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"The Perfect Binder": The GC2B Reviewed

GC2B Transitional Apparel

GC2B Transitional Apparel

I’ll be honest: GC2B’s chest binder is not an especially glamorous piece of lingerie. But as my father likes to say, if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. That is, if you can make a product that makes a normally unpleasant experience manageable, everyone will want what you’re selling, glamorous or no.

GC2B, a company that advertises their product as "the perfect binder," may be in exactly that position: making the stressful act of chest binding as simple and painless as possible.

I've heard genderqueer people on Tumblr talking about GC2B for a while now. The story was that this small and unfussy company was supposedly making the best binders on the market: lightweight, durable, comfortable, and above all, binding. I decided to investigate.

When I got to the website, it was clear that the world had already heard about GC2B: they carried both blue and red binders, which I've never seen anywhere else, but both colors were out of stock with no estimated restock date. When I went to check out, the site also warned me to expect up to five days of processing prior to shipping, because the company's backlog of orders is so high.

From my confirmation e-mail, it sounds like GC2B is planning to expand to accommodate demand.

From my confirmation e-mail, it sounds like GC2B is planning to expand to accommodate demand.

The time frame wasn’t a problem for me, so I settled in to wait. Ultimately they kept to the schedule they'd laid out, which is impressive from a small business. Other reasons to be impressed: their binders are made in the USA, their company is owned by a genderqueer person, their sizes range from XXS to 5XL, and their most expensive binder is only $35. All this points toward an accessible product designed by someone who understands the market.

When I first pulled out the binder, it seemed less intensely compression-y than previous products I’d seen. The site offered a half shirt and a full shirt. Since I hate anything riding up, I got the half shirt, which looks basically like a crop top made of Spandex. I wasn’t sure how material that elastic could give me the compression I need, since I have a fairly robust 34C-D chest. But when I pulled it on, something magic happened.

GC2b selfie1

I feel so cool. All photos by Kat McNeal.

Binding options (including other commercial binders) I’ve tried in the past have often given me a very ugly flatboob, or there’s been some amount of spillage at the bottom of the binder that has to be hidden with big shirts.

The GC2B binder instead compressed everything inward and slightly upward, so that I ended up not with a flattened monoboob, but with a shape like pectorals. It’s hard for me not to gush here, and just yell “It made my boobs look like muscles! Buy it now!” I will say that I’m not sure how well the half binder would work for people with larger cup sizes. Some people online are saying that if you’re larger in the chest, you’d be better off getting the tank binder instead of the half.

I could see this convex shape becoming a problem for people with larger cup sizes...

I could see this convex shape (seen above) becoming a problem for people with larger cup sizes.

I was concerned about comfort as well. Binders I’ve tried in the past often compress my lungs more than my breasts, so I was curious to see how the GC2B would perform if I needed to breathe. So I stopped admiring my pecs, threw some clothes on and went for a walk in the snow. I could breathe.

The GC2B was less constricting than some sports bras I’ve worn. I think it’s the ridiculously elastic back that does the trick there. The binder didn’t ride up, either: not when I walked around, and only marginally when I did a few chin-ups as a test. Over the course of a day it eventually started to feel constricting, but that's fairly normal. (Safety note: do not wear a binder for more than eight hours.)

Back view: lots of room to stretch and move.

Back view: lots of room to stretch and move.

So far, I still haven't figured out how to effectively wash this binder. The card that came with my binder said that I should hand wash it and leave it to dry, but that if I decided to machine wash and dry, my binder would be "just fine." This is a little confusing, and honestly I'm now a little afraid to machine wash it, since people have reported the binders being "tighter" after machine washing. I would use caution in that respect, since a binder is, by most definitions, "too tight" already. Handwashing isn't hard, and it doesn't have to happen every day.

What I can’t describe adequately in a review is how good it felt to be able to look at myself and see the person I’ve been imagining. Without my breasts in the way, I can see how broad my shoulders are. Without that weird little bit of underboob escape that I’ve had in other binding garments, I don’t feel constantly insecure that someone is going to notice that I’m binding. I found myself interacting differently with people, trusting myself more, trusting that they’d see me the way I wanted to be seen.

The website emphasizes that they have tested many prototypes against many different bodies in order to create the “perfect binder.” While often I’d be inclined to mumble something about subjectivity and personal preference, right now, wearing a GC2B and presenting like my ideal self, it’s really hard to argue with success. The GC2B binder doesn’t exactly need my endorsement right now, but it certainly has it.

Have you tried a GC2B? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!



19 Comments on this post

  1. Marisol Eberhardt says:

    Curious to know does anyone know if it rides up or curls up if your active. I’m looking into finding my daughter something that will help her. She is bigger in the chest area and with her being the only girl wrestler in her school we need something that will hold her in and be comfortable for her while wearing a singlet when she competes.

    • Tony says:

      If you’re looking for something active your best choice is a sports bra. It may seem like a good idea but binding while playing sports or participating in hard physical activities, including wrestling, can be unsafe and do more harm than good. Binders restrict your breathing and should only really be worn casually during daily activities. Even if a sports bra may seem uncomfortable it’s much safer for your child than a binder would be in this situation.

  2. Mikey says:

    The read into the whole washing thing, and what that means is that it might wear down faster to wash and dry it in a machine instead of just hand washing it. I’ve had mine for a year and have been machine washing it and it’s still perfectly comfortable and still gets the job done as effectively as when I first purchased it. Wonderful review! I am absolutely in love with this brand.

