Lead of the Day:

Does this gun make me look fat?

That's how an AP report on new fashions for women who have concealed carry permits begins.

Now, it seems, these ladies (and their number is growing) can pack heat and still wear feminine clothes:  

"I don't want to dress in tactical gear and camo all the time. I love tactical clothing for the range. It's comfortable. I don't want to ruin my everyday clothing," said Marilyn Smolenski, who in 2012 created Nickel and Lace, a company that caters to women who want to carry a firearm concealed but don't want to trade in their femininity. "But I don't want to wear it to the grocery store."

Smolenski started her company right around the time when Chicago city laws changed and she could again legally carry a firearm. When that happened, she struggled to find something that didn't make her look frumpy and didn't broadcast that she was packing heat.

Most of the clothing was geared to men – coats with hidden pockets, or holsters that tuck neatly inside a waistband. But until the last few years, those weren't always great options for women who don't wear belts as frequently and are more likely than men to wear form-fitting clothing, making it difficult to hide the fact they're carrying a firearm.

The story reports that there are a number of designers who cater to women with guns.

While I would not own a gun (too klutzy), I realize that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens save lives and promote lawful behavior, especially the lives of women who are not as physically strong as men.

So it's nice to know that carrying a firearm is no longer an impediment to being fashionable.