The New Binding-Methods Thread

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#1 Kelley on 10 years ago

No disrespect to Karisu-sama intended. :) The current Binding Methods thread was made in 2002 and unfortunately many people new to the boards read only the first page or so and do not benefit from "advances" since then.

I made this thread in the interest of the SAFETY and HEALTH of all crossplayers choosing to bind.


Remember, getting 100% "flat" is not actually your goal. It's about SHAPE, not size when it comes to a more masculine look. If you go somewhere that you can try on products, remember to try a shirt on over them, too.

Getting totally flat will actually make your rib-cage look smaller, and therefore more feminine. Sometimes, if your costume or attire permits, you may want to pad out your stomach area / sides where hips to ribs makes curves.

Proven Safe Binding Methods* :

*That safety of these methods relies much on buying the proper size. I cannot guarantee that they are foolproof, either, so please don't try to sue me. :)

1. Chest Binders from various companies. As Karisu-sama in the original Binding thread mentions, these can be dyed to a flesh-tone. This works mainly for products with a high nylon content, as nylon dyes well. A highly polyester product would need to have a wig-dye sharpie method used.

a. Underworks. [url][/url] *

Of all the brands I've seen, I rate this one the highest. There are no zippers that can fail or velcro that can lose its stickiness. It's simple - but sometimes simple is the best way to go.

The tri-top has been used by many on here to great results. I've seen A-DD completely disappear with it in person, and I've seen people on here with great results for even larger chests. The "Double Front Ultimate Chest Binder" has good reviews as well, but is known for rolling up since it's so long.

These are hands-down the best binders for those with larger or hard-to-bind chests. Breasts can tend to be more "firm" or "flabby" - while a "flabby" B might be able to use a sports' bra, a firm one might not get the desired results that way.

*I have linked to this particular page because it gives the measuring system for people with female breasts.

The general consensus on here is, if you are right between sizes, err on the side of the larger size. Results may vary, so feel free to ask questions if you're not sure.

Before and after pictures => [url=]LINK[/url]

Provided by Sisshi :


This is a link to my results with the Underworks shirt, and I'm a 40H.[/QUOTE]

If anyone would like to share theirs, I'll edit this post. :)

b. T-Kingdom. [url][/url]

These binders seem to be best for those with smaller chests or those who don't require much pressure to bind.

If anyone owns these personally, I would love to link to before and after pictures - I haven't seen any of these whereas I've seen a fair number of underworks "before and after" pictures.

c. Love Boat Shop. [url][/url]

If anyone knows anything about these, please write in. They appear to come in different colours, which could be useful. :)

2. Sports' Bra. Your best bet for this is to go to the store and try a few on and see which one squishes in enough but also isn't uncomfortable. Look for the ones that are more "sportswear" than "underwear".

3. 3" or wider elastic from JoAnn's or other craft stores. You can use safety pins for something temporary, or you can sew this and use those bra extender hooks and eyes to make a closure.

If you plan on re-using this, make sure to pre-wash them first. You'll need approximately 3x your chest (to be safe) - but this might be more or less depending on your exact body.


DO NOT WRAP JUST "AROUND". You know, like winding yarn around a spool or something ? DON'T do that ! It's not worth it and it will take MUCH more pressure on your rib-cage than if you better distribute the pressure of the elastics.

You need to distribute pressure so it's pressing the breasts DOWN, not necessarily all pressing IN. To do this, you want to bind in an "X" or "K" pattern with the free ends spread out on your back. Since this is hard to visualise on words alone, please see the link below for pictures. :)

[url=]Here is a diagram I drew of how to do this[/url] !

NEW Photograph of the above : [url=]LINK[/url]


This is a little different, since it operates on different principles than a full binder. It's pretty safe, but you need to be very careful - do a test beforehand and make sure your skin isn't too sensitive to the tape used (you don't want it peeling off or breaking out).

NEW link to a tutorial (hopefully this one doesn't *poof*) : [url=]LINK[/url].

It's better to use medical tape that's designed for skin, though, especially if you have sensitive skin. Make sure you read the package for removal instructions. I've heard that removing during a shower can help.

Please be aware that using tape CAN cause skin sloughing, rashes, irritation, and even scars.

NEVER use tape all the way around your chest. Doing so will restrict your rib-cage too much. For optimum comfort, try not to overlap the tape in the back - this will allow your rib-cage to expand horizontally in the most normal manner.


