Chest Binding 101

FTM Chest Binding

Chest binding is a way for many trans men to curb dysphoria, and is a fairly common step in FTM transition. “Binding” refers to flattening breast tissue to create a male-appearing chest using a variety of materials and methods. While binding with common household items is an inexpensive route, it can also be unsafe. Chest Binding 101 is your guide to how to bind safely, where to get a chest binder, how to choose a binder that best suits you, and how to put on your binder.

How to Chest Bind Safely

The first step in learning how to bind safely is finding about what’s not safe to do. Don’t use Ace bandages or duct tape—they aren’t meant for binding, don’t move with your body, and can cause physical harm. They can seriously restrict breathing, cause fluid build-up in your lungs and other serious injuries, such as broken ribs. There have been numerous cases of trans men who’ve acquired permanent scars and other injuries from using Ace bandages or duct tape to bind. Don’t do it.

Can chest binding affect my ability to have FTM Top Surgery? “Generally speaking, no. Binding over a long period of time can alter your skin’s natural elasticity, which may have some minor affects on your final cosmetic results.” – Dr. Scott Mosser

Even with the right binder product it’s still possible to bind unsafely. Despite what you may have been told, don’t buy a binder that’s too small for you. Wearing an ill-fitting binder puts you at risk of the same problems as those who bind with Ace bandages or duct tape. Another piece of bad advice floating around out there is to wear tape and/or another binder on top of your binder. This too can cause restricted breathing and physical injury.

Lastly, give your body a break: don’t bind 24/7. In fact, don’t bind for more than 8-12 hours at a time. Suppressing dysphoria can’t come at the expense of your health. Even high quality binders can cause bruising. Use the times that you’re not binding to wash and air dry your binder, which will help make it last longer.

Where to Get a Chest Binder

A proper chest binder should minimize pain, discomfort, sweating, and irritation. There are several places online where you can buy chest binders specifically designed for trans men:

Underworks sells binders originally made for cisgender men with gynecomastia, and subsequently became popular with transgender men for their effectiveness and affordability. Underworks is trans-friendly and have excellent customer service as well. Stick to the binders that have “extreme” in the name or description. A binder without this label may not give you the compression you hoped for unless you have a very small chest already. Prices range from $25-45 USD.

Double T Collection is another trans guy owned and operated company dedicated to the FTM community. Based in Taiwan, they have three binders to choose from priced at $72-84 USD. The Love Boat Shop (see below) also sells Double T binders.

Wow-Wow-Wear is a Blogspot site established in 2009 that sells Esha binders from Taiwan. Esha binders are high quality, durable and easily washable and come in three different styles, with prices in the $32-42 USD range. The Love Boat Shop (see below) also sells Esha binders.

T-Kingdom is also based in Taiwan and sells binders designed for trans men and gender benders. They have a wide variety of styles, including vest binders with Velcro. Prices range from $30-65 USD. Note: T-Kingdom doesn’t accept returns.

Love Boat Shop is another online store based in Taiwan. They feature a large selection of binder styles and colors made by Double T Collection, Esha and Juya, with prices ranging from $21-$100 USD.

Danaë is a trans guy owned and operated company from the Netherlands, offering European guys the chance to save on shipping. Prices range from €30-45, and they allow returns after an email notification and within seven days of your receiving your binder.

Design Veronique has been designing high quality compression garments since 1986 and is the choice of several US-based surgeons. However, higher prices in the $100-180 USD range, and a lack of information about if these products are durable enough for long term use call into question their suitability for daily chest binding.

Nabay is a lesser known company located in Japan. They appear to have a good variety of binder styles to choose from, however all products are currently sold out and they didn’t respond to a request for more information. Prices range from $105-112 USD.

Quick Comparison Chart

Company Location Price (USD) Trans Owned
Underworks USA $25-45 N
Double Collection Taiwan $72-84 Y
Wow Wow Wear Taiwan $32-42 ?
T-Kingdom Taiwan $30-65 ?
Love Boat Shop Taiwan $21-100 ?
Danaë Netherlands $38-58 Y
Design Veronique USA $100-180 N
NABAY Japan $105-112 ?

Depending on where you live, you might also find chest binders in stock at your favorite local sex positive merchant. Another option, if you know someone who’s skilled with a sewing machine, is to have a custom binder made for you, as YouTube’s sillyyetsuccinct did:

YouTube Preview Image

Used Binders

If you can’t afford a binder, don’t despair! Used binders are often passed on by post-op trans men or those whose binders may no longer fit. There are a few programs available that help distribute donated second-hand binders:

Trans Clothing Exchanges are another place where you can often find inexpensive binders. You can also try asking around for a hand-me-down binder on one of the mailing lists for trans guys or check out LiveJournal’s FTM Garage Sale and the FtM Sales, Swap, and Support group on Facebook.

