Binders Review

Given the interest in this topic, here’s the expanded blog post summarizing all my binding experiences, complete with pictures and giveaways!

Just note that binding results are highly dependent not only on breast size but on body shape as well, so keep that in mind when you read this.

Sports Bras

Super Tight One-Size-Too-Small

This was my first method. It was unconsciously my way of binding before I knew binding was a real thing. My brand of choice was Underworks. I often had several pairs – for everyday, for working out, for special days, etc. The tighter ones simply pressed more into the ribcage, and didn’t necessarily flatten any better. It’s best to look for ones that are tight around the chest area, where you want the most compression, but be careful it doesn’t get too tight on the elastic.

Underarmor super tight sports bra

Other Brands

Also, I once tried on the famous Frog Bra. I was in Palo Alto and saw the Title 9 shop right there, and needless to say my curiosity won the game so I walked in and tried it on. I held in my hand a cardboard type fabric which I had lots of trouble putting on, and once I managed to get one in a size that would fit over me it was swimming on my chest. That is, too huge to hold anything in place. However, I’ve heard this recommended more for D+ sizers, so I may have been too small for it. Regardless, for the price, get a real binder.

Ace Bandage

The Ace

The Ace was my very first attempt at binding. I secretly bought it and put it on, and when my girlfriend came home she noticed within 10 minutes (which made me happy, because it meant it was doing something). However, I bought the wrong bandage, the one that is extremely sticky and has extra compression.

Not much later I bought the regular Ace bandage. It worked better than nothing, but it was a total disaster in terms of keeping it in place. I tried it with a sports bra on top, or underneath, or a shirt underneath, and on top, and it didn’t work for more than like two hours. But it was a start.

 

Underworks 997 Binder

The 997

Underworks

The 997

These are cheapest real binders out there, so it’s nice to have the option to experiment first. I bought the full length compression shirt, what I guess is the averagest one. I wore it on and off for a year (more off than on). It was tight in the wrong places, namely belly and hips, and got hot and sticky really fast, and was just way too tight. When I did wear it I used a dri-fit tight tank top underneath because the binder was too rough on my skin, which only added to the many layers in unfortunate 90 degree hot summer weather.

The Custom 997

Underworks Custom Binder

Right when I was going to trash it I decided, what the hell, I might as well see if it fits like this. So I cut off the last fourth, doubled it over up to the arm openings and stitched it together. After wearing it a few times it was stretchy enough to fit into it normally. The fabric had softened a little too. And it flattened pretty damn well. It was tighter than you’d like anything underneath your shirt to be, but I wore it everyday for most of the day (like 10-12 hrs) with no problems. Although I did take it off as soon as I got home, didn’t wear it for super extended periods of time like long plane rides, and I did not exercise in it either (suck it up and wear a sports bra, tough). Because of the fabric of this (it’s more like a nylon type than cloth) I would have taken it out for a swim, but alas it didn’t occur to me and I didn’t want to ruin it with saltwater. But you can probably do it safely, as it seems to be water resistant and fast drying.

The Tri Top

Underworks Tri Top Binder

The Tri Top

Underworks Tri-Top Binder

The Tri-Top

I found the full length binding experience to be excrutiatingly uncomfortable, so much so that I preferred not to bind. Afterwards I also purchase the Tri Top, which looks like a half length one, but it’s not. It’s 3/4 length, so too short to double over but long enough that it bulked up and popped out under the chest area, was visible under the shirt, and was just uncomfortable. I’m not sure what the experience is with larger people, but I’ve read it can work very well. Overall I’d recommend it just for the price, but don’t be afraid to cut it up to suit your needs.

T-Kingdom

I got a velcro half length binder. My mother called it a straight jacket from the medieval times – you know, the kind ladies used to wear for the purpose of flattening their bust but were known to be terribly constricting (my how times have changed). It was basically a huge elastic band across the chest. Uncomfortable. Not Effective. The picture was deceiving, so I’d guess other binders from that store would be similar. Plus it was expensive. However, there are many other models, and it’s possible I just got the wrong one.

