I'm sure if you've done some online research for women's concealed carry holsters, you have come across some rather contradictory reviews of the Lethal Lace holster. So is Lethal Lace a viable option for concealed carry or not? Absolutely! Especially for women like me. Without this holster, I would likely not be carrying concealed at all - unless I wanted to buy all new clothing. Is it for everyone, no. Is it for a large portion of us frustrated women, Yes.
My name is Tessa Renaud - the creator of the Lethal Lace universal concealed carry holster for women. I'm a busy mom of 6, work 2 jobs and run my Lethal Lace business from home with my husband. Hence, not much time for keeping up with a whole lot. The reason for today's blog is a response to an article posted online by Annette Evans on pewpewtactical.com from November 2017. I can't help but feel somewhat misrepresented and wanted a chance to share some feedback.
I would first like to say that I have the utmost respect for Annette Evans and her work in the concealed carry world. I value any opinion she has and appreciate the extensive time she gave to both testing our holster and writing a very thorough review. The article/review was overall negative and she gave Lethal Lace a 1 out of 5 stars. Given the way the holster was tested, I understand how she may have come to her conclusions. Unfortunately, I was not able to spend some time with her to help explain and show her the ways to get the best use out of this holster in the ways it was intended and designed.
I, like most women who want to conceal carry on their body, had alot of trouble finding a suitable way to fully "conceal" my gun. There are many exceptional holsters out there that do exactly what they are meant to do - and very safely at that. They cover the gun with hard material, like kydex, to provide complete coverage of the gun aside from the handle. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials.
The first problem I personally had with the options that were available was that I couldn't adequately conceal my gun with any of them. The handle was always left visible in any clothing I was wearing. I tend to wear comfortable cotton, denim, and work-out style clothing and scrubs most of the time. Even with blue jeans and a loose cotton T-Shirt, the handle was quite obvious in certain positions.
The second problem was that I couldn't find anything that worked well with scrubs. The waist band/appendix style holsters would pull down on the waistband of the scrub pants. The belly band and corset style holsters were too hot/thick for Louisiana Weather.
The third problem was the cost of having to purchase more than one holster to accommodate different styles of clothing. If I wore scrubs during the day and wanted to change into work-out clothing and stop at the gym on the way home, I quickly realized I would need more than one holster. I just didn't want to have to worry about bringing another holster for another outfit. It seemed entirely too troublesome.
What would happen is that I would be dressed and ready to go, try to put my gun on and realize that it was obvious no matter how I tried to conceal it. I would then have to decide whether to just not carry my gun that day, change outfits entirely, put something more loose and baggy over the shirt I was wearing, or carry in my purse.
I didn't want to have to buy all new clothes in larger and more baggy sizes. I know that many influential women in the concealed carry industry say that you have to sacrifice your choice of clothing in order to conceal carry a firearm. I simply did not want to have to do that. There had to be another way. Let along my budget wouldn't justify buying all new clothing.
Carrying in my purse was just not a safe alternative for me because, again, I have 6 kids. There is almost always something going on that needs my attention with them. I knew that I could have every intention of putting the gun back into the safe after getting home so that the kids would not find it in my purse. But the odds were that right as I walk into the front door, I would hear screaming and fighting. Immediately, I would drop my purse and run to intervene before someone drew blood or pulled out another's hair. The purse would then be left unattended for any of the other 4 kids to get to.
If you have children, you know where I am coming from. If not, please share your secret! The kids will go to swinging, scratching, or pulling hair in a split second for the silliest and most mundane of reasons. But such is the life of a parent.
So there it was. What was I to do? I couldn't carry in my purse. I couldn't conceal in my everyday clothing. I really wanted to carry on my body in the event I ever needed to protect myself or my family. By God, If I hear another story of a woman being abducted, killed, raped, assualted...... Well, it wasn't going to be me. I wasn't going to be a victim. So I had to figure something out.
It took several months of trying different things. I eventually came up with a universal wrap style holster that I could wear ANYWHERE on my body, in ANY type of outfit (no matter how form fitting it was), without having to buy new clothes, and without having to worry about needing to buy a new size holster should I gain or lose a few pounds (specifically speaking about corset style, thigh, and ankle style holsters that come in sizes based on inches).
MY PERFECT holster was born!! Notice I said MY perfect holster. It might not be perfect for others. But for ME, it was perfect! I could wear whatever I wanted and conceal my gun. The compression of the wrap allowed me to conceal the gun exceptionally well. When wearing around the waist in tight jeans and a tight shirt, or work out clothing, I could wrap the handle down so it was flush against my body - holding it very securely no matter how active I was. Would it take me a second longer to get to my gun if the handle was wrapped? Yes. But would it take me alot longer to get to my gun if it was in my purse down the hall in a drawer at work, or in a gym bag at the gym - Absolutely.
At least it was on my body and I was absolutely OKAY with my handle being wrapped in the fabric for the trade off of being able to conceal much more effectively. I could always very easily pull the lace below the handle for a quicker draw if I was about to go outside into a parking lot. But that was MY option to have.
I had no intentions of creating a business out of my design. But I thought that there were likely many women like me stuck in the same rut I was in. Soooo, with absolutely zero business experience, Off we went on our journey. My husband coined the name Lethal Lace. I went online, and started learning how to create a website and offer my holster to other women with similar dilemmas.
