — because if it’s too uncomfortable, there will start to be times when the gun gets left home. And it’s not vanity to make sure whatever we’re wearing ‘fits into’ the place we’re going. A man CAN wear a business suit and still not show he’s carrying because he doesn’t have an indented waist or a rounded butt. He can use a shoulder holster pretty easily, cause he doesn’t have breasts! Carrying for women is always WAY harder — because of the pressure put on us to ‘fit in’ (men have a version of that pressure — but they can pretty easily do it because of their physical shape. And if their suit is a bit too large or a bit too loose, no one makes detrimental observations about him.

    And, no, I don’t think you can say: if a woman is gonna carry, it’s okay (or needful) to look like … someone NOT ‘fashionable’ — because how is that woman going to get hired and keep a job if her choice is to disarm or wear the types and shapes of clothing required to make her way in the business world?

    Too easy to say: it’s okay to look like hell as long as you can carry, because women don’t HAVE that option!

    • I could try to be eloquent here and praise each of your great points ~ but you’ve nailed it FOR YOURSELF and on behalf of SOOO many other women that I have nothing to add, except that I’m proud of you for knowing your body, your mindset and your needs… Thanks for sharing your insights.

      PS – do you have OTHER female-friendly products you’ve used and loved? Lynn 🙂

      • Elenor

        awwwww {blush} Thanks, Lynn! I was just a bit frustrated because so many men — even instructors — don’t remember to check and see if what works for them also works for their women students, friends, family members… (Not pickin’ on men, I love ’em! But it’s hard to envision having … lumps and bumps and bulges — and how those body-parts affect carrying … when you don’t HAVE lumps and bumps and bulges!)

        Alas, no I haven’t found an effective way to carry. I bought a super-quality purse (about the size of a messenger bag) from Jack Georges, who apparently used to work for Coach? (Got it at Costco, so it only broke the bank in a small way… {wince}) My 9mm fits very well in the back zipper pocket. Is that good? — no, of course not. However, MY practice includes ‘asking my attacker’ if I can get my heart medicine before I give him my purse (assuming a thief) — which allows me to draw and remove the safety at the same time. *Not even close* to ideal — maybe not even effective; but it’s all I can do at the moment. With my weight (which lends credence to the “potential-heart-thing”; although my heart is actually as sound as a wolf’s) and my age, which “makes” me slower to respond to ‘orders'” — it’s all I can do at the moment. I do (always) maintain a higher level of alert than may be warranted by the situation/area/possible threat, but that’s in recognition of MY inability to have the ‘correct’ amount of self-protection available.

  • Herb S.

    Good review by the lady, at least I think so. I am an old fart that does not have experience using corset holsters, but I figure that if it gets a few more women to keep their protective tool close to them; it is great, just like a leather purse is great for some people.

    I have probably been carrying for more years that she and P.P. together have been alive. I keep seeing macho “tough guys” come back from the sandbox talking about how everyone that does not carry a certain caliber of gun or a certain holster is failing. I hear preaching about how everyone should be a steel-eyed tacti-cool high speed low drag operator that posts a picture of themelf in a tacti-cool vest (desert-colored of course) with the stock on an M4 sticking up. Yep, for those that are “into” that; great. For the other 97% of people with guns, maybe an ankle holster, a bra holster or a purse holster works.

    Of course a .308 carbine is better than a 22, a thigh holster is better than a bra holster, but most people that can carry but don’t always carry say that the reason is comfort. Helmets and fire extinguishers and seatbelts should not be UNcomfortable to remind you that you have a thing available to use to save your life. Of course if you have a fire you will wish your fire extinguisher was bigger and more accessible. Of course if you are in a gunfight you will wish you had gone on that shopping trip with a carbine on a single point sling and had practiced more of whatever martial art is “in” than decade.

    If speed was the only factor, a UPSPA rig would be best, if retention was the only factor, keeping the pistol in Fort Knox would be best, but in the real world a balanced approach seems reasonable. 99.9% of people that carry a gun will never have to use it. “…the last thing you want to feel is comfort” when carrying? Really? I guess I am not that tough.

    Again, I can’t comment on the corset holster because I have not worn it but I can talk on the issue of the philosophy of carrying concealed. If you people tick me off I just might wear one of the corset rigs and get a picture of me in it – then make you look at it! Ha! That would be cruel and unusual. cheers

    • Hi Herb! Thanks for sharing your insight and I appreciate that you recognize the differences in need and practicality of carrying, training with and potentially utilizing different tools for the job/s at hand.
      …And I’d really like to see the pic of you in this holster ~ you’ve made my day, “Old (wise) Fart”… 🙂

  • Femme Fatale Holsters

    Eyeroll at men who think they know everything.
    The corset holster’s base construction is from wide, sturdy elastic–wider & sturdier than most traditional belly bands. Sure, the bra closure & lace are feminine, but they serve a much more important purpose. Over time, velcro wears out. The hook & eye closures remain secure, moreso than velcro. The lace covers the entire outside of the elastic band, & while is beautiful & sexy, it is really camouflage for the entire holster. No one thinks a thing about glimpsing a piece of lace beneath a woman’s shirt. It certainly does not scream, “I am armed.”

