Garter tattoo meaning and symbolism

In the Middle Ages, when women used to wear garter belts or garters during everyday life. Even though they were not actually visible under their clothes, it was important for them to always have them on. They wore garter belts because it was believed that they had the power to make men fall in love with them and stay faithful in a relationship.

Garter tattoo
Garter tattoo @ lauragascoynee_tattoo

This superstition was based on old belief, rooted in Alchemy and Paganism, which said that every woman is made of water and man of fire. Water could extinguish fire, while it had to be contained in order to prevent misfortune. Garter belt was the containment for the fire (man) which is why was so important to women.

At first, garter belt was not just a simple strip of cloth and garters which held their stockings in place. They were actually adorned with many intricate patterns and symbols towards the end of Middle Ages, especially during the Elizabethan period.

Garters had three main components – lace , thread or cord and metal decoration. Women could choose between points and flounces, depending on their wealth and position in society. Points were cord or lace ends which adorned the garter’s top edge, while flounces usually surrounded the entire belt.

What Do Garter Tattoos Mean?

Garter tattoos are significant for women who believe in the power of love. They symbolize this belief, as well as protection and sexual fidelity towards their partner. Garter tattoos can also represent sex appeal or an object of desire, by associating it with what was once considered to be a secret part of a woman’s body.

In fact, it was believed that a woman wearing a garter belt always had something to hide from the eyes of others.

Garter tattoo designs can also consist of intricate patterns and lace, with or without accompanying letters in a form of a word, such as “LOVE,” “HOPE,” etc. Such an image could represent a strong relationship and the wish to hold it on for as long as possible.

Garter tattoos don’t only have a symbolic meaning. They can also be a reminder of something or someone from a woman’s past, as well as an accessory that enhances her overall look.

Garter tattoos are often combined with corset tattoos and gothic tattoo designs because they all come together as a part of women’s lifestyle in the past.

Garter Tattoo
Garter Tattoo @ kamitattooarts

Types of Garter Tattoos

Garter tattoos often look like garter belts, with all their elements: lace, cord and metal decoration. However, women can decide not to symbolize the entire belt but only one of its parts. Depending on this choice, there are three main types of garters tattoos:

– paisley-inspired tattoos

– ribbon tattoos

– lace tattoos

All three of these types can be made in black and grey, color or watercolor.

Some women decide to get their garter tattoo in cartoon style, which makes it even more playful. These tattoos are mostly worn by young girls who want to symbolize the part of their body that represents their youthfulness.

Garter tattoo colors and their meanings

  • Black garter tattoos are significant for women who want to symbolize their past or things that they do not wish to remember. The symbolism of these tattoos is similar to the one of skeletons, graveyards and death.
  • Red garters may be worn by women who like to live dangerously, as this color represents danger and passion. Such a tattoo has the same meaning as red roses, thorn tattoos and red lips.
  • Green garters are significant for women who consider themselves to be lucky or want to bring luck into their lives. This color usually symbolizes nature, fertility and life itself.
  • Blue garter tattoos have a calming effect on people who wear them. They are significant for women who are addicts, suffer from depression or have some other issues with their mental health.
  • White garters are significant for women who wish to symbolize their purity or innocence. Such tattoos are usually worn by young girls who want to be perceived as pure and chaste until they get married.
  • Pink garter tattoos can symbolize many different things, including youthfulness, love or purity. They are usually worn by young girls who want to be seen as innocent virgins until they get married. These tattoos are also significant for women who suffered from breast cancer and managed to defeat it.
Garter tattoo
Garter tattoo @ giuliadelbiancotattoo