Arms tend to get the most attention when it comes to tattoos, but don’t sleep on your chest. There is something badass about a chest tattoo. Maybe it’s because the area lends itself to a potentially more painful (and sometimes longer) session, or maybe it’s because badasses like Connor McGregor, Colin Kaepernick, and Lewis Hamilton have all helped popularize the placement in recent years.
Like all tattoos, chest tattoos come in all styles and sizes—what you get is up to you and the artist you work with. But before you decide on a chest tattoo design, keep in mind that the chest is a large surface area that lends itself well to sprawling horizontal designs. If you don’t want to cover your whole chest, that’s cool, too—focus on one side and you still get a pretty good amount of surface area. Be prepared that tattooing the center of your chest over your sternum is painful (take it from me), so if you’re not ready for that, keep it to the meatier parts of your chest closer to your shoulders. And if you think chest tattoos are dope, but not sure where to even start thinking of one for yourself, this list may help narrow it down.
Geometric chest tattoos work well by making the most of more negative space.
Japanese style chest tattoos are iconic and highly detailed, not to mention mesh perfectly with the shape of your chest.
The chest is suited well for horizontal designs and words and quotes make great contenders. Stretch the whole way across or keep it short and small.
Chest tattoos don’t have to be large to make a big impact.
Wings make the perfect chest tattoo design because they’re symmetrical and horizontal, but still imply movement.
Subtle, modern designs like this look equally cool in the center of your chest as they do on either side.
If words aren’t your thing, roman numerals look just as cool.
Birds make great chest tattoos in any style because, even if they’re traditional and not realistic, they still have movement.
Words take on new meaning when positioned over your heart.
Even simple chest tattoos look cool and these stand out, because of the symmetry and higher placement.
Did we mention birds look great tattooed on your chest? The king of birds, the eagle, can really up the ante.
If a bird isn’t your thing, think about a dragon chest tattoo, which still has movement but with a different vibe.
The cool thing about a tiger chest tattoo is that it’s badass no matter what style it’s done in.
Tribal designs are perfect for chest tattoos, because they’re bold and can emphasize the shape your chest.
In many cases, geometric chest tattoos make great use of negative space, which is plentiful on a larger canvas like your chest.
Japanese chest tattoos look great in black and white, but even better with color.
Your circular and flat pec makes a great canvas for a portrait.
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