The art of decorating the body with tattoos dates back to many centuries. From foreheads to ankles, there is a place that is considered unfit for a tattoo. However, shoulders are the most popular spots of tattoos as they are large and offer better tattoo visibility. Most gym-going men and women prefer shoulders over other spots to flaunt their newly inked tattoos, along with their toned biceps.

Shoulder tattoos are offered in numerous designs and patterns. You can choose a delicate floral design for a bold, masculine pattern that matches your personality. These tattoos are also easy to experiment with large and bold designs due to the flexibility of the area. You are free to choose from Celtic tattoos, tribal designs, dragons, women, geometry and just anything and everything under the sky.

Let us explore some of our favourite shoulder tattoo designs:

Best Shoulder Tattoo Designs:

Here we have given below a list of the topmost shoulder tattoo designs for men and women with images that surely amaze you.

1. Floral Shoulder Skull Tattoo Design for Girls:

While roses are the most common shoulder tattoo designs, it is even better to try out some other similar designs. The designs where you find garlands of elaborate flowers look pretty on toned shoulders as well. These designs are extremely feminine in type and are also very neat. For a richer look, you can use some colours in this garland as well.

You can make these as 3-D designs with shaded bases to make them look bigger and more prominent. The combination of flowers with a skull and an inverted Om makes it a complex design, with deep philosophy associated with it. This is one of the most beautiful shoulder tattoos.

  • Best Suitable for: This can be opted by both men and women who believe in the concept of life (flowers) and death (skull).
  • Preferable Ink: You can use red as the base colour and add pops of other colours.
  • Where: This must be done on the front shoulder for better visibility.
  • Size: A medium to large-sized tattoo is ideal.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for wheatish to fair-skinned people.

2. Animal Print Shoulder Tattoo Designs:

When it comes to shoulder tattoos for girls and women, this design is one of the smartest in the recent book of designs. We have always loved those animal print dresses, bags and shoes, and now we can even get such designs as tattoos.

These are extremely bold designs, and the usage of colours here and there makes them look extremely real. So for the ladies who are always searching for the most recent and latest trends, this shoulder tattoo design is just banged on for you. You can try from leopard prints to even animal pug marks, depending on your choice. This is one of the simple shoulder tattoos you can choose from.

  • Best Suitable for: Animal print tattoos are suitable for women who like to continue this trend on their bodies.
  • Preferable Ink: Keep the design in basic black.
  • Where: This design is suitable on the front of your shoulder.
  • Size: You can choose from a cluster of small prints to form one large design.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for light-skinned people.

3. Tiger Tattoo Designs on Shoulder for Men:

When we have already spoken about a couple of tattoo designs for women, let us come to some of the best shoulder tattoo designs for men. This is one type where you can get the faces of animals done on your shoulder and extend them to the biceps. These are elaborate and zoomed faces, which in turn look very real too. These designs are extremely bold, and the use of real colour makes them look more real. Animal tattoos are a symbol of bravery, no matter if you are a man or a woman. You can even try combining it with other elements like flowers or weapons, depending on your personality.

  • Best Suitable for: Tiger faces tattoos are suitable for both men and women. You can make a face look fierce or subtle based on your personality and attitude.
  • Preferable Ink: You can use realistic colours like black, yellow and orange.
  • Where: This design is suitable on the front of your shoulder.
  • Size: This is a fairly large design of a tiger’s face to capture the details better.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for fair and wheat complexions.

4. Simple Shoulder Cross Tattoo Design for Women:

It is a trend now to get richer and more elaborate designs done on every part of the body, like tattoos. There are, however, a lot of people who get tattoos done with a lot of values. Tattoo is not about fashion but about getting something inked on their bodies which they want to keep with them always. Such is simple tattoo designs. For example, a simple ‘cross’ on the shoulder sounds perfect. You can try this tattoo on your shoulder if you are a spiritual person, irrespective of your gender.

  • Best Suitable for: This is one of the popular back shoulder tattoos for guys and girls who are quite religious.
  • Preferable Ink: It is better to keep it simple in black colour.
  • Where: The back of the shoulder is an ideal spot for this design.
  • Size: You can choose between a medium to a large pattern.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for wheat and fair complexions.

5. Artistic Chant Tattoos on Shoulders:

Have you taken a very close look at the tattoos of the gorgeous Angelina Jolie? Check out this cool design to understand what we are talking about! Some of the best tattoos for girls are getting verses and lines from holy texts and scriptures inked on their shoulders. These look very different and very fashionable both at the same time.

These can be written in horizontal and vertical patterns, and they will look good in any of the manners. You shouldn’t elaborate them with any other designs because it distracts the actual beauty of these verses inked on your body. This is one of the most amazing shoulder tattoos to try!

