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When looking to get a new tattoo, there’s enough decision-making on your plate. Once you work out the design, style, size, placement, and artist for your tattoo tips—you shouldn’t have to stress about what to wear. For a hand, wrist, or leg your uniform is pretty self-explanatory. However, if you’re getting a sternum, side, back, hip, or butt tattoo you might be wondering how to dress for your tattoo appointment.


Basic Tips for dressing for your appointment:

  1. Wear loose and comfortable clothing 
  2. Don’t be afraid to layer to account for body temperature fluctuation 
  3. Wear dark clothing you don’t mind getting ink or blood on

These tips are important regardless of your tattoo placement. It’s not uncommon for your temperature to fluctuate due to a rise in adrenaline levels while getting tatted. So bring a jacket with you that you can put over your arms or legs—wherever you aren’t getting your new art.

Let’s get into how to dress for your tattoo appointment depending on placement. 


What to Wear When Getting a Back Tattoo 

Back tattoos can be anything along your spine, the back of your shoulder, lower back, or can cover the entire area depending on your design choice. A lot of clothing preferences depend on how much skin you are comfortable showing, but there are options for both men and women if you want higher coverage. 

For lower back tattoos: 

  • Loose t-shirt or cami that can be pulled up
  • Elastic pants that can be pulled down

For full back or upper back tattoos: 

  • A bikini top that you can untie while lying down
  • A zip-up hoodie: reverse how you wear it so the zipper is on your backside. This is a good option if you want more coverage, and can work for men or women.

What to Wear When Getting a Hip Tattoo

There are a few options for dressing for a hip tattoo appointment that make it easier on both you and the artist. 

For women: 

  • Long loose maxi dresses that you can pull up and wrap around you 
  • Dark bikini bottoms if you’re comfortable showing more skin 
  • Loose fitting shorts

Unisex options:

  • Loose athletic shorts that can easily be pulled up, might still require adjustments throughout the session.

What to Wear When Getting a Shoulder Tattoo

Shoulder tattoos are one of the easier tattoos to dress for, your goal is to keep your shoulder area open and at easy access.

For women:

  • Thin spaghetti strap tanks 
  • Halter top 
  • Strapless top 
  • Go braless, or wear a strap style that can easily be pulled down

For men:

  • Muscle tank or loose tank top 

What to Wear When Getting a Side Tattoo 

Depending on the size and placement of your side tattoo, what you wear might vary slightly. For small designs, you may be able to lift a loose t-shirt. For larger pieces, you will probably have to wear more flexible clothing.

For women:

  • Nipple pasties: your shop will often provide them if your tattoo placement requires it. 
  • Bikini top that can be untied 
  • Go braless, or wear a non-restrictive bralette

For men:

  • Can remove the shirt or wear a loose shirt that can be pulled up 

What to Wear When Getting a Sternum Tattoo

Sternum tattoos are similar to side tattoos, you might want to go braless and your artist will provide you with pasties for added coverage if needed. 

For women: 

  • Loose tank 
  • Bikini top 
  • Rolled up bandeau

For men: 

  • Loose t-shirt or tank top that can be removed/rolled up if needed

What to Wear When Getting a Butt Tattoo

Similar to a hip tattoo, there are ways you can get your butt tatted without feeling completely revealed. Your artist may have to move your clothing or add additional covering with a towel if you prefer. 

For women: 

  • Bikini bottoms
  • Loose maxi dress 
  • Skirt or elastic skort material that can adjusted easily 
  • Loose fitting shorts

For men:

  • Loose fitting shorts 
  • Loose underwear or boxers 

These guidelines should help you decide what to wear for your appointment, but remember, the most important thing is your comfort. If you have any questions or concerns about what to wear, always feel free to reach out to your tattoo artist. With the right clothing, your tattoo session can go smoothly, and you’ll leave with a piece of art you love.Tattoo Tips, Sleep With Fresh Ink, Tattoo Preparation, Tattoo Ideas, photo of left arm with tattoo

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