Binding 101: Brands, Care Tips, and Health

Bra Week_Rory Midhani_640

WELCOME TO BRA WEEK! This week and next, the Autostraddle writers and some special guests will be giving you the scoop on over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders and otherwise-inclined chest-covering situations — fashion, history, feelings and so much more.

By Sonny Oram

Welcome to Binding 101! Whether you are considering binding for yourself, have been binding for years but want to learn more about binder brands and health, or want to prepare to support your friends and loved ones, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to include my own experiences with binding as well as a crowdsource of favorite brands, care tips, and health advice.

What is Breast Binding?

Breast Binding is the practice of using a tight undergarment to flatten your chest. People may bind if they have body dysphoria, if they like wearing men’s clothing and want it to fit better, if they are performing drag, if they want to pass as male, or for other reasons. People with all sorts of identities bind.


Here’s Qwear writer Bing demonstrating how binding helps her clothes fit better.

Ways not to bind:

  • Duct tape/ packing tape/ any kind of tape
  • Ace bandages (get it together, Amanda Bynes!)

It’s generally good to stay away from these practices because it can cause scarring to your skin, hurt your mobility, and can be the cause of fluid build-up in lungs or even broken ribs. Ace bandages actually get tighter every time they stretch (i.e. when you breath) and breathing is important, guys. Ace bandages can also easily come loose and have to be redone, and don’t hide very well under thin clothes.

If you end up using these methods once in a while — for a performance, for example — you’ll probably be fine. But if you are planning on binding more often, I recommend obtaining a real binder.


Try a few of the brands I’m about to recommend, as everyone’s body is different, and it can take time to find the right binder for you. Some people are sensitive to different types of materials, for example, if you find one brand itchy, another brand might be just fine. If you can, try borrowing one from a friend to try it on before you buy it.

Binders will be a little tighter at first, and stretch out after you wear them for a few days. When you try it on, it should feel tight, but not so tight that you can’t breathe. Try a few different shirts on over it to see whether you like the look of it, and take notes of how the seams show. You may also find that you prefer one brand for working out, and another brand for maximum flatness during the day.

Sports bras:

Wearing flattening sports bras is a form of binding. In the long term they are safer for your lungs and ribs, but they won’t flatten as much as a real binder. Since I happen to have BINDERS OF QUEERS at my fingertips over at Qwear, I asked them which sports bras are the most effective at flattening your chest. People like:

Comment below with more brands you like.

Binder Brands:

There are several websites that sell binders intended to create as flat a look as possible. I’ve surveyed the queers, and their favorites are:

Les Love Boat: A shop based in Taiwan with many pullover, zipper, and velcro binders. They offer discreet packaging as well. They also make special binders for swimming, which absorb less chlorine! Queers across the board responded that Les Love Boat are superior in comfort to other binder brands and easier to put on and take off, but also noted that they don’t flatten as well as others. People especially recommend the High Performance Binder, and Air Max.

T-Kingdom: Another company based in Taiwan that ships across the world in only 10-15 days and carries a wide variety of compression tops. Most people gave positive reviews and like the 801. It fits smaller people with A or B cups best.

Oh look, there I am with LK Weiss of Jack Tar 207 wearing my Underworks Tri-tops binder under a tee, and you can hardly tell it's there!

Oh look, there I am with LK Weiss of Jack Tar 207 wearing my Underworks Tri-tops binder under a tee, and you can hardly tell it’s there!

Underworks: Based out of Miami and carries reshaping undergarments, with a large section devoted to breast binders. People (including myself) prefer their Tri-top binder, noting that the full body binder bunches up too easily. They also carry a few binding swim suits. Unfortunately, shipping internationally with Underworks gets expensive. Reviews report that Underworks binders bind really well but are the less comfortable of the brands, and harder to get on and off. Some people report back and skin issues with them. People with larger chests complain that it can be quite painful, even causing the need for painkillers.