How to Choose a Chest Binder

If you still remember your old bra size, you can find out your binder size by using the Bra to Chest Size Converter Tool. If you don’t know your old bra size, you can measure yourself the old-fashioned way:

  1. Take a snug measurement of the fullest part of your chest using a tape measure (best if measured while clothed) and write that number down onto a sheet of paper.
  2. Measure underneath your chest where the crease is and write that number down as well.
  3. Add those numbers together and divide the sum by 2. This number will differentiate your size not only from brand to brand but from binder to binder as well.

Selecting a binder brand and style can be difficult: there are so many options that it can be overwhelming! Plus, there aren’t very many reviews of binders other than those about Underworks’ and T-Kingdom’s more popular models. After buying your binder, help make the experience easier for guys in the future by contributing your review to one of the review sites listed below.

Essentially, there are two types of binders: short ones and long ones. The short ones end right at your waist. The down side of these is that if you carry some extra weight, short binders tend to roll up and act more like a bra. The long ones can be pulled down past your waist by several inches, however it’s inevitable that it will still roll up. To reduce the chances of this, wear a belt. Choosing between a short and long binder has more to do with your body type, specifically your abdomen, and not your chest size.

Lastly, consider the location of the company you’re buying from. Buying from a company that’s closer to you can save you a significant amount of money on shipping costs.

How to Put On a Chest Binder

It might seem silly, but you’re probably going to need some help figuring out how to put on your new binder, particularly if you purchased one of the longer styles.

  1. Put your binder inside out and upside down.
  2. Step into your binder and pull the bottom of it up, ideally to your belt line. The binder should still be inside out and upside down.
  3. Use the sleeves as handles to pull the top of the binder (the end closer to your feet) up to your shoulders.
  4. Put your arms through the sleeve holes and adjust your chest to your needs. You may need to pull the bottom of the binder out from underneath itself if you don’t want it folded under. For others, leaving it folded under may help stop the binder from rolling up.

Don’t be disappointed if you look in the mirror and it looks like you have one big boob in the middle of your chest. You just need to adjust your chest. Reach in from the neck hole and push your chesticles down and out. You’re basically pushing your nipple toward your armpit to achieve the flattest looking chest possible.

FTM Chest Binding Tips

Very important: When binding, you should not by any means feel as though you can’t breathe or like you’re going to pass out from a lack of oxygen.

Binders aren’t the most comfortable things in the world. To make binding more comfortable, and to reduce the possibility of the binder moving around a bit, some guys wear a light shirt underneath.

Depending on the size of your chest, you may need to layer clothing on top of the binder to get optimal chest flattening. You’ll find that some of the shirts in your closet require you to layer more than shirts in your wardrobe.

You can swim in your binder. Just wear a sleeveless or sleeved T-shirt over it. Don’t worry if your binder seems less effective after a swim, this isn’t permanent. Simply wash it and it will go back to normal.

Your chest will look bigger than it really is when you look down at it. Check in the mirror for a more accurate side view.

Not all binders breathe well, and the reality is that you’re probably going to get hot. If you’ve already started testosterone, you’re definitely going to sweat. The build up of sweat can irritate your skin causing rashes and sores. Wearing a thin cotton shirt that breathes well underneath your binder may help prevent this. If you find this uncomfortable, try applying corn starch to your body before putting on your binder to help keep it from holding in moisture. If you’ve already experienced skin irritation of some sort, take care of it the same way you would an open wound. Washing the irritated area with anti-bacterial soap will keep it clean and help it heal faster.

Conclusion

Chest binding, as cumbersome as it may seem, can be very freeing for transgender men. There’s a plethora of quality FTM chest binding products available for body types of all shapes and sizes. Regardless of what you use for binding, please remember to put your health first. Now that you’re armed with all the information you need to find the right binder for you, go forth and feel more comfortable in your skin!

FTM Chest Binder Reviews

(Note: These sites are no longer updated.)

More FTM Chest Binding Resources

Do you have any tips about binding? Want to share your experience with a particular binder brand or model? Do you know of other binder manufacturers, particularly those outside of Asia and the US? Please leave your comments below.

Last updated: 09/07/16

96 Comments

  • Percival says:

    I’m not sure Nabay is in business anymore, their binders have been sold out since last year, at least. Maybe longer.

