Chest Binding 101: How to Bind Your Chest Safely With ContourMD

Chest Binding is the process of compressing breast tissue to give a flatter, more masculine appearance, and it’s something ContourMD takes seriously. Beginning to bind means affirming your identity while becoming more comfortable with the way your body looks. The early days of binding are exciting ones, and it’s often when you begin to feel and become more like yourself. 

When it comes to chest binding, it’s important to remember that safety and comfort go hand in hand. We put together this guide to help you find the right binding garments and techniques to help you safely chest bind whether you’re just beginning or you do it daily.  

Why Binding? 

Chest binding is restricting and compressing breast tissue to create a smooth silhouette. This is often done through sports bras, bandages, or compression garments. Compression garments often provide the “best” or smoothest result and are a safe option when used correctly. 

Individuals may use binding to express their true gender or in preparation for chest reconstruction surgery. However, many individuals may experience different pains or discomforts associated with the act of chest binding. Binding can lead to discomfort in the back, chest, shoulders, and breast tissue when done incorrectly. Due to the pressure and friction against the skin, They may also encounter skin irritations, difficulty breathing, dizziness, numbness, or other respiratory issues. 

But often, the benefits of binding far outweigh the discomforts. Binding allows individuals to feel and present themselves as their true gender. Chest binding is associated with increased confidence and self-esteem and decreased levels of anxiety and depression. This is why learning proper methods of chest binding and using high-quality compression garments are so important. Selecting ContourMD garments and support for this process ensures a comfortable and compassionate compression experience.  

Binding Basics. 

Let’s start with the basics and go from there.

First, you should never use tape or plastic wrap for binding purposes. This is not easy, comfortable, or budget-friendly, no matter what you read online. These methods are extremely unsafe and should not be used. What should you use to bind your chest? The safest methods include sports bras, bandages, and specially designed compression garments. Also, it is important to take frequent breaks or even days off of binding, as it can become exhausting on your chest, breathing, and skin. 

People bind their chests in many ways, including wrapping them with elastic bandages, wearing athletic compression gear, strategic layering of sports bras and compression shirts, and using commercial binders designed specifically to reduce the appearance of breasts.  

Binding For Larger Chests. 

Because everybody is different, remember to tailor these steps to what feels right and comfortable to you. It may take some trial and error to find the right method for you, and that’s okay. This is your journey, and ContourMD is here to offer support every step of the way.

The first step is getting into your binder in the first place, and it can be challenging, especially with a larger chest. 

ContourMD makes various binder products and alternatives like compression vests that you can either step into, wrap around, or zip up. Try different ways of getting into your binder, or try another type of binder to find what is most comfortable for you. Remember, you’ll probably want to wear it for as long as possible, so that is something to consider! 

And don’t worry if you need to adjust it throughout the day or take frequent breaks at first—experiment to find what type of binder works best for your body and comfort. Buy the highest quality binder you can afford, and it will do wonders for your skin and comfort.  

Pro Tips: 

  • Don’t wear two binders (or two sports bras or a binder over a sports bra) at once, as this can do irreversible damage to your lungs and ribs. Even if you know others who seem to be fine with this method, it’s not feasible for your health in the long term. 
  • Get the proper size for your body! Don’t size down, thinking the result will be a flatter chest. The result will be a lot of pain and maybe some rolling.
  • Take a picture of yourself with the binder on underneath a shirt for the most accurate representation of how you’ll look out there in the world. Like those side-profile progress pictures you see in gyms and on fitness posters, photographic evidence is the best way to see how others will see you! 
  • Take extra breaks! You may already be used to taking more breaks simply from having a larger chest… wearing a binder for 6-8 hours with a large chest won’t come naturally, so remember to ease into it and give your body time to adjust. 
  • Finally, never wear a binder overnight and never wear one while exercising as your muscles and chest need to move to react to your exercises.

How To Go About Taking Breaks

Try to think of your schedule and use a day planner to track when you are wearing a binder. Not only does this help keep track of your day-to-day life, but it also allows you to find small windows where you could be giving your body a break from binding for a while. 

For example, it might not be necessary to wear it while working from home, but you may want to wear it before going out with friends for dinner. Being kind to your body is the best way to ensure success. 

It’s important to remain safe while binding, especially if you are considering top surgery, as it can affect your skin elasticity and recovery post-op. 

When you can, consider wearing a sports bra instead of a binder. Some bras provide a lot of compressions, and if you have a smaller chest, this may be suitable for everyday use. 

Chest Binding Risks to be Aware of 

As we mentioned, there are some risks to be aware of associated with binding. 

Because of the compressive nature of the binding, it can affect your skin, muscles, and movement. Especially as you sweat throughout the day, you will sweat more with a binder on. It becomes effortless for bacterial or fungal infections to develop. It is important to clean the area regularly when you give your body a break from binding and wash your binder regularly.

Binders that are too tight can also cause nerve and muscle damage. They can even restrict your breathing or cause you to develop GI issues. 

At ContourMD, we have designed and manufactured these products here in America for close to 30 years. We are always happy to lend an ear and provide expert advice regarding sizing, product selection, or proper care for your garments. 

Recommended Products from ContourMD 

ContourMD has been creating quality-crafted compression garments since 1982. We are proud to offer a wide assortment of compression garments to help you feel your most confident daily. 

Universal Binder – The Universal Abdominal Binder by Contour features individual Velcro panels for precise control and compression. The abdominal binder is designed to help prevent rolling or shifting. The comfortable latex-free garment fits sizes from 28 to 44 inches and is available in white for 8, 10, and 12-inch widths.

Expand-A-Band Binder – The Expand-A-Band Binder fits all genders, giving you excellent support and compression. The Expand-A-BandAbdominal Binder attaches a special Velcro that adheres to any part of the binder, making it easy to adjust and control the amount of applied pressure to the abdomen. The Binder is Latex Free, made of material using DriRelease with FRESHGUARD, helping keep you feeling drier and fresher.

Contour PowerNet Vest – Contour works with surgeons to ensure that our patients have compression garments that deliver maximum performance without compromising comfort or style. Check out our PowerNet Vests to learn more about this durable and versatile garment.

Chest Binding FAQ

What is the Safest Way to Bind Your Chest?

The safest way to bind your chest is to you compression garments such as a binder.

Is it Safe to Wear a Chest Binder?

It is safe to wear a commercial chest binder for short periods of time. However, there are risks if worn improperly or for too long. This can lead to chest and back pain, rib bruising and fractures, overheating, and possibly skin damage.

How Long Can You Safely Bind Your Chest?

Doctors recommend limiting chest binding to only 8 hours a day. It’s important to take breaks and make sure you do not wear your chest binder for more than 8 hours a day.

Is it Safe to Bind Your Chest With Duct Tape?

Do not use Duct Tape or bandages to bind your chest. This can be unsafe and cause fluid build-up or other serious injuries.

What Does Binding Do to Your Chest?

Chest binding helps create an appearance of a flatter chest by compression breast tissue.

Can Chest Binding be Harmful?

Chest Binding can be harmful if not done properly, and if breaks aren’t taken. It is important to do research before chest binding.

Do Binders Permanently Flatten Your Chest?

Chest Binding will not permanently flatter your chest but it will help give the appearance of a flatter chest.

Does Wearing Chest Binding Reduce Breast Size?

Chest binding does not shrink breast tissue or prevent the breasts from growing.

Express yourself with ContourMD

Chest binding is an expression of who you are, and ContourMD wants to support you with proper compression and compassion. Feel free to reach out via email or give us a call & enjoy a knowledgeable & judgment-free experience. 

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