Ah the armband. While the once popular tattoo style has fallen out the spotlight in the past, lately it’s been making quite the comeback on the arms of gentlemen across the globe.
Ages ago, traditional tribal armband tattoos weren’t the only way to distinguish a man’s role or rank among a group of people. The truth is, their purpose was often associated with a variety of different meanings not to mention, materials too.
In historical times, like the Bronze Age, armbands were actually make of bronze and jet, a minor gemstone formed from putrefying wood under tremendous pressure. Of course, back then the metal band took on a slightly different name of “arm ring”.
However, even with the passage of time you’ll still find arm rings in use by Kandyan drummers of Sri Lanka who celebrate an age old tradition. And if you look back in Sri Lankan history you’ll find stories of brides wearing armlets to keep bad luck at bay.
In medieval times during jousts, knights wore scarves or kerchiefs around the arm to show an emotional affiliation or conviction for his lady. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from, there’s your answer.
Traditions aside, armbands can be found all on the arms of men from all walks of life including the military (a brassard), press, sporting teams and more. Interestingly enough, the modern meaning of distinguishing what group, team, rank or role someone belongs to, has literally the same connection to the past.
With that said, there are a lot of different reasons to get an armband tattoo. Sure, historical times rarely warranted tattoos and instead opted for cloth and metal, however, if something is important to you, why not get it inked permanently? After all, that is the point of tattoos to begin with.
Take a moment to explore these top 70 best armband tattoo designs for men below. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ideas to wear upon your sleeve ranging from classic to cool, modern and more.