Chest dysphoria anyone? If you’ve ever watched anime, then you know that practically all female anime characters have big chests. In many cases, this means that as a girl cosplaying a female anime character, you’re going to have to accentuate your chest and give it a healthier bounce.
But what about the opposite? Let’s say you’re a girl who wants to cosplay a guy – that means you’ll have to bind your boobs in order to create a flatter appearance. Or maybe you got lucky and got breasts that are bigger than the character you want to cosplay? In any case, there are ways to make your chest flatter than it actually is.
Can You Make Your Chest Flatter?
The short and simple answer to this question is yes. You can create the illusion of a flatter chest through the use of different tools or products. However, keep in mind that binding your chest – especially for long periods of time – can be dangerous. Difficulty in breathing is perhaps one of the most dangerous side effects of creating a flat-chested appearance.
That being said, the goal is to keep you safe and comfortable in your clothing so that you can still enjoy the cosplay experience. Here’s what you need to know.
Methods To Make Your Chest Flatter
There are currently several ways to create a flatter chest for cosplay purposes. You will find that the methods vary from one person to the next, depending on who they want to cosplay and how their body is different from their intended costume. The good news is that cosplay is popular enough in the world to inspire communities who help each other when it comes to technical costume play problems, like getting flatter boobs.
If you’re one of those people, here are the things you need to know when doing cosplay.
Use A Tight Fitting Sports Bra
A sports bra is perhaps the easiest way to properly strap your boobs down without a binder. For such purpose, a sports bra one size smaller than your typical size would be perfect. This would be tight enough to create a flat chest without causing pain. Test out the sports bra on your body first. Ideally, it should cling to the dermis without causing pain. Look for a “no bounce” sports bra so there’s very little movement along the torso.
Keep the sports bra wrapped around your chest and walk around the house. Do you experience trouble breathing? Does the binder feel uncomfortable on your skin? Ideally, wearing the sports bra for a few hours during the day shouldn’t cause any sort of pain or problem. Try to look for sports bras with a zipper or secure clasps so taking them on and off won’t be so hard.
Using Several Sports Bras
Sometimes one sports bra is not enough, especially if you’re on the large side of a C-cup. You might need to wear several layers of sports bras to maintain a flat-chested appearance. Take a deep breath every time you layer a new one on your chest. Can you still breathe deeply? Can you feel your ribs strain against the binder? Note that breaking a rib is pretty common for people who cosplay so you need to take this seriously.
Using A Chest Binder
Of course, you can also use chest binders to keep your breasts flat. Some chest binders are actually made specifically for cosplay use so if you intend to bind often, invest in one. They’re made from a combination of cotton and polyester with flat hooks that help keep the binder tight across the chest. Since the material itself is soft and elastic, you should not have any chafing or irritation on the surface.
For safety, however, undershirts are still encouraged no matter what kind of binding methods you’re using. A real binder should be safe to use and have good reviews online. Look for brands or products that are regularly used by other cosplayers and make your choice from there.
Using Compression Shirts
Compression shirts should give you a flatter chest without too much discomfort. They’re typically worn by athletes who want to enhance their performance during sports activities. The shirt is very comfortable when fitted and has a compression effect that helps to bind safely.
Note though that compared to other binder products or bras, compression shirts may not be as effective. They’re best used if you already have fairly small breasts. Once fitted, extra shirts can be placed on top of the compression shirt to complete your cosplay.
Using A Pantyhose
If this is your first time and you don’t really have the budget for it, a pantyhose should give you good results at a reduced cost. To use the pantyhose, cut a hole around the crotch – this will be where your head goes. Make sure to cut off all the cotton portion along the crotch area – otherwise, you might have a hard time getting your head in there.
You can also cut some of the legs off the pantyhose for a shorter sleeve. Note that a pantyhose is designed to hold in sweat so try to wear something underneath. Adjust the pantyhose across your breast and get it as flat as possible.
This is a very temporary technique but don’t skimp on the quality of the pantyhose. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong while you’re in the middle of the cosplay area. Opt for thick quality pantyhose that really holds your torso together.
Another effective way to properly bind your bosom would be with the help of neoprene back braces. Neoprene is made of stretchy material and feels a lot like latex. However, you won’t find a neoprene binder. Instead, you should look for back braces that are made of neoprene. These back braces are often used by bodybuilders to help minimize damage to the lower back during deadlifts.
You should be able to find these neoprene products that can bind across the chest like bras. Some of them are closed by a velcro attachment which means you can bind as tightly as you want. Again, health is the primary factor here so make sure your bindings don’t hurt when strapped in place.
Wearing Loose Clothing
Let’s say you’ve already used bandages or bras to bind your chest. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you the effect you want. From here, you can try using several shirts to pad up the chest area. Once you’re happy with how this lays flat on your chest, you can layer on the cosplay costume to complete the look. Better hope the cosplay venue has its AC on high because this technique can feel very hot in your body.
Binding Your Chest Safely
As already mentioned, trouble with binding your chest can occur if you bind it too tightly. You want to listen to your body and watch out for any breathing discomfort while wearing the binder. It’s not uncommon for cosplayers to collapse in the venue because of a lack of oxygen. Some cosplayers even report cracked ribs which can take a long time to heal.
This is why safety precautions are necessary when wearing a chest binder. Here are some tips on how to create a gender-neutral look without any risk to your health.
