Adventures in Binding Pt. 2

10 Aug

While Girlfriend visited we went shopping, and in several stores we were shopping, in essence, for the invisible man. The sales people would ask us things like “What does this guy look like?” and “Do you think this is too wild for him?” and we would glance at each other and I would try not to burst out laughing, because, of course, we were shopping for me. (And yes, that tie was far too wild.)

Honestly I didn’t mind being the invisible man. Though I’m absolutely positive that not everybody identified me as straight, it was smoother to shop for somebody who wasn’t there than to tell them that tie was for me. (One guy was clearly thinking “Look at the baby gays!” when trying to get me to open a store credit card account, though.)

I was wearing the binder (Underworks’ 988 XL in white, and I first wrote about it here) but it didn’t completely flatten me out, of course, and then I was also carrying a purse. So they identified me as a woman hanging out with another woman, which was safer than being identified as a lesbian. If I had wanted to get read male I think layering my shirts, wearing guy’s jeans, and … attempting to present male would have helped. Though layering my shirts would have presented heat-related problems, I think.

This was the second day I had worn my binder, and I wore it for most of the first day, probably seven hours. This day I was actually walking around a lot, and moving in different ways (trying on clothes). Mostly I was walking inside with air conditioning but there was some outside walking in the heat. My breathing felt pretty good all day, even when I was getting tired of wearing it.

Actually I had planned to wear it to dinner, which would’ve put me closer to nine or ten hours, as dinner took longer than expected, but by the time we headed back to the hotel the straps were biting my shoulders and we both thought it would be a good idea if I took it off. For the next day or two I had a small red welt on one shoulder where the strap was. Luckily the binder straps and my bra straps sit in two different locations so the bra didn’t irritate the welt.

From what I’ve read this isn’t weird and is just part of breaking the binder in. Since it’s so new the fabric is still really stiff, and I remember reading a guy reviewing Underworks saying that he tucked tissue paper around the armholes of his binders for the first couple of weeks. It’ll probably take a few washes and another month or so before mine is really broken in (since I won’t be wearing it that often).

So… that is the addendum to my review. Oh! I did feel like the binder gave me a pudge around the middle, but Girlfriend was confused when I said that, so I think if you’re not wearing clingy clothing it’s not noticeable. And I am really glad that I didn’t get a full-torso binder, because I feel like it would’ve been too much for me.

My recommendation would basically be to take it slow the first several times you wear it and not wear it for too long, because you’ll need to break it in some.

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2 Responses to “Adventures in Binding Pt. 2”

  1. maddox August 11, 2011 at 4:19 PM #

    You definitely have to “break it in” – it just gets looser and stretches out. It took a few months for me before it got to the point of not being painfully painful.

    For the chafing, especially the Underworks one where the cloth/nylon is extremely coarse and anti-soft, I used a very thin dri-fit sleeveless tank underneath. Yes, it adds an extra layer, and it makes me a tad more difficult to put the binder on, but it’s much more comfortable than chafing skin.

    I have also seen videos of people putting in micro-fiber towels just under the seams, but it seems to be a bit more work than just wearing a shirt. That and I am very sensitive to irritating clothing so this was a big issue. And yes, I wore this in Philadelphia’s humid 90+ weather, so it’s doable.

    • ace eccentric August 11, 2011 at 4:59 PM #

      Were you on the edge of a size? People keep talking about it being painful and the only time I’ve had pain was when I noticed the strap biting my shoulder. The rest of the time it’s just been … snug. But I’m on the smaller end of the size range. (Perhaps I have resistant ribs or something.)

      I’ve just been using baby powder, I don’t know if that’s common. I do own some tank tops and had planned to put them on under the binder but since I’ve had minimal problems I haven’t wanted to go to the effort.

      Wearing it out in 100-degree heat today for a couple of hours wasn’t bad. But I can’t wait for winter.

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