What To Wear When Getting a Back Tattoo

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 03, 2022
    Last Updated: February 3, 2022

We all cover our tops at work—unless you’re a lifeguard. If you don’t want your tattoo to be seen, the back is a commonplace to get one. No one will notice if they are readily hidden!

Is this, however, the sole reason to get a back tattoo? I don’t believe so!

The back has a lot of skin and muscle, therefore it’s less uncomfortable than many other regions, save from along the spine.

The canvas area is also large, so you may go big with a giant, complicated tattoo design if you really desire.

For a multitude of reasons, a back tattoo is an excellent choice. But what should you wear to get your ink, and what should you avoid wearing while it heals? We’ll provide you with the best advice possible.

Going for Your Back Tattoo

The time finally arrives and you’re excited to get started on your first long-awaited back tattoo session—but what should you wear? Any kind of clingy tops are out— with the added dressing it will rub, or the ink may still be wet and stain your clothing. 

What Should Guys Wear? 

Guys need less thought about their attire than the girls. If you’re getting a back tattoo, you’ll want to show it off, so going topless shouldn’t be an issue. Wear a loose button-up shirt or zip-up hoodie for the trip there and home.

What Should Girls Wear?

Wearing a bikini top that you can untie while you’re laying down is perfect. A halter top with an exposed back is also a terrific choice if you’re just getting the upper back tattoo placement.

 Like the guys, wear a loose button-up shirt or zip-up hoodie. Girls can flip these around for the tat—so your front is covered but the back is exposed. You can then wear these for the trip home too, as long as they’re loose and don’t press against the tattoo dressing.

If these solutions don’t work and you’re not keen on being topless, your tattoo artist should provide you with a pair of silicone pasties or tape to cover your nipples. They should also have a private room or provide a privacy screen.

How Long Do Back Tattoos Take?

Because back tattoos are often larger than others, so the complete tattoo process may take a while to finish. Even a competent tattoo artist can take up to 60 hours on an intricate and colorful back tattoo.

Large back tattoos WILL require several visits to a tattoo shop to be entirely finished.

Don’t wear anything you want to keep clean, even with a dressing on there may be some ink leakage.

What To Wear While The Tattoo Is Healing

During the healing process, a new tattoo will scab. Brushing on the scab might cause it to peel off, causing harm to your skin and the design, while also delaying the healing process.

Healing Time

After getting a tattoo, the epidermis, or the outer layer of skin, will typically heal within two to three weeks.  For a back tattoo and several visits, it’s going to be a while longer, depending on the time between tattoo sessions.

While it may look and feel healed, tight clothing over a tattoo can trap moisture and lead to infections. It might take up to six months for the layers of skin beneath a tattoo to fully heal.

You’re also going to need a loved one to regularly apply post-ink lotion or balm to help the healing process.

Make sure everyone knows you’ve been back-tatted. You don’t want a painful slap on the back from a friend or colleague! 

What Should Girls Wear?

Prepare to go bra-less for a while, girls, a strap rubbing on that new back tattoo will do it no favors, so they’re a no-no. Loose blouses and tops only, and not too heavy, so make sure they’re not see-through! 

What Should Guys Wear? 

Again, for guys, the same applies. Loose, lightweight shirts and tops until the tattoo is completely healed.


You must take care of your tattoo to ensure that it heals properly and without issues. Here are some ideas to aid in the healing process.

Exposure to the sun can cause harm to a fresh tattoo. You’ll need to keep the tattoo out of the sun until it’s fully healed since you won’t be able to apply sunscreen on it.

Do not apply any pressure to the tattoo. For around six months, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing.

Get a loved one to dress the tattoo at bedtime to protect it—this will help keep blood, or tattoo ink on your sheets.

Exercise and swimming should be avoided since your tattoo requires a dry environment to heal—working out will impair the healing process—sweat contains contaminants that might lead to infection, so be sure to keep your tattoo clean.

Pets, particularly dogs, can bring bacteria into your sleeping environment. If your pets like to sleep on your bed, make sure to change the bedding on a regular basis.

The Takeaway

A back tattoo is a lovely thing to have. For the tattoo procedure and the whole healing time, which can last up to six months, wear something loose like a button-up shirt, loose blouse, or hoodie.

Let everyone know you have a back tattoo so they don’t accidentally give it an encouraging pat.

Stay away from the gym or pool while the tat heals. Get a loved one to regularly moisturize and dress your tattoo while it heals. Once the healing is done, though, get it out there and show that baby off!

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