Tarnkappe gear started in 2020 after a group of friends discovered that there were limited options for the every-day concealed carrier. Tarnkappe means invisibility cloak in German. Tarnkappe Gear was established in Texas with the purpose of offering functionally designed apparel and gear for the person exercising their right to carry without compromising style. Their shirts are pretty cool looking so I went ahead and gave a shirt a try to see what I thought. 


The long sleeve shirts come in at $99.99 and the short sleeve shirts are $89.99.  At these price points there are a lot of players in the business casual arena. Duluth Trading L.L Bean  Brooks Brothers  just to name a few are all around that $100 mark or less.  These other brands are not specifically making a shirt for your CCW lifestyle but they do make similar looking shirts that are not compromised in a concealed carry situation. I feel like the Tarnkappe shirts should be in the $59.99 to $69.99 range in order to directly compete with the Duluth Trading Untucked Soft Skills line.


How durable does a button down shirt need to be? I don’t think it needs to be a robust shirt that you wear out training every weekend but it should hold up to regular wear and tear. The cotton is very nice and I think it will hold up well through the wash for years of wear. That being said, it is not a “no-iron” shirt.  After each wash I was having to iron the shirt to make it look acceptable. This is a major issue for me. I don’t clean my guns and I barely wash my clothes, so having to then also iron a shirt after washing and drying is out of the question for me. The shirt shrunk a good amount also.  I did not put it in the dryer, rather just hung dry and it still shrunk.  This could be part of the reason the cut is a but off, but more on that later.


The weight of the shirt is more of a dress shirt weight. It is super comfortable on and because of the light weight it can be wore in the summer and still be cool or you can wear it under a sweater or blazer in the cooler months and still be comfortable. There is not much noticeable difference between the Tarnkappe Gear shirt and most button down shirts.


The cut of the shirt is more of a box cut, perfect for concealing a firearm but does give a more awkward look with the untucked shirt. Also, the sizing was a bit off. I ordered a size extra large per their sizing chart and I thought the shirt was a bit on the small side for arm length and body length.  The neck and shoulders of the shirt fit true to size.  The sizing obviously got a bit smaller after washing. 


The patterns that are available are great looking and wonderful at concealing a firearm.  I tested the Lexington long sleeve from Tarnkappe purple short sleeve and the pattern is excellent.  It breaks up the outline of a pistol really well. The windowpane pattern was perfect and the colors were beautiful. The other patterns offered also look great on their web site.  I don’t think there is a bad looking shirt that you can choose from. 

So what makes this a specific concealed carry shirt over some of the other similar shirts I mentioned above. The bottom two buttons are actually snaps, making it easier to clear your garment in order to draw your pistol.  When you grab your shirt to clear it the bottom two snap buttons will unsnap, giving the user more room to clear and produce their concealed carry pistol. This is also used on other gun based clothing like the Vertx line of shirts but the Tarnkappe Gear shirt adds the “less tactical” look.  In theory, this is an added benefit but I don’t think it is needed.  The benefit of having the snaps on a more robust shirt is that you can train in the shirt without tearing off buttons.  You can practice clearing the garment on the range and after the drill you can just resnap the buttons and move on to the next drill. On a shirt like the Tarnkappe, I don’t think this is necessary since the fabric and weight would not hold up to a solid range session.  

All and all, I think it is a good looking shirt that could use a few improvements. Mainly by being wrinkle resistant, having slightly longer sleeves and body, less shrinkage after washing and a slightly lower price point.  If they could achieve these changes it could be a top contender for a date night concealed carry shirt.

Here is the counter point from Gus at Tarnkappe. We appreciate him explaining some of their company info. ~Mike, the editor.

You asked that we offer some counter points, however, we don’t have much to counter. Actually, for the most part we believe that the review highlights some of our objectives. For example, the comparison made in the cost section. We set out to design shirts that allow the wearer to blend in without revealing that he or she may be carrying a firearm.

They are meant to look like a shirt you can find at Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. The comparisons offered by the reviewer suggest that our shirts satisfy that goal, even though none of the shirts mentioned offer easy access to your handgun. Part of our reason for the higher cost is a result of coupling a high-quality shirt with the unique structure that provides easy access to the wearer’s weapon and the manufacturing of such a specialty design.

The comment in the durability section, “The shirt shrunk a good amount also”, took us by surprise. We are using US cotton, spun in North Carolina. The fabrics used go through a finishing process that results in a stable fabric that withstands normal washing and drying cycles and meets industry standards (no more than to 2% shrinkage). As soon as we read the draft, we reached out to several of our customers inquiring if anyone else had a similar experience. None reported any excessive shrinkage. Bringing quality shirts to market is really important to us, we would like to offer the reviewer two new shirts for his use, the exact same shirt reviewed (replacement) and a second shirt of his choosing to wear and wash per the recommended instructions to determine if he experiences the same shrinkage. It would also help us to know the washer and dryer settings used when he noticed the shrinkage.

Again, thank you for your help as we continue this journey. We look forward to hearing back from you.

By Lucas Brooks

About the Author: Luke is a defensive training junkie and competes in USPSA and IDPA. He has taken numerous classes from Steve Fisher (Sentinel Concepts), Steve Anderson, Aaron Cowan (Sage Dynamics), Dave Spaulding (Handgun Combative), Will Petty (Centrifuge Training), Scott Jedlinski (Modern Samurai Project), Jeff Bloovman (Armed Dynamics), Greg Ellifritz (Active Response Training), Kerry Davis (Dark Angel Medical) and many more. He joined the Green Ops staff in 2019. Luke has competed in powerlifting meets with his best performance totaling over 1400 pounds. (500 lbs. squat, 345 lbs. bench, 560 lbs. deadlift). While he does not compete in powerlifting meets currently, he still strength trains regularly.

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