Difficulty breathing (you should NEVER have trouble breathing while binding, EVER)
Sharp pains around your sternum or any other area

Some people notice that they feel "depressed" or "upset" before they realise there's pain - please be aware that this could be a symptom of binding being too tight.

If you ignore any of these signs, you can be in for hundred-fold pain after a long day of wearing that too-tight binding. You can cause serious damage that way, and even if it's not permanent, 8 hours of feeling like your chest is breaking isn't worth it.

Binding Proven to be Unsafe :

1. ACE bandages. These were not made for your chest. These were made to compress - like a boa-constrictor that gets tighter every breath you take.

Do not use these. Your health is worth at least the $3 it takes to buy and pre-wash those 3" wide elastics. Seriously.

2. Using non-stretch or barely-stretch fabric to make your own binder or to tie around yourself.

3. Using tape completely around your chest - see open shirt biding section above for details on how to do this safely.

Questionable Methods :

There are a lot of "makeshift" devices that can work for some people, such as girdles and lumbar-support devices. However, I'd think that it's better to invest in a $30 binder than to buy a $20 girdle that wasn't made to go over your ribs and lungs.

Use these with caution and stop if anything feels wrong. These are really a last resort and I wouldn't recommend buying one specifically for crossplaying - you're better served by any of the proven "safe" methods.

Open to revisions, additions, comments, et cetera. :)

Bonus : [url=]FTM Makeup link[/url]

#2 Kelley on 10 years ago

Reserved. =}

#3 Yonbi on 10 years ago

YOU'RE AWESOME, Kelley. Seriously, the updated list is much appreciated. If it helps, I ordered a binder from lesloveshop and I'll post a photo critique of it as soon as I try it on and prance around the house. They can be on the more expensive side, but if your lucky enough to sift through some of them, I got one for generally the same price as the binders on Underworks. I've got a Tri-top from Undeworks too and it's brilliant, but I'm hoping that the lesloveshop's binder works better, FINGERS crossed.

Hopefully this is a helpful open-shirt binding tutorial as well: [url][/url]

#4 Kell-chan on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Kelley;3668869]It's better to use medical tape that's designed for skin, though, especially if you have sensitive skin. Make sure you read the package for removal instructions. I've heard that removing during a shower can help.

Please be aware that using tape CAN cause skin sloughing, rashes, irritation, and even scars.[/QUOTE]

Not so quick comment on medical tape types - I use medical tape often for a costume with a particularly low-cut shirt. Absolutely get tape made for sensitive skin, because the skin you're taping is, well, probably pretty sensitive. I've never used the "paper" tape because I'm not sure it's strong enough to hold, but the clear, plastic-y tape works wonders, is inexpensive, and comes off with minimal discomfort. If you have issues removing it, hot water (as in a shower) or an application of mineral oil/baby oil will make it a little easier.

And a warning of what I've tried that came with horrible, horrible consequences: stretch tape. This is that nude colored, almost spandex-like medical tape that's meant to be waterproof and ultra strong. Do no use this. It's not meant for sensitive areas, and the stretch aspect, while seemed like a brilliant thing at first, proves very painful. Eventually, the stretchiness will wear down under the pressure of your breasts, and the strength of the glue will take skin with it. After eight or so hours, I began to feel a very minor discomfort on either side and discovered that evening that patches of skin (and we're talking square inches here) were missing. It was incredibly painful, took about a week to fully heal, and after five months, I still have faint scars. /horror story

#5 SirenaBlack on 10 years ago

I recommend spandex control tops for smaller chests or for big-busted girls who want to reduce their breasts for a character like Rukia. Mine brought my DDs down to about Bs. I recommend ladies go to Target or Wal-Mart or wherever such things are sold and try different brands on to see if they can find one that works for them. I push the girls to either side and fold the tank back over the top for best results.

Thanks for this, Kelley. We've needed this for a long time.

#6 heartlessbody on 9 years ago

wow this helped a lot thanks for the info :D I knew I was doing something wrong

#7 Axelai on 9 years ago

I'm buying a Love Boat Shop binder, so i'll post pictures with results when it arrives. That shop also has clothing made for girls, except looking like guy clothing. So its good to check there if you need casual clothing, too.

#8 Majiran on 9 years ago

You know those leggings meant to hold in your lower stomach fat? Spanx, etc.?

You can just take one of those, cut off the legs, slit a hole in the crotch and wear it like a vest. If it's not tight enough, you can flip up the now-bottom (effectively making two layers of binding.)