  • Best Suitable for: This shoulder tattoo pattern is suitable for both men and women inspired by ancient times’ texts and scrolls.
  • Preferable Ink: A basic black colour is ideal for this tattoo.
  • Where: As it involves a horizontal pattern, the back of your shoulder offers better coverage of the design.
  • Size: Got for a large design to capture better details.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for light-skinned people.

[ See More: Wrist Tattoo Designs ]

6. Traveller Shoulder Tattoos for Men:

This elaborate traveller shoulder tattoo is one of the best shoulder tattoos for men and women globetrotters. This is the design of an old, classic compass made even more elaborate with extracts from the world map. It looks like you have kept a compass on a world map just like sailors and navigators used to do earlier on.

This looks so bold and stylish, and this purely represents the personality of a person who loves to travel the world. This one is also very different from the usual floral and tribal designs and can be done on men and women.

  • Best Suitable for: This tattoo is suitable for both men and women who have a penchant for travel and exploring new places.
  • Preferable Ink: It is better to keep it in different shades of black and grey.
  • Where: The amount of details involved in this design makes it suitable on the back of the shoulder.
  • Size: A significant large to extra-large design can do justice to the pattern.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for light-skinned people.

7. Tattoos Star on Both Shoulders:

Stars have a magical feel about them and never fail to plunge you into the worlds of fantasy. Stars on your shoulder are a more feminine tattoo design, but it never fails to look excellent. You can make it look more mature by adding other patterns and symbols, looking more archaic and pagan. Stars form an integral part of most pagan designs. The pentagram or the pagan circle has a star whose five ends represent the five different elements: wind, water, fire, earth, and spirit. This is one of the cutest shoulder tattoos for girls!

  • Best Suitable for: These first shoulder tattoos are suitable for girls and women who believe in aiming for the stars.
  • Preferable Ink: You can use multiple colours for these designs.
  • Where: Get them one of the front of your shoulders for better visibility.
  • Size: A small to medium-sized design can be done, depending on the size of your shoulder.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for light to medium skinned people.

8. A Funny Shoulder Tattoo for Men:

You need not make your tattoo overly serious and significant. If you have an easy-going personality and want to have some fun, you can design your tattoo to look funny and cute, like a dancing skeleton dressed in funny clothes. Here the funny tattoo design is beautifully painted on arms, which is so alluring. This tattoo, however, has a deeper meaning in it. It is a criticism of a rich and developed county’s part to cause many deaths of many innocent people under the name of fighting guns!

  • Best Suitable for: This is one of the best shoulder tattoos for men with meaning and significance.
  • Preferable Ink: You can work on this design with a combination of black, red and blue colours.
  • Where: This is an upper shoulder tattoo pattern.
  • Size: Choose from a medium to a large-sized design.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for fair-skinned people due to the use of dark colours.

9. A Tribal Shoulder Tattoo Designs:

A Tribal shoulder tattoo covers your entire shoulder and a large part of your arm in a flurry of symbols. All skilfully merged to form a single design. It gives you a daunting and warrior-like look. The symbols can be chosen according to particular individuals to tattoo symbolise different meanings. It combines many patterns to replicate the societal life of a tribe. This is one of the popular tattoo designs for men’s shoulders.

  • Best Suitable for: This tribal tattoo design is best for fierce men and has warrior-like qualities.
  • Preferable Ink: Keep it in a basic black design.
  • Where: It is best done on the front of your shoulder.
  • Size: Go for a large design to pay attention to details.
  • Skin Tone: This is best suitable for tan and fair-skinned men.

See More: Collar Bone Tattoo Designs

10. Beautiful Roses Tattoo on Front Shoulder:

Roses are the most beautiful flowers. They would look good upon any surface of your body. Arranged properly with a suitable amount of leaves, they look excellent upon your shoulders. They represent beauty and love. This flower shoulder tattoo design is more feminine and is thus recognised as one of the best shoulder tattoos for women. The dual roses represent love and passion for a person. The blooming flowers represent new beginnings and promises.

  • Best Suitable for: These floral-based shoulder tattoos for women are for those who wish to express their feelings and express their emotions creatively.
  • Preferable Ink: You can keep them in black colour or even add colours that symbolise different meanings.
  • Where: This is one of the female front shoulder tattoos.
  • Size: Go for a medium to large design for better visibility.
  • Skin Tone: It is recommended for medium to fair-skinned women.

[ See More: Hand Tattoos For Men ]

11. A Chilling Armour Shoulder Tattoo Design for Men:

This tattoo design incorporates a realistic-looking Armour with your skin torn upon it. The correct use of shading will give the appearance that your skin, once torn, reveals a magnificent Armour beneath it. To make the tattoo more brilliant, you can add ancient warrior symbols to your shoulder tattoo. The use of a Celtic knot represents the continuity of life and death. It also shows that a true warrior continues to live in the hearts of people even after his death.

