10 Tattoos That Age the Best

For those of us that have tattoos, we know that they are forever—at least we think they are. Over time, tattoos will fade, stretch, and even need to be removed from your body as you age and continue to change as a person. So which tattoos age the best? It depends on what kind of tattoo you got! With the help of artists like Kat Von D and other body art aficionados, here’s our list of 10 tattoos that age the best. If you want your tattoo to last the test of time, make sure it adheres to this list!

1) The Letter A

Although there are plenty of individuals who stick with a single letter throughout their life, many opt to get multiple letters tattooed. A lot of people start off with just one or two small tattoos and then continue to add more as they age. The letters that are typically chosen for additional ink include Z, E, T, Y and Q (and sometimes I and U). Each letter makes for a unique design on its own or when used together! For example, getting all of your initials would look great spread across your torso or back. Or you could choose to mix things up by using them on different parts of your body.

2) Stars

Not all tattoos are created equal. For men, anything with a star pattern is going to look dated in 10 years, but women can get away with a small and inconspicuous star tattoo on their wrist or ankle as long as it isn’t more than an inch in diameter. Do you want to age gracefully? The smaller and less vibrant, the better. It’s just not one of those types of tattoos that will ever be on-trend again, regardless of when you got it done. Are stars your thing? If so, stick to simple outlines: no shading or color for you!

3) Geometric shapes

One of my favorite trends in modern tattoos is geometric shapes. Instead of generic lines or dots, geometric shapes are bold and abstract. Examples include triangles, squares, rectangles, hexagons and other angular designs. These can make a great accent to an otherwise complex piece or be incorporated into a full-body tattoo with ease (think sleeve tattoos). The best part about geometric tattoos is that they’re perfect for people who don’t want to commit to one style of design; try something new every day! With such versatility, these can fit any style aesthetic you love – whether it’s minimalism or vivid color! Plus, depending on your shape choice and placement, they can actually look more natural on your body than simpler designs.

4) Big words

Tattooing and age aren’t usually words that appear in the same sentence, but there are exceptions. It’s important to do your research before investing in a tattoo—after all, it’ll be on your body forever (unless you get laser treatment). As with any tattoo, look for well-crafted tattoos by artists who specialize in larger pieces; you don’t want to end up with a design that won’t age as well because of shoddy or rushed work. Here are 10 big tattoos that will look great when you’re older.

5) Roses

Because roses are on every other arm, they run a high risk of being something you regret five years from now. Much like there’s nothing original about a tattoo of your lover’s name, there’s also nothing original about a rose. And if you really love roses, why not get one that looks original instead of just borrowing off someone else? There are countless ways to draw a rose—simply search rose tattoo on Pinterest and have at it. You could even get one done in three dimensions (like artist Kat Von D does). If you want something different, but still simple and classic for your skin art, don’t be afraid to use color.

6) Small Designs on Large Areas

The smaller a tattoo is, and the more it spreads out, or wraps around a joint or bone, like a sleeve, chances are it will age better than something large that covers less surface area. Smaller tattoos tend to blur over time as they stretch with movement while larger designs can appear blocky and distorted. Keep in mind also that you will continue to gain weight after getting inked so be sure to allow for some skin stretching over time when considering your tattoo design. Lighter colors on dark skin can also fade quicker than darker colors on light skin due to sun exposure.

7) Meaningful Quotes

Quotes that have a deep and personal meaning are often picked out to be inked on our bodies. When you read them daily, they can serve as a constant reminder of your past and why you do what you do. What’s great about quotes is they can come from anyone – writers, activists, bloggers, etc. Of course there are sites that aggregate quotes, but I think it’s more powerful to find them yourself and make it relevant to who you are. For example, I have a quote by blogger A Cup of Jo tattooed on my arm that reads you were born with two hands for a reason – don’t waste one on something stupid like smoking or texting while driving.

8) These Unique Designs Are For The Real Adventurers

While there are many great tattoo designs out there, it’s hard to find something that stands out. And for people who want a unique look, nothing fits better than an original design. But how can you be sure that your tattoo isn’t like everyone else’s? One way is to choose a design from these awesome galleries.

9) Large Scale Artwork

Sleeve tattoos are usually done in one sitting, so they cost more than a regular-sized tattoo. The investment is well worth it, though. A sleeve tattoo will cover a lot of real estate on your arm and make a statement. Although sleeves aren’t for everyone, if you’re into tattoos and want to commit to something big, they might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s important to think about where you want your sleeve tattoo before getting inked. So while half sleeves (think Johnny Depp) are great choices for both men and women, full sleeves definitely look better on men.

10) Finally, Know What Colors to Choose

A lot of people choose tattoos based on how they look when they’re new. But a big part of aging gracefully is picking colors that won’t make your tattoo look dated or tacky 10 years from now. Colors in bold shades, like red and blue, might appear vibrant when you get them, but these hues tend to fade faster than other options (think blood reds fading to pink). Stay away from magentas, purples and greens as well—these are also some of tattoo color’s worst enemies.