The Trans Consumer

Swim Tank (Style 918)
January 9, 2011, 6:58 pm
Filed under: 3.5/5, binders, featured, medium, rating, text, things | Tags: , , ,

Chest size: 36-38 C

The Swim Tank by Underworks is an effective binder that, as with all products, has its ups and downs. As a larger chested person, I personally do not feel comfortable wearing just this binder (no over shirt or anything) for its advertised purpose: swimming. This isn’t to say that the binder does not work well, because it does. However, one can still see evidence of my chest underneath when I don’t wear any shirts on top of the binder.

By itself, the swim tank costs $44.99 (about 34 euros), which is more than the brand’s other binders and its most popular binders: the Double Front Compression and the Tri Top.

The first thing I noticed is that this one has multiple layers of multiple fabrics. The inner layer, while I have not ripped my binder to shreds to see it, is seemingly the same material as the style 997 (Double Front Compression). This fabric is then covered by bathing suit material as that is what it is meant to be. The softer fabric is longer than the compression material. Therefore, this binder does not roll up while it still maintains the length that many of us guys, especially the chubby or large chested ones like myself, need. However, it does mean it’s slightly more difficult to adjust. You have to grab the bottom of the compression material to pull it down as opposed to grabbing the bottom of the binder in general.

Speaking of pulling it down, this is not your typical binder when it comes to putting it on. You won’t need anyone’s help or fancy tricks to get this sucker around your chest. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m serious. The Swim Tank comes with a zipper in the front making it much easier to put on.

It’s black with blue stripes along the sides. The neck comes up pretty high on one’s chest, meaning no v necks while wearing the Swim Tank. I have always personally been a fan of white binders, since that means I get to wear white t-shirts with them. With the Swim Tank, there are no color options.

On the down side, the 997 is known for rolling up and cutting into the hips. The 983 (Tri Top) is known for having inconsistent results acting as a push-up bra for some and an excellent binder for others. The Swim Tank, for me at least, cuts into the top of one’s shoulders. I wear this binder to work and while I ride my bike to work, meaning I am in it for long periods of time. Because of this, I sometimes experience sharp pains in my shoulders and also have a scab wear the binder rubbed off some of my skin. This is the question: is this pain worse than having it cut into my hips? For me, yes.

the dark line is where the Swim Tank rubs my skin off.

The Swim Tank has the potential to be excellent, maybe even perfect, but needs some tweaks. Currently, it does about the same job as the 997 but for a higher price. Therefore, I rate it a 3.5/5.


Extreme Chest Concealer FTM Chest Binder
October 8, 2010, 8:59 pm
Filed under: 4.5/5, binders, rating, text, things

This is the Extreme Chest Concealer FTM Chest Binder made by Underworks.

I opened the package with the serious fear that it wouldn’t do anything more for me than a sports bra does, or that it wouldn’t fit, and I’d end up in tears out of the perpetual disappointment and frustration I face with my breasts. It was a struggle getting it on—this thing is tight—but when I finally did…wow.

For the record, I wear a 30E/F bra normally. You can tell that I have a very small ribcage, and very large breasts. But this thing compresses them almost flat. To be fair, in the last few years, I have gained and lost a bunch of weight in them, so there’s a decent amount of…loose room in mine, shall we say. But with the right posture, it almost looks like nothing more than pectoral muscles.

I immediately look so much more masculine wearing it than I ever could otherwise. The compression panel is just across the chest and come down to about the bottom of my ribcage (I’m about 5’4”). The rest is just normal undershirt fabric, basically.  Underneath a t-shirt I actually think it looks a little less masculine—but then, that might improve once I buy men’s jeans. Under my sweatshirt, it’s basically invisible.

And I can really breathe wearing this thing. I wouldn’t exactly want to run any marathons, but it’s not hard to breathe at all. I’m just stunned.

The only problem I really have with it is that there is definite puckering right in the center front and around the arm holes, as you can see in a couple of the pictures. This is kind of visible under a t-shirt. I will have to try layering it with another undershirt just to see if that helps.

But all in all—this thing is a fucking home-run for someone with a larger chest. Well worth the price. I feel really good right now.

On the caveats that a) this is the only binder I’ve ever owned, so I can’t say comparatively, and b) I have yet to wear it all day, I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. I mean it is seriously ridiculous comfortable while being ridiculously compressing. I just don’t like the puckering (which now I’ve noticed also happens at the back of the neck if I’m not standing up straight). I’ll probably make another post evaluating it once it’s gotten some use.

Continue reading

Underworks Double Front Compression 997
September 24, 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: 3.5/5, binders, rating, things, video | Tags: , , , ,

The review is a video that you can watch here.

When asked, ze gave the binder a 3.5 out of 5 rating.

Underworks’ Double Front Compression 997
September 24, 2010, 10:36 pm
Filed under: 4/5, binders, rating, text, things | Tags: , , ,

When I wore a bra, I was a 36 C, and the 997 does the trick of tucking those C’s away. It was certainly difficult to get on for the first time. After I got used to it, it became relatively comfortable to wear. It rolls up at my hips and sometimes causes bruising, and if I wear for an entire day, it causes my lower back to hurt a bit due to it making me slouch. For comfort, I give it a 3/5. For effectiveness, I give it a 4/5. It was given to me as a gift, so the price of the product didn’t effect me at all. However, it was given to me since I couldn’t afford it. While Underworks is on the cheaper side when it comes to the market, it’s still pretty expensive.

Overall, I needed a binder to give me a male-contoured chest until I can afford surgery, and this binder does it. So, all in all, I rate it a 4/5.