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Shopping for a Binder?
Shopping for and/or acquiring a binder can be tough. A lot of people want to know the best place to buy binders, what the best binders are, or where to get binders for cheap or for free. Unfortunately things are not this simple, but we can offer some advice:
1) Underworks and T-Kingdom are the most popular places to buy binders. Both are well-rated and well-regarded and send binders discretely. Les Love Boat and a few other websites also sell binders, but Underworks and T-Kingdom are by far the most common places for trans* guys to get them (which isn’t to say that other places aren’t good, just that those two are tried and tested, and there are a lot of product reviews out there for their stuff). There’s really no such thing as the best place to buy a binder, look around, compare prices and product reviews, and try to figure out what appeals to you the most.
2) There’s also no such thing as the best binder. What binder works best for you depends on a lot of factors. Some people are uncomfortable with certain styles of binders (for instance, those that resemble sports bras can make some guys feel dysphoric), a lot of which binder works best depends on body type and personal preference. If you have a larger chest, you’re going to need to be more choosy about your binder. Look at product reviews by people who have similar body shapes or preferences as you. The Binders 101 tumblr is a good place start with this. The underworks tri-top is one of the most popular binders, but there’s a huge amount of variation in what works for people and what they are most comfortable with.
3) Measuring yourself for binders and figuring out your size is tough. This article from the Binders 101 tumblr should help you figure all that out.
4) Need a binder that is cheap or free? Occasionally used (and even sometimes new) binders will be raffled off or given away on tumblrs like fuckyeahftms. The Big Brothers Used Binder Repository is a great program that provides needy guys with used binders, provided they pay a very small shipping fee.
5) You can also make your own binder if you are talented at sewing and can find some good fabric/the right materials. Here’s a couple of how-to tutorials if you’re interested in a DIY binder: FTM informational network (how to sew a binder) and how to turn tights into a binder. Also, a lot of guys with smaller chests opt for a tight sports bra when they can’t get their hands on a binder.
Obviously this isn’t exhaustive or the be-all, end-all guide to choosing/buying a binder, but just a little advice for those who are looking for information.
It IS made of infant skin and diamonds
Okay, Underworks, I believe you now. I thought this was rancid BS but this damn thing really DOES bind me in a weird, unobtrusive, magical way.
I got the Underworks so-and-so in Large (and black), and I’m a 36C in lady bras.
The lower edge of it is too wide for my waist, so it flares out a bit (or tries to slide up) but that is a pretty minor concern.
The back of it is made out of some kind of fucking space-mesh that is sucking the heat off my back and casting it off my skin. It must be a stay-cool feature but in late November this is not exactly what I was going for. It feels like my back is evaporating, or like it’s pulling a breeze through my shirt(s) constantly. It actually makes me colder, wearing it + a t-shirt, than just wearing the t-shirt alone. hmm
The front is possibly soft flexible Kevlar.
I had no trouble getting it on (bow chika wow wow) over my head, so maybe I should have gotten a M? I don’t know. Anyway
THE OVERALL FINAL EFFECT
is truly outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous.
I am sitting here in a fitted t-shirt over the binder and i have pecs. No more than pecs. My moobs that were once called “Red Hot Breasts” are now smoothly contained fore and aft, don’t bulge disappointingly when I slump, don’t splorp out the bottom, don’t boing out the side, and even better, aren’t trying to hibernate in my armpits, thus causing me to elbow myself in the bitch-tit every time I put my arm down.
In conclusion I have no idea where they went (I’m trying to peek down there to get an idea) and the best I can tell, they’ve just simply been pancaked against my ribs, but in a totally non-painful and easily-breathable way.
If I jump up and down I have a little jello-jiggle, more than if I wear the rib-supporter-velcro-strap that I’ve been utilizing for several months. However, the velcro-strap thing does hurt my chest after a while and is really impossible to run up stairs while wearing. Have you ever felt total blood-oxygen depletion without associated muscle tiredness? It’s really interesting but meanwhile slightly terrifying. Also it makes me look like a tool who can’t even run up a flight of stairs in a suit without panting.
And I can totally do that, dammit.
