Tattoo Trends for Autumn 2023

Tattoo Trends for Autumn 2023

It’s autumn. For some, this is a time of melancholy and mourning the long days of summers past. For others, it means cosy sweaters, curling up with tea and a book, and, perhaps most importantly — the season of tattoos. You no longer need to cover up your fresh ink to shield it from the sun at all costs, and don’t have to forego either body art or going for a refreshing swim with your mates.

Autumn is the perfect time to get a new tattoo. But what will it be this year? If your skin is itching but you are a little short on inspiration, don’t worry, here is our updated trend forecast for the remaining months of 2023. Just remember that trends come and go, and what matters most is how you, not anybody else, feels about your tattoo.

metallic tattoo of Winnie the Pooh
Metallics are definitely in. By Jo at Vivid Ink Sutton.

Fashion trends seem to have gone down two routes this year — either classic uniform style dressing, devoid of embellishments, focusing on timelessness, pin stripes, black and grey, or sparkly (think sequinned underwear as outerwear) and a Y2K metallic sheen. Tattooing trends seem to be following along the same lines.

From Y2K to illustrative art tattoos

From one end, there is a sense of playfulness and “anything goes” — think colourful and bright new school tattoos with heavy outlines, perfect for an ironic (or not) nod to the styles of a couple of decades (that is 2003, not 1983, reminder to self) back. And the Y2K influence doesn’t stop there.

baby groot holding casette tape
The 90s are back, baby. By Jo from Vivid Ink Sutton

The updated tribal design keeps going strong. We are seeing the finer, spikier versions of the 90s classic everywhere. It is particularly popular with the clubbing crowd, and can be seen anywhere from arms and feet to larger designs across sternums and underboob placements. It has even made its return to the lower back, in a reclaiming of tattoo real estate from the so-called tramp stamp that we much applaud.

As more and more employers become increasingly tolerant of visible tattoos, hand tattoos are also having a moment. The tag has over 1 billion views on TikTok, and no wonder as they are an amazing way of displaying your personal style, regardless of the outfit of the day (or uniform needed for work).

Hand tattoo
Hand tattoos are not only dainty lettering. By Luke R at Vivid Ink Stafford

While the tiny tattoo trend shows no sign of slowing down, gorgeously one-of-a-kind illustrative pieces are growing in popularity. Life-affirming and artistic, they can feature intricate and detailed linework that create depth, texture, and shading within the design, along with other techniques borrowed from classical illustration. They are highly customised, and in a time when much of the beauty ideal we are being fed through the media is leaning towards sameness, it is a wonderful way of reclaiming your own story and idea of what is beautiful in the world.

Oh, and don’t forget about the patchwork sleeve!

Whatever tattoo you choose to go for this year, make it an autumn to remember.


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