We’ve tried some crazy nail designs in our day. While glass nails and Japanese wedding nails were pretty rad, we’re taking a simpler route this season by embracing a few classic styles sure to bring out our inner collegiate girl (we’re looking at you, Blair Waldorf). Chic, preppy nails are making a strong comeback. Decked out in stripes, flowers and classic red polish, your nails will look like they just popped out of a Kate Spade lookbook — and trust us, there’s nothing wrong with that. Scroll on to see how these 14 Instababes are strutting this preppy trend.
1. Subtle Stripe: Love a little bit of pattern but don’t want to go too crazy? Make one accent nail the center of attention by painting it a cute, preppy pattern, and give the rest of your digits a simple finish.
2. Smooth Sailing: Whether you’re sailing the open seas or enjoying the perfect brunch, this black-and-white design lends the perfect nautical touch. Customize this mani by swapping in your favorite color combo.
3. Polka Time: Capture those girly vibes with this colorful polka-dot mani. Use a stencil to recreate this picture-perfect pattern to complement your already-preppy ensemble.
4. Catch Phrase: Say how you really feel by letting your nails do the talking. Whether you love to play Scrabble or talk with your hands a lot, this design will give your look the unique finish you’re after.
5. Geo-Tastic: This mani is proof that with a little bit of patience (and a few bottles of nail polish), you can create the perfect look for any daytime adventure. Pair with a summer-ready frock and an on-point blowout and you’ll be ready to take over the world.
6. Ombre Magic: Wear your favorite shade multiple ways by recreating this ombre effect. Whatever color you choose, this design will give your nails major cool-girl vibes.
7. Flower Power: Forget the polka dots and stripes, and say hello to your favorite new mani with these psychedelic petals. The contrasting colors add just the right amount of ’70s flair for festival season.
8. Simply Red: There’s nothing wrong with going the classic route, especially when your nails look this good. Wear a matching red lip and a LBD to spice up date night with your S.O.
9. French Twist: Put a new spin on the classic French mani with this cool drip effect. Low-contrast hues will keep things visually interesting while still keepin’ it classy.
10. Bold Gold: Add some class to your minimalistic mani with a stripe of gold across your nail. Pair it with some complementary jewelry and a rad #girlboss all-white suit.
11. Pastel Fever: Embody that classic spring palette with these killer pastel nails. Choose a matte polish for a fresh, funky finish — and don’t forget the coffee.
12. Diamond Edge: Like a bit of punk with your prep? Add a few spiky details for a rebellious take on a sweet mani.
13. Triple Threat: Rock two trends at once by adding a preppy twist to negative-space nails. This futuristic French half-moon design is easy to recreate, and will majorly turn heads wherever you go.
14. Throwback Chic: Let your ’90s-obsessed prepster flag fly with some blingy nail accents. We’d suggest limiting the hardware to one digit to keep this look wearable, but hey — you do you.
How do you wear the preppy trend? Follow us on Pinterest for more nail inspo.