Review by Kaden O’Reilly

Product name: Neoprene Waist Trimmer

Price: At a dollar store, three dollars.

Cup size at time of use: On the A/B borderline, I think

Ratings:

Comfort: 2.5/5

  • I figured out really fast to wear a tight wifebeater beneath it, folded in half while ensuring the entire area the binder covered was covered, because it does not breathe. Sweating is a huge problem, so if you’re walking up a hill or standing in the sun, it can get uncomfortable really fast. And then of course when you finally get home you have the lovely job of pulling a tight sweat-soaked shirt over your head. As my current only way of binding, I’ll take the bad with the good, but almost anything would be more breathable. If I pull it up high enough the neoprene will sometimes pull on my underarm hair, and if it’s lower so that doesn’t happen it loses some of its effectiveness.

Effectiveness: Between 4 and 5, depending on where it’s sitting (4.5/5)

  • When I’ve got it in the right spot, it makes me look almost completely flat in a tight shirt, and even when I found myself in an unfortunate situation where I was being intimidated for money and a fellow clapped me on the chest in mock-friendliness right over my breast he didn’t realize I wasn’t a biological male, which definitely made a bad situation not take a turn for the worse. For that, it deserves about a 10/5. For regular, everyday situations, I pass well,. When I pull it down so it’s not tugging on hair like I mentioned earlier I sort of pop up a bit on top, creating a bit of a funny bump, but in a loose shirt it’s not too much of an issue.

Discreetness: 4/5

  • When I’m wearing a tighter shirt, sometimes you can see the line of the top of the binder, which looks kind of out of place but probably wouldn’t get anyone questioning too seriously. I haven’t seen anything showing in the back, though I imagine it’s a similar story to the front. If I wear a polo, I need to make sure that the button-down part doesn’t show the wifebeater. Same thing while wearing a t-shirt with a loose neck: I need to watch that the wifebeater straps aren’t visible, though it’s not completely unusual for a guy to wear an undershirt. I stays where I put it when I’m resting to slightly physically active, but as soon as I spend a day with a seven-year-old playing soccer, pushing swings, and jumping over waves, it slides down frequently and I have to try to be discreet about pulling it up and trying to make it sit where it started. I haven’t figured out if I need to bind tighter to prevent that, or find a way of fastening it to the shirt I wear underneath. One of my other big problems with it is that when I sweat a lot with it on, I can smell the sweat. I haven’t figured out if other people can, but it doesn’t make me smell appealing to myself and I can’t see other people enjoying it.

Overall: 4/5

  • It does the job, and the price was right, but it has its drawbacks. I think I’m going to have to try some modifications, but they still can’t fix some problems like the breathability.

Review by Noah C. Meeks

Product name: Neoprene waist trimmer, Trufit brand

[Price: $10]

Manufacturer’s website: N/A

Cup size at time of use: 34A

Ratings:

Comfort: 3/5

  • It’s pretty comfy, though I cut a little V in the bottom to keep it from folding up on itself and digging into my ribs. the main reason it loses points is that it traps sweat, and if I wear it for too long it gets *really* itchy. it would probably be okay if you can wear something under it, but I get hives if there are any creases or seams digging in against my skin, and that’s even worse.

Effectiveness: 4/5

  • It looks great, though it’s sometimes hard to judge how snug to make it. it seems to tighten up some after I put it on, so I’ve learned to wait a while before deciding it needs to be tighter.

Discreetness: 4/5

  • The fact it’s black means I have to be extra sure it doesn’t show through, but otherwise it’s pretty low profile. it shows a little bit in the back if I’m wearing a tight shirt, but it stays put without any help.

Overall: 4/5

  • This is my favorite binder, especially given the price. if it weren’t for the binder rash problem, I’d use it all the time.

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NoahMeeks_Neoprene2

Review by Noah C. Meeks

Product name: Elastic back brace, Meijer brand

[Price: $17]

Manufacturer’s website: Meijer.com, but it’s not available online

Cup size at time of use: 34A

Ratings:

Comfort: 4/5

  • With a few modifications, mainly removing the plastic “support” bits, it’s very comfortable. it’s also quick and easy to get on and off.

