I’ve never loved my nails. They’re fine, perfectly normal nails—they get the job done—but my nail beds are wanting (influenced by years and years of stress- or boredom-induced picking) and I can never manage to keep them long without breaking them. But lately, I’ve been liking my short nails, mostly because I’m loving the way weird colors look on them. Weird is subjective of course, and perhaps what I really mean is non-traditional: Sparkly green. Cobalt blue. Pastel yellow (yellow! what!).
This comes at a time when I’m also loving the look of fun accessories. Think big chunky beads and colorful pieces a la Roxanne Assoulin or this amazing necklace by Paloma Wool. I’m wearing a hoop adorned with a rooster friend as I write this currently. (His name is Cornelius, in case you were wondering).
In so many ways, it feels like a return to the playfulness of childhood dressing and getting ready without a mirror with the full confidence that whatever combination you create will be f a b u l o u s. For months, I was sartorially uninspired, wondering if I’d grown irreversibly cynical about fashion despite what was once a years-long wish to work in the industry. I fully subscribe to the idea that clothes can be simply the fabric you put on your body, but also be a form of self-expression—in the same way writing can be just the words on a page and also a form of art. Maybe accessories, and nail color, and makeup, are fashion’s proverbial blog posts, in that they are, or can be, the short-form version of a longer narrative. They might not be the cornerstones of personal stye—or maybe they are—and instead give you the chance to shake things up a bit. Lower risk but no less fun.
I noticed this new proclivity towards unusual colors this summer. I was shocked (shocked) in July when I bookmarked a post by @alyssainthecity because I loved the look of her yellow nails. But it didn’t stop there. I was drawn—maybe because literally my eye would go to the pops of color but either way, completely drawn—towards any weird-ass colors (please excuse my french). I was finding inspiration from neon orange to an almost putrid green to manicures where every nail was a different color. It’s not lost on me that many of these women have similarities in their fashion sensibilities, and it’s definitely more than just the nail polish I am admiring.
Whatever the root, it does seem like this enthusiasm and almost childlike approach to style is finding its way into my normal mode of dress. I’m experimenting more, trying new outfit combinations, attempting to channel whatever has given me this sartorial energy into my clothing. Maybe my sudden draw toward weirder colors on my nails is symptomatic of another new version of my ever-shifting personal style.
Or maybe in this case nail polish is just nail polish, and I wanted to wear some sparkles on my fingers.