On Underworks: The tri-top is the most comfortable, but it enhances any hourglass figure you might have. I prefer the 997 because it creates a collar-to-pelvis flatness; the downside is I find myself pulling it down a lot.

In both cases, it helps the 'illusion' of breastlessness if you use your hand to one at a time pull each breast 'up' and 'out'; I used to pull mine down, but when I switched I suddenly began to get girls complimenting my 'pecs'. ;)

#9 tunesonatuesday on 9 years ago

The taping tutorial is very helpful. I've tried the idea by just holding my breasts to the sides with my hands and it works really well, even leaving little edges that look like muscle. I'm going to be cosplaying Kenshin soon, and I'm very excited that this will allow me to leave my kimono open in the middle like most men do. The baggy fabric will even hide what might show on my sides.

I also have a thought. Could it be plausible to tape a piece of fabric, or multiple strips, and then pull the fabric around to the back and tape it again? I may try it and post my findings later on, because I think it might lessen the risk of ripping skin with tape, since there wouldn't be tape on the very sensitive areas, like outside edge and underside of the breast, or if there was there would still be less. You could even use a very stiff fabric because there would be spaces in the center of the chest and back to expand and breathe.

#10 Ryoko-and-Yami on 9 years ago

Thanks for this new thread. The old thread was hard to go through and if I had this I wouldn't have made a sizing mistake back in August from underworks.

#11 Rainbowgasm on 9 years ago

okay... I've ordered from T-kingdom and I was happy for a while... About a year ago I realized that even a sports bra got me flatter... then up until recently I've been wearing a custom made thing that was AMAZING until just recently it... stopped fitting even though my measurements are the same... so... I'm on the hunt again for a new binding method... as unsafe as you say bandages are- there actually ARE kinds that don't tighten over time, my friends use them for crossplay (though they are much smaller then me) and they get LOOSER over the day (they dont pin them, then just tuck the end in on itself, but at no point does it get tighter) and I've successfully used one over my T-kingdom binder for short photoshoots... but I don't think I want to go that route often because it got rather sweaty...
I am a 36-38D depending on the brand, and... saggy... with a very short torso (the bottom of my ribcage sits JUST above my hip bones, by like half an inch, my last rib actually is UNDER my hip bones when I'm sitting)... so basically my boobs sag to my bellybutton... I need a method that can hold them up, out and down flat, and fairly flat at that because I'm a total perfection whore... not a perfectionist, a perfection whore- which is worse I think... I KNOW at this size I wont get FLAT, but I want to get as flat as humanly possible without cracking a rib... annnnd I need to do it for under... $50 canadian with shipping... even that's pushing it... -_- oh the life of the poor, overly boob-blessed, perfectionistic crossplayer...

Edit: I remembered I am working on [URL=""]this[/URL] (the short dress at the bottom] right now... I imagine it will require something in a similar shape to it... which is an odd shape... :S

#12 Rainbowgasm on 9 years ago

I got my Underworks Tri-top Chest Binder today... less then 40 hours after I ordered it... to Canada... God I love FedEx! so I'm pretty sticken happy on THAT, but as a bonus, it FITS AMAZINGLY! I'm not flat but I know I'll never get that being a 36-38D, what I care about is that it gets me JUST as flat as other binding methods get me, with NO PAIN or difficulty breathing... there is NO velcro, so I dont get cut into by that, and there is no boning or wiring, so I'm not getting poked all the time because of my short torso... I just hope it doesnt stretch too much over time... though it was only $42 with that amazing shipping... so if it only lasts 6 months with my obsessive crossplay (I wear cosplay 5-6 days a month on average), then I am more then happy to replace it with the same at that time... I'm glad I listened to my gut and got the Medium though... my measurements were at the low end of large but something told me to get the medium... I'm SOOO glad I sized down... or else I might have been MUCH less happy XP

#13 Phoenix0792 on 9 years ago

I'm having some trouble binding. I got some bandages today but when i wrap them round they don't stay wide, they tend to curl up so that I have very thing lines of binding and my boobs spilling around them. Does anyone know what I could do to stop this? Also, what is the x/k pattern and how do I do it?

#14 13Kai-Kai on 9 years ago

Thank you! This has very very helpful!

#15 Elf Lady on 9 years ago

I'm so glad I got the Underworks Tri-top compression shirt. I'm a 36C and when I used Ace bandages for my Aya cosplay, those things kept shifting around and coming loose. But not so with the tri-top! I wore it at a gathering yesterday and forgot I had it on! It was so comfortable and nothing shifted and I had no problems breathing. Definitely worth the money.