MtF Basics: Tips for Hiding Your Growing Breasts

Great, you’ve got (tiny) breasts! Or maybe just really pointy nipples. But if you’ve started on HRT before socially transitioning, you’ve got a problem; what to do with them? Its a pretty common problem, and I couldn’t find a lot of resources on how to hide them effectively.

Early on in my transition, budding breasts was one of the most exciting and gratifying physical changes. Though lots of things are happening behind the scenes in your body, breasts are by far the most immediately apparent. But because I wasn’t ready to fully transition professionally yet, I had to find a few different ways to camouflage and hide my breasts. Though it can be irritating, it is also a great time to start exploring different styles of bra and top to figure out what you like, and when.

Ok, so first things first, and what most guys don’t realize is that you’ll need a few different options depending on what type of clothes you’ll be wearing and what type of activity you’ll be doing. Women learn this going through puberty, and now we get to as well. If you’re wearing a t-shirt, you’ll need a different kind of bra/shirt than if you’re wearing a sweatshirt or sweater.

The other thing that’s hard for men to understand is that breasts move a lot, even small ones, and so you’ll want some form of support even early on. Just like appearance, different levels of physical activity make your boobs move more, and so you’ll need a lot more support when running than you do when sleeping or lounging around the house.

So, as you start to stock up on clothes, there are three must-haves you’ll need.

The compression shirt

First and foremost, you’ll need a good compression shirt that will change the shape of your growing breasts to look more like male pecs. As your breasts get larger, this shirt will be help in professional settings, or during the summer, where you have less room for flexibility or the odds of discovery are greatest. Its also a great option if you want to shift into boy/man mode for a while – it looks just like standard under tank.

Best of all, compression shirts are great for situations where you may need to remove your shirt, and want the confidence that your breasts and nipples will be disguised – going camping or to the gym for example. If you’re wearing one of these, you don’t have to worry about weather you may need to take your shirt off.

My favorite is the Underworks Microfiber tank. Its a lightweight compression shirt but strong enough to smooth out puffy nipples and provide a more rounded, pec-like shape to your boobs. Its easy to get on over your head, and off the same way.

The (seamless) sports bra

Compression shirts can be a bit uncomfortable for all day wear, so having a good collection of seamless sports bras, especially with looser shirts or sweatshirts, can make all the difference.

My personal favorite is the Bali Comfort Revolution Seamless bra. The pads are removable, and the cups are small enough that they provide some level of support even at the early stages of breast growth.

If you run a lot, I highly recommend a real sports bra though. The true seamless bras just don’t contain enough elastic to really support your breasts during vigorous activity. A good option I like is the Jockey seamless sports bra, but don’t let the name fool you, as the seams on the shoulders are pretty visible especially as its a racerback design.

The shelf bra tank/cami

A shelf bra cami or tank is simply a cami or tank with a built in band of fabric across the chest sewn in underneath the outer fabric. Similar to a compression shirt, these will be more easily disguisable under clothes, while still giving you some support and added layers in front of your nipples. Depending on the brand, the band of the shelf-bra can be visible, so these are often best used as undershirts underneath button down or sweat shirts. They are a lot more comfortable for all-day wear than a compression shirt, but

I like the Vislivin tanks and shelf bra camis. They are super soft fabric and fitted relatively well for the male shape (no big flare around the hips).

Things to avoid

While you might want to find a nice sexy bra for your new breasts (and by all means, do!), for everyday wear feminine bras pose some big problems if you haven’t yet transitioned socially. Feel free to try different things and get creative, but generally you’ll want to avoid the following.

  • Bra straps: unfortunately, nothing screams ‘bra’ like visible bra straps. The straps themselves are usually fairly easy to hid under all but the tightest t-shirts, but the sliders used to resize the straps will create distinctive bumps under your shirt that anyone will immediately recognize. Avoid these if you can, otherwise you’ll be feeling pretty self-conscious.
  • Sewn-in pads: early on, you’ll want to avoid padded bras, or choose bras where you can remove the pads. First, your boobs aren’t really big enough to fill out the pads, and second, they’re designed to accentuate the ideal female breast shape; in other words, they’ll make you like you have breasts. Ditch the pads for a more natural look.
  • Underwires: likewise, underwires are used to provide shape and support for larger breasts, and so can provide the opposite effect you’re looking for pre-transition. Plus, they’re super obvious to women under clothes.
  • Back clasps: like bra straps, nothing screams ‘bra’ like a visible clasp in the back. If you can, avoid seamless bras that have back clasps and focus on the ‘pull over’ variety. These will ensure you have a smooth and bump-free chest and back no matter what shirt you are wearing.

Lastly, as your breasts grow, they’ll reach a point where they aren’t easily disguised as the male chest, but by this point you’ll be farther along in your transition. And they’re a lot more fun the bigger they get 😉

By Abbey

Investor, technologist, coach.

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