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Should I get a binder?


Julia

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So I’ve been questioning my gender for ages, and I’ve been wanting to experiment with expression/presentation. I’ve set my pronouns as they/them on discord servers to try that out, and one friend irl knows I’m “maybe not cis”, but I’m not in a position to do much more at this point. 
One thing I have been debating for a while, as it would be more subtle, is whether to get a binder; I just don’t know if it’s right for me. The idea of *sometimes* having a flat chest is intriguing (ie not top surgery) but I’d want to see how it looks before spending so much money on a good quality binder. The websites I’ve looked at don’t accept returns (which makes sense) but I’m terrified of it not being what I wanted and getting stuck with a product I won’t use. 
Has anyone else struggled with this & what did you do about it? 

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Hi Julia, welcome!

Have you tried a flat sports bra? The one I used that did a good job was a dancer's sport bra, but I'm sure you can find some sports bra with some compression, you know, without the cups and breast support. They can be cheap and give a first idea.

I'm sure there are other option of binders, but I can't help you with those. I'm sure someone around here can give you more info about them.

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Personally I can't wear anything called a "bra", so I can't vouch for how well this works, and I can't remember where I read it, but I've read that you can use two sports bras, possibly one size too small (no smaller than that), one put on the normal way, and one put on backwards, so the cups flatten more. It should be treated as binding, which is to say, no more than nine hours or so in the tight bras.

 

Since I don't do the bra thing, I wear men's A-line undershirts in a somewhat body-hugging medium or small size, or I wear baggy shirts.

 

I haven't tried this, but theoretically you could flip the bottom half of a tight undershirt up and pin it at your shoulders, so it covers that top area more.

 

Also, I totally get that you don't want to spend the money and I'm not suggesting you do something you can't handle financially, it's just that if you do happen to end up with a binder you're not using, don't throw it away. Send it to one of the binder charities for trans guys who can't afford them and really need them. I don't know if they're operating during Covid but certainly there'll be a need sometime for any binder you have going spare.

 

Good luck!

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These are both really good points. I think I’ve been worrying over binders for so long that I kind of forgot about other options. 
I wouldn’t have thought of double sports bras also having a time limit, nor did I know of donating binders being a thing, so thanks DonkeySocks for those tips :)

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