  • Best Suitable for: This warrior tattoo on your shoulder can give you a masculine personality and make you feel bold and brave.
  • Preferable Ink: This realistic tattoo is best done in black coloured ink.
  • Where: It is a top of shoulder tattoo design.
  • Size: Opt for a large image for a 3D effect.
  • Skin Tone: It is recommended for light-skinned men.

12. Shoulder Birds Tattoo Designs:

Birds with their ability to fly high and touch the heavens symbolise an unparalleled sense of freedom. Thus almost all images of birds in flight give the viewer a sense of liberty and peace. Black silhouettes of birds tattoos upon your shoulder, therefore, look excellent! Flying birds is definitely one of the best designs in small shoulder tattoos for females, symbolising independence.

  • Best Suitable for: This is a back shoulder tattoo for females who love to enjoy a sense of freedom in whatever they do.
  • Preferable Ink: Flying birds is best done in black colour.
  • Where: This is best done on the back of your shoulder.
  • Size: Opt for a small and simple design.
  • Skin Tone: It is recommended for fair to medium skinned women.

13. An Elaborate Big Butterfly Tattoo on Shoulder:

A detailed and elaborate butterfly can look really creepy on some people. But it looks beautiful on others. It all depends on your perception. You can make your butterfly coloured and pretty or dark and haunting. These variations depend on the kind of look you are going for. The butterfly symbolises the struggle for existence and also represents a new life. This is definitely one of the best shoulder tattoos in town.

  • Best Suitable for: Butterfly patterns are usually ladies shoulder tattoos, which can also be used as back shoulder tattoos for guys.
  • Preferable Ink: Black can be used for both filling the butterfly and highlighting the borders.
  • Where: This is best done on the back of your shoulder.
  • Size: Opt for a medium-sized design.
  • Skin Tone: It is recommended for fair to medium skinned women.

See More: Shoulder Mehndi Designs

14. A Sewn Shoulder Tattoo for Boys:

The innovative idea is to get stitches tattooed upon your shoulder skin. The tattoo design, if made properly, looks real, giving you a zombie look and the viewers a scare of their life. To make the tattoo funkier, you can make the stitches cartoonist and show some of the blood beneath. This is one of the most creative shoulder tattoo designs for guys.

  • Best Suitable for: This stitch design is ideal for both men and women who look forward to healing the scars of their lives.
  • Preferable Ink: Use black and red for a more realistic approach.
  • Size: A medium to large size tattoo is best.
  • Skin Tone: It is recommended for fair to medium skinned men.

[ See More: Om Tattoo Meaning ]

15. Cute Yin and Yang Fish Tattoo for Shoulders:

Two fishes chasing each other in a circle represents the delicate balance between the various elements of nature. Making the two fish of different colours makes the meaning more evident. The entire image looks similar to the typical yin and yang, black and white circle symbol. The fishes may even represent the zodiac sign Pisces. This is one of the popular small shoulder tattoos, particularly among the Asian community.

  • Best Suitable for: Fish tattoos are among the most sought-after shoulder tattoos for females, as they are associated with fragility, delicateness and beauty.
  • Preferable Ink: You can go for red and black to represent the opposite poles.
  • Where: You can get this done on the back of the shoulder.
  • Size: A medium design is apt for this pattern.
  • Skin Tone: It is recommended for fair to medium skinned people.

Tips for Shoulder Tattoos:

As with any tattoo, you must follow certain tips and precautions before getting a shoulder tattoo done:

  • Shoulder tattoos must always be of medium to large sizes.
  • Keeping them too small makes them invisible on your body.
  • It is better to avoid going for designs with intricate details. A stretch in the skin can cause them to blur.
  • Do not combine too many elements into a single design. This can lead to ambiguity.
  • You can always extend a shoulder tattoo at a later point in life. So, get yourself a generic design to improve its versatility.
  • Lastly, get to know the meaning of each design before you blindly follow the trends.


We hope to get a thumbs up for these creative shoulder tattoo designs! Each of them is a masterpiece in terms of design, meaning and significance. Whether taking a walk on the beach in a bikini or working out at the gym in your vest, these tattoos can definitely make heads turn towards you. The best part of shoulder tattoos is that you can cover them with a shirt or a scarf and unveil them when you want — tempted to try them? Do a thorough analysis of the design before you zero in on one!

About Krishna Bhupathiraju

Krishna has been with stylesatlife for over four years. He specializes in developing research-based content on beauty & lifestyle with a demonstrated history of working in the internet industry. Skilled in Content Editing, SEO Writings, Keyword Research, Link-Building, On-Page and Off-Page Optimization.