So that's it. I'm not a professional. Just someone who came up with a solution to my own problem and was more than happy to offer it as an option to other. After all, I can't be the only one who was having this problem, right?
I wasn't expecting to be featured in media articles such as "The Blaze" and CNN Money. It just happened that way. Of course it brought with it great exposure. But with all positive exposure, there will be the negative as well.
I'd like to specifically address Annette Evans' points one by one. Considering the ways in which she tested the holster, I can see how she came up with the conclusions that she did. I just wanted to share my feedback in defense of my holster that is it not the entirely unsafe option she professes it to be. Granted, it is also not the typical hard casing, difficult to conceal type of holster this it is being compared to.
So the following points address each of the areas of concern regarding the Lethal Lace holster.
1. Trigger Protection: When wrapped correctly, it would be extremely difficult to reach the trigger through the lace fabric. The lace fabric is very thin, however, very strong. In the video showing Annette reaching the trigger through the lace, the material is wrapped too loosely. When pulled tight enough over the trigger, it is well protected. For those who prefer extra trigger coverage, a sticky holster or pocket style holster can be used inside the pocket of the lethal lace holster.
2. Gun Falling Out: When I demo the lethal lace holster. I advise to never let go of the gun until it is held tight in place with the first wrap of the fabric. The gun should be firmly held with finger in index position while it is being covered with the first wrap of fabric. When in the appendix position, because it is an area that bends alot with sitting and moving, the gun is going to be much better secured by wrapping down the handle. This also helps with larger, heavier guns. The video shows the gun falling out after several position changes in which the handle is not wrapped and the gun is a rather large one. If you want to carry appendix style and don't want to cover the handle, it is best to go with another type of holster where the gun sort of "clicks" in place, thereby holding the gun inside during these vigorous position changes. Or, you could wear the gun higher up on the abdomen or on on your side. Here again, a pocket style holster like the Sticky Holster can be used in the Lethal Lace pocket to further prevent a heavier gun from falling out.
3. The Fabric: There is a photo and mention about the fabric being visibly deteriorated after testing. I can assure you that the material is amazingly strong and durable. Even if there happens to be a fray at the stitching, the integrity of the holster is not affected. During tradeshows, we have full grown men playing tug of war with our holsters to show how strong they are.
4. Reholstering: Yes, it does take more time to reholster with this product, but the intention of the design was first and foremost for concealment in everyday carry. Reholstering is mostly an issue at the range when practicing. If you desire an easier reholster - you may have guessed it - put a pocket style or Sticky Holster in the Lethal Lace pocket. Or you can slide the gun between the holster and your body (not using the pockets) for temporary holstering between active shooting. But either way, a kydex style waist clip-on holster is most ideal for the range.
5. Taking the Holster Off: I recommend the gun being taken out of the pocket and secured away prior to unclipping and unwrapping the holster. That way, there is not the chance of the gun falling to the floor during the unwrapping of the holster.
6. The Clips: When worn correctly and clipped as suggested in the instructions, the clips work amazingly well. It is best to attach the clip to "several layers" of the lace, not to just a single layer. The video shows Annette pulling the holster and showing the clip becoming dis-attached. Obviously, this would happen if anyone pulled laterally against the clip. However this is not normal usage and the body does not naturally move this way. Therefore, there should not be the opportunity for this to happen during proper everyday wear and usage.
7. Small Guns: When I give a demo of the Lethal Lace holster with a smaller gun, I advise to wrap the gun in the desired location and attach both clips securely first while the gun is usually fully hidden in the pocket (handle and all). Once the holster is in place and secure, the handle of the smaller gun can be pulled upward out of the pocket so that it is not covered by the fabric. The compression of the holster will hold it in place no problem.
8. Holster Not Staying Put: There are certain locations, such as the waist, that will definitely make it harder for the fabric to stay in place with abundant movement. The gun can be worn higher up on the waist or on your side so it is not in the area where the body bends. You can also wrap a wider portion of the body so it is less likely to bundle up. You can use the clip that is attached to the gun holster to clip the outer layer of lace down so it doesn't slide up with movement (see suggestions for appendix carry video how I did this when attaching the clip to the fabric).
9. Takes Too Long: True, this holster takes more time to put on because it is a wrap and not a clip-on or pocket style holster. That said, I used to spend much more time trying to hide my gun with other holsters or changing clothes to make sure no on could see it. The few seconds it takes to wrap the fabric saved me alot of time and energy in the long run when considering the alternatives. And I am perfectly okay with this. If you are not, then this is not the holster for you.
10: Too Much Fabric/Cumbersome: This holster is rather long and can look cumbersome at first glance. However, the extra fabric is what makes this holster work so well. Actually, there is just enough fabric to get 2-3 wraps around your gun, which is what is needed. What appears as too much fabric is quickly realized to be absolutely necessary when wearing on the upper body. Granted, if you want to wear on your leg, the fabric will need to be wrapped around more times because it is a smaller diameter, but still not bulky when finished. This is why we also offer the shorter option for those who wish to wear on the leg and not have to wrap so many times. But for those who don't want to spend more money on another holster, the regular size works just fine too.
So I hope I was able to explain effectively Lethal Lace's appropriate use and it's limitations. It is not for everyone. But it most assuredly is a wonderful option for us to have in our "arsenal" of holsters. And you can feel safe and assured knowing it has been given endorsed by some of the most prominent and well respected organizations like the NRA and USCCA.
Cheers to finding the holster that suits you best!!