Tattoo Placement Terminology Part 2

Tattoo Placement Terminology Part 2Β 

In our last post, we talked about arm sleeves and full-back pieces. Two really classic and inspiring ways of approaching getting some artwork done on your body. The arm sleeves can be partial or full, and the full-back piece is one of the more awe-inspiring undertakings in the tattooing world β€” both for the tattooee and the tattooer.Β 

Today, we take a closer look at the prime real estate leg sleeve, the reclaiming of a derogatory lower back placement, and the underboob.Β 

Leg sleeve

A leg sleeve tattoo (although perhaps not as immediately self-explanatory as the arm version), is a large and often intricate tattoo β€” or collection of tattoos β€” that covers most of or a large portion of the leg. Typically, it extends from the thigh down to the ankle, but can also end halfway down the calf, for a ΒΎ leg sleeve.Β 

Samurai tattoo leg sleeve
By Clayton at Vivid Ink Birmingham

If you intend to have a cohesive leg sleeve project, rather than a patchwork of various tattoos, it is important to think about the overarching theme and the design of the sleeve before you and your artist get started on it. Determine how much of the leg you want the tattoo to cover. Do you want it to be one piece or should there be some skin left bare between various pieces?

A leg sleeve is a great opportunity for an artist to work on a project over time β€” even more so than the arm sleeve and can make for a wonderful collaborative and truly one-of-a-kind piece of body art.Β 

β€˜Tramp stamp’ (or, reclaiming the lower back tattoo)

First things first β€” a tattoo artist would not call it a β€˜tramp stamp’. They would simply say lower back tattoo. However, ever since they surged in popularity around the turn of the 21st century, the lower back tattoo has been synonymous in the public consciousness with the derogatory term prescribed to it.Β 

Bold lower back tattoo
By Dennis at Vivid Ink Birmingham

However, the last couple of years have seen a return of the placement β€” along with the revival of all things 90s and low-rise jeans. Helped along, as so many things are these days, by TikTok users taking people for follow-along tattoo sessions, it is even being used as a means to strike back against the outdated views on female sexuality which gave the placement its nickname in the first place.Β 

Underboob tattoos

An underboob tattoo is strategically placed underneath the breast or in the area where the lower curve of the breast meets the ribcage, and can continue outward toward the sideboob area. It is a tattoo placement that has become increasingly popular in recent years (in all likelihood Rihanna’s Egyptian goddess Isis tattoo had something to do with it).

underboob tattoos insects animals 15 moth
They can be bold statements or more fine-line decorative ornamental pieces. They can be dark, goth-inspired moths, or pretty butterflies and flowers, balanced equally underneath both breasts or featuring different motives across. Either way, they are often incredibly aesthetically pleasing, although can be a little painful due to the delicate skin and proximity to the ribs.Β 


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