Tattoos have gained in popularity in recent years. According to a 2008 CNN report, 24 percent of American adults between the ages of 18 and 50 have at least one tattoo. While tattoos are popular, they are not always accepted in the workplace. Getting a tasteful, discreet tattoo is one way to avoid the stigma sometimes attached to tattoos. Tattoo designs are a matter of opinion and not everyone agrees about what is tasteful.


Tattoos can be more or less tasteful depending on their placement on the body. Tattoos easily covered by clothing are often tasteful and the most acceptable for people who work in professional environments. Some popular places for tasteful tattoos include the ankle, upper back, lower back, hip area and male biceps. Some placements often considered unacceptable are on the hands, face, neck and sometimes the upper chest for women.


Some consider small-sized tattoos as tasteful. Many women, for example, view them as feminine and comparable to jewelry. Alternately, large tattoos such as those that cover the entire back, may come across as less tasteful by some. One tattoo placed alone on a body part is usually more acceptable than a “sleeve,” in which many closely applied designs cover the entire arm or leg.


Many of the designs women consider tasteful include butterflies, flowers, stars, hearts and dolphins. Women who have children often want designs that incorporate the names of their children. Soft, feminine colors or open designs are also more tasteful than thick black lines or garish colors. Tribal tattoos are very popular with men and can be tasteful when placed around the bicep or lower leg because the designs are bold, simple lines.