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How to coordinate nail polish with dress colour

Updated April 17, 2017

Hands are constantly on display, and the condition of your nails and choice of nail polish speak volumes about your personality and sense of style. Potentially life-changing events like job interviews and special occasions like weddings and parties warrant careful attention to your dress code and personal grooming. Groomed nails suggest confidence and proficiency, while untidy nails with chipped polish suggest nervousness and a disorganised personality. Wearing nail polish that coordinates with your dress colour will help you look stylish whatever the occasion.

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  1. Consider your dress style, the effect you want to achieve from your overall appearance and the occasion for which you are dressing. For example, you might want to look pretty and feminine for a candlelit dinner with your partner, or clean and groomed for an important job interview. If you are attending an event like a rock music festival, you might want to achieve a fashion statement by wearing darker nail colours like deep purple or emerald green. Wearing nail art with denim or leather clothes creates a more contemporary and edgy look.

  2. Choose neutral shades of polish like pale beige, creamy gold or pastel pink colours to create a look that is effortlessly chic when coordinated with clothing in soft, pastel shades like ivory, peach and beige. Neutral-coloured polishes are a low-maintenance option as chips are less noticeable and therefore ideal for times when you want a longer-lasting, groomed appearance. A classic French manicure with white tips and a beige- or pink-coloured overlay coordinates with feminine clothing like pastel-coloured skirts or floral dresses. A classic French manicure also creates a sophisticated look for a job interview when worn with smart, neutral-coloured clothes, such as a crisp cream-coloured blouse and beige-brown tailored trousers.

  3. Choose nail polish in an attention-seeking pillar-box red to accessorise a little black dress, or LBD, for a fun party look. You can also wear bright red nail polish with red-coloured separates, such as a red jumper. Wear red nails with outfits that contain a hint of red, such as a skirt made from fabric that has a black background and red flowers. The nautical fashion trend of mixing and matching colour blocks and stripes in red, white and blue is an easy-to-wear formula that always works. Bright red nails complete the chic and sassy nautical look.

  4. Choose dark shades of nail polish, such as black and plum shades, when you want to achieve a sophisticated appearance with a hint of drama. Black nail polish can accompany black clothes, such as your LBD, but keep nails neat, short and square if you want to avoid looking too vampish. Wear nail polish in funky shades like deep purple and emerald green with casual and contemporary clothes in colours like denim blue. A navy blue matte nail polish coordinates perfectly with leopard print clothing and accessories.

  5. Tip

    Bridal dresses are traditionally created using white or ivory-coloured fabrics. However, brides can add colourful diversity to their outfit by coordinating their nail polish with the shades of their hand-held bouquet. Nail polishes in milky shades or powder pinks create a romantic look when coordinated with a bouquet in vibrant deep pink shades. Choose bright red polish for a bouquet that has hues of coral and peach. A deep aubergine shade of polish coordinates with crimson-coloured bouquets. For a bouquet in shades of blue and purple, choose nude-coloured nail polishes that have a hint of metallic shimmer.


    Avoid wearing black nail polish with brown clothes, and do not team an entirely black outfit with plum coloured nail polish as these are uncomplementary colour combinations.

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About the Author

Mother of three and graduate of the London Metropolitan University, Julie Vickers is an early years teacher and writer who also loves to craft and create! She writes on topics such as education, health and parenting for websites such as School Explained and has contributed learning sessions on child development and behavior for the Education Information and Learning Services website.

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