Dressing Well Without Binding

You don’t need a flat chest to be comfortable presenting as yourself or to pass in public.

Many transgender and gender non-conforming folks choose to wear binders or compression shirts to achieve a flat chest, but for many of us, binding can be pretty uncomfortable – anyone who’s worn a binder in the middle of a summer heat wave can back this up! (If you do bind your chest, make sure you’re binding safely.)

If you want to hide your chest:

1. Use an undershirt and smart layering

Hands down, most guys find layering a comfortable way to hide their chest without a chest compression shirt. A tight fitting undershirt or tank top can help keep your chest from moving too much, allowing you to also wear a looser t-shirt over that. Or, try a button down shirt over a tank: a fitted button down can slim your chest, slim your stomach or even hips, and generally make you look fashion forward.

2. Try a sports bra

For some of us guys, an undershirt might not cut it. Try wearing a sports bra to give your body a bit more support and compression, and buy a size larger if you don’t want it to be too tight.

3. Avoid wearing baggy clothing

It might seem counter intuitive to not wear a shirt size larger or two, but baggy clothing won’t do you any favors in the long run. Pay attention to how your sleeves fit, both in length and width, as well as where the shirt fits on your shoulders. If your clothes are too baggy, your top can actually hang off your chest, creating more shadows and curves.

4. Stick to darker colors and patterns

Dark colors like blacks, browns, and navy help to hide depth, which helps with covering up. Solid colors, however, can sometimes bring more attention to your chest because there’s nothing to distract the eye. Try subtle patterns, vertical stripes, plaid, or a bold graphic.

5. Think vertical

Depending on your body type and personal taste, you can use vertical elements to your advantage. Vertical stripes and pinstripes, ties, an open vest, blazer, hoodie or jacket – all of these draw attention away from your curves.

Dressing Well Without Binding
Layers, verticals, button ups, and ties all help hide your chest.

If you don’t care about your chest and just want to look sharp:

Focus on defining your personal style and looking and feeling great. 🙂 The 3 keys to rock your wardrobe are…

  • Focus on fit: cheap, awesome fitting clothing will always look better than expensive, poor fitting clothing. For many of us, that might mean getting some clothes tailored.
  • Think about versatility: buy products that can be mixed and matched to create a bunch of different outfits.
  • Less is more: basics can set you apart from the crowd.

Some inspiration:

Related Reading:

Need a binder but can’t get one? Learn more about Point 5cc’s free binder donation program

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