Lesbian Tomboy T-Shirt Undershirt Slim Fit Chest Binder Vest Tops Tank M-XL

Lesbian Tomboy T-Shirt Undershirt Slim Fit Chest Binder Vest Tops Tank M-XL

Tank Top Binders from Ebay: Many people mentioned tank top binders from Ebay to me for the first time. They are quite afforable ($8.99 + shipping) and they look excellent to be worn just as a tank top in the summer time. They also come in fun colors, with contrast sleeve rings. Qwear writer Courtney Stirn notes of her Tank Top Binder: “It’s honestly more comfortable than a sports bra. There isn’t any elastic and it’s very easy to get into (and out of) compared to my friends’ Underworks stuff. The only issue I’ve found with it is that the fabric doesn’t breathe as much as traditional athletic fabrics. It seems like it might ride up on some folks (because of the lack of elastic) but that hasn’t been a problem for me. It does seem to ride just a bit when I’m being more active or when it’s been worn repeatedly and getting more stretched out, but nothing major or uncomfortable. I’ve worn it for entire days, multiple in a row with no pain or strain and honestly I feel like I could sleep in it if I wanted.”

Binder Care

Most binders are made of elastic materials that can easily wear down if washed in hot water and put in the drier.

However, it’s still important to wash your binders regularly, especially in the warmer months, to get rid of all the sweat, germs, and oil that can transfer onto it from your skin. This will lessen the risk of rashes and itchiness.

Every binder website I listed includes washing and care details specific to their binders. But, this is generally what you can do:

You can either wash your binder on a delicates or gentle cycle, in cold or warm water with materials of similar weight. If your binder has clasps, close the clasps to prevent them from catching on other things.

Or you can handwash your binder in the sink with a little detergent and warm water. Rinse it thoroughly to make you sure get out all the soap, and then hang it to dry.

Hanging your binder is generally better than putting it in a drawer because it helps maintain its shape.

(Many thanks to Guest Blogger, Logan for sharing much of this information with me in Intro To Binding: Health, Brands, And Care Tips via

Binding Health

Physical Health

We often talk about the health risks in involved with binding, but we don’t always address the significant improvement it can have for our mental health, and thus our overall health. It would be irresponsible of me not to tell you that:

  • Binding is not recommended during exercise, and a sports bra will provide easier breathing/ prevent lightheadedness
  • Binding is not recommended at night, and you aren’t supposed to bind more than 10 hours a day
  • Binding consistently for years at a time can cause damage to your skin and ribs

Though I personally am aware of all these facts, I still bind all day long and when I exercise, and even when I’m in my room alone, only taking it off to shower or sleep. The confidence, energy, comfort, and joy that I’ve grown to love in my life since I started binding outweighs any of the physical discomforts and health concerns it brings me. However, some people struggle with different types of physical issues around binding, and everyone should make the best choice for themselves. If you are feeling at all lightheaded as a result of binding, you should remove it and try a different size or brand. I used to have a binder from Underworks that was too small which I couldn’t wear for more than half an hour at a time without feeling lightheaded. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t supposed to be that tight. Now that I have the size up, I never have problems wearing it all day.

Mental Health

Binding for the first time can be scary, because you might be unsure about how people will react to your newly flattened chest. It can still be scary to imagine navigating those comments for the first time. If you are nervous about this, try preparing some answers in case these questions do come up. “I’d prefer not to discuss my undergarments,” will probably do the trick, but you could also take a lighter approach and ask them what kind of underwear they’re wearing.

We can have a lot of anxiety about binding because it’s not something people often talk about outside the queer community (how I would have loved for my mother to offer buying me a binder rather than a bra while I was growing up!), and there are many misconceptions about the identity you must have if you bind. Whatever your relationship is to your binder, just remember that you are normal.

