The shoulders are the perfect place to get a tattoo. Here’s why, along with some of the best shoulder tattoo ideas we’ve found.
Shoulder tattoos are fully visible when you wear a tank top or go shirtless. They’re perfect for warm weather. They’re also fully concealable when you wear even short sleeves. So, if you don’t want your in-laws or that very traditional client to know that you have a tattoo, you can keep it hidden.
One of the best things about putting a tattoo on your shoulder, though, is that you can see it! Getting a tattoo on your back is great for large images and letting others enjoy them, but the shoulder lets you see your artwork too. Shoulder tats are even better than sleeves because you can see the whole image at once. With sleeves, you have to turn your arm in every direction to be able to view the entire design.[/centerContent]
The shoulder is a great place to start because you’re not limited to staying on the shoulder. You can ask your artist to extend the design to your back, chest, neck, or down your arm. You’ll see some images below that use all three methods of extending a shoulder tattoo.
Think about how a wing tattoo could cover your shoulder blade, shoulder, and tricep. Or how a tribal design could cover your chest, shoulder, and neck, ending at your jawline.
Take a look below at the 80 best shoulder tattoos from around the world.
What to Get
Of course, the choice of what your tattoo should be is up to you. Some of our favorites, though, fall into these categories.
Beneath the Skin
One idea that’s gaining a lot of popularity is to give the illusion of something under your skin. Maybe it’s a tiger trying to tear itself out. Maybe it’s a glimpse into the cyborg, clockwork, scaled, or skeletal creature beneath. Maybe it’s shredded flesh showing your American spirit. Whatever you picture being more than skin deep can look awesome as a tattoo.
We hate to relegate religion to the level of simple interest, but your belief system and anything else that catches your attention is prime material for a shoulder tattoo. From Jesus to the Justice League, wear whatever holds your interest like a badge of honor.
It could be the logo of your favorite sports team, a portrait of your lady love, or an image of a Native American warrior. Whatever you can think of, your shoulder is a good place to display it.
There’s a very cool trend now of tattooing different types of armor on your shoulder. It’s a sign of your warrior nature and strong spirit. To a degree, angel and demon wing tattoos also serve the same purpose but in a more mystical sense.
We would also put death tattoos in this category. When you get a shoulder tattoo of the grim reaper, a skull, or a death mask, you might be saying that you know death is coming and you’re not afraid.
From animals to flowers to landscapes to abstract, geometric, and tribal designs, your tattoo doesn’t need to mean anything other than, “Hey, look at this awesome-looking picture.” Just add some art to your body and show the world what you find beautiful.
It’s also a fitting idea to honor loved ones or fallen comrades with a shoulder tattoo. Bear their memory like the stripes on a uniform so that you’ll never forget what they meant to you.[/centerContent]