  • Adohnes says:

    thx for awesome tips! XD

  • Isaac says:

    I had a horrible experience with Underworks. After having the mastectomy I ordered a binder to help with the compression. I ordered the “male compression/binder top” with the male sizing. NOT MALE SIZING!!! I complained a lot to get a refund (terrible customer service). I said I was male and had ordered the correct size, but since they have a sister company selling the same shirt as a FTM binder I didn’t believe their sizing was right, nor their sneaky company.
    However, they kinda have the market cornered..be aware to order a size up, if it didn’t fit without breasts, it ain’t gonna fit with ’em.

  • Ira Gray says:

    Isaac:
    Every binder is going to be tight. That’s the whole purpose. The sizes vary from binder to binder on Underworks’ site depending on your chest measurement. The way one measures the chest isn’t dependent upon whether or not one has breasts. There are other companies on the list in the article that don’t permit returning and/or exchanging products. So, you’re lucky in this case. Every company has its downfalls, and, for that reason, we all need to do our research and be intelligent consumer, which is what this article attempts to help with. Furthermore, many of us feel as though Underworks has the market cornered, but there are at least six other brands one can choose from. There just isn’t as much information on the web about the others.

    Percival:
    I noticed that as well, but I thought since maybe the site is still up they may just make a comeback? This is probably wishful thinking on my part.

    Adohnes:
    Thank you, I’m glad I could be of some help.

  • Nicholas says:

    Thanks for the review, I do have one tip though for longer style binders. I’ve found that using shirt stays generally keeps the binder from rolling up for moving around. I can bend and jump and lift without worrying about my binder moving around and loosening. I made a video about it on youtube which can be found here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_3OQxb_DPE

  • M says:

    Thanks for the review. I checked out all of these sites and ordered one binder from LES LOVE BOAT. I just have to say IT’S AMAZING.

    AMAZING.

    I have had 2 binders from underworks, which are of a stiff material that chafes all over, and even considered not binding after that, and one from T-Kingdom, which looks like a big elastic waistband over the chest and doesn’t flatten that much. They were pretty uncomfortable and every time I had to put one I dreaded it.

    I just have to rave about the one from Love Boat because I didn’t think it was possible to have a binder this comfortable. It’s super soft (yes, SOFT) and I can’t even feel it – it’s more comfortable than a sports bra! And somehow it flattens the same as a medium compression one, I don’t know how, because it’s not even tight or anything. I got the short style one, but I would be tempted to get the long style one and use it as a tank top, because it looks like a regular shirt. It also arrived on time and I had problems paying online so they contacted me directly – great customer service.

  • Marcus says:

    Thanks for the article, I’ve had passing out issues on a couple of occasions, I unfortunately have to deal with DD’s and their pretty unruly, making it impossible for me to pass. Is their any binder-making company you would recommend looking at for such a situation (I’m still ages away from affording surgery)?

    My original M.O. was duct tape…

  • devon says:

    I need to know how to make a chest binder because my mom doesn’t know.

  • ira says:

    hey, everyone, i know i wrote down instructions for how to put on a binder, but i made a video showing how to shortly after writing this article. i thought it may be helpful for visual learners.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbHM7Lp6jp0&lc=4kdeFaAv3cOTWXXcnDi3HQiRpF0AHDZ6mtaajTUX6gA&feature=inbox

  • Okapi says:

    I just wanted to thank you for posting the How-To about putting on a binder – it’s super effective! I feel so much better about myself while wearing one and having an easier time putting it on makes it that much more worthwhile.

  • Hyenadon says:

    I’m so confused! Not because of this article but because I’ve heard so many different things about Underworks etc… I’m size D and need something that will put my mind at ease so I don’t have to worry about how I look anymore. Problem is I don’t exactly have any money and even the $30 Underworks binders are too much. I really need a binder that I KNOW will do the job well because I don’t have the money to go out and buy better ones every week…

  • Jay says:

    Nabay only answers questions and orders in japanese. If you didn’t send one in japanese thats most likely why they didn’t answer.

  • Lewis says:

    I would definitely recommend Danaë especially if you live in the UK. Decent prices, decent styles (the ones with the zips are good) delivery is quick and more importantly they make skin coloured ones!

    I hated wearing black or white ones, the white would never stay strong enough and both colours could be seen under shirts unless they were proper thick or a t-shirt was also worn which sometimes just looked stupid. Now I can wear a skin coloured one with just a normal shirt over the top (as in smart shirt not just t-shirt) and I don’t have to worry about having to add extra layers to hide the binder. Brilliant especially in summer! Had an appointment down to the London clinic yesterday and I went in just a thin red/white/blue checked shirt (and jeans obviously!) and wasn’t dieing of heat stroke! Why more companies don’t make skin coloured binders I don’t know as this is something you want to stay invisible.

    They are also very good with returns as well and their communication is great.

