The 15 Best Spots to Hide a Tattoo If You Want to Keep It on the DL

Julia Pugachevsky
·7-min read
Photo credit: Khadija Horton
Photo credit: Khadija Horton

From Cosmopolitan

Now that you know the design you want tatted on your body for the rest of your life, you’re ready to go get your new ink, right?! Ehh, not quite. You’ve got lots of things to consider before officially going under the needle, like finding the best tattoo artist, and of course, deciding on the perfect placement of the design.

While some may want to show off their ink for the whole world to see, others might want to have theirs in a more inconspicuous spot. If you’ve found yourself in the latter category and need help deciding on the location for a hidden tattoo, we’ve gotcha covered (literally). From secret finger tattoos to discreet designs on your hip, here are 15 perfect places to get a tattoo that you can easily hide or show off whenever you want.

1. On your chest

Depending on the swimsuit style and cut, this sternum tattoo wouldn’t even be visible when you’re at the pool or the beach. Choose a design that's small and dainty if you really want to keep it well hidden, or go with a larger, more intricate underboob tattoo if you want it to peak out under your bikini top.

2. Inside your lip

No one (except for, ya know, your dentist) would suspect you have a tattoo with a placement like this. If you like the idea of having a tat that only you know about (or that you can surprise people with), this is the spot.

3. On your neck

A neck tattoo doesn’t sound like it would be all that discreet, but if you want artwork that you can easily cover up but can also put on display just as much, the side or back of your neck are ideal. Wear your hair down or layer on the jewelry and necklaces to conceal it or pull your hair up to show off your work whenever you want.

4. Inside your arm

If you'd like everyone to see your tattoo, get tatted on the outside of your arm. If you want to keep it hidden, though, get your design placed inside your bicep or elbow instead. I don’t know your life, but I’m gonna guess that you keep your arms down by your side most of the time, in which case you wouldn’t even need a jacket or long sleeves to cover it if you have a smaller or tiny tattoo.

5. On your upper thigh

While a thigh tattoo would be pretty visible in a swimsuit, you can easily keep it hidden under pants or a skirt and even a pair of shorts, depending on how large the design is and how short those shorts are.

6. Underneath your finger

Let’s face it—hand tattoos are pretty visible unless you walk around with gloves (again, I don’t know your life). But if you’re obsessed with finger tattoos, you can still make it happen and keep it hidden with the right placement, like the inside of your hand or underneath one of your fingers.

7. On the side of your finger

For a spot that’s a little less hidden than underneath the finger but still pretty undetectable, try the side of your finger. If you want a little extra help keeping it covered, stack on a few rings. Problem solved.

8. On your collarbone

If the tattoo is small enough, you can have a tattoo hidden in plain sight. This cute little heart tattoo is basically invisible on the collarbone, even when it’s not being concealed with a shirt.

9. Behind your ear

If you want to keep your tattoo so hidden that even you can’t see it without some serious contortion skills, get inked behind your ear. Whether you get it near your earlobe or closer to your hairline, a tattoo in this area can be easily covered by either your hair, a headband, your glasses, or even your earrings.

10. On your sideboob

If you get a tattoo strategically placed high enough on your ribs, you won’t be able to see it, even with a swimsuit on. It would even require some pretty low arm holes on your shirt to be able to put this tattoo on display, but hey, it's possible.

11. Down your spine

A tattoo like this would only be visible in open-back clothing, but if the design closely follows the direction of your spine, it might still go relatively unnoticed—unless someone knows to look for it.

12. On your ear lobe

Think of this tattoo like a piercing that you never take out of your ear. Most people who see it—if they even notice it at all—will probably think it’s an earring anyway.

13. Around your hip

Slightly higher than an upper thigh tattoo, this hip tattoo placement is perfect for a long script design, which can be easily concealed with the elastic of your underwear or swimsuit bottoms. And if you want to put it on display, you can hike up the sides of your bottoms or go with a high-cut swimsuit style.

14. Under your underwear line

Slightly more inward than a hip tattoo, this placement falls right above the crease of your thigh. It's pretty much completely covered and as hidden as it gets.

15. Above your breast

You’ve heard of the underboob tattoo, but the above-the-boob tattoo is a perfectly good option for a hidden tattoo as well. You can decide to get it slightly outside of the bra cup to show it off with a low-cut top or you can get it placed just below the edge of the cup to keep it undercover.

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