Binders + Compression Tops: Where to buy, how to wear, and what to know to be safe - dom+bomb

Binders + Compression Tops: Where to buy, how to wear, and what to know to be safe

We get lots of questions about binding, so our team member Jess (they/them) pulled together a bunch of helpful info. 

We recommend that you talk to a gender-affirming healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. If you live in the Inland Northwest, check out Spectrum Center's 2SLGBTQIA+ Affirming Health Practitioner Database to find a provider.

Incorrectly wearing a binder can cause damage to your body including cracking a rib. They can also affect your ability to get top surgery later since they can reduce your skin's elasticity which is why it is so important to wear the correct size and talk to your surgeon beforehand about your binding habits.


Most sites have a place to tell you how to measure for the right fit. It can be kind of confusing, but it's best to measure the thickest part above the breast under the arms.

NEVER go a size down - you can really hurt yourself, and it will make binding very hard in the future.

If you're still unsure of your size, ask the brand you're buying from. They're happy to help you get just what you need.

If you want help with measuring, make an appointment with us.

Putting them on

Putting on binders and compression tops, especially the first time, can be hard.

  1. Put both arms in at the same time - do not try to do one at a time (it's not fun).
  2. Slowly pull down (you may have to wiggle a little bit).
  3. Once it's over your head and shoulders, grab from under the arm pit and very carefully work on unrolling it one side at a time.
  4. Once that's done, pull down a little bit more. It can help to roll your shoulders back and down to help with shifting the fabric, until it is completely pulled down. Don't pull it down too tight, it will hurt your shoulders.
  5. Once the binder/top is on, lift breasts up and adjust them as needed. To get the best male presenting chest, it can help to lift the breasts up, then to lay down (on the bed or floor, either or) then carefully lift the binder from under the arms up and just let gravity do the work. You will still have to adjust a bit and fuss with the underarm spill out.

As your binder/top get older you will have to make quick bathroom stops to readjust things because they do start to stretch out over the years. That is normal.


Follow the instructions from the company you purchased your binder or top from.


  • If it starts to hurt take it off right away; do not risk your health and body.
  • Do not wear more than 8 hours a day. Make sure to read the guidance on the website where you purchased. They're the experts. 
  • Do not wear to bed - it can hurt your body. If you need to wear something, a knit sports bra is great.
  • Do not swim with a binder unless the company you got it from says it's made for swimming.
  • Do not wear a binder while exercising; a compression bra is your friend for that. That's what they are made for.

Compression tops/Bras

  • Same as binders, If it starts to hurt take it off right away.
  • Can be worn a bit longer than a binder, but 10 hours is pushing it.
  • You can wear these swimming and working out, just make sure to switch to a sports bra when at home to give your body a break and stretch your chest. 
  • Do not wear to bed - wear a knit sports bra.

You only have one body - listen to it! If it starts to hurt even a little bit and it doesn't go away after a few moments, take off the binder/top and give your body a break. Sports bras are good for break days, and the knit kind are really good for sleeping with if you have to have something on while you sleep.


Follow the care instructions that come with your binder, top, or bra if they differ from the instructions below.


Cold wash either by hand or gentle cycle on machine, hang dry only. 

Compression tops

Cold wash either by hand or gentle cycle on machine, hang dry only.

Compression bras

Cold or warm wash gentle, can be machine dried on gentle with other undergarments. 

Where to shop

With us! Shop online or in-store. If you come in, we can alter them to fit. - custom zipper and velcro options available - velcro and zipper options

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