Some people bind on certain days depending on what they’re wearing or what their feelings around their chest are on that day. Getting used to your new appearance can be scary at first. I was terrified when I tried on my first binder and thought it made me look too macho. But later on I tried it again and felt just right. Sometimes our initial reaction to a new appearance can be different than how we feel later on. Be gentle with yourself and take some time to explore your options.

Best of luck, and I’ll be sure to answer any questions you have in the comments!

More Binding Resources

Sonny Oram is the founder and editor-in-chief of Qwear, a Boston-based style blog for queer women, trans* people, and the dappers who love them. For their work with Qwear, Sonny has been interviewed for, Huffington Post Live and was featured in Go Magazine’s 2013 100 Women We Love, as well as in the Spanish magazine, MagLes.

Header by Rory Midhani

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Qwear has written 4 articles for us.


  1. This is an amazing reason for someone as woefully undereducated about binding as someone like me (femme with the opposite actual-amount-of-breast-tissue-to-ideal-amount-of-breast-tissue ratio problem) but who absolutely needs/wants to learn more! Thank you. :)

    Question re: buying a young person (preteen/early teen) their first bra vs their first binder, have there been any studies or anything wrt any potential physical health issues with someone whose ribcage/lungs/breast tissue/etc are still in development? I’m a (mostly) former asthma/lung/breathing problems kid and wouldn’t wish that constantly-breathing-through-a-straw crap on anybody, but I also don’t want to complicate anybody’s mental health wrt their body/gender either!

    So basically I’m wondering where the balance should fall for someone involved in a kid’s life to be a good ally for them while also not compromising their physical health if possible?


    • Thanks for the question! If the young person prefers a binder, I’d help them learn how to wear it as safely as possible. I’m not aware of tests that have been done, but I do know the effects of NOT binding are far too dangerous because the suicide rate among trans teens is so high. Just ensure the binder is comfortable and not making them light headed.

      Good luck and I’m glad this kid has you for support!

      • I should also mention that the kid is young enough to consider hormone blockers if that’s something they are interested in. If they really don’t want to develop a chest that might be the safest option. Depending on where you’re located, you can find a doctor that specializes in trans preteens and consult with them about what’s best.

  2. this is wonderful, thank u! binding has been on my mind for a while, but i’ve been v nervous about dealing with people’s reactions (especially ppl that i would maybe wanna be intimate with) and what binding means for My Gender Identity.

    question: are there places where u can go to try on binders?? i’m a pretty broke college student and i can’t really afford to really experiment with different ones right now, and would hate to buy one that i’m not happy with.

    i also am wonder if anyone can speak to how their binder intersects with their sexuality. like, if i get a binder am i not allowed to have my breasts part of sex? will my partners be attracted to my flat chest and not so into me once the binder is off? also- are your breasts sore after binding?

    • Hi Flower! These are such good questions. I think about stuff like this a lot. I am femme-presenting (long curly hair, skirts, etc) most of the time and I also bind a lot! I bind because of A) dysphoria related to having breasts and B) because I like the way my clothes look when my chest is flat. My gender identity is fluid, and I don’t get a lot of flak for that because of where I live (city in Upstate NY), and because of the way my gender identity intersects with my other identities (white, middle-class, graduate student). I have ordered from T-Kingdom and like the 801. I second the author on their suggestion to read reviews and I also like the binders101 tumblr.
      I have a variety of complex feelings about breasts during sex and can’t help you there. It’s a discussion that should be had, but it’s fraught for me and maybe for a lot of queer folks.

    • I can only speak for myself here but personally, as a femme-of-centre person who tends to be attracted to people who aren’t, I have never ever been disappointed by anyone’s chest once their binder etc situation came off. Ever. The only thing that you might want to do is make sure you tell your partner that you want your breasts to be part of your sexytimes, bc often (right or wrong) there can be an assumption that someone who binds would not want their chest included in said activities.

      That conversation can also be a really good chance to talk about how you like/don’t like your chest talked about (ie what terms to use: boobs, chest, breasts, pecs, etc) and touched, too. My $0.02. :)

    • Hey Flower! I can try to answer your last paragraph.