    The only thing I would say is not to bother with the strapless binder, with nothing to hold it up it is pretty much useless.

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  • Uriah says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of Nabay Shirts. I’m sad they only accept orders in Japanese and even more sad I don’t know enough Japanese to make an order. My binder is falling apart, finally, after 4 years of daily wear. I had a spare I gave to someone 🙁

    Even when I was completely broke, I still scrimped and saved to buy that second binder. The price point is equal to the quality of the product. Now if I could just find someone who knows enough Japanese to get my order through, I’d be ecstatic!

  • Mike says:

    I ordered and received a binder from Underworks this weekend. I didn’t have any problems at all with them as far as swift shipping, and the order went through smoothly. I got the model that has compression on the top only, and I must say I am quite pleased with the product thus far. I’m somewhat of a small guy, but even though with my size I COULD get away with wearing a T-shirt (I get called “sir” all of the time even in regular clothes, but you can still see “lady lumps” if I’m standing up straight or wearing a tight shirt) the binder really did hide my unfortunate lumps quite nicely. I planned to buy different binders to see how they fit, but really Underworks is a good place to start. My ONLY complaint about the binder, is that it does tend to pull on the shoulders a little if you wear it for an extended period of time, which could get uncomfortable, but otherwise it wasn’t unbearable, and it was nice to feel a masculine chest. I’ll update whenever I get around to trying a different binder.

  • jes says:

    Are there any stores that physically sell binders? I’m 14 and don’t have a credit card & my mom doesn’t know. I need to buy one ASAP. (I live in Ohio.) Thank you

  • Rowen says:

    Hey Jes, if you need a credit card you can always buy a Visa gift card from a grocery store or pharmacy, like CVS. They’re used like normal credit cards that way you can order what you need online.

  • Paul says:

    So, I’ve been binding daily for about 6 years now. My DD’s are so saggy that they’re level with the bottom of my ribcage, and I’m able to see my pecs above (knowing I have pecs almost makes up for what’s drooping off of them). This is extremely uncomfortable, but the alternative is being almost constantly light-headed because my muscles have forgotten how to breathe properly. I don’t like leaving the house because most of my clothes don’t fit right without a binder, and I really can’t pass without one anyway. As much as I’d like to simply put everything on hold until I’ve had top surgery, I don’t this is feasible.

    Suggestions? Anything?

  • Daen says:

    I bought two binders from TKingdom but they don’t work that well. My friend says that she can still see I have a woman’s chest. The binders flatten my chest only a little bit. I tried the normal bras for women and found out that I am about 34A or 32A or something like that. I am not fat. So a good binder should give me a very flattened chest. But the chest binders from TKingdom don’t work that well!! I am now going back using ace bandages. This is the most efficient method after all.

  • Miki says:

    Hey,
    I’ve got a Model 1300 from T-Kingdom and I’m very pleased. According to the size chart, I’d have chosen a large. I chose a medium and it fits me as supposed to. There’s velcro in on of the sides, so you can adjust if wanted. The shipping to Denmark was pretty nice. The cost was okay, and the speed was impressive.

  • aCreativeBoi says:

    Yes, I love Love Boat. I have a long binder w/ velcro and I’m kinda a bigger boi so it flattens the chest pretty well (size C cup) and even my bit of belly I’m trying to get rid of. Customer Service is great and once I get some more cash planning to get another one. Oh they also take Paypal Bill Me Later so if you have that through Paypal yoh can buy now and have like 6 months to pay off … Not trying to get anyone into debt but if it helps.
    🙂
    Anyway bros hope that helps later.

  • joshua says:

    i am looking to buy a binder for myself because i just dont feel comfortable in my own skin i cant afford to spend alot of money i have read all the comments on here and i really dont know where to go. i wanna go threw the surgery but i dont have that kind of money right now so if anyone can be of any help please let me know

  • Joshua says:

    @joshua Did you check out the links under “Used Binders” to the free and discounted binder programs?

  • mike says:

    So I have a question,if I get one size smaller of a binder,will it have more of a effect and flatten my chest more?…and is that bad?

  • Kim says:

    I have had great experiences with Underworks over the years. I am just beginning to transition, physically anyway, but have passed as male since I was a child. I sadly have very large annoying breasts, and underworks binders (I have four different kinds from there) are GREAT. I actually do not remember what the sizes are that I have but they may well be a size down. They are very tight, as they are supposed to be! I do not have trouble breathing or any such thing, but yes they are a bit difficult to get on. Once on I feel SO much better, physically and mentally. Just wanted to say my piece. They have great customer service btw.