And now i really CAN do that if I can tolerate a little boing. I hate that shit, but it’s… well, maybe breathing is good too. And the shape is great. Somehow this thing compresses me as advertised without adding any volume, as my other methods were doing (wrapping with cotton, using velcro-strap, layering kimono-bras). I’ve been petting my chest for two days straight. I’ve been soliciting my roommate to pet my chest (“TOUCH ME!! No, not like that, gimme your hand. SEE! FEEEEEL ITTTTT”).
When she expressed jealousy at my new chest, I said “Hey, it’s even easier for you. You already have a bra. Just tuck some hamburgers in there and you’ll have lunch too.”
“… Eew! No! Jesus!” was her response.
“What? That’s what I would do.”
So, all right then, $50 for this thing is actually well-spent. Dang.
So I though about giving a binder review of all the binders I have and all for those that are interested in getting one themselves.
First there are some things I want to mention and warn about.
Never use bandages! I learned that the hard way and whether some people say that you can use it, don’t do it. When using bandages you don’t get an ever pressure over the chest and rib cage which can lead to ribs being damaged or misplaced. You can get really bruised up and the skin can get irritated and dry so it starts “cracking”. If you need a binder you can either make one yourself for temporarily use or see if there are any giveaways until you can buy one yourself. Luckily the binders from underworks are cheap and really effective.
Another thing! When you are binding with a chest binder, be sure to get one in your size. If you order a size smaller than you should have you will risk of breaking your ribs and getting small “heart attacks”. If you can decide how tight your binder binds, make sure not to bind too hard. I have done that mistake when double binding and it resulted in a cracked rib and I have sort of a “scar” after binding for too long so the skin is really shiny and smooth but at the same time really pink and looks like a scar. Luckily I can get it back to normal, but it’s difficult when binding since the cream leaves horrible stains and smells awful. So I only use that cream when going to bed but it helps a lot.
Now then, let’s start off with the first binder!
My first binder was from T-kingdom and it was the M1300: http://www.t-kingdom.com/shopping/english/page1300_english.shtml
It’s a great and strong binder that is really comfortable to wear. It also shapes itself after your body after a while, but it can gnaw a little if it manages to shape itself wrong.
The straps are made of some really soft fabric so it doesn’t gnaw and makes it comfortable.
This binder is great in the beginning, but after some months (depends on how much you wear it and the size of your chest) the straps will get stretched and make the binder sink down, so you got to pull it up from time to time, but for those with small chests I doubt there will be any problems with that.
I have had that problem with the straps and that the shape it is in now doesn’t fit me well anymore since I have lost weight and it won’t change the shape no matter what I do.
But to conclude it all: It’s a great binder but it works the best for those with small - medium breasts. It’s strong and really comfortable to wear, but it will be worn out after time and needed to be replaced.
My second binder was also from T-Kingdom: M801: http://www.t-kingdom.com/shopping/english/page801_english.shtml
This is probably the most comfortable binder I have and the best one during summer.
It’s really light and is made of some sort of thin fabric. Unfortunately it doesn’t bind big chests that well, so this one is more for the small breasts.
I do not regret buying it because it’s the best to have during summer since it so warm. It breathes as well and is really comfortable to wear when training, but it’s a binder I only wear at home, unless I combine binders.
My third binder was from underworks! The S997: http://ftm.underworks.com/ (the second one down)
This is the best binder I have owned. It binds the chest really well and is comfortable to wear. What I probably like the best is that it’s really long so I can pull it down and tuck it in to my pants so it doesn’t slide up, and it makes me have a more manly shape.
This binder is perfect for those with big breasts or that is a little bigger generally.
I actually haven’t had any major issues with this binder only that if you sweat in it, it will feel like you have a pool of sweat on your back and it can get really warm. During winter I love this binder since it’s isolating and keep me nice and warm.
My Fourth binder was a cosplay binder I got at Kitacon 2011 in Birmingham, unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the store that was selling the cosplay binders.
I don’t have a picture so here is my amazing paint work to illustrate it!
This Binder is originally made for cosplaying so I haven’t really worn it that much and I’m considering selling it or giving it away, but it’s my emergency binder.
