I faced this dilemma when my daughters were married and I had to wear a tuxedo. It would have been easy to go unarmed, but my three decades in law enforcement have made me realize that bad things happen to good people. So I went armed with a small semi-auto tucked under the cummerbund of my uncomfortable outfit.
Since then, the little Ruger has become part of my regular attire and I carry it when other guns would be problematic, such as the beach or poolside. It’s been totally reliable ever since.
The Ruger LCP .380 is not a belt holster gun. This pistol is intended for back-up/deep concealment situations and should be carried so. I carry it in either my front pants pocket or my front coat pocket because there is nothing suspicious about having your hands in either as you go about your daily routine. How about the complexity of drawing from these locations? Pocket draw is not that complicated regardless of what some will say. How many times in your life have you put your hand in your pants or coat pocket? Thousands? Just use what you already know and do and go from there.
First, get a quality pocket holster that will keep your gun upright in the pocket(s) you intend to use it with and practice. I like the inexpensive Nemesis pocket holster from DeSantis (800-424-1236; desantisholster.com) and have used it all across the country.
When inserting the hand, keep it flat (just like you already do) and allow it to “glide” over the outside of the gun. Hook the grip with your three lower fingers and keep your thumb on the back of the slide to help guide it out. Make sure that your finger stays out of the triggerguard until the gun is on target and you are ready to shoot.
Practice this from a standing position, sitting position, in your car or any other position that you will likely be in. This is not rocket science, work with this and you will figure out what works for you.
While I do not consider the Ruger LCP .380 to be a primary carry gun, I have found myself relying on it when other guns won’t do. When loaded with Corbon DPX and fitted with the CTC Laserguard, I do not feel unarmed. I would not want to take on a sniper, but if I were fending off an attacker in the parking lot, this gun would work just fine.