for tattooed people, and those who want to be

Dressing up for the big day


What do you wear when you go to get your ink?

The obvious answer would be “something that won’t get in the way.” But the location of the tattoo plays a large part in the choice of clothing, too. If you’re getting ink on your arm, it’s no biggie to wear a tank top if you’re a woman, or just remove your shirt if you’re a man. That takes care of clearing the decks for action while the ink is being applied, but what about afterwards? Putting a long-sleeved shirt back on over fresh ink, even if it’s bandaged, might be more of a problem than one expected.

And what if you’re a woman getting ink on areas normally covered by clothing? If your artist has private booths and you don’t mind being more-naked-than-usual in front of a stranger, problem solved. But for a relatively public place, you’ve got to think about how you’ll be sufficiently covered. When I got the tattoo on my shoulder blade, I went out and bought an inexpensive beige tube bra (new) and several loose-fitting button-up shirts (from the thrift store, so if the ink stained them, no biggie). When the time came, I just took off my shirt and sat in the chair wearing jeans and the tube bra. I was revealing less of myself than I would have in a bathing suit. I was comfortable even though the chair was right by the front door and anyone could look in the window even if they didn’t come inside. I wore tube bras during the healing process, too, so there were no bra straps to rub against the healing skin.

What if you’re getting ink on an area normally covered by pants and/or underpants? You’re the only one who can decide if baring that part of your anatomy to the world (if there are no private booths) is going to be within your comfort zone. This is something you should take into consideration when you’re planning where to place your ink.

Your new tattoo will “weep” for several days after it’s applied. Most artists advise not reapplying the bandage once you’ve taken it off, so it’s a good idea to wear clothes that don’t rub against the newly-inked area, and that you don’t mind getting multicolored splotches on. This is where thrift-store outfits can really help. If you’ve only paid a couple bucks for the shirt or sweat pants (or whatever) you won’t care if they get stained. And clothing from the thrift store is much likely to be soft and “broken in” so you don’t have to worry about stiff fabric causing problems.

Your artist will have suggestions, and you should ask him or her after you’ve discussed the tattoo and where it’s to be placed. If you’re new to being multicolored, you don’t want to ruin the ink by being fashionable instead of comfortable.

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Author: infmom

I got my first tattoo when I was 46. I hope the people who read this blog don't have to wait that long. I love talking about body art.

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