  3. Teddy says:

    I have a 38D chest, and I have a tank binder from G2cb. I was astonished at the difference it made (I got the 5XL size, because I am a chubby bear). In as much as a binder can be they are extremely comfortable, and I definitely agree with the review in regard to look, order time and value for money. I’ve actually just worn my binder tank in place of a regular tank under a shirt a couple of times, and no one who didn’t know was able to tell. Highly recommended, great products.

  4. WEB says:

    Hey, this is more of a fit question, but I know this was posted a while ago so I’m not sure anyone will see it—I’d really like to know more about how it fits around the arms. I tried the underworks tri top and it cut into (what I call my armpit fat for lack of a better word or description) and was too uncomfortable to wear just based on that. What are the armholes like? did you experience anything like that?

    • Damien says:

      The armholes cut fairly low, as does the neckline. No cutting into you, and minimal dogearing! And, pretty easy to wear v necks with. Don’t wear wide necked shirts tho, the straps come in pretty close.

    • Lupin says:

      I have had my half binder, for 10 months now I think, somewhere around there and it’s been pretty good considering I have a 34, DD size chest and I’m also very short so, I’m a bit disproportional.
      And I found that in the beginning The excess armpit fat, also sometimes referred to as the muffin top effect, is minimal because the binder is new, it has not been stretched out due to use and a lot of washing, or you constantly trying to pull it over your head.
      Yet, considering this is the only binder that I have and I wear it every day, probably more than I should, in terms of hours in the thing, that the excess fat has begun to push out on the sides of my binder and it can be a little bit awkward, at least to me because I notice it.
      But, it’s a great binder! I love it and it makes me happy, it works great for what it is. And that annoying thing with the fat happens because the binder is old and I wear it all the time, I’m sure if you have the ability to swap out between two different binders, so as not to wear them out as much, or, to make sure that you don’t wear it for too many long periods at a time, that this effect would be small, and inconsequential to the overall comfort an awesome feelings that having a cool binder that fits gives you.

      Just one more thing, this binder lets me pass, definitely not all the time because it totally depends on the clothes that I’m wearing and everything, and how I am talking. but I was at a convention with a bunch of my friends and I was wearing a loose spring jacket over a T-shirt with some designs and people called me sir all day, it was fantastic. So, this binder is a magical piece of clothing and I love it. So give it a try. It’s definitely not full proof, but when is magic ever perfect.

      • Helz says:

        I had muffin top straight away and I think it’s just because the width of the straps and the cut of the armpit I not well fitted to me – I think if I went up a size it would suit better there,but I’m not sure if I would get such a powerful effect from it.

  5. Vince says:

    How does this compare to, say, Underworks Tri Top in regards to comfort, breathability, etc.?

  6. D says:

    I can’t comment on the transgender etc aspects – I don’t have a lot of experience. However, in my earlier life in theater wardrobe I’ve changed people’s outward signs of gender.

    Dressing men as women, no matter what period, always produces problems and usually lots of laughs. As with dressing women as men, it’s amazing how little one gender knows how the other gender moves, walks etc. …and I’m talking about “straight” people with no x gender interests or desires.
    I’ve flattened boobs many times – either because it was an all female cast playing some male roles, or it was a 1920s setting.
    It’s quite easy to flatten, more difficult to do with comfort under hot stage lights. I’m interested in seeing how women see themselves when boobless ( or nearly so!) Some feel a loss of femininity – they’ve lost what they consider was their most important beauty asset. Others like the shape, and as you say, your shoulders become more evident. Some women find that they are more at ease with men – they don’t feel there are being visually undressed or at risk of being fondled.
    There’s some deep psychology at work here – and that’s before we get into the gender bending business.


    • Peter says:

      This is honestly one of the most obnoxious replies I’ve read on anything. Being trans isn’t “gender bending business”. Jesus.

      • Jax says:

        I totally feel u on that one, being trans isn’t some broadway dress up for us, it’s trying to feel comfortable, and see who we really are inside on the outside.

    • M says:

      You should have stopped after “I can’t comment on the transgender etc aspects – I don’t have a lot of experience”.

      This is a product for trans people, not for the stage. I am a trans person looking to buy my first binder right now, and I’m looking at reviews to see which is best. How do you think I feel when I come across a post talking about how my gender presentation could produce “a lot of laughs”? Don’t you think that’s just a little insensitive?

      Yours is a transphobic as fuck comment, and I realize I’m super late one this but you should probably apologize for being grade A awful on an article written BY a trans person, FOR trans people, about a product that is also by and for trans people.

      • J says:

        Wow. That was actually pretty interesting. Neither of you understood a thing about that post, so you both automatically got super mad. Maybe try re-reading and thinking a bit before you rush to get offended?

  7. Linden says:

    Thank you for this review. I currently have the Underworks Ultimate Chest binder which, as I’m both large chested and chubby, I find very uncomfortable and rides up, but the customer testimonials and images for GC2B seem very promising – especially as they showcase larger chested trans men/genderqueer people as well. Even with shipping to the UK, they’re a great price too so I will be looking to buy soon I think.

  8. Jeanna says:

    Great review, Rose. They aren’t doing wholesale yet but when they do, I am on it.

  9. Lee Rivers says:

    It’s exciting that they’re so affordable! Options outside fast fashion/core bra sizes can be rare and break the bank.

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