For Women: Binding Methods - how-to's and discussion

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#1 Karisu-sama on 17 years ago

(This is perennially useful info, so now we are sticky. ^^)

Crossplay chest binding methods recap from previous threads, as I recall:

1) ACE bandages (I strongly recommend 6" wide actual ACE brand; store brands are not as solid - this is my original method.)
2) Tight sport bras
3) Compression shirt: [url][/url] (works quite nicely, but will show under anything skimpier than a muscle shirt - I used acid dyes to make mine skin-colored)
4) Combination of the above
5) "Waist-trimmer" girdle thing pulled up over the chest - I wear mine backwards to eliminate the vertical center line
6) Lumbar support belt / back brace (for women with larger chests)
7) Tied / pinned cloth wrap or narrow obi
8) Tape (preferably something designed for skin!)

I trial-ran the Sports Tape method (for a binding-less chest front - you can show REAL SKIN all the way down!) at Anime Expo.

a) I used Johnson&Johnson brand sports tape. Unlike duct tape and other such, it's designed for use on skin - typically to add stability to weak wrists, forearms, ankles, shins, fingers & toes. Duct tape and others are also well known to remove lots of skin along with the tape itself, so I had NO desire to even attempt those.

b) I tried this method in order to achieve the "natural guy-chest look" in a low-cut tank-top shirt with only skin showing, not a bandage. Method of application: run one 5-6" strip vertically up the front of each of your "assets" - this will keep you "decent" if your shirt slips, holds you up higher, and provides an anchor strip for the rest. Then run long strips horizontally from one to the other around behind your back, making sure to tape down any bulges showing on the side.

c) I have my doubts about this method working for anyone above a B cup, but I got TOTALLY flat with it. Whoa. *blink*

d) Since sports tape is a nice absorbant cloth tape, liquid foundation worked real well to color the parts of the tape that showed through the loose tank-top arm holes.

e) I did this on two successive days. Each time I started with squeaky-clean showered skin, and the tape did NOT pop off at all the whole day long, even after lots of running around and posing and sweating through the masquerade and evening dances. In addition, it was pretty comfortable. I think it constricted my breathing less than an ACE bandage (and not enough to trouble me.)

f) Caveat: The first day I took it off rather too enthusiastically (I was in a hurry and tired), and since the skin on the chest is not nearly as tough as the skin on one's extremities (or one's back, apparently), I actually did lose about 1cm sq. of top-layer skin in one spot. >.< I was much more careful the second day (didn't retape that spot either, obviously), but I did lose a couple more very small pieces (2-3mm sq., times 2) in nearby places. (NOTE: See EDIT 2 below for my latest theory on skin loss via this method - it's actually due to blisters forming!! Not tape glue being too strong.)

g) Result: I was happy with the effect while wearing it. I might consider trying this again, but I may not get any more chances because my husband was super-freakin' pissed at "the damage". (He already hates it when I bind. Grrr. It's not like I do it except for crossplay a couple days a year! I also cosplay GIRLS, for heaven's sake!! In fact, I typically cosplay more girls than guys!) Oh well. I suppose I can continue to Photoshop ACE out of my photos... :(

[b]EDIT:[/b] Post #62 in this thread describes this tape method in even more TMI detail!!
Post #4 and post #44 have my attachment pics of the result; there's another one somewhere in this thread that Mochihead posted from Cutekawaii's pics too...

[b]EDIT 2:[/b] I find itchiness under the tape usually means a blister is going to happen. Blisters = loss of 1 layer of skin on the spot where the blister is, so I try to pay attention to that. I do not like to lose skin.

[b]EDIT 3:[/b] SPORTS TAPE METHOD as used for FULLY OPEN FRONT SHIRT: [url][/url]

[b]EDIT 4:[/b] Professional medical-quality adhesive remover is my best (crossplay taping) friend now. Opti-Sol brand, BTW: [url][/url]

#2 mochihead on 17 years ago

Wow! Karisu-sama, you got it in a nutshell! *winces at skin loss* I so hate it when that happens. I've found that a combination of some rubbing alcohol, followed later by a nice soak in a hot shower helps me to avoid war wounds.