Effectiveness: 4/5

  • it gives me a nice flattened chest, but loses a point because the two separate panels of elastic can be problematic. I have them safety pinned for now, will probably sew them together later.

Discreetness: 3/5

  • I can generally get away with wearing this under a snug t-shirt, especially if I wear an undershirt over it to smooth out the edges and mask the whiteness. it tends to show a little in the back, but I doubt anyone who doesn’t know or suspect I’m trans would know what it means. it also loses a point because it has a tendency to slide down and need frequent adjusting if I’m very active, though I’ve never known it to actually come off.

Overall: 3/5

  • I haven’t tried Underworks or any of the other official binders, but this works extremely well for me, and is easier on the budget. I’m giving it a 3 only because it took quite a bit of modification to be really workable. the one thing that remains to be tested is how long it will last.

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NoahMeeks_elastic2

Review by Dysperdis

Product name: Medical Tape

Manufacturer’s website: Medical tape, also known as surgical tape, is made my several companies. It can be bought at any drugstore.

Cup size at time of use: C

Ratings:

Comfort: -3/5

Effectiveness: 0/5

Discreetness: 0/5

Overall: -1/5

  • This website is meant, not only to inform the reader of binding methods that work well, but also to warn about methods that are useless, painful, or dangerous. This method was all three.

    Using medical tape to bind my breasts may have been the stupidest thing I have ever done. I heard from others that it was a possible way to bind, and, as my binder had yet to arrive, I was willing to try it. I bought a role of medical tape which proclaimed to be safe for use on skin.

    It took quite a bit of tape to see any results. By the time I was done, the tape was layered thick enough to be absolutely useless. There were lines and creases running across the front- these were visible through my shirt.

    Wearing it was extremely uncomfortable. I was near tears for most of the time I wore it. Taking it off was worse- in a few short hours, it appeared to have formed a very close relationship with my skin. Close enough, in fact, to remove a large portion of it. The following pictures are some of the scars left by the tape, taken about 6 weeks after the fact.

    I would never, ever endorse this method of binding.

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Review by Who is Morgan

IMPORTANT NOTE:

There have been reports of sternums being fractured using this method and actually piercing lungs. Use at your own risk.

Product name: Tensor Bandage

Manufacturer’s website: Any drug store. They’re used for wrapping sore ankles, wrists, knees, etc.

Cup size at time of use: A

Ratings:

Comfort: -3 /5

Effectiveness: 3.5/5

Discreetness: 2/5

  • This is probably one of the worst ways to bind. Hands down. You run a large risk of hurting yourself by wrapping your chest too tightly, as I did. I did this for a cosplay once, when I was still in denial about my gender identity, and refused to bind for a very long time after that.

    My mistake in this cosplay was that I (stupidly) didn’t realise that if you are binding using this technique, you have to move your breasts sort of… up and out. You want to sort of tuck as much tissue as possible under your armpits and use the bandage to tie it all in place. DO NOT SIMPLY BIND TIGHTER TO GET A FLATTER PROFILE. YOU WILL DO YOURSELF DAMAGE. I ended up with a severely bruised sternum and was unable to breathe freely for weeks.

    Now, other problems with bandages? They slide. They’ll slide up. They’ll slide down. They’ll separate at the fullest part of your breasts. They’re uncomfortable. They leave odd bulges under your clothes if not done PRECISELY correctly. A breast can pop free. They’re sweaty because they end up multi layered and have a LOT of elastic. Because of the way they shift, they are not very effective and can cause a lot of questions, especially if you are at all active.

    Benefits? They’re cheap. They’re available everywhere. Your parents don’t need to know what you’re using them for.

    If you MUST go for this option (I HIGHLY ADVISE AGAINST IT) then I recommend that you get the WIDEST bandage you can, as it will (in theory) slide less. And wear at least 2, if not 3-4 layers over top.

    Why is there no photo of me bound with these things?

    I will never use them again as long as I live.

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