Get Inspired: 50+ Classy Shoulder Tattoo Designs For Female

Over the shoulder
Spend less time selecting classy shoulder tattoos for females. We choose 50+ ideas from the best artists in the US to inspire you. Bonus: meaning of every idea!
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The process of selecting a design for a new shoulder tattoo is time-consuming and exhausting. There are so many ideas and variations that you can feel stuck. However, you shouldn’t look further. In this article, we collect 50+ ideas of different classy shoulder tattoos for females. We also add their meanings, so you will find something special for you. 

If you already have some ideas in your mind, you can use our database of 1000+ experienced tattoo artists to find the best nearby. While discussing your idea with a specialist you will come up with unique designs.

Shoulder tattoos are beautiful and suit everyone. You can cover it with long sleeves or show it if you want. The possible designs include colorful, black and grey, small and big, detailed and just in fine lines.

Here are some hints, that help you choose easier:

  • If you are looking for a shoulder tattoo to emphasize your elegancy, look at the delicate floral, wording, or butterfly designs.
  • To represent the inner strength and spirit with shoulder tattoo look at animalistic, avian, and skull tattoos.
  • If you looking for small and simple shoulder tattoos, we recommend checking the whole article. Every art can be adapted to a simple design, so it is better to select a tattoo by its meaning. 

Best Places for Shoulder Tattoo and Pain Review

The shoulder itself is usually too small to get a big art. However, it is connected to the chest, back, neck, and the rest of the arm so you have enough area to fully express your idea. The different areas of our body have different sensitivity. If the pain matters to you, you should account for it.

Over the Shoulder

The shoulder or deltoid is the least painful placement. Usually, people prefer to ink here arts with almost the same side sizes because it will highlight the natural relief. 

Within examples, you can see an interesting symbol, an umbrella with the rain underneath. It stands for describing your protection even in situations when multiple bad things happen simultaneously.

Shoulder Blade

Usually, people don’t place here any memorable or reminder tattoos, because you can’t actually see the place. For this area, you can choose a light-meaning art that resonates with your inner state. 

As for the sensitivity, the shoulder blade area is one of the least painful zones on the body. Closer to the upper shoulder or the spine the feeling becomes more uncomfortable. Still, the pain is manageable. 

In our examples, you can see the symbol of β€œyin and yang” which means unity of the opposites and balance. 

Front Shoulder

This is a delicate and even a little intimate place. These tattoos are eye-catching elements that will probably attract attention. Here you probably should place something that represents yourself directly or symbolically. 

As for the pain, this area also should give you no unpleasant feelings. We only want to point out that the area near the armpit can be more sensitive.

By: Ali
By: Ali

Top of the Shoulder

The top of the shoulder is probably the rarest placement among all shoulder tattoos. Maybe, because it doesn’t come to mind in the first place when you think about the tattoo. Or maybe, these tattoos are harder to cover if you like to wear clothes with a wide neckline.

As for the pain, this area is probably the most painful among possible placements of shoulder tattoos. There are fewer muscles on the bones and the skin is sensitive and soft.

By: Ali
By: Ali

Shoulder Half-Sleeve

The half-sleeve tattoo starts from the shoulder and goes to the elbow. It is a big commitment. It costs higher than a small or medium-sized tattoo and takes more time. You can include so many elements with special meanings to you. 

The half-sleeve tattoos are big, the feeling should be something like a cat’s scratches.

Shoulder and Chest

This is the hottest and the sexiest place among our ideas. Usually, these tattoos are longed-shaped and go under the clavicle. Women prefer floral motives here, but birds or lettering are also popular. 

Inking over the clavicle can give you some unpleasant feelings as well as near the center of the chest where the most bonny parts are located. 

By: Ali
By: Ali
By: Cara Rose
By: Ali
By: Ali

Ideas of Classy Shoulder Tattoos for Females


Floral and botanical arts are the most popular amount females. These elements are dainty and meaningful and look great in all styles and colors. Some common elements are:

  • 🌸 Cherry blossom is a symbol of love, beauty, short life, and the passing of time.
  • 🌸 Rose represents love, passion, and beauty.
  • 🌸 Peony means nobility, honor, and beauty.
  • 🌸 Sunflower is associated with good luck and long and happy life.
  • 🌸 Lavender symbolizes calmness, purity, and devotion.
  • 🌸 Poppy stands for life and death, peace, and sleep.

By: Ali
By: Ali


While wide animals are more popular among men than females, these tattoos have powerful symbolism in all cultures in the world. People usually have strong associations with some species. For example, the most popular animals are:

  • 🐍 The snake symbol means immortality, transformation, and good health.
  • 🦊 Fox represents your intelligence, lability, and ability of deception.Β 
  • 🐺 Wolf depicts protection, strength, loyalty, and freedom
  • 🐠 Koi stands for strength, perseverance, and struggle to overcome obstacles in life
  • 🐯 Tiger is associated with independence, strength, power, and fearlessness
  • 🦁 The lion symbolizes nobility and bravery. Women also choose it to depict their motherhood, and role in the family as a provider.


Butterflies are associated with lightness and freedom. It is usually selected by women who want to emphasize their elegance and femininity. 

However, you might also think about them as the symbol of metamorphosis. If you came over a hard period in your life or went through personal development you can select a butterfly to represent this change. 

Butterflies look great both in black-and-gray colors and in colorful variants. Depending on the color the final meaning of the tattoo can vary. 