T-Kingdom Binder

The Straight Jacket


T-Kingdom

The Straight Jacket, for real

 

LesLoveBoat

This is my number one choice by far. I only discovered them towards the very end, but they offered great customer service and have a huge selection. I got two half length binders, both very different in style.

Sports PullOver Juya Binder

Juya Pullover Binder

LesLoveBoat Juya Pullover


LesLoveBoat Juya Pullover Binder

Juya backside

LesLoveBoat Sports Pullover Binder

Sports Pullover Binder

The first one was a half length sports pullover, and was unbelievably comfortable (and soft, I couldn’t stop touching the cloth). For its softness and flimsiness it was surprisingly more effective than a sports bra, unbelievably so – who knows how they manage to get all that compression in there. The reason I stopped wearing it was that it was too loose in some places and had the opposite problem of a sports bra where it would ride up due to lack of an elastic band around the bottom. It might’ve not been a right fit for my body type, as the width was the correct size. It was so comfortable I could’ve slept in it – didn’t feel a thing.

Esha Velcro Half Length Binder

LesLoveBoat Velcro Short Binder

Esha Velcro Short

The second one I got became my everyday one. It was a half length binder with side velcro – special super silent side velcro. Again, super comfortable, super soft, and the velcro made it adjustable, although by the end I needed it tighter than what the velcro allowed. I am very sensitive on my skin, so when the velcro was not adjusted just right it touched my skin and I did have to adjust it. But I do the same with shirt tags, so it might just be me. Normally you couldn’t see it through a shirt, and although I believe the Underworks one did better binding job my girlfriend told me otherwise. She even took pictures to prove it – I just wasn’t feeling any tightness so I couldn’t believe it was working.

LesLoveBoat Esha Soft Velcro Binder

Esha Soft Velcro

If you haven’t already guessed it, this shop would be my number one choice for ordering a binder.

Sharing and Caring

Because I’ve very fortunately had the Most Magical Top Surgery, I no longer need these, so I’m giving them away. If there are no takers I’ll donate them. I can provide detailed measurements, but just so you get an idea, I’m 5’0 [1.52m] tall, a bit more than slender build, and was a 34-B, so smallish but definitely not x-small (not like the models in those binder stores). If you are interested, leave a comment with your name and email (or email me your email) and I’ll see what I can do to send it over.

Got your own experiences? Don’t be shy – share!

43 responses to “Binders Review

  1. I would really like the Esha Velcro Half Length Binder if no one has asked for it. I have Paypal and can do something to offset your shipping costs too. Thank you so much for your generous offer to donate binders to those in need! pianycist@gmail.com

    • I misread your post and thought you were donating all of them (the word “donate” is exciting to me). I can still pay for the binder and I still want it.

      • Of course I’m donating the binders! They’re about $35 to $80, and consider that a regular sports bra is about $40-$50, so they’re not that expensive. I no longer need them, and I figured somebody out there who has the money to pay for it can probably buy a new one, whereas somebody who wants a used one probably can’t pay for it.

        It’s yours if it fits. I’ll send you size details by email!

  2. Thanks for the reviews. I’ve found as a bigger guy underworks is great. I end up with issues about the longer shirts rolling up and frequently end up with bruised hips but such is life.

    • Thanks for the feedback, that’s what I’ve heard as well. You should try the custom modification I mentioned – it makes a world of difference.

  3. I’m curious about the exact measurements of the half length sports pullover, myself. And it’s great that you’re giving them away, I’m sure they’ll all be greatly appreciated.

  4. I’m interested in any of them. I myself am genderqueer and cannot afford a binder to dress how I want. =/
    I myself am 5’9″, 115 lbs, and am a 32B. So I’m not entirely sure if any will even fit me. >.<

  5. Oh man! I’m interested in the Sports Pullover Juya Binder or the Esha Velcro Half Length Binder. I dunno if either of them would fit me too well, though, I’m chubby (though slimmer through my chest) and I’m a C, so they might work…
    Anyway, my email is ajallen91@gmail.com :)

  6. Hey all – thanks for your interest!

    Here are my measurements:

    Ribcage (right under the breasts): 30.5 in
    Chest (right above the breasts): 33 in
    And as I remember, I used to be about 2-3+ inches on the breast, which was a small to full B.

