What To Wear When Getting a Rib Tattoo

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 04, 2022
    Last Updated: February 4, 2022

Deciding to get a tattoo takes a lot of thought and consideration. What design do you choose? Equally as important is where on your body will you get the tattoo?

Rib tattoos are increasingly popular, especially with the current trend of cropped tops. What better way to show off your new tattoo? You can also keep a rib tattoo hidden, meaning that your choice won’t affect any career opportunities in the future.

People often ask what clothing they need to wear when getting a tattoo, and as a rib tattoo can be in an intimate location, you need to be careful to bare all while getting your tattoo.

We’ll let you know the best clothing options to wear when getting a rib tattoo and in the healing period afterward.

Why Choose the Ribs?

Historically, many people had tattoos on their ribs to symbolize their love for their religion. Namely, Christianity, as it’s believed that when God created man, he pulled out Adam’s rib and created the first woman to keep him company. Also, as the rib is close to the chest and heart, many people choose to have tattoos here.

Nowadays, the aesthetic appearance of a tattoo on your rib has taken over from any religious significance. The rib has a natural curve that can be accentuated with the right tattoo design. 

The beauty of a rib tattoo is that it can be hidden if needed or shown off by a cropped top or loose tank top. It will look great on a beach in the summer sunshine.

What To Wear When Getting a Rib Tattoo

Now you’ve chosen your tattoo design and the area where it will go, you need to get it done. What do you wear when getting the rib tattoo? 

If you’re a man, this is a simple one, you just need to strip off to the waist, and you’re ready. A woman, however, has other problems to deal with. 

You may not be able to wear a bra when having the rib tattoo done, so you need to bear this in mind. A bikini top that you can tie would be good, as you can undo it to give the tattoo artist access to the rib area.

What To Wear While Your Rib Tattoo Heals

Your rib tattoo needs to be looked after to be able to heal properly and we would recommend that you wear loose-fitting clothing. Don’t wear anything that will rub the area and damage the tattoo or cause an infection.

A woman will need to wear a bra that may rub on the tattoo. If you can go without a bra, this would be ideal. However, if you can’t for obvious reasons, try a bikini top with thinner straps that can be moved to avoid the tattoo or even a stick-on bra as this will avoid your ribs.

Sleeping may be an issue for the first few nights following your tattoo, especially if you sleep on your side. A couple of nights of disrupted sleep is worth it if it keeps your tattoo looking perfect.

Best Designs for a Rib Tattoo

Anything goes on the rib, from small delicate, simple designs and lettering to a large, flowing piece that accentuates the curves of your body. 

The ribs can be a painful area to get tattooed as the skin is closer to the bone, so you need to remember that when choosing your design. You don’t want a large design that covers your body if you’re going to struggle with the pain.

The Tattoo Process

Choosing the design and the placement of your tattoo is just one of the steps you need to take. You then need to get the tattoo completed. Preparation is key, and you should prepare your skin beforehand, keeping it moisturized and clean. 

How long the tattoo process will take will depend on the size and the design of your tattoo. If you’ve chosen a large tattoo that covers the whole side of your ribs or an intricate design with lots of colors it could take several hours or even a number of lengthy tattoo sessions.

You need to be as comfortable as possible during the tattoo process. There’s no getting away from the fact that it will be painful, as you’re having multiple needles inserted into your skin over and over again. Finding a comfortable position and trying to relax will help to make the process a little easier. 


The rib is a good choice for a tattoo that can be hidden when needed or shown off with the right clothing. However, you need to remember that whatever tattoo you choose will be painful, and you will be stuck with it for a long time to come. 

Loose clothing is the answer to keeping your tattoo looking perfect, and you may need to go braless for a few days. This is a relatively small price to pay for a stunning piece of artwork.

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