    Our holsters have received accolades from various certified NRA instructors (many of whom are men) and other experts in the concealed carry industry. Our holsters are currently used by police officers, body guards & undercover detectives, all who bet their lives that they work.
    –Femme Fatale Holsters

    • You know, Femme Fatale Holsters, another great thing is that we each have the opportunity to choose and use what works FOR OURSELVES! I’m so glad you picked this article up today and responded, and am even more grateful for your product. You’ve met MY need to secure an option to carry 100% of the time (where legal to do so). It may not be every woman’s dream holster – but at least we have the option to choose that for ourselves now! Thanks for the creation and for giving women yet another option to choose what’s right FOR HERSELF!

  • Sara

    Obviously, these tough guys have never been counseled on their dress for success look at work (which does not include large loose, untucked shirts), or been threatened with termination of a job for having a gun print. Face it, men, the world is different for ladies. At least these types of options make it possible for us to carry at all times, including to work, to shop, to PTA meetings, and out to dinner with you!

    • AMEN, Sara! I’m sorry that you (or those you know) have experienced harrowing workplace environments and have felt as though you haven’t been able to conceal well with your clothing preferences. I hear you, Sara! I’m so glad that manufacturers are truly listening to our concerns and are really seeing our unique challenges, desires and needs ~ and stepping up to meet them!

      (…Sara, with the strides in just the last few years, can you imagine the female-friendly products yet to even be created? YEAH!!!)

  • Max Wasatch

    This is an amazing idea! My wife has started carrying and we are often trying to find different ideas that work with different wardrobes/situations so that she can carry more frequently.

    Even as a large man I use a few different methods depending on what I wear. For now, I tend to stick with OWB unless it prints then go IWB or pocket. Can’t really do anything other than OC or pocket if I am carrying a backpack, and I generally prefer not to OC. Sometimes I even put it in a jacket pocket. I would like to try appendix carry, but still have a few pound to lose around the waistline so that I can actually move when I do 🙂

    The important thing is to do what it takes to carry as much as you can when it is legal and wise. And then train enough to be ready to use it where it is, both physical practice and mental preparation. The more important thing is to be able to avoid potential confrontations as much as possible, but still be ready if you can’t.

    I love the mall-ninjas disguised as “instructors” who think that if you do not do it their way then you are an idiot, wrong, and will die. That is what we call a bad instructor. I teach people how to drive, which is way more likely to transform into a life and death situation than carrying will. Though I teach what is proven to be the best way to do things, some people are not able to do everything the best way so I have to teach them how to adapt, rather than try to get them to do something that is physically impossible.

    And all my holsters are “comfortable” nearly all of the time. And I still know that I have firearm and the responsibilities that entails because it is always there and I have trained myself to think that way. 🙂

    I’ve carried in ways that were uncomfortable in the past and you know what it got me? Back problems. I had to upgrade my equipment to better stuff that worked for me. I still carried until I could afford to upgrade, but I am stubborn like that. Most women are not that bull-headed. 🙂

    • Max, Thanks for your insight. …Good summary that we do everything we can to stay out of harm’s way in the first place AND be mentally and physically prepared in a variety of ways in case we can’t. I’m glad you’ve worked through your “bull-headedness” 🙂 and have found what works for you ~ and that your wife is looking into options which will allow her to carry more frequently. I wish lots of great dates on the range for you two! 🙂

      I understand that it sounds odd to many people that the holster issue is so frustrating for many of us, male and female, and I really appreciate that entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate to provide options ~ I love the free market!

  • MSG L

    My Sweet Baboo carries quite a bit and has always complained about holsters. She now uses a purple kydex IWB and she is happy. She and I have used “belly bands” before when concealing, but she was never comfortable with it. I open carry, but my retired Air Force (expert shot) wife does prefer to conceal for fashion.

    • I appreciate that we have so many great options! ..Glad to hear you’ve both found YOUR favorites and actually carry – This is good!! 🙂

  • Sweet mother of … the comments from some of the men on this article make me want to throw a frying pan (and I don’t cook)! THAT is exactly the reason we need more women involved and active in the firearms industry. WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT. Even though I’m not a “girly girl” (hate “fashion”, fru-fru, frilly, lacy, pink, purses, etc.), I AM a female and I DO have hips, and breasts (albeit small ones) to deal with when considering carry options. If open carry were legal here where I live I wouldn’t have to worry much about concealing. However, open carry is not legal, so I must conceal in order to carry. Some days you really just want to scream, “KISS MY GRITS!” at the top of your lungs.

  • Ice

    I absolutely love the concept my main concern is that most of theae dont provide a trigger guard/ protection ,as well as retension which “seems” like it may not be a problem conceptually.

  • BonusMom

    My sweet husband bought one of these for me for an anniversary gift (remember, nothing says “I love you” more than a gift that says, “I want you to be able to protect yourself when I’m not around”).. One size too big, but we’re going to return it and then I’ll give y’all a heads up.

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