You see the front on the picture and the red lined area contains some really strong fabric that is pretty stiff, the rest of the binder is cotton.
This binder binds pretty well and I like that you can decide how tight it will be with the side corset knitting it have. Unfortunately it can get a little uncomfortable to wear. Since it’s so thick and in cotton with silk edges it can gnaw the shoulders.
So all in all it’s an OK binder, but not one u should wear too long.
My fifth binder was a binder from underworks again, the S988: http://ftm.underworks.com/ the fourth down.
This binder is really comfortable but felt a little weird in the beginning. The binding part of it stops right over the chest area, so it barley reaches over my chest. The binding area is made of a thick stretchy fabric that is a double layer in the front if I remember correctly. Over the binding fabric is a layer of soft cotton that goes all the way down to cover up the binder. When you’re wearing it, it doesn’t look like a binder, so if you’re small chested u can wear it without having to cover up with a t-shirt or something.
The only small problem I have with it is that one side is bigger than the other, so the binding part slides easily up since I might have gotten it a size too small.
So after reviewing all the binders the conclusion is that, binders from T-kingdom is great for small to middle sized chest’s and the binders from underwork is great for those with larger and small chests to a fair price as well.
The binder I have currently is the third one I got from underworks, it’s a new one thought since I lost weight and it got to big, so I gave the old one away.
I sometimes double bind with the one from underworks and the M1300 from T-kingdom, I had to buy a new M1300 as well since the other got too big and I gave it away to a FTM guy I know, I also gave him the M801 from T-Kingdom that fitted him better and was more comfortable for him.
That’s my reviews of all the binders I have owned and I recommend all of them since each of them are really comfortable.
C ya later
Underworks tri-top style 983 Review
Let me get something big out of the way first. This photo that appears on the website.
Like all reviews, this all my opinion, I’m only writing from my point of view, don’t be an idiot and complain to me because you don’t agree with everything I said. My review, my opinion.
(1) - You see how the binder straps goes around the top part, over the collab bones near the shoulders? It digs in a lot more for me than what the photo shows, but I have a way of tackling that issue in number 3.
(2) - The binder looks like it will lay flat, but that doesn’t happen for me. My white binder pokes out a bit, it goes into a triangle kind of shape there, so I can’t wear tight shirts, or shirts that fall very flat against me. It makes me look like I have a 3rd hard nipple through my shirt, but it’s no big deal. I tackle this problem by wearing baggier shirts, and if that doesn’t work for you if you have this issue, layer your clothes.
(3) - This is the most annoying part. I pull the binder up so it’s snug right under my armpits. If I don’t, it’s really uncomfortable It’s uncomfortable either way honestly, if my binder is down like it is in this photo, or if I pull it up, but it feels far better up. The only con is that I can’t breathe as easy and my chest gets more compressed, which is good since it’s flatter that way, but it can hurt more and make me far hotter.
If I let the binder hang down, it’s like my armpit fat, lol, goes over the edge of it. It’s really gross and I don’t like the feeling of it, plus I want everything to be compressed. If you don’t understand what I mean, look at this photo. My armpit fat isn’t anywhere as near as bad as hers, it’s only bad if I’m binding, because there’s a lot of pressure right next to the armpits, so it all either goes in or out of the binder, so I “tuck” it in as best as I can. Around the back, behind my armpits if that even makes sense, I don’t have fat there, but my binder can only suck in so much skin and tissue, that is makes the back kind of look fatty. That feels really bad too, and it might take you awhile to get used to, I know it took me too, just pull the binder up and far as you can.
(4) - There’s no way in hell my binder goes down that far. No way.
Now let me more onto the pros and cons.
- It binds me well. I haven’t checked but my chest is a small C I guess, maybe a big B, I have no idea, that’s a guestimate. I can’t be completely flat, but this does a good job, especially for the price and the type of chest we’re working with. I have a really broad frame, I mean my shoulders are broad for my size and so is my rib cage, and then I have the chest to work with.
- After wearing it for an hour or so every few days, it got a bit loser after a month I guess, and then after about 3 months I could start wearing it for about 6 hours. After about 7 months of owning this sort of binder, I could wear it for 12 hours if necessary, but only if I had to.
