Between the parlor, design, placement, size, style, and artist, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before getting a tattoo. One thing you shouldn't have to worry about is how to arrive at your appointment the day of — especially when it comes to what to wear.
The outfit you wear to your tattoo appointment largely depends on the area you're getting tattooed. For a hand, wrist, or leg tat, it's pretty self-explanatory. But if you're getting ink in a more private place you want to be prepared to show a little skin if necessary, but not too much skin. . . if you know what we mean.
To help you determined what type of clothing you should wear for a back, hip, side, stomach, and even butt tattoo appointment, keep reading.
First, there's one word to sum up the type of clothing you should wear to any tattoo appointment: loose. In general, you don't want to wear anything tight or restrictive. "Your body will be in distress, so wearing comfortable clothing is key," Monikka Velvet, co-founder of the female-owned NYC-based tattoo shop High Hopes, told POPSUGAR. No matter where you're getting inked, layers are a good idea because your body's internal temperature will fluctuate throughout the appointment. "Sometimes a client may get hot and sweaty, but your adrenaline runs out over time, which causes your body to get cold," said tattoo artist Gianna Caranfa.
Also, avoid coming in light colors or your favorite new insert-clothing-piece-here because "we don't want to stain your clothes with the ink," said Velvet. You may want to dress up for the special occasion, especially if it's your first one, but it's not recommended. "So many times, I have clients who arrive at the appointment dressed in their best clothes and undergarments," said Caranfa.
What to Wear When Getting a Back Tattoo
A back tattoo can be along your spine, on your lower back, the back of your shoulder, or take up the entire thing. This affects what type of top you can wear. For a lower back placement, choose a top that's loose and can be pulled up, like a t-shirt or cami, along with elastic-waist bottoms that can be pulled down, will do. For a design that takes up your entire back, Velvet recommended a bikini top that you can untie while you're laying down.
Caranfa has another suggestion: "I always suggest bringing a zip-up hoodie that they can turn around, so the zip is on the backside and the fabric is covering their chest area since you cannot wear a bra when getting a full back tattoo," she said. It depends on how comfortable you are the amount of skin you're showing in the tattoo shop.
What to Wear When Getting a Hip Tattoo
There are a few clothing options to consider when it comes to getting a hip tattoo. In a previous interview, Atlanta-based tattoo artist Debbi Snax recommended long, loose maxi dresses. "You can pull it up and wrap yourself in it so you're still covered," said Snax. Caranfa seconded that and added that bikini bathing suit bottoms are also good if you're uncomfortable with the idea of your underwear showing. Loose shorts that can be pulled away from the area also work but may require some adjusting throughout the appointment.
What to Wear When Getting a Shoulder Tattoo
Shoulder tattoos are fairly easy to plan for. A tank top with thin spaghetti straps, halter top, or strapless top allows for easy access to the area. You may want to forgo a bra or plan on pulling that strap down to ensure it doesn't tug at the skin.
What to Wear When Getting a Side Tattoo
If you're getting a tattoo on your side you should come in a bikini top or bring one to change into. "Most likely, we will give you stickers or pasties to put over your nipples," said Velvet. You won't want to wear a bra unless it's a loose-fitting one or a bralette style.
What to Wear When Getting a Sternum Tattoo
Similar to a side tattoo, you'll want to go braless for a sternum tattoo appointment and may be asked to put pasties over your nipples for additional coverage. "You could also go with either a spaghetti bikini top or a rolled-up bandeau," said Caranfa.
What to Wear When Getting a Butt Tattoo
Just like with a hip tattoo, bathing suit bottoms or a loose dress work well for a butt tattoo. You may need to pull the clothing out of the way slightly, but both of these items will allow you to stay covered for the most part.