      You can do whatever you want with your body during sex (as long as it is consensual, of course). It’s your body to use in whatever way that makes you feel sexy! Having sex with a binder and tank top is cool, or just the binder (or sports bra), or naked. You can use your breasts to whatever degree you want during sex.

      I for one find flat chested women sexy, large breasted women sexy, and everyone in between. My partner finds me attractive when binding, wearing a bra, or completely naked. If you meet someone who isn’t into you after you take off your clothes… that’s their freaking problem, and you should kick their butt to the curb!

      90% of the time, my breasts actually feel better when they are on the lockdown (provided my sports bra or binder is the right size). The remaining 10% (around my period), I opt for a slightly looser fitting sports bra (which I find more comfortable than a regular bra anyway). Binding (when done right) doesn’t have to be a scary painful experience. It can feel snug in a comfortable way. I for one find it more comfortable than lace-y lingerie. But, as I have learned over and over from Autostraddle: you do you.

      Good luck!

    • Hi Flower! I just started binding in October, so I’m relatively new to this too. I remember being nervous about binding at first – I ordered one and once I got it, it sat under my bed for about 2 weeks before I tried it on – but after the first few times I wore it out, I got much more comfortable and I felt way better about myself. As far as trying binders on, I don’t know if there’s anywhere to do that, but I definitely second the suggestions to try wearing a tighter sports bra first to try out the look. Also, if you google ‘underworks coupon’ you should be able to find one. That’s what I did when I bought my binder (it’s not a lot off, but it’s still something).
      Also re: your question about binding and sex/sexuality, that’s really entirely up to you. I bind but have no problem with my breasts otherwise (as in during sex etc), but it’s different for other people. You do whatever you’re comfortable with and feels best to you. And on that note, if you do get a binder and decide that it’s not for you, that’s totally ok, too. You’re not stuck with it once you do it once.
      Again, this is all just from my experience and other people will have other advice for you. Hope it helped a bit :)

      On another note – do y’all have any advice/thoughts/feelings on binding in the summer?? I live in DC and during the summer it just gets way too hot for me to bind comfortably. Are there any binders that are more breathable?

    • I’m so glad that you guys included binders in bra week. (And in searching through articles, undies for masculine of center people was included during underwear week a while back.) It’s just nice as a genderqueer person to see that all kinds of people are represented on this site in every possible way and it’s a really really good feeling.

    • wow thank u all for your lovely responses!! seriously. they made me lose a lot of the anxiety i had and i super appreciate it c:

    • Where I live, there is a feminist sex shop that lets you try on binders, so you could look into that. If that doesn’t work out, I would highly suggest the tank top binder. They are pretty cheap and super comfortable. And for the record, you can also buy them on Amazon (which is where I got mine).

      • Thanks for the advice- in my own research I’d never come across the tank top binders before, but they seem like a great and inexpensive place to start! Just ordered one today!! :3 and it’ll be here by May 16 haha yayyy

    • I don’t know of any places you can try binders on, but if you have any friends who bind you could ask to try theirs on before purchasing. In terms of how it relates to your sexuality, that is only for you to answer. Your partners will be attracted to you as you feel most comfortable and, it’s up to you whether or not you want your breasts part of sex. Some people do, some don’t, some only sometimes. Best of luck, Sonny

  3. I wish I could bind my hips, too. I aspire to be dapper, but I’m just too curvy (and poor).

  4. To those of you who are curious about binding, but are worried about other people’s reaction, I would give it a try.

    I’m all over the map with my gender presentation. Some days I bind and wear a dress shirt and tie; other days I wear a dress, push-up bra, and high heels. I have found that in my (male-dominated) workplace, I actually get a lot more respect at work when I butch it up. It’s all because of the patriarchy of course, but since I view my gender presentation as fluid, I’m not going to change my changing ways for anyone. I’m just saying that a reaction to binding may not be a bad one, if that’s what you are worried about.