- The black binder doesn’t discolour like the white one.
- I can take it off by stepping out of it, or pulling it of my shoulders, which is convenient when I am in a rush. Keep in mind it took me about 6 months of use before it stretched out enough for me to do this.
- Pre-T I passed in it completely, but binding isn’t the be all or end all to passing. I passed well before I got a binder anyway, it just helped me to have a flatter chest, so when people looked at me they didn’t second guess my chest.
- This is the only binder I have ever used. I am happy with it, although I do wonder how well a binder with velcro would work, because sometimes I want to take this off or put it on quite fast, or loosen it up on long car trips.
- I am between sizes. I actually could have gone for the large size, but I picked medium. Medium goes from 34-36 and large is 37-40, and I measured a 36 or so when I got my last binder. This meant that my binder was extremely tight when I tried to put it on. I actually couldn’t do it for about an about, which made my dysphoria really bad, being topless for that much time, trying to pull this on, and failing.
- Once I got it on, it was REALLY tight. Some people say they love their new binder, and that they are comfortable, but they are damn lucky. Mine was hell, and the first time I got a binder was in summer, and whenever I buy a new one they are just as tight and even painful. The tightness lasted for a few months as I explained above in the 2nd con part, but then it was bearable to wear.
- After about a year they started to get a bit worn. Where they sew the parts together, like down the sides, or the strap that goes over the shoulder, there were some tears. That’s alright though, it’s nothing that is a big deal, it didn’t change how well it binds.
- The white binder goes from being white to this off colour after lots of use. You can see a post about it here.
- The black binder doesn’t discolour, but deodorant shows up on it, white stains. These seem to come out with washing.
- You’re going to be extremely hot in summer. It sucks, but it’s better than not binding. If you sweat between your breasts like I do, you know it can be annoying. If you’re binding it feels gross because you’re hot and bothered, binders make you hotter and sweatier, sweat is trickling down, and the only way of helping it is by sticking your hand up your top. I can’t do this in public, so when I am in a public bathroom, I grab a small handful of toilet paper, scrunch it up, put my hand up my binder and dab the sweat off, and just keep my binder ”open” for a as long as I need to. This helps me cool off.
- If you get extremely sweaty or wet it’s a pain in the ass the take off.
- Sometimes it makes my breasts, ribs, and skin hurt. My chest just feels sore after I take it off, but that’s only when I wear it for 4+ hours. If your binder is new and tight, it could hurt you much more in a shorter period of time. It makes my ribs feel a bit sore, and they know they have been compressed, and when I wear my newer binder, it cuts into my skin. Mainly around the sides, and sometimes around my shoulders. I have got grazes and cuts from newer binders.
- When it’s new and tight, I couldn’t breathe as well as I could usually. Remember to take in deep breaths, get enough air in your body.
- The FTM Underworks website is located here.
- Get a 10% discount off Underworks binders.
- Here are other binding methods.
- Here’s an entire web page about binding and places to buy them from.
- If it’s really tight when you first buy it, like it was for me, wear it around the house for 30 minutes/an hour or so at a time to stretch it out or get yourself used to it. You can also stretch it out over a chair, I should have done that.
- Don’t bind with 2 binders. Read more about that here.
- Only bind with an actual binder, do not bind with things like tape and ace bandages. Read more about that here. This is a photo of a trans man pre surgery and post surgery who practiced unsafe binding. Major trigger warning for this photo, and don’t look it if if you’re sensitive. It’s NSFW.
- Would you rather pay 30-60 or so dollars on an actual binder, or hundreds to thousands of dollars for your hospital bill, because you ended up with a chest like that man?
- If you can’t buy a binder, get some tight sport bras, layer your clothes, and buy lots of short sleeve button ups like this. They’re a life saver, I can get away without binding in them because they puff out a bit anyway, they don’t lay on my skin like shirts do. Get your self a baggy hoody with pockets at the front too. If it’s not baggy enough to hide your chest, put your hands in your pockets, and push them forward. You might look weird, lol, but it works for me if I am not binding, and I am wearing a hoody, and it’s windy.
- You’re welcome.