  • πŸ’™ Blue stands for good luck and new beginnings.
  • πŸ–€ Black represents the temporality of lofe abd the concept of aging.
  • πŸ’œ Purple is associated with nobility and creativity. The purple butterfly can show your support for somebody with fibromyalgia.
  • πŸ’› Yellow shows happiness, joy, and peace.
  • ❀️ Red symbolizes love and passion.
  • πŸ’— Pink stands for love, youth, and femininity.


Birds are a well-known symbol of freedom. Depending on the type the bird represents a unique meaning that resonates with some person’s perception. Some of the most common bird types for shoulder tattoos are:

  • 🐦 A Cardinal is a red bird that represents love for life and passion.
  • 🐦 Dove is a common symbol of peace and innocence.
  • 🐦 Raven is known as a mysterious bird. It stands for wisdom and intelligence as well as death, and dark magic.
  • 🐦 Owl represents knowledge, intelligence, and mystery.
  • 🐦 Hummingbird means love and attraction.
  • 🐦 Swallow stands for safety and peace.


Mandala art comes from ancient times. It looks like shapes and symbols which are located symmetrically in the circles around one center. It is a strong symbol of balance in Hinduism and Buddhism.

The most common variation of the mandala is a combination with floral design so the final art looks like a flower. This combination represents femininity and life. 

Usually, every mandala has its own specific meaning, so you can discuss with the tattoo artist what elements you want to incorporate. 

Mandalas’ designs can be very detailed and intricate, we recommend you find a tattoo artist who specialized in mandalas to get the best results.


Skull is probably one of the most recognized symbols for the tattoo. It has many meanings and can be used in both positive and negative connotations.  Meanings include death, dark side, strength, overcoming challenges, rebellion, and even celebration of life. With the latter meaning, the skull acts as a reminder to live life to the fullest. 
Skulls can also go with some additional symbols, for example, roses. The combination of roses and skull represents a confrontation between opposites concepts. For example, life and death, beauty and vitality, good and darkness. It also means the beginning of a new life.

Dream Catcher

The dream catcher symbol originates from Native American culture. It has beautiful and dainty designs. It represents protection and safety, as the item itself protects from bad dreams and negative spirits.

There are many variations of the traditional design of the dreamcatcher. You can change the shape of the hoop and the elements to incorporate into the fringe. For example, it can be feathers, beads, arrowheads, crystals, and jewelry.


Something is charming about the simple and small tattoos. Maybe because they can bring as much personal meaning as huge arts. Maybe because they are so petite and feminine.
In the hands of a good tattoo artist, almost all objects can be done in a simple design. Usually, these tattoos are black and gray, have less fading, and just draw the contours of the object.

By: Ali
By: Ali
By: Chen
By: Chen


Insscriptational tattoos are placed on the top of the shoulder or from the collarbone to the shoulder. Usually, this is one word or a short phrase that appeals to your personality. It can be anything you associate with yourself and your life.

The most popular design for wording tattoos is handwriting because it looks feminine, delicate, and elegant. 

By: Chen
By: Chen


You can also ink something that is awake warm memories or thoughts. For example, something connected to your kids, husband, family, hobbies, or even favorite art. It doesn’t mean that it should be a realistic portrait. It can be just associations and images that come to your mind when you think about the subject.

We don’t recommend tattooing the names of your partner if you are not sure that this life-lasting love. Removing the tattoo is painful, expensive, and time-consuming.


Classy shoulder tattoos for females suit women of all ages and shapes. The shoulder is a popular placement for the first tattoo because of tolerable pain and ease of covering. As shoulder tattoos are popular and widespread most of society accepts them and you won’t run into troubles in your career.

Most females opt for small or medium-sized tattoos like flowers, lettering, or butterflies. Usually, these tattoos go over the shoulder or spread to the chest. No matter whether you select the design based on the symbolism or just because you like the art, your tattoo should appeal to your personality and make you happy. 


😒 Do Shoulder Tattoos Hurt?

As with all tattoos, shoulder tattoos hurt. However, the shoulder is one of the least painful places to have a tattoo. This is a nice area to get the first tattoo if you worry about pain.

πŸ’Έ How Much Does a Shoulder Tattoo Cost?

The average price for the 4”-4” tattoo is about 350$ and above. However, it depends on the style, the experience of the tattoo artist, and the location of the studio. We create a special tattoo price calculator to calculate the approximate sum for the tattoo based on these factors.

😊 Is the Shoulder a Good Place for a Tattoo?

The shoulder is probably one of the best places to get a tattoo. You can easily cover it if needed or can show off by wearing a top. In addition, as bones here are covered with a thick layer of muscles you won’t feel unmanageable pain during the inking session. Neither aging nor pregnancy affects the skin of the shoulder a lot, so the tattoo won’t deform over time.

😏 Can I Wear a Bra After a Shoulder Tattoo?

If you make the tattoo only on the shoulder, then you can wear a bra even during the healing process. However, if the bra straps cover the part of the tattoo, then you should give up the bra for up to 2 weeks to ensure fast healing. The period is usually enough to heal the skin. If wearing a bra is important for you, you can opt for a strapless bra or the nipple covers.

πŸ‘• What Do You Wear for a Shoulder Tattoo?

We recommend wearing a dark, plant-based loose T-shirt or a tank top for the session that will allow the skin to breathe and can be moved out easily if needed.


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