Beauty

20 Chic & Discreet Side Boob Tattoo Ideas

Peek-a-boob.

When it comes to tattoo placement, you’ve got your classic spots like legs and arms, but if you’re in the mood for some tucked-away ink, then consider side boob tattoos. Also sometimes called rib cage tats, they’re flirty by nature and perfect for anyone who wants the freedom to shield or reveal — from underneath a bikini strap perhaps.

“I think the appeal of side boob tattoos is that they are discreet but sexy,” opines tattoo artist Joanna Roman of Chronic Ink in Toronto, Ontario. “They are only really seen by you or your partner, or in a bathing suit, so they can be more a personal placement in that sense,” Roman says. Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Jaz Paulino of High Hopes Tattoo adds, “Having a tattoo in the area that flows with the natural curvature of the body is always a fun aesthetic — it’s visually pleasing to the eye.”

Another plus for side boob tattoos? Because they’re usually hidden, they’re hardly ever exposed to direct sunlight which means they’ll look great for longer. Sun exposure is the primary reason tattoos fade over time, explains Roman. And the designs and style options are plenty. You’ll typically spot small, delicate tats like florals or script done in fine linework, but Roman says, the side boob area can “also hold larger pieces that extend to the ribs if discretion is not your style.”

Whatever your style, remember to follow your artist’s instructions closely when it comes to tattoo aftercare. Specifics vary by artist, design, or even climate, but they often include avoiding baths, swimming, and direct sunlight, plus keeping the area properly moisturized. Roman also reminds that wearing bras may be challenging in the weeks following your inking. “You do not want to have any kind of rubbing against fresh ink because that could negatively affect the healing process, so that’s something to consider before getting a side boob tattoo,” she says.

Something else to keep in mind, according to artist Szabla of High Hopes and Graveyard NYC? The side boob area is a delicate spot and so tattooing here could be pretty painful. “The skin is thin and the ribs are one of the spiciest placement for a tattoo. You can’t go over it too hard because the ink may blow out under the skin, [giving] the effect of a bruise. I recommend getting this type of tattoo with an experienced artist,” Szabla says.

While you psych yourself up and scout just the right artist, scroll on for 20 chic side boob tattoo ideas that are sure to inspire.

1

Soft Petals

Because a lot of movement happens in this area, and because the size and shape of your boobs can fluctuate, Fleur Noire Tattoo artist Juan Martinez likes organic designs that will flow with the natural motion and curve of the body and age well. “I always recommend plants — they fit anywhere,” the New York-based artist says.

2

Butterflies

Y2K-era style butterfly tattoos are making a comeback, and this side boob tat features two whimsical ones.

3

Moon Phases

Consider spotlighting the phases of the moon with ink like this geometric interpretation.

4

Tiny Dragons

Showcase your mystical side by inking your side boob area with surprisingly adorable dragons — like the ones here.

5

Slithering Snake

Martinez says snakes are another great option if you’re looking for body art that will slither along the natural curvature of your breast.

6

The Zodiac

Zodiac signs and representations are classic tattoo inspiration. Here, the scorpio constellation is written in the stars.

7

Ornamental Design

Consider a decorative piece like this ornamental design along the rib cage.

8

Lavender Sprigs

Paulino says, “Florals are pretty popular, because you can always manipulate a flower to fit the shape. Anything organic, leafy, and floral — things of that nature.” This ink features two sprigs of lavender.

9

A Fluffy Feather

A feather will curve along the body in such a dreamy way.

10

A Jellyfish

For the marine life lover, check out this floating jellyfish and its squiggly tentacles.

11

A Little Whale

Keeping with the sea life theme, consider a whale like this one.

12

Cursive Script

Roman says, “Script is always a classic choice — perhaps a quote from a favorite book or song.” This one reads, “Find your fire” in pretty cursive.

13

A Scorpion

This tiny scorpion is a textbook example of fun and funky minimalist body art.

14

Abstract & Artsy

Artist Monic Motta of Fleur Noire says the side boob area is “a part of the body that was once considered intimate — and that makes it naturally sensual.” Here, this colorful, abstract drawing with its red lips and smoky eye only adds to the sensuousness.

15

A Hummingbird

Consider a rib cage tat like this whimsical and abstract hummingbird that looks like its flapping its wings.

16

Colorful Flowers

Opt for side boob ink like this funkadelic flowers for a playful take on a nature tat.

17

Surf’s Up

This itty bitty, cartoon-like “surf’s up” hand gesture is perfect for the easy breezy California girl.

18

Geometric Design

Consider a rib cage tat like this captivating geometric design.

19

Barbed Wire

Point to this barbed wire side boob/under boob tat for an edgier example.

20

A Romantic Rose

Roses are classic tattoo designs, and this single stem looks like something out of a fairy tale.