The consensus (from the experience of Leafy, Amanda/Short Sage, Caerah and myself) is this: the overall best, most comfortable option for being in binding for a long period of time is sports bra or a couple strips of tape + compression vest. ACE bandage also work too, and have a good effect, but can not be worn as long and are not as comfortable. And, if your neckline is too low or if a vest or bandage would otherwise show under your top, the sports tape method, using Johnson & Johnson 1.5" sports tape and Karisu-sama's tutorial for putting it on works well and gets a very flat effect. Just be SURE to take it off while soaking in a tub of water.
Pics have all been uploaded to photobucket so you don't have to sign into Cosplay.com to see them. <3
I may have missed some things because I got lazy, but I want to make sure I have all the ideas I can here. I tried to go back and find stuff I remembered that was good, but I missed some. D:
Ok, so, this has always been one of those killer issues any time Leaf or Sarah or I cosplay, because, at least Leaf and I, are normally always men. And though Brewster or Tony or whoever don't see the point in binding when crossplaying, it is, still, one of the key things that will put you into the character or take you out of it. When it is obvious that you're a girl and you're trying to cosplay a man, it kind of ruins it. Plus, since when has, say, Ichigo, had boobs? Really? Don't even tell me that it's not necessary.
Binding. This is the thread that I get all of my binding tips from, brought to you by the great goddess of the unchest, Karisu-sama.
The Sports Tape Method - Example 1. Example 2. - Ok, so, we've tried this one the most. It turned out pretty darn well for A-kon last year, but we ended up having some issues with skin lossage, that, ah believe, left Leafy a bit traumatized =\ I found that if you soak in a hot bath for a while and then take it off it comes off a whole lot better. Also, it's been said that baby oil helps with removal and I'll be buying this OptiSol Solvent stuff for A'Cen and bringing it with me. Sarah tried it again with some other tape we found for A-kon, but it got really itchy and took off some skin, I think. Also, we've never really been able to get absolutely flat before, so I'm going back over this binding thread in depth and pulling out tips that I'll post on here.
Detachahol - Another possible tape removal product. I'll be looking into this too.
Tuf-Skin, I've found some sites that have it, I'll be bringing some with me for the con.
The ideal tape that was used for Karisu's Dilandau cosplay was Johnson and Johnson 1.5 or 2 inch Sports Tape. At first it will seem like this tape doesn't stick very well. This is what you do: Lay down on your back, so that gravity is helping with keeping you flat, then put the anchor strips on. Smooth them down for a while, like, 30 seconds to a minute, so that the tape has time to set in and stick well before you stand up to do the horizontal strips.
Tape Tip #1: SHAVE FIRST! You may not think there's hair there, but when it starts coming off with the tape, you will notice.
Tape (and binding in general) Tip #2: Take a deep breath, then pull the binding around tight. It really does make a difference, and makes it easier to breath when you've got it all done.
Tape (and binding in general) Tip #3:If you're having issues breathing in binding, then check how it is that you're breathing. Breath from the diaphragm, not from your chest.
Tape Tip #4: On wrapping around the back. I would think this problem could be avoided if you have someone help you. I've never really had an issue with tape around my back, and I would think you could just put your hair in a pony tail if it was getting in the way. But, yeah, wootwoot.
Tape (and binding in general) Tip #5: Don't bind while you're breast-feeding. Seemed like something that was good to know. Just in case Aaron gets pregnant between now and A-kon.
Extra Detail on Tape Method #1: Horizontal strips and what itchiness means.
Extra Detail on Tape Method #2 - Post 1 - Post 2: On unevenness and getting uber-flat.
Tape Variation #1: If you need tape to not show under your arms. It's a hypothesized method, though, not tested yet. I think the clear tape idea would be good too.
Tape Variation #2: Possibly use masking tape? It seems I lost the link to this post =\ Sry. The girl used 1" masking tap and said that it came off easier than sports tape and held better. *shrug* I doubt it, but you're free to try it.
Tape Variation #3: Another method developed by someone who's a size C. I haven't tried it yet, but when I do I'll get back to you. I'm only an A, so I won't be able to say if this will work really well for people more well-endowed, but it seemed to work for that girl, so yah. And oh, diagrams. Leafy knows how I love diagrams xD. Even those it's attached to the post, here: Diagram 1. Diagram 2.
Tape Variation #4: A two layered variation for D-sized bewbiez. Seemed to have worked very well.
Tape Variation #5: Duct tape. Original link lost. There were a lot of opinions on using duct tape earlier but I missed a lot of them. It seems like it's not as scary as it sounds, just cut it off and remove it under hot water, same as the sports tape. I would imagine that the OptiSol solvent would work the same with this too. Advice on Duct Tape Removal. An Argument Against Duct Tape. My opinion: I think if you're really careful with it and know what you're doing, it would be okay, but honestly, I don't see why you should go through the trouble it if you can get the same result using sports tape.
Tape Variation #6: Packing tape? Hm. Original link lost again -.-.
The Issue of Open Shirts and making sure the cloth stays in place. Proposed options: Sock glue. Double-Sided tape. Avon Body glue.
Compression Vest Method - Example 1. Example 2. - What I usually do with my compression vest is put on the anchor strips from the sports tape method, and then pull the compression vest on over it. The result is that picture there. I've also put on a tight sports bra and pull the compression vest on over that before. That's what I did for the last day at A-kon when we did L cosplaying Light and Light Cosplaying L, seen here. I've never really gotten flat enough with just the vest before. It needs a little help.
Sports Bra - Look at Sarah for the example. It's hard to tell with the baggy shirt, but it's the only pic I have of it =\. - Sarah wore a sports bra for the last two days at Ikkicon, due to disagreement with the tape we had, and the fact the she couldn't wear the compression vest with the muscle shirt because it was cut smaller than the vest. It is obvious that you have boobs with a sports bra. But with a baggier shirt, it may not matter. And if your boobs are small enough, it may not matter. I've never been happy with it, but I'm anal retentive. *shrug*
"Trim&Slim" by Boinger - In lieu of a compression vest. Works for sizes C+. "this is a waist slimmer you wear while working out for sculpting. I took the felt one and wrapped out around my chest (It has a velcro end for adjusting!), though it took myself and my mother to actually get it on... and I was smooshed to near nothingness!!"
Ace Bandage Wrap Method: - More on Ace Bandages - 6" wide Ace Bandages (not the sticky kind). Good method, but BECAREFUL. Don't break your ribs.
Wraping Variation #1: An above and below approach. Makes sense.
Muslin: An alternative to Ace bandages. Works for sizes C+.
Making a Corset Type Thing: This seemed like a really nifty idea. It was designed by someone who was a D, so it should work for more well-endowed people. Very interesting. *nod* Variant 1.
Pre-Wrap: :D It's pretty. I imagine you'd wrap it the same way you wrap an ace bandage. Around around around. Here's the link to where you can get it.
A Mix of Various Things: It looks like it works pretty well, but seems complicated. I'm sure reading throuhg it, thinking about it, then practicing it would get it down well. The results look awesome =O.
Binding and Health Issues: A good thing to keep in mind.
If you have anything to add, post it in a comment and I'll add it into the post.