Continuing the discussion on “pick your gear, and move on“.
Accessories don’t have to match your purse, and any color is fine as long as it’s black (even after Labor Day). :-) I’m talking about other essential gear such as holsters, magazine pouches, belts, maybe flashlights.
This is an area where the discussion widens a bit because some of it comes down to you and your circumstances. For example, while men can wear a holster inside the waistband of their pants at the 3 o’clock position, a lot of women cannot because of waists and hips going out and how that would point the butt/grip of the gun into her side and thus be both uncomfortable and difficult to draw.
A lot of this ends up being a matter of experimentation. Where you’re just going to have to buy a lot of things, try a lot of things, discard a lot of things, until you find what works for you.
But there are some areas where we can offer some advice.
A good holster matters. You need to carry your gun in a holster, that provides protection to the gun, especially in terms of covering the trigger guard so things cannot get in there and work the trigger when it shouldn’t be worked! A good holster also has a mouth that remains open; collapsing holsters create all manner of hazard and difficulties for reholstering, which is something you will have to do so why make it complicated and risky for yourself when you don’t have to?
You will rarely (probably never) find a good holster at stores in town. Hooray for the Internet tho, and you can find good holster makers all over. For example, Comp-Tac, Blade Tech, Raven Concealment, Custom Carry Concepts, Dale Fricke. The list is far from inclusive.
If you can, you should carry some means of reloading your gun, like an extra magazine. You then need a way to carry it. Anything with flaps that cover it? Pass (unless you’re in law enforcement, which has different requirements). Most of the good holster makers also make good magazine pouches.
If you carry on your waist, you need a good belt. Thick, wide, a fair amount of rigidity, to help carry and distrubute the weight of the gun, the magazine(s), and whatever else you carry on your belt. A good belt goes a long ways.
I like to carry a flashlight, because it’s useful. Not a tac-light on the rail on my gun, but just a plain-old flashlight. You could carry it in your pocket, or some of the holster makers also make pouches to allow the light to be carried on your belt.
Admittedly this is one area of gear when there’s a bit more room for discussion, but it really comes down to just finding the necessary gear that fits your needs. But once you find it? Move on.