    Also, to clarify, most of these binders were already tight on me, so if you are bigger than that it will probably be too tight. As for details:
    – the Esha is a size Medium. Towards the end it was on the looser side, so I’d recommend it to someone the same size or very slightly bigger, but not smaller.
    – the Juya is a size Small, it’s on the smaller side. It actually rode up on me for being too loose, which is why I stopped using it; as if it were too small yet it wasn’t very tight. I imagine this would fit someone with a slimmer build and same size / slightly smaller chest.
    – the T-Kingdom is a size Medium, it might work for somebody who is the same size or larger as it was tight but not compressing. It’s also almost brand new and expensive.
    – the custom Underworks one is pretty tight as it is, and kinda beat up. I’m still willing to give it away if anyone is that interested, but you can buy and make your own for only $30.
    – the tri top Underworks is practically brand new, but again, super cheap already. I think both of these were size Small.

    I suggest you get a piece of string and measure yourself as well. There are websites that detail how to take your measurements, or go to each of the websites / binder models and check it out.

    This info will also help in case you are buying a new binder for yourself – I know it took me a while to find the right size, so now you have something to compare it to.

    • This is so generous of you! Congrats on your top surgery!

      I’m guessing the Juya is gone, but I would provide an appreciative home to the tri top. I can pay shipping.

  7. Sad day, I’m a 30-32A/B (cursed between sizes), thinking they won’t fit me. But it’s so great you’re giving them away! You, dear Person, are amazing.

  8. Ahh, thanks for the size info! I’m about a 34 under the ribcage and a 38 in the chest so I dunno if any of these would fit me -if any, the Esha, maybe? Get back to me if there are no takers. In any case, thanks for doing this giveaway, you’re awesome.

  9. Ooh! Thanks for the size info. It seems like the Juya would fit me. My measurements are only 1-3 inches smaller than you are. So prety much anything a bit smaller should fit. >.<
    Thank you for doing the giveaway! It's very generous of you.

  10. Hi,

    I just found this site and this post. I’m very interested in the Esha binder.

    I’m around 5’1″, my ribcage is 32 and my chest is 34 so it sounds like it would be a good fit if it had stretched to be a little bigger than you’re size.

    I realize that someone else is interested in the binder, but I just wanted to check and see if it was still available since this is such an amazing opportunity.

    Thank you for making this amazing offer and I’m glad you were able to get your surgery.

    Loh

    • Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately I’ve already given away the Esha binder and the custom Underworks binder. But email me if you are still interested in any of the others.

      And as I mentioned, Underworks binders are only $30 for a brand new one, if you can afford it.

      • Sorry it took me so long to get back in touch. Between school and other responsibilities, this week flew by.

        Thanks for letting me know about the bider, and for all the great information you’ve been sharing. I’ve enjoyed reading all of your entries.

  11. I am absolutely interested in any of them mainly the juya sports pullover one, but anyone you could give me that you have left would be fine, I’m money restricted so it is so amazing that you are giving these away. I’ve been trying to find one that does the chest and stomach but with no luck so I figure that I’ll have to get separate ones. Just email me at panicatd_fan@yahoo.com ^_^

  12. Hi dude, I am thinking of going for top surgery too. Have been binding for ten over years. Wonder if you would mind sharing with me more about the surgery? Thank you much!

    • You can read my entire experience by browsing through the posts tagged top surgery; I blogged before, during, and after the surgery. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Wow, when I came across this tonight I had to laugh out loud. I recently did a post on my blogspot (http://straighttomboy.blogspot.com/2012/02/eight-binder-reviews.html) reviewing eight different binders I’ve tried. Seems we had the same likes/dislikes on a lot of them. (The t-kingdom straight jacket was my first – and worst binder. Hated it!) My very favorite so far is the Love Boat Velcro Short Binder – the most comfy and adjustable. But I love my new Juya binder, too! Can’t wait for the day when I can give away my binders, too…

    • Thanks for the link – I reblogged it on Tumblr. You can also post your reviews on chestbinders.wordpress.com.

