Traditional Tattoo Sleeve Designs For Men

Top 59 Traditional Tattoo Sleeve Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]

The seasoned magic of traditional sleeve tattoos still reigns supreme to this day. These debonair endowments are worldly symbols of undiluted machismo.

Traditional sleeve tattoos are still the unchallenged champions of ink, and guys everywhere are still witnessing majestically handsome makeovers with their help.

These designs were some of the first incarnations of body art in existence, and they remain the best even after several centuries.

American ink is perhaps the original source of cool when it comes to tattoos. These old school designs contain killer notoriety that defies modern pragmatism with their uncanny perception of craftsmanship. Other retro presentations have surfaced from around the world, but nothing holds a candle to these legendary ink eras.

Most traditional sleeve tattoos incorporate a dynamic range of imagery that is tied together only by the authoritative art style. Serious clout is garnered by meshing a ton of diverging concepts that are unified solely by presentation. Each sleeve can emphasize symmetry, or the two arms can clash as an exposé on the merits of contrast.

Daringly defiant vigor is the distinguished dominion of this intense ink. Our supreme compendium of traditional sleeve tattoos thoroughly captures the everlasting expressiveness of these extraordinarily extravagant sensations. Take a look:

1. Seaworthy Traditional Tattoo Sleeves 

Anchor your traditional tattoo sleeve with seaworthy imagery as the original sailors of Captain Cook might have. Center everything around a seafaring vessel, whether on the sleeve itself or expanding off of a chest piece. Because traditional tattoos initially came from sailors, there is a great deal of oceanic imagery to pick from.

The anchor is probably the most popular and well-known visual but take your time perusing all the different options your artist may present. While traditional tattoos are most known for their bold colors, talk to your artist about grayscale, which has the added bonus of being cheaper if you’re looking to get your sleeve sooner rather than later! 

2. Star-speckled Filler Traditional Tattoo Sleeves 

One of the best fillers to incorporate into your traditional tattoo sleeve is the star-speckled effect. Traditional tattoos typically have strong delineated borders, which may present a challenge when it comes to blending all the images together in a seamless manner.

One option to fill up the space is to use a mix of dotwork and speckles of stars to fill in any unblemished skin. Their simplicity allows the stars to fill up the space in accordance with the flow of the larger pieces without being disruptive. Depending on how much space you’re working with, consider whether or not you want the stars to be shapely of simple linework.  

3. Bald Eagle Traditional Tattoo Sleeves 

Make your sleeve a tribute to the symbol of power and wisdom with a bald eagle traditional tattoo sleeve. The bald eagle is one of the most often seen birds in traditional tattoos, especially in the American traditional style due to its association with America.

You can even get creative with what its holding in its claws! One option is to have your eagle fighting with a snake, a tattoo that traditionally represents the conflict between passion and wisdom. Or consider making the bald eagle your centerpiece framed by traditional tattoo sleeves.  

3. Bestial Traditional Tattoo Sleeves

Go wild with a bestial traditional tattoo sleeve! Some of the most traditional animals include panthers, bears, and spiders, but you can find countless others while flipping through books on traditional tattoos. Give your traditional tattoo sleeve a darker vibe by using mainly black ink. Incorporate traditional tattoo colors with your animals of choice.

While using mainly black ink will make your piece a little cheaper, color can allow your beautiful traditional tattoo sleeve to really come to life. If you’re interested in a softer and more realistic style, consider looking at neo-traditional tattoos, which incorporate a lot of the same styles without the same severity of the linework.  

5. Traditional Tattoo Leg Sleeves 

Don’t limit yourself to forearms! Use up available space with a traditional tattoo leg sleeve. Thighs and shins offer great real estate when it comes to unblemished skin for larger and more intricate pieces. Or take advantage of all the space by getting as many smaller pieces as you can fit! Leg tattoos are also relatively painless since the area is traditionally more fleshy. But be careful one you start winding around the ankle!

6. Floral Traditional Tattoo Sleeves 

No traditional tattoo would be truly complete without a floral touch but that doesn’t mean you can’t go above and beyond with a floral traditional tattoo sleeve. There are a wide variety of pattern options when it comes to traditional floral tattoos but their simplicity and blackwork are what especially makes them stand out.

Weave the flowers together or incorporate other traditional pieces as ornamentation. Look through neo-traditional designs if you’re interested in making your floral patterns a little more abstract. With the customarily bold and bright colors of traditional tattoos, your floral traditional tattoo sleeve will feel like a slice of vegetation at your side. 

7. Assorted Traditional Tattoo Sleeves 

The most classic traditional tattoo sleeve is one that incorporates the myriad of traditional tattoo designs. You can spend hours combing through tattoo books to find the designs and components to create your perfect sleeve. Tie all the images around a central theme or use your flesh as a quilt for your favorite representations. Incorporate bits and pieces from the different sleeves described here if you found yourself simply unable to choose just one! Pick out ones with your friends and compile a sleeve of matching ones! Needless to say, the possibilities are simply endless with an assorted traditional tattoo sleeve.  

8. Gothic Traditional Tattoo Sleeves 

Give your sleeve a dark feel with a gothic traditional tattoo sleeve. Draw out the wickedness from traditional tattoos and explore their dark sides. Skulls are a popular motif in traditional tattoos and you can make one your centerpiece or incorporate his spooky style along the way to a complete sleeve.

Using heavy black ink and linework can also be used to underline a shadowy darkness in your sleeve, but don’t necessarily feel like you have to shy away from color! This is also a great option if you want to experiment with torn skin tattoos that look as though they’re breaking through the skin. An unwieldy straight razor is an especially neat design idea that fits especially well with a gothic theme.  

Traditional Tattoo FAQs 

What is a traditional tattoo?  

 A traditional tattoo is a style of tattooing, differentiated by its strong colors and linework. These tattoos often feature traditional designs such as skulls and anchors, as they were originally worn by sailors.  

What makes a tattoo American traditional? 

American traditional style is the most popular and well-known of the traditional styles. American style features a number of different traditional styles including Don Ed Hardy and Sailor Jerry, which are collectively referred to as American traditional style. This style utilizes especially traditional imagery, color and shading, and linework.   


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