  • Joshua says:

    @Mike Sorry, just saw your comment now… As the article mentions (3rd paragraph), getting a binder that’s too small is not a good idea.

    @Kim Thanks for sharing your experience with Underworks!

  • Michael says:

    Mike (who posted on the 19 August 2011), what size did you buy? I’m also a small guy, l also pass at times wearing regular tshirts. l’m a size 13-14 year old jeans and tshirts, at times 11-12. l also need help with buying a binder. l’m in Africa so things are tight as there isn’t anywhere you can buy a binder in my country. Please people help. l want an affordable or discounted ones for at most 30 dollars including shipping. l can’t go out, my chest shows those lady lumps.

  • Help with convincing parents to let me get a binder says:

    So, I had a friend that was willing to spend money on binders, but they got shipped back by my friends parents. My mom and dad aren’t to keen on binding so I have to use home materials. The ‘binder’ itself it pretty apparent and it only flattens a little, but it’s better than nothing. I constantly have to wear two to three shirts and a jacket to hide the binder. My parents won’t let me go to the LGBT youth center either so I don’t really know what to do regarding binders. I hate going outside, even though my chest is small, with a medium to small sized tshirt it’s obviously a girls chest. I’m a little depressed. I can’t run or stand up straight.

  • OK, this isn’t a perfect solution, but have you tried a snug sports bra? That might tie you over until you can get a binder. If you can get it shipped to a friend’s address (so that your parents don’t return it) you could maybe get a binder from the In A Bind program (assuming you’re in the U.S.) See link under Used Binders above.

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  • Alex says:

    This article is really helpful! Is it safe to buy cheap binders, like those $10 Taiwanese ones? Are cheap binders dangerous, or are they just likely to wear out more quickly?

  • Thanks Alex. While I don’t think the cheaper binders are dangerous, it’s generally true that you get what you pay for. But if money is tight, get a cheap binder now and start saving for a higher quality binder.

  • Wolf says:

    I am dying to get a binder but I can’t seem to get one. I got one of the popular underworks binders in the right size and I couldn’t get it on, at all. It’s like they don’t account for the fact some people have some thicker thighs and actual hips. Am I just completely SOL? I have a large chest size… like… 40DD… 38DDD if I feel like it being tighter around my chest! Which from personal experience with bras the hooks I’ve seen on some binders would wear out super fast and I can’t imagine velcro lasting more then a few months either, which is why I had been hoping for one that didn’t need to close… all of those are ages out of my prize range anyway.

  • nik says:

    hey, great article. very helpful as well as all the comments here. just wondering if anyone can recommend some binders from lez love boat. I’ve seen a few comments now from guys raving about them but they don’t mention which binder they got that they love so much ;p
    would love to know, thanks!

    ps. I have an underworks binder being delivered today. I’ll post back here with a review when I’ve tried it out 🙂

  • "Trace" says:

    Thank you very much for the article! It was very helpful and informative. I just wish I had read it before yesterday. Yesterday was my first time binding, and I ended up using ace bandages to portray a male NPC for a LARP. By the end of the day, I was in PAIN. I’m still a little tender… I will be looking into getting a binder as soon as possible for a new character I planned on introducing in the next couple of months.

    Thank you, again.

  • Taj says:

    There is a binder company that makes binders specifically for FTM. It is called “Mansculpture.” http://www.mansculpture.com I have one of thier products, the ManZip Max. The binder is very comfortable, surprisingly breathable and less hot than others have been. It is very good quality and has great compression, even for someone who has a large chest, like me (38DD). And they have sizes that can fit larger guys, unlike most of the Asia-based companies.

  • Peter G. says:

    Okay, so which is better: Love Boat or Underworks? I’ve heard good and bad from both, but I really need to know which is better. I’ve heard more reviews for Underworks, but it’s half good half bad. I’m 14 with a size B-C. I’m athletic but I’d still have to wear it then, which the article says try not to do. I also heard those Nabay shirts were really good but they’re in Japanese! I’m in the U.S., but it doesn’t matter where they’re from. I need one in the 20-35 USD dollar range and I’d prefer a new one. Anyone help please? I need a specific one to break it to my parents that I’m trans.

  • Mike says:

    I’m around 15 now and I want to start binding because I’m not really happy with my chest looking the way it is. My family’s been known for big breast, which is a plus for me, but also a huge travesty, but I was just wondering if it was comfortable for big-chests as well. I’m also slightly afraid to do so, but more than motivated. Fortunately, I’m not that athletic besides walking to places because I can’t drive. But when I come out, I just wanted to come out as a guy.
    -What do you guys think the best binder is?
    -Does it hurt on big chest?
    Thanks and best wishes,
    Mike.

