Where to Shop for a Chest Binder: In-Store Options

Where to Shop for a Chest Binder: In-Store Options

Binding is the process of flattening one’s chest using a chest binder for various reasons. Chest binding is a common practice among transgender men, non-binary individuals, transmasculine people, and people who feel more comfortable presenting with a flattened chest. Chest binders can be purchased online or in physical stores, and while shopping online may be more convenient, many people prefer to try on their binders in person. This article will provide information on where to shop for a chest binder in physical stores.

The Benefits of Shopping for a Chest Binder In-Store

While there are many online retailers selling chest binders, it may be beneficial to shop in stores for a few reasons:


One of the most important reasons to shop for a chest binder in a physical store is the ability to try it on before purchasing it. Chest binders come in different sizes, and trying it on will ensure you are getting the right fit. If a binder is too small or tight, it could cause discomfort, breathing difficulties or even damage to the ribs. On the other hand, if it’s too loose, it may not flatten the chest as desired.


Purchasing a chest binder in-store allows you the opportunity to inspect it for quality. You can physically touch and feel the binder to ensure it’s made from comfortable materials, has good stitching, and is long-lasting. With an online purchase, it can be hard to tell the quality of the binder until it arrives in your hands.

Immediate Availability

Buying a chest binder in-store is ideal for those who need it quickly or require it for an event. As soon as you purchase it, you can put it on and enjoy the desired flattening effect.

Customer Assistance

In-store shopping also provides you with the opportunity to speak directly to the store employees about your needs, which can be beneficial if you’re new to chest binding or if you have specific requirements for a binder.

Where to Shop for a Chest Binder in Stores

If you’ve decided to shop in-store, you have a few options to consider:

Department Stores

Large department stores such as Target, Walmart, and Macy’s may carry chest binders. Check their women’s clothing sections for items such as sports bras, transtape, and other chest-binding gear. Keep in mind that department stores may have fewer brands available compared to specialty stores.

Specialty Stores

There are specialty stores whose primary focus is on gender presentation and expression. Such stores include Gender Gear, TomboyX, and FTM Essentials that cater to customers looking for gender-affirming clothing, binders, and packing gear. Specialty stores have more binder options compared to department stores.

LGBTQ+ Resource Centers

Many LGBTQ+ centers have resources for gender-nonconforming individuals and may sell chest binders. These centers carry resources and information about gender identity and expression and serve as a safe space for people to shop for gender-affirming clothing.

How to Choose the Right Chest Binder

Before purchasing a chest binder in-store, you should consider the following:


Measure yourself according to the store’s size chart, which usually uses chest measurements to determine the right size for you. If you are unsure of your size, it’s crucial to ask for assistance from store staff.


Chest binders are generally made from materials such as nylon, spandex, and cotton, and you should choose a material that feels comfortable for you. Nylon and spandex are stretchier and tight-fitting, while cotton is breathable and more comfortable for everyday use.

Compression Level

Chest binders have different levels of compression. Some binders offer more compression, while others offer less flattening. Consider what you are comfortable with when it comes to compression levels.

Tips for Wearing a Chest Binder Safely

Do Not Wear it for Too Long

While chest binders are designed to be worn for an extended period, it’s important not to wear them for more than eight hours in a day. Doing so may cause breathing difficulties, skin irritation, or damage to the ribs.

Never Sleep in a Chest Binder

It’s crucial to remove your binder before going to sleep since it can cause discomfort or harm when lying down.

Pay Attention to Your Body

If you experience shortness of breath or pain while wearing a chest binder, it’s essential to remove it and give your body a break. If you regularly experience pain or discomfort while wearing a binder, you may be wearing the wrong size or compression level.


While shopping online for a chest binder may be easy and convenient, shopping in-store provides some essential benefits. You get the chance to inspect it for quality, choose the right size, get assistance from store employees, and wear it right away. When you decide to shop in stores, don’t forget to consider the store’s options, size, material, and compression level before purchasing.


  • Q: Can chest binders be found in department stores?
  • A: Chest binders can be found in department stores such as Target, Walmart, and Macy’s.
  • Q: Do I need assistance while purchasing a chest binder?
  • A: If you’re new to chest binding or require specific requirements, assistance from store employees is necessary.
  • Q: Should I sleep with my chest binder on?
  • A: No, it’s critical to remove your binder before going to sleep to avoid discomfort or damage.


  • “Chest Binding.” Fenway Health, www.fenwayhealth.org/care/medical/transgender-health/chest-binding/.
  • “Chest Binding.” Planned Parenthood, www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation-gender/trans-and-gender-nonconforming-identities/chest-binding.
  • “Where to Shop for a Chest Binder.” FTM Essentials, www.ftmessentials.com/pages/where-to-shop-for-a-chest-binder.

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