Men wear fashion bras or chest supports such as binders, vests, compression shirts and bodysuits, for a wide variety of reasons. They can serve as a social statement or form of self-expression. Chest supports sometimes can heighten sexual pleasure, or be a part of gender reassignment. Supports may reduce chest wall pain, increase sports performance or hide increased chest size or prominence that occurred with certain health conditions, advancing age, weight gain or surgical swelling.
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Go to a men's custom clothing store or tailor for accurate measurements of your chest. Although pre-made bras and chest supports exist in a variety of common sizes, accurate measurements can help you to design a custom item or select the closest pre-made match. For certain health conditions, keep in mind that your doctor or specialists will measure for or prescribe a custom-fit chest support in a size and style that matches the compression and/or support requirements for your specific health needs.
Decide on the type of bra or chest support that you need and then compare styles and pricing at bra, chest support or undergarment stores for men or women. Also check out sports or medical supply stores and websites (see Resources below).
Consider buying at transgender or transvestite undergarment and clothing stores as they offer a wider selection of style options. For example, Contessa's Closet offers fashion bras and clothing made specifically for transitioning/pre-op and post-op transgendered women.
Ask for advice or assistance, depending on your situation, from those around you or those sharing a similar experience--women, family or friends, store associates, coaches or teammates, transvestites, transitioned women or your physician. This may seem like a common sense tip, but many men often believe that they are "on their own" when it comes to selecting bras or chest binders. These opinions can serve as "emotional support" to help make getting a bra or chest support an easier task.
Tips and warnings
- Always purchase a bra or chest support that matches your chest measurements unless the item is for one time usage (for example, for a Halloween or fancy dress party costume). If your bra or chest support is too loose it will not offer any health benefits and tight chest binders can cause additional health problems such as placing added pressure on the ribs and lungs.
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