Posted on 19 Comments

Chest Binders and Corsets – my experience

Last updated on March 31st, 2021 at 10:42 pm

Back in May 2104, I wrote about compatibility between corsets and conventional bras, and how to avoid possible issues like underwire entrapment (when the underwire of your bra gets pushed uncomfortably against your ribcage) or the double lift effect (when the top edge of your corset pushes up on your bra, which then pushes up your breasts unnaturally high).

However, a number of followers have asked me if it’s possible to wear a bust binder in conjunction with a corset (whether to prevent accentuating a larger bust when seen in contrast to a smaller waist, or to present a more androgynous figure, or attain a particular silhouette for a costume). This may also apply if you have a very high-compression sports bra (I notice that I have a similar, but not identical, effect in my Enell Sport bra).

I’ve always been fascinated with fashion and how the line of clothing could change the apparent figure of the wearer – when I was in high school, even before discovering corsets, I used to play around with fashion and had no problem wearing a frilly dress one day and my brother’s button-down shirt the next day. I might have worn a padded bra with one outfit and a minimizer or binder with the other outfit, based on how I felt that day. So fortunately when a few people asked what it was like to wear a corset and chest binder together, I already had this experience.

Tri-top Binder by Underworks, available from Amazon (aff link)

Since I’m full-busted, my Underworks Tri-top binder doesn’t completely flatten my chest, but it still does an impressive job at taking down my apparent bust by at least 2 cup sizes. However, this flesh has to be displaced somewhere, and on me, some of my tissue is pushed upwards toward my collarbone, giving me a “pigeon-chest” effect (which means I only wear my binder with higher-cut necklines), and I get a bit of squishing out of the sides around my armpits. (I have squidgy armpits to begin with, as anyone who’s seen one of my overbust reviews can attest. I simply hide this by wearing a looser shirt.)

One other thing that’s important to note when combining a corset with a binder is to be aware of which way your binder is pushing your mammary tissue. Some have told me that when they normally put on a binder, they pull it straight down so their breast tissue is pushed down – however if your underbust corset extends quite high on your ribcage, you may run the risk of trapping some of your bust under the corset. When I wear my binder with a corset, I first pull the binder on downwards, but then reach inside and redistribute my flesh upwards a bit so as not to trap any of that tissue uncomfortably under the top edge of my corset.

There are some advantages to wearing a binder with a corset, however, including some elimination of muffin-top in the back – and since my Tri-top binder extends down to almost the navel, I find that it also acts as a semi-liner underneath my corset as well. Another corseter also told me that for people with a smaller cup size, the corset can control any bumps on your chest left over by the binder and create a more smooth effect overall – so the corset can compensate for the binder in the front, and the binder can compensate for any muffin top caused by the corset in the back.

In my experience, wearing a binder with a corset is a bit more restrictive on my breathing (compared to wearing one or the other separately) and I admit that I prefer to just wear a well-fitting underwire bra with my corset as I don’t tolerate much pressure on my upper chest – but on occasion, I do appreciate the minimizing effect a binder provides. Click the following links if you’d like to see my reviews of the Genie Bra, the Enell Sport and Lite bras, and the Goddess longline bra in conjunction with corsets.

Do you prefer to minimize your bust when wearing a corset? If so, what products do you use?

19 thoughts on “Chest Binders and Corsets – my experience

  1. I’m pleasantly surprised to find this post on your blog, as I’ve followed you on YouTube and read your blog now and then. So when I searched up “corsets and chest binding” to find out ways I can safely make my figure more androgynous because I am nonbinary, imagine my happy surprise when this popped up!

    I wonder if there are any corsets which themselves work as a binder, without restricting breathing too much. I’d be very interested in that for sure

  2. with compression on the top from the binder and on the bottom from the corset, how does one breathe? i wear binders semi-regularly and with just a binder i have found i am a bit short of breath and have to breathe from my stomach area as opposed to my chest. i also used to wear a corset back brace every day for a back injury and when i was wearing that i found that i had to breathe more with my chest. i am curious about the logistics of breathing in both and how practical it would be on the day-to-day.

