Updated: Apr 28
There's a good chance you've heard about binders, and if you've ever worn one you also know that at times they can be very uncomfortable. Binders can be great but they aren't everyone's cup of tea and where binders fall short, TransTape steps in.
Hello, beautiful people!
If you're in the market for finding the best option for chest binding, you're in the right place!
A lot of us here have probably used a binder at one point in our lives.
And first, let me just say, there is nothing wrong with using a binder!
People all over the world use binders to feel at home in their own body. That's what chest binding is all about! At the end of the day, use what makes you feel like the best version of yourself.
Binders and TransTape can both help relieve things like gender dysphoria and allow someone to feel comfortable in their own body.
Personally, I'm not a fan of binders and never felt at home wearing one.
And this is why I'm going to breakdown some of the benefits of TransTape and how it differs from wearing a traditional binder.
If you want to learn a little more about binding before continuing, check out my post To Bind or Not To Bind.
What Is TransTape?
The best thing since sliced bread!
I mean, I'm really not wrong.
TransTape was created in 2016 by founder Kaiyote Jackson while he was searching for an alternative to binders.
He knew that there had to be another way and he was right!
TransTape is a body transformation system that allows you to safely bind, pack or even tuck for days at a time. It's a wonderful alternative to bras, binders, gaffes, packers and other self-affirming products.
This tape is made from a blend of 95% cotton and 5% spandex with hypoallergenic medical grade acrylic adhesive that is latex free and non medicated.
This adhesive is strong and made with daily use in mind, it's no joke!
Always review the free user manual and perform a test strip before using TransTape for the first time. Everyone's body is different, so it's important to check in with yours!
Round 1: Comfort and Fit
When it comes to something you use almost daily, comfort is extremely important and when it comes to how you wear a binder or TransTape, they're in two completely different categories.
Binders are an article of compression clothing meant to be worn underneath your top to help flatten your chest.
The "traditional" binder typically slides over the head and has straps that rest on your shoulders like a tight t-shirt.
For me, binders always reminded me of wearing a super tight bra and I was never able to shake that feeling while using them.
The straps of a binder can sometimes show under clothing and for some of us, myself included, that can trigger a little bit of gender dysphoria.
TransTape is a totally different ballpark and adheres directly to your skin and is thin enough that you never see lines underneath your clothing.
You can finally wear that awesome open chest shirt you have, too!
TransTape stays mostly out of sight when applied and allows you to wear open chest clothing without someone realizing that you're binding.
After a while, you kind of forget the tape is there unless you're looking directly in the mirror at it.
And unlike binders, the tape doesn't wrap around your entire torso or compress your body.
You use one or more strips of tape for each side and they should never go past your armpits and on to your back.
Check here for an application tutorial!
It allows you to easily move your chest tissue to the side, keep it in place and help sculpt the chest you desire.
People who struggle with conditions like asthma will be pleased to know that you can bind and breathe freely with TransTape because of this!
In my humble opinion, TransTape really takes the whole cake here.
Round 2: Length of Time Binding
With a traditional binder, you're limited to around 8 hours of binding safely. With TransTape, you have up to 5 days to enjoy your freedom.
Nothing is worse than worrying about a ticking timer and a binder timer consists of a short-lived 8 hours due to how much pressure they tend to put on your chest and ribs.
Wearing them for too long can lead to back pain, rib damage, overheating or more.
If you're a busy or active person, binders can really put a wrench in your plans when you're worried about how long you have left.
But with TransTape, you don't have to worry about things like compressing your body.
After application, you have 1 to 5 days of feeling like Free Willy before you have to eventually remove your tape.
I live a busy and often active lifestyle and I use TransTape almost every single day. I wear the same application throughout my entire work week and every shower and workout in between!
If you apply incorrectly, overstretch or wear your TransTape for too long, it's possible you may encounter skin irritation or discomfort while wearing it.
Overstretching is the most common issue with TransTape and this is why you should always read the manual and perform a test strip before applying. Practice makes perfect!
Round 3: Versatility
TransTape does not compress or wrap around your torso like a binder does, allowing you to breathe freely while you go about your day.
I mentioned a few times how TransTape does not compress your body and that makes it a good option for those of us who struggle with asthma or other breathing related conditions.
The lack of compression, multiple days of wear and waterproof aspects make TransTape extremely versatile and ready to take on any and all adventures.
Even on short notice!
Yes, it's easy to wake up, throw a binder on and go about your day.
Binders are a great and easy option, but chances are you probably aren't running a marathon while you wear one.
But Jamie, I just want to bind and breathe at the same time, I don't want to run marathons.
What if a sudden opportunity to go on a tremendous hike to a magical waterfall arises and you're 7.5 hours into your binder timer?
That exact situation may never happen to you, but if it did, your binder could end up holding you back!
You could obviously decide to take on any opportunity while wearing a binder, but again, you would be risking things like difficulty breathing, rib damage or a completely drenched and possibly damaged binder.
The best thing about TransTape is that you can wear it through anything and everything!
Showers, beach days, work-days, skydiving, mud races, drag shows, hiking, dancing.
After your application, you have 5 whole days to take on any opportunity that's lucky enough to cross your path.
The sky is the limit, and even that's questionable!
Round 4: Knockout!
Everyone is different which means we all have our own opinions, so use what works best for you. There's nothing wrong with doing something differently!
I will always suggest giving TransTape at least one try and that's because binding with it helped me transform my life for the better.
However, TransTape is not for everyone and neither are binders!
I started off wearing a binder and wore one for at least a year before deciding it wasn't for me and that I needed something different.
I also tried using KT tape for a while before discovering TransTape and that clearly wasn't for me either. I do not recommend using KT tape to bind.
It might take a while to explore different binding options to find what works best for you, and that's okay!
We all have to take the time to find what works for us and that length of time is different for everyone.
My point is, it's okay to try new things.
And it's okay to not like those new things.
We're all different and that's what makes us beautiful.
You should totally buy some TransTape, though.
Until next time,
You are loved and it gets better.
Talk to you soon,
Welcome to the cool kids club!
My name is Jamie and I'm a young (ish) transman born and raised in the Hudson Valley of New York state. I started my transition in May of 2017 and since then, I've made it my mission to live unapologetically as myself and spread awareness through my pursuit of happiness. I am the creator and writer of Spilling T blog, a proud affiliate of TransTape and when I'm not outside with the best dog ever or hanging out with my two cats, I make and sell my own beard care products through Buckaroo's Beard Care. I'm always looking for my next adventure and have been skydiving, road-tripping, hiking in the mountains and even served for a short time in the United States Marine Corps. My life has had its fair share of twists and turns and I hope to use those experiences to create helpful and relatable content that may help someone else navigate a difficult time in life.
Beards, Socials, Tape and Writing
Use code FINALLYME10 and Find Your Freedom with TransTape!