Let’s be real: Big boobs only come in handy if you’re feminine. Maybe that’s a hot take, but as someone who’s lived with a 38H chest since puberty, I think I have the authority to say that. Every single non-binary, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming person is different with differing gender dysphoria, but for me, binding is the only way to feel comfortable some days. I had been wearing the binder alternative from Girlfriend Collective, which was good, but I wanted something that not only had more compression without making me want to die but was also made by and for people like me.
To test binders, I wore four different ones for four months — mostly during the sweaty summer — from two queer-owned brands: For Them and Urbody. I reviewed each one on how compressive, soft, and breathable they were. Plus, I took into account how easy it was to position my breasts in the binder and if they needed additional repositioning throughout the day. Here are my need-to-know stats: I’m a 38H, usually an XL in bralettes and a L in shirts but prefer an XL for that oversized look.
Below, you’ll see each of the binders worn with two different types of tops — a tank top and a slightly oversized button-up — so the compression can be seen clearly. You’ll be able to make your own conclusions based on what you’re looking for. So, keep on reading to see my detailed thoughts and review of the For Them binders and Urbody Compression Tops. Then you can add your favorite to cart.
If you’re having a tough sensory day or you’re not feeling super-dysphoric, the Urbody compression tops are an excellent option for a barely there binding experience. That may sound like an oxymoron, but trust me, it’s true. They won’t last as long as the For Them binders — meaning you might have to re-adjust occasionally throughout the day — but they’re 100% more comfortable. The racerback allows for fewer back issues and, as you can see above, my breasts practically disappear when wearing tank tops and button-ups.
If we’re talking technicalities, this isn’t a binder. It’s a compression top, or the sweet spot between a binder and a sports bra. Still, it’s an excellent option, and I ended up reaching for it more often than the For Them ones when I was having sensory issues and preferred something less tight — just because I enjoyed how they felt. Speaking of softness, Urbody has a cotton compression top that I’ve definitely got my eye on.
I would recommend the Full-Length Compression Tank to those who want some compression in other parts of their body, like their stomach, as well as their breasts. The least compressive on this list, the tank definitely did a better job at binding with the slightly oversized button-up. While it’s comfy at the beginning of the day, I was ready to take it off by the end — mostly because I don’t enjoy anything tight around my stomach for too long (sensory issues are great, aren’t they?).
I wore an XL and it definitely ran true to size without feeling like you want to die while trying to get it on. There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting caught in your own binder. Anyway, the Compression Tank is currently available for pre-orders in all colorways.
For Them The Binder, $52
The Binder is For Them’s first-ever released product. It’s the most relaxed of the two binders the brand offers with eight colorways. The sizing is quite unique: You complete a short quiz to find yours, but instead of traditional metrics like small and large, the sizes are words like Fire (my size), Ethereal, and Amethyst.
This binder was definitely tight enough and worked best while wearing tank tops under button-ups (like the one above). It looked more like a sports bra. Maybe it was the way I positioned my boobs, but they looked more supported than tied down. The length of the binder was quite short, so it didn’t fully fit over my boobs, but the size of the band itself was good and not too tight. Maybe it’s worth sizing up if you usually have a hard time with cups fitting, but I’d be scared that the band would be a bit too loose.
Everyone…we got a winner. Out of these four, For Them’s The Binder Max was definitely my favorite when it comes to actual binding. I’m sure the photos say it all. The Binder Max is For Them’s latest launch, and it’s somehow as comfy as the OG but with way more compression power. It features the same sizing system (I’m still a size Fire) and five neutral colorways.
It’s longer than the original, so the boobies are fully compressed and positioned safely while I’m also completely able to breathe — truly a miracle. My 38H breasts totally disappear under both the tank and button-up! I’ve worn this for a full day in the office, and it truly wasn’t too bad. It’s not as comfortable as the Urbody ones, but for the binding power, it’s truly spectacular. I can’t recommend it enough.
The first step to choosing your perfect binder is to decide what you’re looking for — whether it’s ultimate bind or breathability, or somewhere in between. For comfort (or if you have smaller breasts), I would go for Urbody. For most compressive, I would suggest For Them. Specifically when it comes to the best of both worlds, the For Them Binder Max definitely took the gold this time around.
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