Weart Shirts Underneath
You want to limit direct skin contact when wearing binders. Soft cotton clothes or under-shirts should give you that needed space between the bind and bare surface. By doing this, you can reduce the redness and irritation that happens because of chafing. The cotton material should also help absorb sweat and give you a cooler feeling throughout the day. Always opt for good quality undershirts for this – soft and light but durable.
Limit Binding Time
Binders are unnatural and would cause damage if kept on for long periods of time. Ideally, the binding should only be worn for up to 8 hours a day. If this is your first time wearing a binder, you should limit yourself to just one hour. Binding is something you have to build towards so your body can get used to the sensation. It’s a lot like exercise, you want to start slow and then gradually increase your ability to handle the binders.
Breathing is already hard when you’re wearing a binder – don’t make it harder for yourself! Don’t over-exert yourself by running to and from the cosplay area. You want to maintain even breathing to keep your body properly supplied with oxygen. Stay within your designated area and try not to eat too much before the cosplay! The feeling of fullness can make your breathing more restricted.
Note though that improving your lungs can go a long way in helping you better prepare for binding. Having good breath control can improve your oxygen use even if your rib cage is slightly restricted. Cardiovascular exercises and swimming can help with your lung health – allowing you to feel more comfortable even if your torso is bound by something tight.
While not wearing cosplay, try investing in good workout routines so you’ll have better breath control. There’s really no way you can go wrong with more physical activity in your life!
Pay Close Attention To Your Breathing
Listen to your body. Bandages and all types of binding will obviously hinder you from taking deep breaths. However, it should not stop you from breathing altogether. If you can spare the expense, try buying an oximeter to check your oxygen levels from time to time. This way, you can tell if there’s a problem and get help as soon as possible.
People who have pre-existing health problems – like asthma – are advised against wearing these bindings too tight. If you experience any difficulties, immediately seek help and take off the coverings as quickly as possible.
Always Perform A Self-check
Every time you wear the binder, make sure to check yourself for any rashes, sore spots, or redness. Chafing and allergies are pretty common – especially if you start sweating under the binding. A lot of people use talcum powder to help dry out the area before actually putting on the binder. This way, there’s very little chance of the product rubbing onto the dermis.
As much as possible, try not to participate in cosplays every day of the week. You want to give your pores a chance to breathe in between events. During your off-days or days when you’re not wearing the costume, you might want to wear loose shirts or skip the bra completely so your dermis has the chance to recover. Give yourself a little TLC and you should be ready again for next time!
How Do I Make My Chest Bigger for Cosplay?
Of course, the opposite is also true for some girls who are trying to cosplay anime characters with big busts. If you don’t think your breasts are big enough to pull off the character, your choices are actually more extensive.
There are wonder bras and paddings that can be used to help enhance the breasts area. You can also try cinching the waistline using a corset to make the breasts and hips pop out. If your torso area needs more than just a wonderbra, there are also paddings that can create completely full torsos ranging from Cup A to F or even bigger!
Remember that the biggest chests come with their own problems. Fake breasts can still be heavy if kept for a long period of time so expect some back problems. In many cases, large boobs can make breathing just as hard as when you’re wearing bindings.
This is because the addition padding places added weight on the torso. This can be more problematic if you’re wearing a corset together with the padding. Hence, precautions are still necessary if you decide to take this route.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There are tons of wrong ways you can use a binder. Each person is different because every one has a different build or even a different tolerance for discomfort. Hence, you want to practice wrapping the binder around you as often as possible.
Look at different YouTube or Google videos and find out how other people wear the bindings on their torso. Do they do it with our without a shirt? Do they wear the cover to the waist or keep it along with the breast?
Some people may also use the binding to run sideways across the shoulders for a tighter and more secure fit. Experiment as much as you want with the bindings until you find the perfect technique for you.
The same goes for how tight the bandage can go around your torso, especially if you’re using latex or neoprene materials. Remember that the goal is to wear it with comfort. There’s no point looking good in your costume if you can’t enjoy the cosplay experience because you’re having a hard time breathing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is duct tape OK to use? What about an ace bandage?
Duct tape and ace bandages should never be used for chest binding. While they can be very effective in keeping your chest flat, they can easily cause damage to your skin. The risk happens when you start to remove the tape. This doesn’t just hurt; it aggravates the dermis and makes it red and very sore.
However, that’s not the only danger with duct tapes or ace bandages. They restrict blood flow and block the flow of air on your pores. As a result, you’ll feel very hot and not in a good way. These binders can make you feel very uncomfortable and create a build-up of fluid in the limbs. If bound too tight, you’ll have trouble breathing and even break some ribs.
Can I combine different binding methods?
No. Using more than one trick to bind your breasts can lead to permanent damage. For safety reasons, women are advised to stick to just one method at a time until they find the one that works best for them. The only exception here is if you’re wearing multiple shirts on top of a binder. Even with this, however, you want to be careful when it comes to heat. Multiple shirts can be very constricting and make it hard for you to cool down in a packed cosplay event.
What about top surgery?
Top surgery is permanent and expensive. For cosplay purposes, all you really want to do is temporarily change your breasts to create a non-binary look. You don’t need chest surgery for that unless the surgery will serve you in another capacity. Right now, just stick to a special bra or bandages and be careful every time you use a binder.
Are you ready to make your bosom flatter to make your cosplay true to character? Creating the illusion of a flat chest can be easily done using temporary bindings that can still keep you comfortable. Understand that no matter what you decide to use, your health should be the primary concern. Hence, always pay close attention to your lungs and give your body the chance to breathe in between events. If you feel dizzy, hot, or nauseous, it’s time to take a break and let your body go back to its natural state.