  • Hey Mike, thanks for your comment! I found a number of articles and videos about binding large chests here. Hope this helps!

  • JD says:

    So an up-and-coming binder company is GC2B, and their website is GC2B.co (note, not a typo, it is .co NOT .com ^_^ ) If you are a 40DDD or larger, I highly suggest skipping Underworks because for their 2x and up binders, the arm holes are SO huge, and the puckering is very bad/ noticeable because they assume you are freaking Arnold Schwarzenegger and UW binders are made for people designated male at birth. Anyway, I am a 42JJ and they just didn’t work for me, but the GC2B ones did because they were actually designed by a trans guy and are trans owned. They are a bit slow with getting things shipped out and only have the standard shipping option since they are new. But check their Instagram or reviews because they look MUCH more like an undershirt and not a medical device like UW. They got my 54 inch bust down to a 47 0___0

  • PK says:

    Seeing as how this is the first thing to pop up on google search, I’ll share the GC2B peeps-> http://www.gc2b.co/

    They make binders specifically for FtM cool cats and have an exchange program, So if you order the wrong size you simply send the one you got back, pay a shipping fee, and they’ll send you one in the size you requested.
    It’s been popular on Tumblr and they’re really inexpensive imo. Plus they take paypal unlike other companies so you don’t necessarily need a credit card to order!

    I’ve seen a few reviews and they seem pretty great so far.

  • Vinny says:

    As a genderfluid female, I just want to say I actually started crying when I saw not a single negative or bigoted comment. Where I live we’re a bit behind in the acceptance category. We don’t even have an LGBTQ center anywhere near us and every attempt has been killed with prejudice. So just thank you. This is the first site I looked on for binding tips, and I expected nothing more than hints littered with hateful comments. So when I saw everybody helping each other it really hit me. Thank you all, something as simple as sharing info on binder sizes has made me feel like I’m not alone.

    Just thank you.

  • Walosi says:

    In my wayward youth I had breast implants. I would give anything to get rid of them, but can’t afford it. Is a binder safe if you have these hideous things?

    Thanks.

  • Good question. Two surgeons offer their view on RealSelf:
    Can breast implants break by chest binding?
    “Chest binding that is just snug, but not painful, should not damage your implants.”
    “It would be very difficult to rupture your breast implants from wearing a tight chest binding.
    To be sure, call your surgeon’s office and check with him or her.”

  • Alexander says:

    I want to get a binder but since i’m still growing my parents are really concerned about deformations occuring and the growth of my cells being altered. I just want to know, how common is deformation and the likes of it among teenagers who are still growing? Is there anything I can tell my parents to reassure them? Thanks.

  • Sky K. says:

    I ordered the tri-top binder from Underworks and almost starting crying when I was trying to put it on. It was impossible. I guess I should have gotten a bigger size. It also rubbed on my underarms a lot, to the point where I have red still on me. Should I just return it and buy from gc2b instead? I measured 38 and I don’t know whether to get a large or extra large. It’s all so confusing. I hope I can order one from there instead though, but my parents are transphobic and I am trying to buy a binder “just for cosplay”. I’m depressed about this now, I just wanna be flat.

  • Moe says:

    As a genderfluid afab, I find that layering sport bras and tank tops helps. I do not own a binder. I also have long hair but cover it in a beanie. I have mild acne so I just use light concealer and no one knows I’m wearing makeup.

    to have two different styles of clothes can get pricey. Try shopping at Goodwill, they actually sell a lot of new mens tank tops and graphic tees where I live.

  • Annie says:

    Great post. I’m not trans, but I’ve had dysphoria, and I started binding a few weeks ago. I’ve been so happy, but my mum isn’t convinced it’s safe. She keeps trying to buy me bras and doesn’t understand how I feel. I only ever wear my binder for 6-8 hours, and maximum 5 days a week. I’m genuinely considering top surgery, (or maybe just clean off. Nipples weird me out) but I can’t talk to my parents about it. I’m still a girl, and I want to be a girl. I just don’t want breasts. Is that so strange?

  • ShemJawn says:

    Thank you for those tips and thanks for the comments, they helped me to chose 🙂
    So I’m going to buy a LOVE BOAT one)

  • Meghan says:

    Thank you so much for all of this information!!! My young daughter recently told me she’s a lesbian and thinks she may be trans. As puberty approaches (scary enough), I want to be as well informed as I possibly can to make her life here at home simple. I want to know about these things so I’ve been reading A LOT. Thank you again!!!!

