Preppy Nails: 11 Classic Ivy League Manicures

Boost your acceptance rate to Harvard with these cute preppy nails

Characterized by clean lines and simple designs preppy nails make for an overall polished look. Pair a preppy nail manicure with classic styling and you’ve got a versatile look you can dress up or down, depending on the occasion.

Preppy nails usually feature classic colors and shapes, like pastels, neutrals, or nude shades on square or almond-shaped nails. Designs can be embellished with small details, like dots, tiny hearts, smiley faces, stripes, or stripes but overall the look is fun and put-together.

Here are some of my favorite preppy nails for you to bookmark for your next visit to the nail salon.

Cute preppy nails

Cheerful, fun-loving, and cute. What’s not to love about these preppy nails?

preppy nails
Image Via Instagram @fabi_agp11

Valentine’s Day preppy nails

Try these adorable preppy pink French tip nails for this upcoming Valentine’s Day. Adorned with a deep red crystal accent nail on each ring finger, this manicure has flirty preppy nails written all over it.

preppy nails
Image Via Instagram @glamclawzstudio

White preppy nails with accent art

Love these beachy white gel nails with their prep schoolgirl vibes. Style with stacked rings and layered necklaces.

preppy nails
Image Via Instagram @ginny.spamms

Bold preppy nails

Slightly bolder than your typical preppy nails, this orange and pink mani blends an eclectic mix of designs to create a fun look you can wear all over campus.

preppy nails
Image Via Instagram

Simple preppy nails

These simple pastel preppy nails featuring a single white squiggle are understated and refined. This is nail art simple and elegant.

preppy nails
Image Via Insta @nailsbyyentx

Classic preppy nails

Perfect with khakis pants or your prep school uniform, this classic preppy nail manicure is adorable with its mix-and-match subdued color tones.

preppy nails
Image Via @jasmine9131

French tip preppy nails

Love the combination of pastel French tips with dainty floral nail art. These preppy nails are both classy, chic, and understated.

preppy nails
Image Via Insta @preppy_nails_off

Modern preppy nails

For a modern look with bold saturated colors and a variety of designs, these preppy nails are the perfect mani for a fun summer look.

preppy nails
Image Via Insta @preciouslypolished

Check out our other post to see fun birthday nail design ideas.

Swirled preppy nail design

Square-shaped nails are one of the most classic shapes for preppy nails and this set is no exception. The teal blue accent nail paired with swirl art is perfect for showing off your hands at your next musical showcase.

preppy nails
Image Via Instagram @preppy_nails_official

Summer preppy nails

Why choose one color when you can do each nail a separate punchy hue and add a pop of color to these classic summer preppy nails?

preppy nails
Image Via Insta @preppygirlies_

Feminine preppy nails

Looking for something more soft and feminine? Wear these nails with your best eyelet cotton dress or worn pale blue denim jacket.

preppy nails
Image Via Insta @preppy_nails_official

2 thoughts on “Preppy Nails: 11 Classic Ivy League Manicures”

  1. This is so cute, but I’m sorry to say none of these nail styles are preppy… I’m not sure why people think that colorful equals preppy. Harvard? You guys I spent time at Harvard and I’m telling you the girls there do not do their nails, usually it’s cut relatively short and buffed, near manicure with no polish. Or it’s short to natural length , files to a natural shape, rounded or beveled , with classic red, or sheer pink/nude, maybe even whitish.
    No long, no acrylic, no square, no points, no glitter, no decorations. Nothing trendy! Sorry to burst your bubble, this is a cute article. I don’t understand why the young generations think preppy look is just about fun colors and cutesy designs, have people really forgotten? 😅

    • Arya, LOVE your insights! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 It’s true, there is a creative deficit in the nail art department on many Ivy League campuses but things are starting to change. Thanks to TikTok, people are upping their game and we’re seeing more color and patterns like dots and stripes, pop up among the preppy crowd. Maybe we’ll add some plaid nails in our roundup for old school’s sake.

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