Chest binding is one of the most affordable and simple ways for transgender people assigned female at birth (AFAB) or gender-nonconforming people to showcase their gender identities. However, if you identify as fat or have a larger chest in general, it can be more challenging to bind your chest.
This article provides some tips for binding if you are plus-size or have a large chest.
Find Companies That Offer Inclusive or Custom Binder Sizing
If you have a larger chest, a one-size-fits-all approach for binders may not work for you. Even though some companies provide bust measurements for their binders, it won’t always indicate whether a binder will fit you properly.
Brands that offer custom sizing may be a better option. However, these binders can be more expensive and not accessible for everyone. Accessibility can be difficult in regards to binders. Many brands will charge more for larger sizes that aren’t within their standard collection. This can create a massive barrier since transgender, and gender-nonconforming people experience higher poverty rates.
If you are looking to bind regularly, it may be worth saving up for one if that is within your budget and capabilities.
Consider the Length of the Binder
If you consider a longer binder, they can act as shapewear, which has pros and cons. One pros are that shapewear can smooth out a chest and stomach to look flatter and “traditionally” masculine. Longer binders can also create more space and disguise any lumpiness due to bigger chests.
On the other hand, longer binders can slip more. When the binder constantly rides up, it can get inconvenient and uncomfortable. One way to fix this is by wearing a tank top under the binder. That way, everything will be kept in place, and the material shouldn’t shift as much.
Try Using These Techniques for your Binder
For anyone, getting a binder the first time can be tricky. It can be challenging if you have a larger chest. You will likely first have to step into it, pull your binder up, and then around your waist. Then, you’ll need to fit your arms through the holes and make adjustments from there. For many people, simply pulling the binder on overhead won’t work unless it has been gently used or is stretched out.
One excellent technique that works for larger-chested folks is pushing their breast tissue towards their armpits instead of pushing their chest down flat. Another method that works is by pushing down-and-out or up-and-out. Your body is unique to you, so you’ll have to try different positions and see what works best for your body.
If you sweat more because you are adding a layer to your binder, it could cause chafing. To reduce any discomfort and irritation to the skin, you can find somebody powder. It will be much more comfortable when you put some on your binder ahead of time.
If you’ve tried the powder trick but are still experiencing itchiness and discomfort, be sure to consult your medical practitioner.
Don’t Go Down in Size
If a chest binder is tight, it could create issues for your overall health. Be sure never to size down. You could get dizzy from wearing it too tight and pass out. It can also lead to bruising and cracking of your ribs and fluid build-up, creating pneumonia. All in all, you want to be comfortable and not push it to extremes.
Don’t Wear Two Binders at the Same Time
Another excellent tip is that you should never wear two binders at once. For some larger-chested people, wearing another binder over something like a sports bra can cause constriction on your lungs and ribs. As previously mentioned, this can end up being dangerous and life-threatening.
Never Sleep in Your Binder
One essential thing that you must follow when wearing a binder is to never sleep with it on. It can get too tight and then lead to skin irritations, health problems, and more.
Take a Break
Wearing a chest binder can take some time to get used to it and get it to a comfortable place. Be sure to give yourself a break occasionally so that your body can breathe. It is highly recommended to provide yourself with one or two days without your binder. However, if you want to be wearing it more often, then take hourly breaks throughout the day if possible.
Chest binding can give the appearance of a flatter chest and is common practice for those who do not want their chest to look too feminine. For some transgender and non-binary people, breasts can create gender dysphoria, as they can be a visual reminder of their assigned sex at birth. In addition, binding can minimize gender dysphoria and improve a person’s mental health, but there can be negative physical health symptoms if you do not bind correctly.
This can be especially true for larger chested people, so we hope these tips will help you out during your binding journey.