      I had such a hard time when first shopping for binders, so I appreciate anyone who does reviews on this.

  14. okay this post is old but I figured I’d post here anyways. so I’ve been looking into buying a binder and was going to buy from t-kingdom because they were the only people who had a design I liked, but based on your reviews, maybe I should reconsider. The thing is, although I’m neutrois, I still enjoy wearing “girly” things – I just wish there weren’t these darn boobs in the way. I used to reason myself into liking them because dresses and whatnot “fit better” since I have them but that’s been working less and less well lately.
    Because of the neckline and straps on dresses/tank tops/etc, I feel like wearing anything but a strapless binder would look very silly. But almost all binders have them (even just sports bras!). Do you have ANY recommendations for strapless binders?

    • I really recommend LesLoveBoat for binders, and if I recall they might just have a strapless binder. You can always try modifying one as well, the Underworks binder is cheap and tight enough to possible work.

      There are other people who’ve written something similar to your feelings towards boobs/dresses/girly and binding. As an example check out Velvet Bat’s post on identifying as neutrois (although now they identify as FTM Androgyne).

    • LesLoveBoat does have a strapless binder. I haven’t tried it myself but it has gotten some good reviews both on the site and on youtube. The only thing you should keep in mind is that the fabric of the strapless bra generally doesn’t breath very well so it might not be the most comfortable choice for wearing if your planning to be outside a lot.

      If your wearing anything that you’d normally wear a non- spaghetti strap tank under I also recommend the full length binders. I generally wear full length binders under my sleeveless/dress shirts without much trouble. The Air pull over binder is really good for passing off as a tank because it has a moderately low neck line. The binding isn’t the greatest, but it breathes enough that you can wear it outside without much problem.

  15. Just wanted to let you know you were totally right when you said “you won’t be able to stop running your hand up and down your chest” when you get a binder. I can’t stop feeling have flat it is, haha, and it makes me happy every time!

  16. I’m not sure if you’ll look at this comment given that it’s latelatelate compared to your posting date, but I was wondering if your Esha binder comes from this line of binders (http://www.esha-taipei.net/en/?gallery-37-grid.html) or this one (http://www.esha-taipei.net/en/?gallery-40-grid.html) or if it’s another line. LLB doesn’t sell the Esha product anymore, so I’m trying to go to the source to find out the model, but the pictures mostly don’t match up. If you have any idea of which it might be, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Oh, sad that LLB doesn’t carry it anymore. But yeah, those look like the same Esha binders, not sure what they are marketed as here but definitely same ones. I highly recommend it.

  17. I’m voraciously reading your entire blog having just found it. When my girlfriend gave me my first binder it was an underworks full length. I was stuck with it half way on and laughing/crying hysterically on the phone calling for help.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for someone that needs an extra large one? One that squashes in every direction?

    • That happened to me the first time, I got an xS and could not get it off! (don’t know how I got it on). My gf wasn’t there to help so I panicked and was about to cut it.

      For larger people there is an excellent post by Levi, goldengray.tumblr.com, who does mircles with underworks binders.

  18. Pingback: Reader Ramblings: All About Binding | Neutrois Nonsense·

  19. Are you still giving away those binders? We are magically the same height and size, and I extremely need a binder. My email is IAmImmortality@gmail.com so please contact me (if you’ve already given the binders away, please let me know). Thank you.

    • Hey Steven – Unfortunately that was a long time ago, and I gave them all away. Check my blog and tumblr for links to binder giveaways and binder exchange programs.

  20. Nice review! For the sake of adding, I liked LesLoveBoat’s products. I got a strapless one and one of the regular half sized binders. I had to trade with another guy because I bought a size too small, but my fault for improper measuring. I ended up getting a medium Air Max half fit from Double Design Co (I am a 36 inch chest B cup ish) and that was breathable and has been my favorite for everyday work. I wear the strapless LesLoveBoat for a change in compression, it’s easier to make it looser or tighter but has more of a tendency to slide around and gets much warmer. I prefer it for shorter periods of time or at casual events so I can get to a bathroom to adjust if needed.

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