*blinks & re-reads post* What? Karisu-sama's Boob Fairy didn't make one single appearance in her entire post?

ps - Congratulations on your Award at AX! You & your family are just amazing!

#3 Gren on 17 years ago

Baby oil helps you work your way under duct tape to get it ff the skin. Should work just as well with sports tape

#4 Karisu-sama on 17 years ago

Baby oil... hmmm... don't have any of that, but I did use some nail polish remover. Wasn't quite good enough, though.

My husband's attitude is the biggest barrier I have. >.< I think he is somehow afraid (and WHY?) that I don't want to be a girl, LOL - I am perfectly HAPPY to actually be a girl! And to actually HAVE boobs, as well as a 10" waist-hip differential! However, I really love the silly guy, and for the sake of harmony.... *sigh*

Here you go, Mochihead: "Boob Fairy" :p Oh, and thanks so much - I heard YOU provided yummies for one of those gatherings on the Hilton Mezzanine I was at; Jarod's B-day party, right? ^^

Got a piccy I took in the hotel mirror - where did my chest go? o.O.......

#5 Chosuke on 17 years ago

Karisu.. can you match A.B. etc. with proper number..
I can't figure out which is which..^^;;;;

and I think someone should make this binding thread STICKY


#6 Karisu-sama on 17 years ago

Chobrat: a) through g) all go with #7, the tape method.
"sticky", LOL....

Yeah, I wanted Dilandau's "boy chest" to look completely REAL for once.... :p ^^

#7 mochihead on 17 years ago

*dances around* YAY! The boob fairy made her appearance - and still managed to miss me. D'oh! I'll settle for ogling Karisu-sama's manly chest. LOL

You know, I never thought of baby oil before. Although I have used major body lotion & even hair conditioner at one point. Of course, I never stuck duct tape to my chest, either. I figured if little band-aids could rip off skin and scar me, then there was no way in hell I was going to even try the industrial stuff! X_X

Hmm. Never thought about the vertical anchor strip, either. Will definitely have to try that. Don't know why the hell I didn't think of that!

/off-topic/ Yup. If you were at Jarod's bday party, and ate any of the cookies (oatmeal or double-chocolate mocha) then you did eat some of the yummies that I made. I baked 'em and shipped 'em over since there was no way in hell I was going to make it to AX. (Music gigs always come first, and summer is the season for them. Gotta make use of my degree!)

#8 Karisu-sama on 17 years ago

The cookies were YUMMY!!! ^____^ I hope there will be a time you ship yourself over too, so I can meet you! ^____^

#9 Wyna Hiros on 17 years ago

[Deleted. Sorry, left due to lack of time/interest]

#10 mochihead on 17 years ago

Ace clippies much better than sticky adhesive. :)

AHHHH! Everyone ogle the Karisu-sama's manly chest! (Thanks to cutekawaii!)

ps - I hope to ship myself off too, Karisu-sama! I just loves you & your family & want to meet all of you! I promise mochi & other yummies when I do make it up there!

#11 evaneko on 17 years ago

:O impressive results- if I ever need "man boobs" i will have to try this method... ^^

#12 Chosuke on 17 years ago

That is the best un-chest I have ever seen xD

#13 Karisu-sama on 17 years ago

Uh, thanks... I think.... :p *LOL*

#14 Lyn on 17 years ago

Wow, Karisu-sama, that is such a great job in that picture! I saw pictures of you and your family at AX. You guys rock. ^_^ Its so great to see a family cosplaying together.

Well, I finally got two ACE bandages for Otakon though they're the new sticky kind. I couldn't find the clip kind anywhere. x_x I'm still working at a good method with them. My friends suggested using a sports bra with it so I will try that as well.

Well I did get them to not move quite as much as they usually do. x_x; And they do look about a cup size smaller so I'm making progress. I don't think I'll be able to get them flat but I'd like to at least get them a bit smaller so that they're not quite as noticeable because I'm getting tired of people pointing them out at every con I go to when I'm crossplaying. I became known as "C-Cup Cloud" for a while. ~_~;

#15 Karisu-sama on 17 years ago

OK, for Mochihead (and anyone else! ): here is a really ghetto insta-cosplay of Karisu as a lame version of the Boob Fairy: :p