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Literary Nails: Fashion Fun for Readers & Writers

Literary Nails (photo by Tui Snider)
Literary Nails (photo by Tui Snider)

Nail Polish as an Ice Breaker

According to The Colorful History of Nail Polish, the custom of painting fingernails dates all the way back to ancient Babylon, when males wore different shades to denote their social status, with lower class wearing green and upper class wearing black.

For me, nail polish became a part of my routine when I was a barista. Swiping finely ground espresso off of a portafilter all day can give you brown-tinged fingernails no matter how many times you wash your hands. Keeping my nails clipped short and brightly painted was cute-yet-practical solution.

I no longer own a coffeehouse, but I still love to experiment with nail color. Not only is it an simple creative outlet, but I’ve discovered that a creative manicure is a great conversation starter.

Case in point: Angélique Jamail

Angélique is an elegant, articulate and versatile writer I met at the Dallas Fort Worth Writers Conference (a.k.a. DFWcon) this past May. While she is the published author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, what sparked our initial conversation was my fingernail polish! Angélique noticed me sporting, “literary nails,” and that’s what got us chatting. As a matter of fact, this entire post is in response to her request to be a guest writer for her blog’s Fashion Friday segment.

I’m flattered to be included in Angélique’s weekly fashion installment because, like me, she enjoys the creative expression that clothing offers. In fact, I’m willing to bet she would fully grok my post The Lost Art of Dressing Up and my penchant for hiking in silver-sequined shoes (they’ve got great traction!)

Check out Angélique’s website at Angélique Jamail, Author and her blog at Sappho’s Torque. I especially enjoy her article ”The Case for Clinging to Tradition, Or Yeah, I was a Debutante, But It’s Not Like That” and the fact that she celebrates Le Cirque des Reves on the 13th of each month.

Literary Nails: Do Try this at Home!

I first learned of literary nails on Twitter when I saw a tweet on May 1, 2013 by @LauraJMoss exclaiming:

I’m tempted to rock@kpchase817’s literary nails at DFWcon

I took one look at those cute fingernails and decided to rock them, as well. Turns out they are a breeze to do! But don’t take my word for it, check out the easy-peasy directions for How to Create Your Own Literary Nails on Kate’s blog.

See what I mean?

As Kate tweeted regarding literary nails:

@kpchase817 They’ve changed my life! :)

While Kate didn’t didn’t describe exactly how literary nails changed her life, I’m willing to bet that, like me, they led to fun conversations with people she might not have met otherwise. What about you? Have your outfits or accessories ever helped you to break the ice in social situations?

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. What a gorgeous idea! Looks so pretty, now I can be intelligent and well read right down to my nails!

  2. Love those nails! I’m definitely going to check out how to do them. :)

    Stopping by on the A-Z Road Trip!

  3. […] the most wonderful manicure, which she happily agreed to write up for a Fashion Friday post.  Click here to go to her Unexpected Texas blog, where you can see the full post.  There are lots of other interesting things to see and read on there, too, so browse around in the […]

  4. Thanks so much for the great post and the kind words, Tui! Your nails were a wonderful ice breaker indeed. :) Cheers!

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