The term “binding” refers to the process of flattening one’s breast tissue in order to create a male-appearing chest. The type of materials and methods used for successful binding will vary depending on the size of your chest and the overall build of your body.
Before you begin
General tips for all binding methods that you need to be aware of:
• Pain and discomfort
Certain methods of binding can be sweaty, uncomfortable, or even painful, as well as restrictive to your movement and even your breathing if done too tightly. Please use caution and common sense when binding–if it hurts, cuts your skin, or prevents you from breathing, it is too tight.
• Sweating and skin irritation
If a binder’s material doesn’t breathe or wick away sweat, you can end up with sores or rashes on your skin. One way of minimizing this risk is to apply corn starch or Gold Bond powder to your skin before binding. Another is to wear a thin cotton undershirt (or one made of special fabric that wicks away sweat) beneath your binder to help absorb moisture and prevent irritation that may arise from scratchy binding materials. Remember to allow your skin time off from binding so that it can breathe.
• Do not use tape to bind.
Taping directly on your skin is problematic, as it can cut your skin, cause painful rashes, and can pull off layers of skin when removed.
It also tends to be too rigid, making it difficult to breathe and move. If you do tape, you need to cut the tape between your shoulder blades so your chest has room to expand.
There are many ways to bind one’s breasts to give a more masculine/flat chested appearance.
There are a number of products on the market made for non-trans & trans men who have large chests due to excessive body weight or cup size.
Are made to slim down the size of one’s chest bulge to give a smoother more masculine appearance.
Purchasing compression shirts can be tricky. You want to buy one that compresses your chest while allowing you to breathe comfortably for as long as you have it on.
Measure around your chest (including your breasts) to get the size for your shirt.
Take a look at the Tri-top Chest Binder (http://www.underworks.com/products.html#998)
You might find that the binder you choose will tend to roll up in certain areas, particularly around the waist. If this is a problem for you, try sewing an extra length of fabric all the way around the bottom of the binder, and tuck that extra material snugly into your pants.
If you find that you have areas of chafing or bulging around the armpit area, you might want to try trimming and/or otherwise altering that area with a needle and thread. You can often find inexpensive solutions, such as spandex, lycra, velcro, and other materials at your local fabric store, using trial and error to make alterations that suit your specific frame.
Other tips If economically feasible, try to experiment with binding methods to find something as comfortable and breathable as possible while still maintaining a look for your chest that you can live with. If a binder doesn’t work well for you, consider donating it or selling it to another trans man who might have better luck with it.
Finally, give yourself a break from binding now and then to let your skin breathe and to ease up on any aches and pains the binder may cause.
Layering of shirts
If you don’t want to wear any type of binding device, or if you are taking a day off from binding to give your chest a breather, you might be able to get away with layering your clothes in a way that hides your breasts. Try wearing a tight fitting a-shirt (sleeveless undershirt) or sports bra as a bottom layer to keep things from moving around a lot, then a loose t-shirt (or two loose t-shirts) over that). Each successive layer should be looser than the one underneath. A button down shirt as the top layer can help hide not only the chest but also some of other more female-looking body features that some guys deal with, such as wider hips or narrow shoulders. Of course, wearing lots of shirts can get quite uncomfortable in warm weather; breathable white cotton shirts can help combat this problem.