    1. Hi Finn, sorry for my late response! Your comment got buried for a while there. To be fair, I’ve only used corsets with a relatively mild reduction with my binder, so I’d only have a 2-3 inch reduction in the waist, and about the same reduction on my chest as well. Breathing is a bit more challenging, and I’d definitely not recommend wearing a tightlacing corset and binder at the same time. Personally I find binders to be more restrictive to my breathing compared to corsets, but that could be because I’m already accustomed to corsets and breathing higher up. Of course, others here are more than welcome to weigh in with their experiences as well!

    2. It could help to find a binder which is compressing but still allows more movement. I have one which is the regular compressing double layered fabric in the front, and the back is slightly stretchy fabric. Wearing it hurts my back less than a sports bra and it compresses better as well (though I should note I am only a C cup so it doesn’t have to put in a lot of work to flatten things out)
      Mine is by the New York Toy Collective I believe, I got it from a local shop but they likely have it online. I love the thing, need to get another.

  3. This will be pretty helpful for Lolita im plus sized and even in waist free brand my just is just too big for the shape of those dresses

  4. Very interesting! I’ve also been curious to try a men’s overbust corset with a binder to help smooth out the chest to waist ratio. Anyone have thoughts on this or tried it?

    1. I haven’t been able to find one without it being custom, especially without it being “gothed” out with chains and the like.

      1. Exactly my problem. Considering going custom or buying one i can dismantle.

        1. Dracula Clothing has corseted waistcoats though I don’t know how good they are. I have my doubts as they are cheapish.

  5. I have recently come across two bra brands providing wireless bras with increased back and underarm support that I think will be super helpful with the corset “muffintop” or just bra muffintop in general. They are OlaFen and Orlinas. I have just ordered two of the OlaFen wireless at great prices from zulily. (Under $30!)

  6. I own a leather corset currently and have been debating buying a mesh corset for stealth waist training for some time now. My issue is I am a transboi who sadly is a large D cup so I was getting the same issues you were. I noticed you said you wore button downs as well. What sort of effects were you having with a binder, corset, button down, and a waistcoat?

    I really would love to start wearing a corset on the daily, especially to help my back, but the top dysphoria really gets to me.

    1. Hi Nic, I wore button-down shirts regularly but I don’t own a waistcoat. Perhaps one of the other commenters / readers here can answer this for you though!

    2. hi, i’m also trans, and i use a corset (by itself) regularly instead of a binder. my cupsize is really huge, but i’m able to get it to look flat by using an overbust corset. i push the tissue downwards as much as i can, and it works pretty nicely.

      as far as actual waist training goes, the extra tissue being pushed in that direction actually increases the circumference of the waist a little for me (but you don’t have dddd+ cup so you might not have this issue.)

      haven’t tried a waistcoat before, so can’t really answer that.

      1. It’s been a few years, but I just wanted to say you should be careful if you’re pushing things down to get a flat look, because it can stretch the skin out and also potentially negatively affect top surgery if you ever get it. Likewise with pushing everything into the armpits.

        But you do you, you’re free to make whatever choices you want I just wanted to let you and anyone else who may read this aware of the effect that chest binding can have depending on which direction you choose to distribute tissue.

  7. I did not look into chest binders until I saw this video. I love corseting for my spare & rare moments of being femme. But as a nonbinary person, I’m not comfortable emphasizing an already large bust with waist-cinching — and worse, the extra lift disqualifies many of my button shirts. With that said, I much prefer my pigeonbreast profile. Wearing both, however, would be best if there’s a leisurely day ahead.

    1. I can agree that full busts and button-down shirts don’t always get along. The safety pin has been my friend for many years! But you make a great point, binders do help in this situation as well. Thanks for your input, Dan!

      1. !! Oh wow, I hadn’t thought of using a safety pin… but then I’ve tried tape and that didn’t work so well. Of your many years, has there been wear or tension where the safety pin is placed?

  8. I really want to know what corset you are wearing!

    1. Hi Renee, this is the “Spring Delight” standard underbust by Timeless Trends. :)

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