Women often ask me for advice on holsters. I’m happy to listen to their needs and share some ideas, maybe help them narrow down the possibilities. But I can’t wave a magic wand and make the perfect holster appear.

I, personally, have a lot of holsters. And I’m okay with that. I like options, and I’m willing to train and practice with the different styles. What I am not okay with is people bad-mouthing and bashing holsters just because they don’t happen to like them. And this is where holster reviews and testimonials can get a little frustrating. I appreciate them for what they are. Clearly, reviews and testimonials feature a person’s personal thoughts and opinions. But sometimes, people take those personal thoughts and opinions as the deciding factor and the bottom line.

In fact, I was reading a holster review the other day, and the reviewer basically stated that the holster in question was dumb, pointless, and unusable. I thought that was a bit weird (if not also too harsh), especially since I (and many others I know) have used the exact holster many times with great success. I also watched a few videos with various individuals recommending holsters for women, but these ladies weren’t wearing the type of clothes I would wear, and they weren’t even remotely the same shape and size as I am! There was nothing wrong with their personal thoughts and opinions…or with the holsters, themselves. But how can I base my decisions on what they have to say? In that respect, if you put a group of women in one room, I bet we could come up with likes, dislikes, and issues with every holster you put in front of us!

All things considered, holster selection is quite a personal choice, especially for women. Beyond thinking about the gun itself, we always have to keep in mind our clothing options and our lifestyles when it comes to where and how we carry. And, honestly, it ends up being a lot like finding that perfect pair of jeans.

Women know: the selection process for jeans is not always easy. There’s no magic formula. And it takes a lot of trial and error. You have to find the right rise, the right color, the right length, the right size, and the right fit. And you have to like the pockets, the closures, the designs, and the brands. And oftentimes, what I like and what I find to be comfortable and flattering is not at all what works for my friends. Even those of us who are similar in shape and stature rarely like the same jeans. Why? We’re all so different. We have different expectations and comfort levels, and we have very different styles and needs.

It’s the same way with holsters. What works great for some of my friends may drive me bonkers, or what fits me just right is just not their thing—at all. What I find to be comfortable, accessible, and safe might not be comfortable, accessible, or safe for someone else. And that’s okay. Different strokes for different folks.

As long as safety is always first, and as long as we are able to find a balance between concealment and accessibility (with something that is comfortable enough for us to actually wear), I’m good. I’m not going to tell someone else what jeans she should buy, so I’m not going to tell her what holster is best, either. That’s your story. And it’s up to you to make it come true.