Nails are a curious thing, I’m not a terribly well groomed person. My deep aversion to mornings, particularly work mornings mean that I manage little more than earrings, brushed hair and clothes. But I always feel bad when my nails are bad. Perhaps it is because they are ‘in my face’ or rather right in front of it.
Initially considered highly vulgar painted nails became popular along with the emancipated woman and saw their popularity soar in the 20’s. However they always had a hint of danger, no femme fatale worth her pearl handled pistol would be without scarlet talons. Some believed they were worn to hide dirt under the finger nails and that they were tacky. This persists in the conception of long decorated fake nails as ghettotastic or chavvy. Others suggested that they were responsible for the eventual demise of the glove. I don’t agree with this as it seems the carefully removed glove revealing impeccable manicure was a staple of 50’s femininity.
The nail painted one bright colour is rumoured to have been worn for the first time by Rita Hayworth but this may be a myth. What isn’t imaginary is that sleek shiny red nails were THE nail of the late 30s,40s and very early 50’s when more candy colours joined their scarlet cousins. These morphed into the opaque pastels of the 60’s. The shape however has rarely moved away from a delicate sleek oval; squared nails are modern and I think,ugly.
Long nails are a pain, try undoing a pin, unfastening earrings and picking coins up and threading needles whilst brandishing them. Very long nails are on the freak/tastic repellent fault line. But longish ones are lovely and drip with predatory glamorous femininity. Like shoes, hair and glasses anyone can have glam nails. But they are a faff. Whilst I think they top off a vintage look superbly, I’m not sure the chaps adore them, but since chaps adore the most peculiar things that is no reason for not growing them. So c’mon ladies, lets cover our sofas with spilt varnish!