Skip to content

What Clothes to Avoid Wearing After Getting a Tattoo

clothes to avoid after getting a tattoo

This post may contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission if you purchase something from a link. This does not cost you any extra and helps us keep the lights on. Thank you!

Healing tattoos should avoid contact with clothing – especially tight fitting clothing. Rubbing against the tattoo will constantly reopen the micro puncture wounds and delay the healing process. It will also introduce all of the bacteria that’s on the clothes into the open wounds, which can lead to infection. Healing tattoos secrete lymph to protect the tattoo and heal. This lymph can be sticky and cause tight fitting clothing to stick to the tattoo, which increases chance of infection. And when the clothing is peeled off, it will remove the protective lymph and delay the healing period.

You’ll need to prevent wearing anything that applies pressure to the area. If at all possible, you should also avoid any clothing that might make your tattoo skin sweat. Tattoos should be kept as dry as possible during the healing period. If your tattoo is on your chest, you’ll want to avoid wearing camisoles and tight fitting sports bras. For tattoos on the legs, tight fitting jeans and leggings should be avoided. For foot tattoos, open toed shoes should be worn whenever possible.

How to Stop Clothes From Rubbing a New Tattoo

To stop clothes from rubbing on your tattoo, you should wear loose fitting clothes that don’t hug your body. This can sometimes mean avoiding specific clothing all together. A woman with a tattoo on her ribcage may need to go braless for a few weeks, while someone with a foot tattoo may attempt to go barefoot for as long as possible.

Can You Wear Compression Sleeves Over New Tattoos?

Compression sleeves should generally be avoided over tattoos. On a lot of people, compression sleeves can cause you to sweat, which should be kept to a minimum with healing tattoos. Depending on how tight the compression sleeves are, they may also rub against your tattoo.

When Can You Wear Tight Clothes Over a New Tattoo?

Once your tattoo is fully healed, you’ll be able to continue wearing tight fitting clothes. Tattoos usually complete their healing at around the two month mark, however depending on how well you took care of your tattoo, it can take up to six months.

You should avoid wearing tight fitting clothing daily even with a fully healed tattoo. Constantly rubbing against a tattoo can cause it to fade faster. You may need more touch ups on a tattoo that is constantly rubbed against something tight.

What Kind of Clothes Should You Wear After Getting a Tattoo?

Loose fitting clothes are best for a healing tattoo. Women should take advantage of flowing skirts, dresses, and loose or stretchy shirts. If they have a tattoo on their leg, men should avoid wearing jeans and instead switch to sweat pants or shorts as needed. If the new tattoo is on the foot, socks and shoes should be avoided. Open toed shoes with straps in different places can be used to avoid rubbing while also being able to leave the house.


Clothes rubbing against a healing tattoo will delay the healing process and increase the chance of infection. Tight fitted clothes and clothing that makes you sweat should be avoided whenever possible during the healing process. Instead, wear loose fitted clothing for the two to six months until your tattoo fully heals.