Ever since Rihanna was snapped with her Egyptian goddess tattoo sternum (under the breast), tattoos have been on the rise. They come in various styles, from large symmetrical pieces to Miley Cyrus’s asymmetrical script “Just Breathe,” which slides up one side. But as gorgeous as these tattoos are, it can be tricky to know what to wear to an appointment.
When getting a tattoo under your breast, you should wear dark, loose-fitting clothing that can be unbuttoned down the front. It is best to make these appointments in winter with an artist you trust. Some artists supply pasties, but you can always bring your own.
Sternum tattoos look gorgeous, but they are not a particularly easy area to tattoo due to the thin skin and bones. Also, they are often bigger pieces that add to the length of a session. Thus, it is crucial that you be as comfortable as possible while being inked. Design and quality are always important, but so is your sense of security and trust.
What To Wear When Getting A Tattoo Under Your Breast
You can’t wear a bra for most under the breast tattoos. Some sternum tattoos are low enough that you can, but this isn’t the current placement trend. Even if you can, you probably can’t for the session. The artist needs to stencil the design on without clothing warping or stretching the skin.
Thus, you need to wear dark clothing that can unbutton down the front. You could also wear those arm sleeves runners wear for additional warmth if necessary. Most tattoo establishments will provide pasties or another disposable covering for you to tape over your nipples.
However, some side tattoos can be done while you wear a loose tank top with wide and low openings to the sides. But ask before assuming that this will work. You want the end piece to look fabulous, and that requires making sure the artist has access to the skin and can see what they are doing.
What To Wear As A Tattoo Under Your Breast Heals
For most sternum tattoos, you cannot wear a bra until the tattoo has gone through the initial healing process of scabbing and flaking. Since healing takes about 2 weeks, most people with breasts feel more comfortable having these tattoos done in cooler seasons. This makes it easier for them to disguise not wearing a bra for the healing duration.
You will want to be wearing loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t rub against the tattoo. Friction can cause scabs and skin to pull away too soon, removing ink and raising the likelihood you’ll need a touch-up.
How You Sleep As A Tattoo Under Your Breast Heals
Stomach sleepers may struggle for a few weeks as their sternum tattoo heals. It is best to sleep on your back, even if the artwork doesn’t reach the sides. This will allow the breasts to lie flat and to the sides, rather than being stacked and pulling in the skin between the cleavage. It will also reduce sweating, which is good for a new tattoo.
Feeling Comfortable When Getting A Tattoo Under Your Breast
Some people are incredibly comfortable with their bodies and the gaze of strangers. But many people feel venerable when they wear less clothes, especially when required not to wear a bra. Many people have also had negative experiences, and lack of clothing around strangers brings back memories of these traumatic moments.
Therefore, it is vital you select an artist you can feel comfortable with when getting a sternum (under the breast) tattoo. These are typically longer sessions, given the size of the piece and working with thin, delicate skin over a bony area. Also, while artists try to be careful, the breasts will get brushed by a forearm or knocked by a knuckle as they work.
Also, ask beforehand about privacy, if they have a private room or at least screens to make you feel less exposed and safer. Most quality tattoo shops are accommodating, and if they are not, then this probably isn’t the place for you to get inked.
Many tattoo shops are not keen on having another person in the room as they work. The artist can find it incredibly distracting with cross chatter, potential wincing, and fainting. However, if you require extra support while having a vulnerable area tattooed, please talk to the artist beforehand to arrange rather than surprising them at the appointment.
Do Under Breast Tattoos Hurt?
As always, pain is a personal experience that is difficult to compare. However, despite breasts being fleshy, the sternum they are attached to is not. There is a lot of bone, and the skin in this section of the body is thin and delicate. Thus, this is considered one of the higher pain areas to get tattooed.
But on the positive, sternum tattoos are long-lasting. The area doesn’t get a lot of sun exposure unless you are a hardcore sunbather. Nor does the area deal with a lot of friction unless you wear extremely tight clothing. A small space under the breast is often left for where the bra sits to avoid fading tighter clothing can bring.
Will Under Breast Tattoos Alter If I Get Pregnant?
Pregnancy impacts people differently, but generally, it affects the skin of the entire torso. As a result, not only does the belly expand, but so do breasts. This can change the layout of an under-breast tattoo. For some people, the skin returns to its original shape; for others, it does not. How much change there will be, however, is hard to predict.
People who know they want children sometimes delay an under-breast tattoo until they are finished having babies. But many do not and are fine with the way their tattoos have evolved with their bodies.
Tattoos under the breast can be gorgeous and are an excellent placement for longevity. However, it is an intimate area for most people, and you won’t be able to wear a bra. Also, while pasties or taping a covering of your nipples is encouraged, some people still feel vulnerable. Thus, find an artist you feel comfortable around, so the experience is positive.
Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you
Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.
Design and tattoo ideas
For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):
- Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Revised Edition: More than 500 Body Art Designs (Fox Chapel Publishing) Fantasy, Celtic, Floral, Wildlife, and Symbol Designs for the Skin by Lora Irish
- The Big Book of Small Tattoos – Vol.1: 400 small original tattoos for women and men by Roberto Gemori
- Tiny Tattoos: Over 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks by Rebecca Vincent.
If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).
The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):