    Anywho, if you are curious, I would recommend starting with a sports bra. They can give you an approximate feel for how you are going to feel (physically and emotionally), and then you can go from there.

    • I completely understand you. I also feel very unconfortable sometimes, when I get hit on or disrespected by men for being feminine. But it always boils down to us, we have to change our clothes, be less “sexy” so men take us seriously (and sometimes other women too). And i don’t think this is an issue exclusively with men, more how we learn our gender-roles. I think all this behaviour is learned, we have to un-educate ourselves out of these stereotypical roles.

  5. This is great. And I would also love to humbly and politely and very delicately and super-respectfully ask for tips on removing a binder from someone else during sexytimes. Maybe that’s a whole separate piece. (Obviously some folks want to keep them on and that’s fine, but as a woman who’s never worn one but have had partners who have, I can honestly say I have 0% success rate at removing a binder — or even offering an assist — in anything other than a graceless, bumbling manner.) (Though admittedly laughing over that awkwardness has sometimes been an excellent ice breaker.)

    • I need something stronger than a thumbs-up for this comment because seriously, it’s like I forget how to operate my hands entirely???

    • I think the best is just to ask, because it depends on the person and the binder. I have a couple of different binders, and they all have different ways of getting me stuck in them, depending on how elastic they are, or if there’s velcro, or a bunch of things.

      The pullover kind often gets me stuck with my arms over my head and my face covered, which makes it harder to get unstuck, so someone just pulling it off for me at that point would be appreciated. (I pulled a muscle once getting stuck like this! It was the worst thing.)

    • I’m generally okay with taking mine off for sexytimes, so I can only speak for that, but I CAN tell you that my activity partner just asking if they could/if I wanted to take off my binder(and maybe looked like they were about to drool a bit) would be super hot weather I say yes or no or you-better-let-me-I-might-elbow-you-in-the-face

  6. I was literally coming online to buy a binder and wanted this article to exist, and then bam. Autostraddle delivered.

  7. thanks so much for this article! i hadn’t realized how much i needed it till i saw it posted.
    just one question: how does chest size relate to binders, i.e. is it more risky to wear a binder the bigger your chest size is and how do you choose the right binder size for your chest size?

  8. I would also like a tutorial on the hair featured in this article’s thumbnail, it is perfection!

    I am interested in reducing my bust in clothes because I’m exploring things with gender and it’s has been liberating BUT I want to make sure I’m doing it safely. I remember clumsy binding my self with bandages and duct tape and I fainted! So with that “oops” moment I haven’t been binding but I really been feeling that itch.

    Thanks for reading my mind again and have a wonderful bra and binding week!

    ~*~*~*~*queer magical rainbows~*~*~*~*~*~*

  9. I present myself as male generally and the clothes I wear ( I tend to go for the standard jeans, flannel top with undershirt and jean vest )cover my breasts fairly well but I have rather large breasts and I have thought about binding but believe that my bust size will make it too painful. Is there a way to bind “lightly” or just reduce the size a bit. I have tried sports bras but they seem to make it obvious that I am trying to cram them in there. My gender identity is pretty solid for me so it isn’t an urgent matter for me but sometimes I do find myself thinking about it. Thanks for the article by the way its really helpful !

  10. I know this is specifically for bra week but now can we get an awesome article about packing? It’s so hard to find tips and even discussions about it online!!

    • I feel like I’ve read an article like that in the past. Anyone got the link? (Although I might have dreamed it.)

    • a lot of ftm tumblers have info and Ask in-boxes re: packing. I like Artoftransliness. Hudson’s guide also has packing info. Also, the ftm youtube community has a ton of great info on packing for various functions (stand to pee packers, etc).

  11. It would be great if we could get a primer on dapper dressing while on a budget. Being a poor graduate student with sartorial aspirations and no idea what to do if I can’t shop at the GAP, JCrew etc, leaves me with little options.

