If you are wanting to bind your chest but do not have a binder at hand, here are safe ways to bind your chest with other materials including ones that are likely already in your home.
What Is Binding?
Binding, often known as chest binding, is the technique of compressing or reducing your chest tissue to produce the illusion of a flatter chest.
While transgender, nonbinary, and androgynous persons are more likely to use binding, the decision to bind one’s chest does not indicate or decide identity.
Chest binding is for anyone who wishes to flatten or decrease the look of their chest on a regular or occasional basis.
How To Bind Without A Binder
There are many reasons why someone would want to bind their chest.
Some of the most common reasons are to hide their chest to achieve a flatter appearance, to help their mental health, for aesthetic reasons, to minimize their gender dysphoria, to roleplay, when in drag, or to affirm their gender expression and identity.
So, if you relate to any of these reasons, or are doing it for an entirely different reason, then here are ways that you can bind your chest without a binder.
If you have a pair of sports bras at home, you may start with this strategy. A tight-fitting sports bra can flatter a tiny breast, but for people with a larger chest, consider layering two.
Choose a comfortable sports bra that is one size smaller than usual. You want your bra to be tight but not painfully so.
A bra one size smaller than your bra size is normally the best option.
Sports bras provide different amounts of support, and you want the greatest support possible.
“No bounce” bras are typically the most flattening. Check the bra’s label to see whether it reduces bounce.
Another approach is to select a camisole with an integrated bra. A thick band will be used to secure the additional panel on the upper half of the shirt on this style of camisole.
This inside piece gives your chest more support, which helps flatten it out.
The bra band should be over your chest when you turn the camisole top over.
The front panel is looser to provide room for your breasts, while the rear panel is tighter. Pull the inside panel down over your breasts after putting the top on backwards so the tight side will offer greater support.
After that, tuck the bottom of your camisole into your chest. Fold up one-third of the camisole and smooth down the fabric.
Next, fold the camisole one more time. Fold it once more if required to layer it over your chest.
As a temporary solution, put on a pair of control-top pantyhose. The upper section of control-top pantyhose is extremely tight and may serve as a binder. This is often a secure choice if used seldom.
Cut the pantyhose legs off since you’ll be wearing them upside down over your head.
It depends on how you want to wear your pantyhose binder, on whether you should cut them at the mid-thigh level or at the base of the torso.
Make a neck hole in the crotch of the pantyhose. You need a hole for your head since it will pass through the crotch of the pantyhose.
Cut the hose’s crotch off with your scissors. The pantyhose should now resemble a tank top or a little, short-sleeved shirt.
With the waistband at the bottom, pull the pantyhose over your head. Head-first through the opening in your crotch.
Next, insert your arms through the openings left by the legs. Pull the control-top part over your chest and down.
This is a thick, rubbery substance. You may buy back braces made of this material that will also serve for chest binding.
Simply tuck them under your arm to cover the velcro, pair with a loose blouse, and you’re ready to go. You may need to cut it a little to fit, but it’s simple to accomplish.
If you have already bound your chest but you are not getting the results you are wanting, you can try layering shirts over the top.
You can even try this before binding in the first place. Keep in mind though that this is only effective for those with small chests.
But if you have a bigger chest, layering your shirts will give you a much flatter appearance than wearing one or two tighter tops.
Tips To Binding Safely
Some people utilize binding methods to aid with body dysphoria, although there is some danger involved.
Because you’re squeezing tissue, it can cause rib injury and even break if done incorrectly.
If something goes wrong with your ribs, the consequences might be severe.
So it’s critical to be cautious, safe, and employ proper measures to be healthy and take care of yourself.
Don’t Use Bandages, Duct-Tape, or Plastic Wrap
These are linked to an increase in unpleasant symptoms. Duct tape can cause skin irritation, and bandages may tighten as you move.
You may be in a hurry to begin binding or lack the funds to acquire a professional binder, but it is not worth risking your health.
Do Not Bind Too Tightly or Loosely
If you wish to use a commercial binder, make sure you get the suitable size and that it fits you properly.
Try not to buy one that is too small—if it causes discomfort, cuts/trauma, or inhibits your breathing, you should size up.
A binder should allow for proper breathing and air circulation, and you should also search for breathable textiles.
Take It off When You Work Out
While physical activity may aggravate some people’s dysphoria, exercise requires you to move freely, breathe deeply, and you are more likely to sweat.
If you are still wanting to flatten your chest while working out, look for a sports bra with this effect.
Do Not Bind for Too Long
Binders should not be worn for more than eight to 12 hours at a time, and they should not be worn when sleeping.
It’s also important to arrange binder breaks on a regular basis and to avoid binding every day.
Living with a chest that you are not happy with can be very detrimental for your mental health, especially when it comes to gender dysphoria.
Luckily, it does not have to be that way and there are ways that you can bind your chest without using a binder. This includes using pantyhose, sports bras, camisole top, layering, and neoprene.