Three of our top-selling temporary tattoos are armbands, also referred to as armlet or bracelet tattoos. Given their popularity, we decided to take a closer look at these designs and their meanings. As with any tattoo, the significance of these tattoos varies widely from person to person--and of course, many people choose an armband purely for aesthetic reasons. However, there are a few trending themes associated with armband tattoos, which we’ll explore below.
Traditionally, a solid black armband tattoo can represent the loss of a loved one. After all, black is the color of death and mourning. The shape effectively symbolizes the act of wearing the memory of the deceased on your sleeve. For permanent band tattoos, this effect is powerful because you are carrying and honoring that memory for life. It’s not uncommon to get one band tattooed for each loss.
On a less grim note, the solid armband tattoo can also symbolize strength and luck. The former is especially true if the tattoo is worn on the bicep, where it accentuates the muscular curvature of strong men and women. The boldness of the design certainly draws the eye, and can therefore help motivate wearers to stay in shape.
The tribal style is very common among modern armband tattoos. For some, these tattoos serve as a personal connection to their indigenous roots. Native Americans and their descendants, for example, may wish to honor their ancestry with armbands that incorporate traditional symbols such as arrows, feathers, or dreamcatchers. For others, tribal armband tattoos may have no cultural meaning whatsoever. They have become quite popular in recent years because they are aesthetically pleasing.
The Celtic style is characterized by intricately interwoven lines and knots. Just like tribal tattoo wearers, individuals who get Celtic tattoos may be either celebrating their heritage or simply displaying their appreciation for the artform. Even those who have no connection to Celtic culture may draw on the unique and famous style for inspiration. The geometric shapes and angles that are characteristic of this style are universally appealing and are particularly well suited for the ring-shaped armband tattoo.
Given the versatility and cultural significance of armband tattoos, it’s hardly surprising that they are top sellers in our semi-permanent tattoo shop. Solid, tribal, and celtic are perhaps the most popular styles for these tattoos, however with a little creativity, there are boundless ways to customize your armband or bracelet tattoo. For instance, some designs incorporate animals, landscapes, and words. If you’re interested in armband tattoos but want something unique, try to think outside the box on how you can incorporate symbols that are meaningful to you.