    • If you ever happen to be visiting the Boston area, go to Keezer’s in the Central Square area of Cambridge. It is this amazing men’s suit store where rich people who apparently have too many nice suits sell some of them to the store for token amounts of money and then you can buy them for peanuts. And the staff take the presence of non-men customers in stride, and will help you find a suit that can be made to fit your body with as little tailoring as possible.

      I bought a $1000-if-new wool suit there for $70 (their suits fall in the $30-$80 range depending on how nice they are), plus another $70 to have it tailored to fit my (very curvy) body. I realize that $140 is still a lot of money but it’s cheap for a good men’s-style suit. It makes me so happy. You can also buy blazers and tuxes and a few accessories there.

  12. Hi, this post is really timely for me, but coming from a somewhat different direction. I’m MtF trans and I’ve been on hormones about 3 months now, which means I have noticeable breast tissue now. I’m out in general, but I don’t necessarily always present as female yet in all situations. As a result and I’ve been looking for something like that tank-top binder. For anyone who has worn them…are they generally cut for wider hips? Or could someone like me wear them without it looking super tight on top and super loose at the waist? Thanks so much for any help!

    • The tank top style ones work great for this. I am not out to my family and have started to grow a surprising amount of breast tissue with how long I’ve been on hormones. It doesn’t really work with v-necks and is too thick to work well with most button ups. I got the “Whatwears Les Lesbian Tomboy Short Vest Chest Binder Tops” which you can find on amazon to wear with less thick shirts, but I still wouldn’t wear it with certain cuts of shirt. I’d also recommend wearing it for as short a time as possible, because for me personally it caused significant dysphoria, but ymmv.

  13. Oh wow, I love Autostraddle so much.

    No where else has anyone even touched on how I was feeling when my mum bought me and my twin sister our first bras. I was ten, and my sister was keen, and I hid it in my bottom drawer for six months, randomly bursting into tears when I brought it out. So confusing. Irony is, eight years later I had quite large boobs I was pretty proud to show off.

    I think I’m currently bouncing back, and have actually been wearing sports bras in an effort to flatten recently, so this article is timed perfectly.

    • are we twins? i feel you so much on all counts, down to crying over my first bras, big boobs, and recent binding habits.

  14. This might be controversial but I bind with a self-adhesive sports bandage ( and it is magical. I think the controversy comes with people saying Ace bandages constrict more tightly (self-ratcheting) as the day progresses, causing rib / tissue damage. The adhesive sports bandages don’t do that because the bandage can’t slide over itself to constrict, the way a non-adhesive Ace bandage would. The adhesive is not like tape, more like the adhesiveness of rubber cement or a paper name tag. I might add that commercial binders can also be over-constricting, so binder health isn’t guaranteed with an Underworks binder, for example, if it’s too tight.
    I do take the precaution of taking in a big lungful of air when I wrap, just to make sure I don’t bind too tightly. I’ve been using these adhesive sports bandages for a year and I really appreciate the fact that they are so cheap and versatile (safe for using during sports, obviously, and I can have 5 or 6 for laundering rotation for less than the price of a single commercial binder). I tried the Underworks binder and it was much bulkier and less breatheable than the sports bandage; I sent it back. Sports bandages might be a great option for someone who wants to try binding before investing in a commercial binder. Plus, it’s way easier to explain the presence of a sports bandage in your gym bag or even wrapped around your ribs, without having to disclose gender / dysphoria info!

  15. Totally off topic, but I want a tutorial on how to do my hair like the human in picture 1. Very. Cute.

  16. I’d recommend one of the velcro binders from LLB for people who are worried about jumping into binding. You can adjust how tight to wear it which is useful for easing into the new look over time, if that’s a concern. I also like the velcro style because I can’t stand pain and it lets me decide how comfortable I want to be. Plus it’s really so easy to put on and take off. I also agree with what others here have said– It’s not a bad idea to get a good sports bra first if you’re considering binding.

