Binders Galore II

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As promised, the second part of my review about the binders I´ve tried. After buying different kinds of solutions, (one for sports, one for sleeping, the smallish GC2B binder and my old binder, I can make some sort of comparison and see which ones are the most effective for which activity – in my case, anyhow.

I´ll start with sports reviewing this binder. It´s made by a company in Amsterdam, I do believe they ship worldwide. If you are handy with a sewing machine and fabric, you might want to consider making your own, since the price (Eur 54,95 plus shipping, not including customs) is quite steep. You can fasten it in the front with a strap and then zip it up.

According to the description of their website, it´s meant to do sports in and so it isn´t completely surprising that it doesn´t bind completely. When I went running today I could still see some round curves going on, which I covered up by wearing a men´s compression shirt (Under Armour), a long sleeve shirt and a shirt on top with horizontal stripes.

The running went fine and my rib cage is okay so I feel that this is a good product. The strap inside is adjustable, so choosing to get a bigger size (for less compression) would probably be no problem. Next, I ordered a tank top sort of thing from them, which I thought maybe I could try for sleeping, since it is adjustable.

I ordered an M, but I find that for sleeping it´s still too tight. Also, it does not bind one bit for me, so I suggest you buy something else if you´re looking to bind during daytime. I think adding adjustable hooks and eyelids on either side, rather than just the one side, would help to relieve stress on just one side of the ribcage and torso.

Last but not least I still have my worn out “pimped” binder, or “whatever remains from that underworks top I got a year ago”. I´m absolutely terrible at sowing and have no fashion sense whatsoever, which is why I won´t post a pic of it, but I will post a drawing. The materials (very poorly chosen) are denim, I don´t recommend that.

If you ever want to try to make your own binder like the one I designed, I suggest you use something sturdy in the front (like denim) and something more flexible in the back, like spandex (no elastic because you risk injuring your upper back). The inside is padded with one of my old tank tops, and I made sure enough space is left for the upper back.

Check out my awesome drawing:

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Binders Galore

binders

I was just reminded this is what cispeople think of when you say “binders”. They would probably think of people who organize their paperwork into really neat categories and have them alphabetically stored on their bookshelf. In Dutch they are called “ordners”, but I don´t use them anymore – not since everything went digital.

This isn´t a post about ordners though. It´s a review about the answer to a problem I´ve been having – namely how to bind in different situations. You´ve got binders for every day activities, which would predominantly be GC2b and Underworks, and some manufacturers on the side you might have never heard of (Like Danae here in the Netherlands).

But what about sports? And what about people who are dysphoric at night, and so they wear their binder to bed with (possibly) shitty repercussions? That´s what I was wondering. For a long time, I wore “Extreme MagiCotton Sports and Binding Bra” (ouch, how I hate that term), which you can find here (Underworks site).

It has great reviews. However the one I got was impossibly small. Either I got my measurements wrong, or they got their measurements wrong (I recommend going up one size). Unfortunately this was quite some time ago, so I can´t double check. Either way, I cut the thing in the back and I sewed on bands of Velcro so I could still wear it.

It worked great for about eight months. Unfortunately after this it was so worn-out that further “customization” took all the elasticity out of the thing. I also wore it at night, with the velcro tape sitting very loosely, yet after a while my rib cage started to hurt quite a lot and I realized I´d better get rid of the thing and look for a different solution.

I heard a lot of good things about GC2B, so I bought a binder there. I bought a medium this time but was still worried, considering the last binder had turned out way too small. It cost about twice the original price and arrived after a month, both shipping and customs considered. I can get it on, but I can still feel pressure on my rib cage.

Read more about my binderventures in Part II.