Heard on All Things Considered
Ray’s Sporting Goods in Dallas’ Oak Cliff is a neighborhood firearm dreamland.
It’s stocked with the latest pistols, shotguns and AR-15 military-style rifles. Chuck Payne, the store’s manager, says he has sold to a lot more women recently.
“A lot of married ladies with their husbands, some without, but they’ve decided that their husband’s not home, they need to be able to do something and they need a different gun than what their husband had,” Payne says.
“Most concealed- and open-carry holsters are made for men,” says Carrie Lightfoot, CEO of The Well-Armed Woman, an online store based in Arizona. She says a woman’s body shape and size are important considerations when it comes to open or concealed carry.
“For example, a 32A bust could not conceal a Glock 19 very well — nor would a 42DD or a larger tummy allow for effective cross-draw carry,” she says.
Lightfoot sells bra holsters, concealment leggings, lace waistbands and leopard print gun holders for cars. She says sales are up 130 percent since the summer.
Still, the vast majority of women don’t openly carry. And that means one of the hottest accessories is the concealed-carry purse, which is Kate Woolstenhulme’s business.
In her Plano, Texas, home office, Woolstenhulme unpacks one of her newest designs: a black leather purse with a herringbone embossed pattern. She introduced her first line of concealed-carry bags in 2009, after failing to track down a handbag that was both safe and fashionable for her 9 mm Beretta Nano handgun.
“I was interested in making something that really functioned and yet still making sure that it looked as if that woman had walked into Nordstrom’s or Neiman’s or Marshalls or whatever they shop at,” Woolstenhulme says.
The ostrich and crocodile-skin handbags sell for thousands of dollars. Others are a few hundred. Many of the bags have exterior holster pockets — all of them have locking devices.
The National Sporting Goods Association report found that women who bought a gun in the last year spent on average $870 on firearms and more than $400 on accessories.
Both Woolstenhulme and Lightfoot warn women to choose new holsters and bags wisely — just because it’s made in pink doesn’t guarantee it was designed for a woman’s body.
Feature image: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
There are times when reviewing collections or simply looking through the pages of Vogue when fashion can get a bit dull. Too many of the same things, too many fluffy chiffon dresses or frilly feathered dresses and it’s that moment when my eyes glaze over and I lose focus that my mind wanders and I usually come up with some great fashion ideas. Like today for example. Today I want to write a tribute to Uzi’s Machine Guns, and all other types of handheld shooting devices in the world of fashion.
So without further ado, I present The Marquis of Fashion’s Runway Gun Range! Step right up and see the oddities that have graced the runways or music videos that have a gun attached to a necklace, a gun embedded in the heel of a shoe, or a gun somewhere on the articles of clothing that follow. Don’t be shy they won’t shoot, their simply captions of items both recent and from the recent past that have made an impact in fashion’s history. Get it… Impact… it’s a gun! … Tough crowd.
Flip through the pages below to see the amazing gun/fashion products that are busting a cap in fashion’s @ss. But in case you are too lazy to flip through I’ll provide you with this first image of Karl Lagerfeld and his Chanel Gun Shoe! Chanel… I know right! I’m sure Coco is rolling in her grave. Oooooor laughing hysterically I can’t quite peg it.
Who could forget the fembots and their interesting gun bras? Or Lady Gaga for that matter and her Machine Gun dance sequence for Alejandro? Or this photo for Rolling Stones Magazine… Amazing!
If you can’t accessorize with a gun then what is the point of guns in the first place… Don’t answer that. This Uzi ring is exceptionally complimenting for a ombre colored nail polish. or this glittery machine gun necklace. GORGE!
This flashy gun belt buckle is so hot in Japan right now but lets let our love of high-powered embellishments cross borders and bring this trend right into our homes.
Okay this is hilarious and scary at the same tie because it’s a real gun. The hat is I believe a concept mostly because the gun is fired by using your mouth. Or something. I’m not sure it’s all very confusing but never-the-less, the thing is an accessory. I dont’ recommend letting a youngster play toy soldier with this one though.
Congrats you made it to the end and for that I give you this spectacular treat. A hoof heel, that has been made into a high heel, that has a gun as the heel… I know what you’re thinking, “Mark, Where do I get one?” and the answer may surprise you. I’m not going to tell you. To be honest if I saw someone wearing this I would run in the other direction screaming something about the Apocalypse and Quentin Tarantino. So to avoid my embarrassment let’s just stick with the Chanel pump.
I think there’s been a huge misunderstanding about the whole “pink gun” controversy. Certainly, plenty of Neanderthals have mistakenly assumed pink guns equate to guns for women. Even manufacturers and retailers have mistakenly made this type of generalization. I have a different point of view. I am all in favor of pink guns. I’m also in favor of yellow, tan, olive drab, and purple guns. Charcoal-gray also interests me. To me, the whole color issue is about personalizing a possession that’s important to us.
Many people buy distinctive cell phone cases, and we’ve all heard those embarrassing custom ring tones at inopportune times. So I think the pink gun thing gained momentum because some women like pink. Then again, some women don’t like pink. My daughter happens to be a woman, and she prefers black guns. Looking around nearly any golf course or country club cocktail party, you can tell a lot of guys like pink, too. Colored guns aren’t all about men and women; they’re about personal preference.
Here lies the real point. People have different tastes. Recently, I’ve really been digging polymer guns with desert tan or flat dark-earth frames. They look particularly spiffy with a black slide. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to customize your gun’s color scheme as it is to find an iPhone case to suit your tastes. But if your pistol or revolver has removable grips, the odds are that someone out there is making some pretty darn unique custom replacement grips. Here are some examples that caught my attention.
Check out this .45 ACP by Arsenal. Its double barrel action is singled triggered packing a lot of horsepower.
Jerry Mitchel demonstrates knocking the target over with 18 of twenty rounds.