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you for all the information! My daughter has recently told us she is transgender. This information so far has been the most helpful for me to make sure she is safely binding. Although this road will be long and tough on me. I want it to not be tough on her! Thanks again for spreading awareness for FTM as well as parents researching. If I could hug you I would. ((hug))

  • Meghan and Jackie: THANK YOU. Thank you for being great Moms and supporting your kids. You are making a big difference in their lives. It certainly can be a rough ride for parents, so please don’t forget to reach out for support if you need it. There are a growing number of local, regional and national support networks for parents of trans and gender-nonconforming kids. If you need any help finding support or resources, please feel free to email me: joshua@transguys.com. [hugs back]

  • April says:

    Two good friends (ones a transguy one transmasculine non binary guy) who are both experiencing a lot of chest dysphoria so I’m wanting to buy them binders (with them there for sizing and shit) but i want to know are these safe
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lesbian-Tomboy-T-Shirt-Undershirt-Slim-Fit-Chest-Binder-Vest-Tops-Tank-M-XL-ESY1-/111189215857?pt=US_Corsets_Bustiers&var=&hash=item19e364ca71
    i saw people saying they swear by them but i dont want to bind unsafely and get hurt you know thanks if anyone can help

  • E says:

    My friend, who’s transgender or grnderfluid, told me avout her mum not wanting to get her binders (still struggling witht he fact her daughter don’t wanna be all girly I imagine) and the firdt thing I did when my friend told me that was to google for where to buy binders in her country and this site was the first on the list so I clicked it and sent the link to my friend and I even sent her the link to one of the binders buy site… My friend really appriciated it and I will always do anything to support my friend in order for her to feel comfortable with her body and with who she is. This is a great site, not only for those who wanna hide the “chest fat balls” but also for those who have family or friends who are f.e. Transgender or genderfluid and want to know a bit more about it and such 🙂

  • Kylin says:

    Okay, so I checked the Underworks site but from there I’m at a loss. I’ve tried talking to my mother before, but the fact that I’m agender confuses her. See, it’s difficult to explain to her when she’s never known it existed, as it’s obviously not so widely known as other non-cis identities. If anyone has any tips, I’d be extremely grateful. Only 15, so I’m around the age where everyone seems to think I’m too young to know. Also, this site in general has been extremely helpful so thank you so much.

  • Kylin, that’s a very enlightened attitude you have there about your Mom and her not knowing about agender identity. Some of this stuff is just really hard for some people to understand, when they’ve only ever been aware of boy and girl.

    This new book have some tips about navigating parents, if you can get your hands on it: The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity.

  • Nix says:

    Being larger in chest size, I am struggling a lot. I want to find a binder that helps but I’m so overwhelmed with so many options, I don’t know what to go with for the best results. There are just so many places and feel like I could spend forever looking for one that is comfortable and has the correct effect.

  • Kylin says:

    Thanks SO MUCH for the help. The select few people I know who understands what agender means don’t quite get hope difficult it can be to explain. Good to know that there’s somewhere I could get some help.

  • Charlie says:

    I a binder from GC2B and it has honestly been the best. I’ve had it since August of 2015 and the only problem I can find is that the stitching is starting to come apart.

  • Ari says:

    Okay so I need some advice. I’m gender fluid and I want to try binding but how often should I do it? I don’t want any long lasting results or something too noticeable since I haven’t told my family yet. As said before, I don’t want any permanent results and that’s why I’m scared to bind. What should I do? Thank you in advance 🙂

  • @Ari: No worries, you won’t get permanent changes to your chest from binding now and again. For example, changes to skin elasticity takes regular binding over several years.

  • Zee Rivers says:

    I bought an underworks long length binder after reading this article and i absolutely love it! I am quite big (40E) and despaired of ever getting a binder that worked and is comfy. My chest is dramatically reduced and my hips and stomach are pulled in too. Thanks Article writers for all the link. One very happy Boi here xx

  • Grey says:

    Shapeshifters Inc is a new fancy custom-sized binder maker!

  • Chris says:

    Hi!! I’m masc nonbinary and I’m really considering buying a binder. But I’m really chubby (5’5 and around 220 pounds). I was wondering if any other big boys could give me their opinion on long v. short binders, as well as which brand they would recommend (I’ve heard that some brands are not fat-friendly). I’d really appreciate it!!

    – Chris

  • Stan says:

    Hi uh so when you say it’s best to measure your chest while clothed do you mean with a shirt and bra or no bra? This is probably a dumb question

  • Sky says:

    Thanks for this article. I’ve had many Chest Binders with http://www.lesloveboat.com Love Boat, they always have new binders coming out and they are really comfortable and works superb.

