12 “Old Money” Nail Ideas That’ll Make You Look Rich

In the world of fashion and beauty, the pursuit of elegance and opulence has always been a timeless desire. From luxurious fabrics to exquisite jewelry, the allure of the “old money” aesthetic has captivated individuals seeking to exude an air of refinement and sophistication. While fashion choices play a significant role in achieving this desired look, one often overlooked aspect is nail art.

Nail art has evolved from a mere cosmetic accessory to a powerful form of self-expression. It has the ability to convey one’s personality, style, and even social status. Inspired by the elegance and grace of the upper echelons of society, we present to you “12 ‘Old Money’ Nail Ideas That’ll Make You Look Rich.”

These nail art designs encapsulate the essence of a bygone era, where wealth and privilege were synonymous with impeccable taste and timeless beauty. By incorporating elements of lavishness, grandeur, and sophistication, these nail ideas aim to transport you to a world of refinement and luxury.

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1. French Tips

French tip old money nails.

The fanciest women have been wearing French manicures for decades, and now this classic nail art is yours for the taking.

According to Kao, a French tip offers a rich, regal touch that instantly elevates any look, whether you’re going to a private workout class or attending a gala.

To really nail the old money aesthetic, it helps to keep your tips short and rounded versus long or angular, says Jenny Kim, the founder of gel press-on nail brand UUUUU. That way, they’ll give off the chicest “just woke up like this” vibe à la Sofia Richie Grainge.

2. Champagne Chic

Sheer nails.

When in doubt, a nude, cream, or the viral “Bubble Bath” polish from OPI are all good options for a classic and polished old-money look.

“Nudes and creams are the ultimate symbol of understated wealth,” Kao says.

3. University Red

Red nails give off that old money aesthetic.

“Red is definitely old money,” Kao says, and this is the case whether you rock it via a pair of ballet flats, your accessories, a cardigan, or a bright mani.

Recently, the blue-toned red called Boston University by DND took over social media, but really any hue will fit the bill if you’re going for luxury vibes. “Like red lipstick, you don’t get more classic than this shade,” Kao says. “Simple reds have been rediscovered as the ultimate femme touch.”

4. Tortoiseshell

Tortoiseshell nails scream old money.

When you think of a rich aunt who spends her days going to dinner parties and collecting art for her mansion, you likely think of a slightly more eccentric style. Think jewel-toned walls, scarves, and tortoiseshell everything.

To lean into a slightly quirkier side of the old money aesthetic, opt for a detailed tortoiseshell manicure with a splash of color.

5. Espresso Brown

Espresso brown nails have old money vibes.

According to Kim, many people also like to wear deep browns, like espresso, when going for a sophisticated look.

Not only does this neutral go with everything — whether you’re wearing a crisp white shirt or a tailored blazer — but it also makes your nail shape look good no matter the length.

Consider wearing multiple coffee-inspired hues in a Skittles-style mani that features everything from lighter caramels to darker mochas.

6. So Sheer

Sheer pink nails.

For nails that look like you’ve rubbed elbows with royalty, go for a sheer, sparkling pink that looks like your own nails, but better.

“Initially, sheers exploded with the clean girl aesthetic,” Kao says. “But this shade is finding a second wind as a fresh take on the ‘old money’ trend.”

7. Pearl Accents

Pearl accent nails.

What could be more “old money” than pearls? “This trend dates back to style icons that come from nobility, such as Princess Diana, who stuck with minimalist oufits and clean nail looks with a conservative color palette of beige, white, navy blue, and sage,” Kim says.

Pearl accents on top of a neutral nail base make for the ultimate classic mani.

8. Red, Red Wine

Burgundy red nails.

“The hottest nail trend this fall is burgundy,” Kao says. “The rich tone is a direct symbol of the old money trend, and it pairs so nicely with the cashmere and tweeds of the season.”

It’s also reminiscent of weekends at the winery, the rolling hills of the French countryside, or your grandparents’ vintage Jaguar — even if only in a daydream.

9. Elegant Greens

Green nails with gold detail.

Pull inspo from the pale colors of vintage tea cups and gilded plates by opting for pastel blue or sage green nail polish, then add a hint of gold as an accent. It’ll make you feel like you’re having tea at the Plaza — even if you’re miles away.

10. Frosted Vanilla

Vanilla chrome nails.

A frosted white — aka vanilla chrome — is another big hit amongst the old money crowd. As Kim says, the beauty of a vanilla nail is that it’s designed to make your fingers look elegant and rich without having to try too hard.

“The key elements of nail art in this style are neatly groomed cuticles, healthy nail shine, perfectly straight lines, and a clean curvature of nails,” she says.

11. Leather Purse

Croc print nails.

For nails that remind you of a drool-worthy hand-me-down purse collection, opt for croc print nails in a rich hue like espresso brown. Your set will look just like an iconic Hermès Birkin bag.

12. Navy Blue

Navy blue nails.

According to Kim, the old money nail trend is anything but over-the-top. Whether you opt for a shiny pink gloss, a rich-looking detail, or a classic color — like this navy blue — you’ll definitely have the right idea.


Christina Kao, nail expert, co-founder of Le Mini Macaron

Jenny Kim, founder of gel press-on nail brand UUUUU

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