Reviewed by Jordan

Product name: UnderWorks 983 (Medium)

Manufacturer’s website: UnderWorks.com

Cup size at time of use: B

Comfort: 3/5:

  • It’s 70% Nylon and 30% Lycra. I think the Lycra is what makes this product actually worth it. The Nylon makes a swishing noise if I rub my shirt over the binder. Reminds me of an extremely uncomfortable bathing suit. Also, I don’t care how thin/thick you are, this sucker will roll up when you bend over or need to be adjusted if you make any sudden movements. Under the arms is the most uncomfortable because the fabric gives a pinching feeling, even though it fits like it’s supposed to or there tends to be friction there because I move my arms like other human beings. Oh, and no matter how many times you wash this sucker, it still smells like rubber or something strange. I have sink-washed and hung-dry like the instructions say and that smell never leaves. However, the fabric is breathable, so if I sweat at all, it may be damp, but it doesn’t ruin the functionality of the binder itself. Also, a major note: the website sort of assumes since you are a “biological female” then you must have tiny shoulders. This creates a problem in itself because, personally, I have very broad shoulders, so since the shoulder straps are meant to sit at a certain place on an individual with a smaller frame, it causes a hump in the scoop of the neck, which is irritating because, of course, we want it to lie flat on our chests like a tank top.

Effectiveness: 4/5

  • It definitely does what it says it does. Somebody else had submitted a photo of “without binder” and “with binder.” That describes it perfectly. It’s especially nice if you are like me and went from wearing a couple sports bras to this binder. The difference is amazing. For me, the less I wear, the better. I don’t like to have to prepare all my undergarments before putting clothes on. That’s just time-consuming and ridiculous. I don’t think I could ever wear a regular sports bra again because I have definitely become accustomed to the binding effect. It has also helped with my posture, although the binder is not stiff and is flexible, but I tended to hunch over without knowing it to hide my chest. It definitely could improve though because I still am not fully confident to walk around with my chest thrust outward (not that I would, but you know what I mean). Also, I adjust my chest under this binder by flattening my breasts toward each armpit. Personally, this helps me and the “shaping” process because, of course, if they aren’t perfectly positioned in the binder, there are oddly-shaped looking bumps on my chest and no, they don’t appear to be pecs, however, what I described does help with that specific effect.

Discreetness: 3/5

  • Depends on the shirt you wear over it. A tighter fitting shirt is more difficult because of the hump that’s created in the neck scoop, so it protrudes outward if the shoulder straps are not positioned on the outermost part of my shoulders. No, wearing a tank over it really doesn’t help, and like I said, I am personally burnt out on layering my clothes. That was the point of the binder. Also, with a tighter fitting shirt, if it rolls up, well, you might as well be wearing a sports bra because you can totally tell which part of your upper body is confined within a fabric and what is not. You may also note that if you have *any* underarm fat tissue, it will protrude out of the binder in what I’ve seen described as “dog ears.” If you are a thinner person, it will appear to be a tank top under your shirt, but still keep in mind the size of your shoulders, as this will still affect how it fits.

Overall : 3/5

 

Reviewed by Darke

Product name: The Cotton Concealer Compression Muscle Shirt

Manufacturer’s website: http://ftm.underworks.com/

Cup size at time of use: 34 A

Ratings:

Comfort: 4/5

  • It’s very comfortable and warm, although I have to pull it over my head because pulling it up shifts the inner material too much and causes the cotton outside and inner panels to become misaligned and then it becomes a mess. It’s very stretchy material and not too bad to work out in at home.

Effectiveness: 1.5/5

  • I got an extra-small size because it’s the recommended size for me, and when I put it on I still had a bump. When I went out to play soccer with some friends with this on, I had to wear another compression shirt underneath to get the flatness I wanted. Without the extra compression shirt, I had two very visible breasts still, so it didn’t really do much of anything for me except prevent them from bouncing around (which makes it essentially a longer, more expensive sports bra).

Discreetness: 3/5

  • I got the black colour, so it looks like a muscle shirt, and it looks very natural by itself, but doesn’t compress very well, and it’s quite long to wear untucked. The collar is also quite high, so when I wore it underneath another shirt, it poked through which brought up a lot of questions as to why I was wearing a black undershirt.

Overall : 2.5/5

  • It’s comfortable for home use, but aside from exercising in it, or wearing it amongst understanding friends, it wasn’t very helpful to me. I got the smallest size and it barely did any compressing.

Reviewed by  Alexander

Product Name: Underworks Tri-top

Manufacturer’s website: http://www.underworks.com

Cup size at time of use: <A

Comfort: 4

  • Fits good. WAY cooler than the Double model. Still really tight around the shoulders compared to other brands.Doesn’t limit breathing at all. But it is the FIRST thing to come off when I step in the door.

Effectiveness: 4

  • Flat. Super flat.

Discreetness: 3

  • The seam does show through some shirts. in the winter it would be fine but in the summer t shirts tend to make it obvious

Overall: 4

  • I’d get it again in a pinch. But i still prefer other makers.

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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Reviewed by Julz

Product Name: Underworks Men’s Microfiber Compression Tank

Manufacturer’s website

Cup size at time of use: C

Ratings:

Comfort: 5/5

  • This compression tank is made by Underworks, but it isn’t made for FTMs. It’s just for guys to compress a little body fat. Worn as a regular shirt, it does next to nothing. But if you put it on and roll it up so the bottom is across your chest, then roll it up again so you have three layers compressing, it works pretty well. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t impair your breathing much and it’s really comfortable – even when you roll it up.

Effectiveness: 3/5

  • Even if you roll it up a few times, it won’t get you very flat and it unrolls with medium activity. However, it’s very cheap ($20) and it’s better than nothing. This is what I started out with when I first started binding. I used it for about a year and it worked just fine. This binder, plus a good selection of button-down shirts, will allow you to pass okay (if the wind doesn’t pick up and give away the bulge in your chest).

Discreetness: 3/5

  • It isn’t really very discreet. Because you have to roll it up so many times, there are a lot of lines. If you combine this with a button-down shirt or wear a lot of layers, it doesn’t usually become much of a problem. Again, not perfect- but good for $20.

Overall: 3/5

  • It’s great for people who want to try binding but don’t want to restrict their breathing too much and aren’t able/willing to spend a lot of money on a better binder. They’re pretty durable, cheap, and they do an okay job if you remember to layer and adjust pretty frequently. That being said, I recommend saving up if you can and getting a better binder designed specifically for FTMs. This is a hassle and it barely does the job. Obviously, the price is a major draw- but the $20 you spend on this could go toward getting a more effective binder you’ll be much happier with.