  17. My binder is my thunder jacket.
    (now I just need to get more than one so I’m not just washing it once a week)

  18. Anyone have thoughts on how any of these things work on people with big boobs? I already wear sports bras close to 100% of the time. I like them – I mostly can’t stand regular bras, plus they are difficult to find and expensive in my size – but I’m not sure the sports bras are doing much to flatten my 34DDDs. Those tank top binders look pretty cool but I’m pretty sure that model is not at all my size.

    • I am equally large chested (exact same size actually!) and I don’t know about the tank top binders, but I have found that some of the more powerful ones from Underworks get the job done. Its not magic- even when wearing the full length double panel superpower one you can see that there’s something there, much to my chagrin, but it does reduce the appearance pretty significantly. My best advice is just measure yourself and follow sizing charts meticulously (and don’t get the short ones from lesloveboat: they’re too short for bigger chests!)

    • Hi! So I am the same size – and although the tri top from underworks is really good I am favouring my full length one at the moment(think it’s called ‘ultimate compression top’ or something).
      What I do with my full length one is put it on and arrange my chest, then fold the bottom part up from my stomach over my chest so I effectively have 2 layers of compression there, and then I safety pin it to keep in place (although that is only necessary when I am moving about loads – otherwise it stays just fine.)
      I find this better than the tri top because the volume of breast tissue is such that the greater stiffness of the tritop doesn’t allow it to contour properly and I end up with a lumpy chest that I can’t arrange in the best way to suit my figure – it compresses better than one layer of the full length one, but not than two.
      This is with a year old full length one and a 6 month old tri top.
      Hope that’s helpful =-)

  19. If anyone’s not got much cash, my friend’s sibling Thekla ( makes fantastic custom binders for only £10. Not sure how much that is in dollars, plus shipping to the US, but I wear one of theirs and it’s super comfy. It binds much better than one I got from ebay, and the zip at the back is way easier to use than fiddly hooks and eyes.

  20. Great article! I wish I would have had this article when I was younger and binding! Especially the health parts. I remember duct tape and ace both feeling so uncomfortable and thinking it may be damaging but not really knowing.


  21. Wow, thank you so much for effectively making a comprehensive binding guide. Finding the information about binding was relatively difficult when I first started binding, even when simply trying to find binders that function in my daily life (for both sports bras and full on binders).

    Also, of course you would because you’re the brightest and best queer site ever, but thank you for including binding in Bra Week. You’re magical.

  22. As a femme-of-centre person who binds to dance male parts in ballet (and occasionally just to get my large boobs to fit the dance aesthetic), I highly recommend Moving Comfort sports bras. They’re not as tight or spanx-y in consistency as a real binder or a bandage wrap, but easily cut down by two or three cup sizes the profile of one’s chest, and of course do not impair breathing AT ALL (have danced quite a few shows in them so I needed to breathe!). They’re pretty tight, so I wouldn’t recommend going down a band or cup size unless you are not moving much. The bras run in a mid to expensive price range, but last forever and very importably, cause no weird sweat rashes.

  23. We have been trying to contact the editor to update this article, but still have not heard back. We are the manufacturer and sole distributor in US and Canada for Double Design Binders. For all our customers, you can now order high quality binders via our Seattle based website directly. No need to go through Les Love Boat from Taiwan. We offer free shipping and free return. First time customers can also get 10% discount.

    Thank you for your support

  24. Tape isn’t all that bad for binding, specially sports tape. It actually binds better than a ‘real’ binder, because it flattens the breasts directly down, depending on if you know how to put them on.
    The ‘real’ binders usually just compress your entire chest, not your breasts specifically. And that’s why the dreaded uni-boob look is left, instead of, you know, pecs. So it’s really up to you to make them smaller through excercise and diet, it’ll help a lot.

