Getting your first tattoo can be exciting, scary and a little bit exhilarating. Stepping into a tattoo shop for the first time can be daunting, as can deciding on a design you want permanently tattooed on your body. Getting a more subtle tattoo in a discreet location may be the best choice for your first tattoo. If you’re starting to seriously think about a tattoo, here are 30 discreet tattoo locations and designs for inspiration.
How to Choose the Right Tattoo For You
Why Are You Getting a Tattoo?
Tattoos don’t always have to be super meaningful. You could get a tattoo simply because you like the way it looks- it’s totally up to you. Many people do choose to get tattoos with meaning behind them, whether they signal a new stage of life or want to honour someone’s memory. Whatever the reason is you’re getting a tattoo, this can guide you in your design decision.
Make a List of Your Favourite Things
If you love the idea of getting a tattoo but don’t know exactly what you want to get, make a list of all your favourite things to help you narrow down your options. Think of your favourite flower, your hobbies, your favourite lyric or quote, what you love to do on a Sunday afternoon. All these things can give you inspiration for a tattoo. Also think about whether you want text, a symbol, numbers or some other design.
Patience and Planning
Tattoos are permanent, so don’t rush into choosing a design. The more thought you put into a tattoo, the more likely you’ll be happy and confident with your decision. If you come up with an idea and decide against it a few months later, you’ll be happy you didn’t go through with it, but if it’s something you’ve been thinking about for a while and you still feel excited for it, that’s a really good sign. You should also take time to research different styles of tattoo designs (if you want something discreet, read up on minimal or fine line tattoos) to figure out which one is best for you.
Think About Future You
We may not be able to see into the future, but try as best you can to choose a tattoo design that you won’t regret down the line. Ask yourself if it’s something you’ll be comfortable with when you’re older and really consider whether you may get sick of it down the line. If you really love your tattoo and took the time to think about you, chances are you won’t regret it!
Once you have a good idea of what you want for your tattoo, it’s time to gather inspiration. Head to Pinterest, Instagram and other creative sources and put together an inspiration board. You can bring this to your tattoo artist and the two of you can come up with something you really love together.
18 Discreet Tattoo Locations
1. The side of your finger
2. Your sternum
3. Inside your lip
4. The side of your neck
5. The back of your neck
6. Inside of your bicep or elbow
7. Your upper thigh
8. On your collarbone
9. Behind your ear
10. On your side boob
11. On your hip
12. Along the bottom of your foot
13. Inside your ankle
14. Under your boob
15. Inside your wrist
16. Underneath your big toe
17. On your shoulder
18. Underneath your finger
12 Discreet Tattoo Designs
1. Cursive Word Tattoo
Getting a simple word like “love” in a cursive font is dainty, discreet and beautiful. It’s simple in the best way possible and can be tattooed in any one of the places we mention above. Choose a word that resonates with you and that you’ll be proud to take with you throughout your life.
2. Angel Number Tattoo
Angel numbers are number sequences that contain repetition, such as 222 or 4444 or patterns, like 321. They often occur in ordinary places, but grab your attention, such as seeing the time 11:11 on your clock everyday. Angel numbers are believed to be messages from the spiritual universe and all have different meanings. 222 means you’re in the right place at the right moment and to trust your instincts moving forward.
3. Zodiac Constellation Tattoo
The zodiac constellations are so pretty and can also be quite meaningful. You can choose to get your own zodiac sign, or maybe even the zodiac sign of someone special to you. If you decide on the latter, consider getting it somewhere significant, like close to your heart.
4. Wavey Text Tattoo
We love the way this text is uniquely written in a wave design. If you’re a fan of a simple text tattoo but want something a bit more unique, this could be the way to go.
5. Heart Outline Tattoo
The outline of a heart is simple and cute. You can place it almost everywhere, from the inside of your wrist to your side boob or behind your ear. Consider getting the ink in red like this one for something a little different.
6. Angel Wing Tattoo
Angel wing tattoos are dainty and discreet but beautiful upon noticing them. Angel wings symbolize protection, freedom and strength, and are often a tribute to oneself. They can also be a symbol to remembering a departed loved one.
7. Minimalist Star Tattoo
Star tattoos have many meanings associated with them, including ambition, destiny, hope, dreams and guidance. They’re versatile and rich in symbolism and they also just look really nice.
8. Fluttering Butterfly Tattoo
Butterfly tattoos have been popular for a long time, and while big, colourful butterfly tattoos may not be your thing, smaller, daintier butterflies like these are simply beautiful. The butterfly is a symbol of freedom and transformation. They signal joy, vitality, new beginnings and good luck so are wonderful if you’re starting a new phase of life.
9. Tiny Flower Tattoo
These tiny flowers are incredibly sweet and perfect if you want a small, dainty tattoo. The placement on the inside of the heel works really well, but the flowers would also look nice on the back of the neck, the ribcage below your boobs, or behind the ear.
10. Simple Wave Tattoo
A simple wave tattoo is perfect for anyone who loves life by the water. It’s elegant and aesthetic and waves are often used to symbolize emotion, nature, the subconscious, dreams and the “good” part of existence. They can also represent peace and serenity.
11. Special Date Tattoo
Getting a special date tattooed on yourself can be incredibly meaningful. It could be the full date or just the year, in numbers or Roman numerals, with the month written or numerical. Think about dates like birthdays, wedding dates, or another date when something significant happened to you.
12. Bird Tattoo
Bird tattoos are often associated with ideas of freedom, and linked with self independence and control. These fine line birds are unique and beautiful and can be used to express peace, spirituality and letting go.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a discreet tattoo, we hope these locations and designs have given you some inspiration!
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