  • marley says:

    other good binder brands (available on amazon):
    – gc2b ($33.50 to $40.00 for diff styles)
    -Tranz Forms ($29.95-$35.00 & $69.95 for various styles)
    -DoubleDesign ($49-$70 for various styles)
    -Manshape ($39.99)

  • Chloe says:

    Would there be any Australian-based trans shops for binders? Everything is so hard to get when you’re completely isolated from the rest of the world.
    Also, do you think sex shops might sell them as a cross dressing or roleplay thing? I’m quite desperate.

  • alleZSoyez says:

    gc2b needs to be included on here. They even stock some styles on Amazon now, which is great!

  • Chloe, I can’t think of Aussie vendors selling binders; I think most guys buy them online from overseas (which I imagine is pricey.) FTM Downunder isn’t carrying binders, but you might want to ask them if they have any leads.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m 14 and will wait for until 18 for my surgery.. If I use a binder until then, will it have some effects later?

  • As Dr. Mosser commented, “Binding over a long period of time can alter your skin’s natural elasticity, which may have some minor affects on your final cosmetic results” but I don’t think 4 years would be a problem. Age would also be a factor (and you have that in your favor.) Just be sure to give your body a break: don’t bind for more than 8-12 hours at a time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks! 😀

  • Yo says:

    If you are struggling with parents who dissaprove of binding, a sports bra can sometimes be a temporary fix. I reccomend going to an actual store and trying a few on. They are made to slightly squish down your chest, and some work better tha others. For anyone participating in sports, try to avoid wearing your binder while doing acticities. A sports bra can sometimes help there too.

  • Dyl says:

    Where I live it’s always hot and I have a long binder that makes me sweat even more. I was gonna buy a short one for 3$ but that sounds kinda too good to be true.I can’t really tell if it’s safe or if it’ll last that long.

  • Ochieng Mauricio says:

    Awesome idea,I love binders though I haven’t bought because they are not available in Kenya,I am in Sweden and would love to buy,where can I get the best binder?

  • Seamus Alexander says:

    About this time last year, someone commented asking about the really cheap binders you see on ebay (e.x. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lesbian-Tomboy-T-Shirt-Undershirt-Slim-Fit-Chest-Binder-Vest-Tops-Tank-M-XL-ESY1-/111189215857?pt=US_Corsets_Bustiers&var=&hash=item19e364ca71) and I’m most certainly too late to help them, but I’d like to put this out there–
    These binders are seriously awful. I mean, aside from the fact that a lot of them have like nine bra-style hooks on the side to hook up. That’s awful too. But I got one as my first (typical story, parent didnt approve, so I got a friend to order me a cheap one, etc) binder, and I can tell you, the binding power in the chest area is on par with a loose fitting sports bra, however, it’ll overheat you and make it really difficult to breathe. In good binders, you’ll see binding material only in the chest area, and something stretchy everywhere else; in these, the entire thing is made of binding material. I’m sure you can imagine, that’s super SUPER bad for your body.
    So, please. Don’t buy these and put them on your body or the body of someone you love. It’s worth the extra money to get something that won’t damage you on the way to feeling alright.
    (And if it’s helpful, here’s my not-so-urgent experience: after two years of wearing that death trap, I transitioned into Ancient Fish King brand, which didnt feel terrible but I’ve seen a lot of complaints about them. My biggest issue was with the zipper-style I wore, the zipper’s super cheap and plastic, so after a few months of wear, in the middle of a high school cafeteria, my smallish 34B chest busted through it. For a while I wore Air Max brand, also a style with a zipper down the front. I didnt wear this one long enough to see if the zipper would bust, because it was nearly impossible to zip up, and barely bound. Now I wear GC2Bs tank top-style binder. They ride up something awful so you have to tuck them in soundly, but they bind fantastically and they’re super comfy otherwise.)

  • Oliver says:

    *le hugs* Thank you for being awesome.

  • Thank you for this post! I’ve been binding since I saw le boobs on my chest but i’ve been using breathable bandages that are sorta like ace bandages but they seem a lot safer then them because it’s breathable!! and also they are stretchable and comfortable + they have a thing on the side so it’s easy to put on..the only thing is..is that it falls down a lot and I have to keep pulling it up and that gives me anxiety when it falls 🙁 but finally 2016-2017 i’m going to buy a legitimate binder from gc2b..Link: http://gc2b.myshopify.com/

    and this one..Link: http://gc2b.myshopify.com/products/black-tank-binder

    I’m 18 now and I am pretty damn sure I started to bind when I was around uh..well..the beginning of puberty lol. I think..
    wish me luck. and I live in Canada so the binder I bought was over $50 x.x;; but if I lived in America it would be 10x cheaper x.x…everything in Canada is so gawd dang expensive…lol

    anyway Thank you very much! and wish me luck! x3

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