    There’s another online site to buy binders from, and theirs work so much more effectively than LesLoveBoat’s and Underworks. It’s GC2B, and their binders are made FOR trans-identified folks and others who want to hide their breasts better. Without that uni-boob look, or any other look that’ll give your breasts away.

    • Oh yeah, you can find the perfect method for binding with tape by searching up Open Chest Binding tutorial in google, you see exactly how it has to be done. It takes some practices to get it done right, and to achieve the look that you want. Because the method isn’t about wrapping your chest with the tape like a mummy.

      The type of tape used for it is a little on the pricey side, but it’s skin-friendly.

      But these little tips are in the off-chance that someone actually bothered to scroll this far down the page.

    • I just ordered from GC2B, and I’m excitedly waiting for my binder to arrive. Their customer service is top-notch, by the way.I already own an Underworks, but I’m not finding it that comfortable.Im hoping the GC2B will be the winner!

  25. This article is very informative, though I’m not sure I’m the right audience for it.

    I’m just a young adult female, that is somewhat interested in binding to reduce but not eliminate some of my large chest. I am considering and hoping for a reduction surgery, but I would like something to kind of replace that for a while. I was more interested because I was hoping for a kind of bra alternative because apparently my E/F size chest wears out bras too quickly to really be efficient. I can’t afford to spend 50+ on a bra every few months ;o; Plus they get in the way while I’m working and such.

    Is there anything you could recommend??

  26. Hi,
    I am the mother of a 13 year old daughter who has asked me to be her a binder. She recently came out and told me she’s androgynous and I researchered for days on the topic. I’m here now, again, researching binding. I am heartbroken not because of who or what she says she is, but because I suffer low self-esteem terribly and know what it’s like to be uncomfortable every day in my own skin and knowing she’s in uncomfortable too hurts me deeply. I don’t really know anyone who has had to go through this soni feel lost and sometimes scared. I want only what’s best for her. So any help or advice anyone can offer would be much appreciated. Thank you….

    • I don’t know what to offer you, but your daughter has a supportive parent who clearly cares alot.
      That means and does so much for gender variant kid, especially at that age to have your support rather than an attempt to force assimilation.

      • Thank you…I’m glad there’s more awareness now than ever before but for supporters I wish there were more. Everyone keeps telling me it’s a phase. It may be, but I don’t see it that way. I know 13 is young but I also don’t think many 13 year olds will transform their gender unless they have deep feelings about it. I’m proud of her, I applaud her bravery, yet I’m scared for her in a world that’s so cruel. I’ve already lost “friendships” due to nasty comments regarding transgender issues surrounding Kaitlyn Jenner…I don’t need the negativity around us. Anyway, just looking always for info and support from ppl who understand.

  27. I’ve been looking for binder sizing charts and I’m so confused. One says it depends on height, weight, underbust size, and boob size. Another says it’s only underbust and boob size. There are so many different size charts that I’ve just confused myself more by looking. Please help me find the right size?

  28. Hello I was wondering if the binder will permanently make my chest flat after I use it say, a year?
    Also I was wondering which brand would be best for sizes D in bras and should I get the binder a size xL?
    This was very informative thank you. Hope to hear from you.

    • I can’t help you with sizing, but no, binding won’t permanently make your chest flat. It will, however, cause various physical and health concerns such as those outlined in the article. I hope that’s a little helpful!

  29. i am very uncomfortable about my body, and i was just wondering if it is safe to wear a binder for people with larger breasts, more specifically DD size. I’ve heard two different answers from two different people, and i don’t want to put my physical health at risk, but a sports bra just isn’t cutting it for me.

    I just want to know your honesty opinion about binding larger breasts for a fifteen-year-old, and which brands are best for larger breasts.

    • Hi Matida, yes, it is safe at any size if you follow these precautions! As always, just make sure it’s loose enough that you can still breathe comfortably. I’ll let others comment on best brands as I haven’t bound in many years and there are probably new options since I wrote this article.

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