- Return policy:
We will be happy to alter or replace any binder within 30 days of its receipt. Due to the customized nature of our product, we do not give out cash refunds.
How do I order?
We make each binder custom to your measurements. When you order, please include your measurements in the order notes! Please see our How To Take Measurements page for details. Note that our default binders have a 20" limit on length.
If you'd like a special fabric, check out our Custom-Print Binders listing!
How long will my order take to arrive?
We currently have a 5-6 week wait time between order and shipping. Each binder is handmade to measure in our small studio, and some are hand-appliqued for further customization. We appreciate your patience as we work to shorten our wait times.
Shipping time is dependent on your location! We are shipping from the USA, and you will receive an emailed tracking number when we ship your order out.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes! The shipping cost is automatically calculated at checkout. Note that we do not and cannot cover import fees or tariffs for any particular country - customers in the UK especially may wish to check appropriate VAT regulations before ordering.
What are these, anyway?
Chest binders are undergarments meant to flatten the chest. Many folks of many genders wear them for many reasons.
What are they made of?
The inner layers are medical-grade power net: strong but soft, very similar to that used in Underworks binders. The outer layer is a 70/30 lycra/nylon blend of printed spandex.
If the difference between your bust and underbust measurement is greater than 5", your binder will also come with a strong, stiff insert across the front made out of 8" wide knit elastic.
What sort of alterations will you do?
We will be happy to widen or narrow the straps, raise or lower the armholes, or set the straps closer to the neck or farther apart, upon request for no charge.
We can also include a stiff insert for smaller chest sizes, exclude it, or widen or narrow the stiff insert by up to 2", also upon request for no charge.
In general, we recommend you try our standard fit first!
Many further alterations may be purchased via Add-Ons, including a racerback cut, increased length up to 32", zippers, and lace overlay.
Are they safe?
In general, yes. If it hurts when you put it on, then no, and you should take it off right away.
Many potential individual issues may hinder breathing and make binding relatively unsafe, including but not limited to: asthma, scoliosis, chronic chest pain, fibromyalgia, and preexisting chest injuries or respiratory illnesses.
We blog extensively about this on our Tumblr, under the tag Binding Safety. Please feel free to peruse if you have any concerns!
Do they work?
We also have reviews on Storenvy and Etsy!
Can't I just bind with Ace bandages?
For your sake, please don't.
Ace bandages are designed to get tighter as the day wears on. They will slowly constrict around your chest like a very flat snake and eventually crack your ribs. Then you will not be able to bind at all without stabbing pains. If you persist in this course, you will eventually puncture a lung with a jagged end of rib. Please, please, do not do this.
We know you saw it in that one zine / webcomic / comic book / music video. We have seen them all too. Each time, it made us cry a little and die inside. And that's why we make binders.
What about with duct tape?
No. It's inelastic, so breathing with it is even more likely to bruise or crack a rib. It's not designed for skin contact and will irritate the hell out of your skin. When something goes wrong and you're in severe pain, it will take far too long to peel off.
But Lady Gaga did it!
Briefly. And if she bruised a rib in the pursuit of pop art, well, she has better healthcare than most of us.
This one is more complicated, and we urge you to do your research if you're thinking of binding this way. Some people swear by it. Others report severe troubles.
We at Shapeshifters suspect that the tight elastic in sports bra straps, edging, and underbust bands is not meant to actually compress your chest, and so the 'two tight sports bras, one worn backwards' method will probably have a similar effect as Ace bandaging, just milder and over a longer span of time. Meanwhile the actual fabric of most sports bras tends to have a lot of give, so even if it binds at first, it will probably wear out earlier than the nylon/spandex mesh we use.
How do I launder my Shapeshifters binder?
Always wash cold, either hand-wash or delicate cycle. Hang to dry. Apply no heat under any circumstances whatsoever.
Can I swim in these?
Paddle around in a swimming pool? Absolutely. Dip into a river? We've done it. Go rescue someone drowning in the ocean? Not advised.
As with every exercise, this depends heavily on your physical abilities. Listen to your body, take it slow at first. If you are generally concerned about getting out of breath, we encourage you to order a slightly looser model.
Also, much like any swimsuit, a binder will last much longer if it is rinsed thoroughly after each swim.
In addition, we recommend picking something from our Swim-Suitable category! These binders provide maximum opacity and do not snag on any passing object.
How warm do these get?
We have four levels of warmth (and sweatiness.)
1) Plain or nude mesh binders have only binding layers: three in the front, and one in the back. Light and breezy, our most breathable option.
2) Layered mesh binders have a single thin layer of fashion mesh over the binding layers. They breathe well and are ideal for summertime.
3) Standard binders with a solid color or a print can get sweaty. There is still a mesh layer next to your skin that keeps the sweat from sticking close, but they need to be washed frequently.
4) Reversible binders, with a solid color or a print on both sides of the binding mesh, will definitely get warm fast. Sweat will collect on the innermost solid layer and stick it to the skin. Not recommended for hot climates.
May I request a color or print you don't have listed?
Yes! We have access to a huge range of colors, and we love going fabric shopping. Much of what you see on the store is there because someone asked for it.
What does your fabric feel like?
Pretty slick if it's shiny, pretty soft if it's not. The binding mesh is close-woven, a little less smooth than the outside.
Please order some samples to find out for sure! We find there's no better way to be 100% certain of texture and color before you order.
How is your packaging marked?
All binders are shipped in unmarked white envelopes, without the company name on the outside.
If you are outside of the United States, the customs form will list the contents as "Clothing."
Who are you?
We are a rainbow-flavored couple located in southeastern Vermont, hand-making each and every one of these products in our own fragrance-free home studio. We've been doing this for three years, full-time for one and a half, and hope to keep at it for many more. You may find us on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter, with the occasional appearance on Instagram and Reddit.