New York Toy Collective Binder Review
I've tried several methods of binding throughout my life, and have found that purpose made binders offer me the most comfort while also as much binding as possible.
My measurements are 38in/96.5cm (chest) & 33in/84cm (under chest), and I typically wear between a size 10-12, M-L shirt. When wearing a bra this is between a size 10DD/E-12D/DD depending on the brand.
I’ve also tried the Gender Bender Half Tank Binder in Medium, which I found to run rather large and stretches about a half size over time. I’d say my NYTC Medium is more of a Medium Plus after wearing it for a few months with washes. I use it as an all-day binder due to its softness and comfort, or if I don’t need as much binding as possible.
I tried the NYTC binder the week my period was due, so I was rocking some extra chest that needed wrangling when there’s about another centimetre or two added.
I found it very supportive around my ribcage, and the design meant that there were no areas to rub me, or pinching parts where the construction changed shape. The inner material is slightly grippy in comparison to the outer material, which is essential for keeping things where they should be! Anyone who has worn a binder knows how uncomfortable it can be when your chest shifts, or if you have to adjust it in public. This also meant that it kept everything in place during the hotter days, which is not an easy task!
What I liked about the outer material is that it was smooth so my shirts glided over it. This is important for me because when fabric bunches or grabs it looks like you're wearing a binder, and that's not always the look I'm going for (!).
The material at the rear is mesh-like and breathable, with enough give that you can breath and move comfortably, but not so stretchy that everything falls out the bottom (if you know you know).
My one critique of the half tank binder would be that the bottom edge of the binder is a little larger than it perhaps needs to be, so sometimes I felt like everything was heading a little south if I'd had to run down some stairs or walk around for a long time. I'd also really like to see them in other colours (even just a black) so that it wasn't as obvious if the shoulder straps were visible or if someone took a sneak peek down my shirt.
Why do I bind?
I bind to flatten my chest, which is rather large, to reduce feelings of dysphoria experienced when wearing a traditional bra. Sports bras tend to constrict my breathing and place pressure on my shoulders without doing much binding, so a purpose-made binder is much more comfortable for me throughout the day.
What are the downsides of binding?
Sometimes your body just isn’t in the mood. I know that I need to take my binder off when I start getting irritable and grumpy for no reason, or start to experience discomfort. Pain for me is always a sign I need to take my binder off, and once I have done this I take several deep breaths and hold them, then do some shoulder and back stretches. Sometimes my body can swell with heat or after having lots of salt, and this means my binder becomes excessively tight and uncomfortable.
What are the good parts?
The flatter chest! Everything fits me better. I love boobies on other people, just not on me. I love what is in my head being almost in front of me when I wear a binder. Surgery is financially and emotionally a bit daunting for me at the moment, so binding is the only way I am able to experience this without losing an unhealthy amount of weight to make my chest smaller.
Overall I really love my NYTC half tank binder, and have found it the most true to purpose, comfortable, and sturdy binders that I have tried.