Perfectly Polished Tips 106 - Men Wearing Polish: Goth, Girly, or OK?

Personally I don't think it's normal for a guy to wear colored nail polish, I guess I am more traditional in that sense. I suppose a manicure or pedicure with clear polish is okay. I would love if my husband would agree to have a nice manicure and pedicure. When I see guys, well male celebrities rather wearing nail polish, specifically black polish, I immediately think -You are trying too hard. I don't think it's goth or girly, it just looks out of place. I haven't witnessed a man wearing polish on their toe nails in real life though, I admit I might be intrigued if I did. Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed reading Darren Garnick's article about getting a fish pedicure, complete with leg exfoliation, tacky flip flops, and orange nail polish. You can read that here - My First Fish Pedicure (and why it poses no threat to American nail salon jobs).

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of orange nail polish, but it doesn't get enough love. There are always people sporting neon green, neon blue, and of course neon pink. Never neon orange though. I feel like most people look down upon any color of varnish that it's pink or red. However it seems that dark plums and greys are making their way into the acceptable category this season. When will that happen for orange? For me an orange would have to have a creme finish for sure, maybe if some one made one with that smoky grey tinge that is in currently they would have themselves a winner. I know I would wear it.

What do you think? Should guys wearing nail polish, on their fingers or toes be considered normal? I know there is the ManGlaze brand but their polish is full of glitter, that doesn't scream manly to me. How about orange? Will it ever make it to the main stream?

ETA: I completely forgot to write about the fish pedicure! I was trying to type this up as quickly as possible this afternoon. My 2 year old was watching a DVD and I didn't know how long I had HAHA.

After reading about Darren's experience I want to try it out. At first I was concerned about how sanitary it would be, but I guess if I am able to find a knowledgeable salon I should be good to go. Of course there are simpler ways to exfoliate your feet but it would give me a good head start. I'm going to look into it and see if I can find a place near me. However I will say that I hate having my feet touched, I always keep my toes painted but I've had maybe 3 or 4 professional pedicures and I only recently, probably with in the last two years, began wearing flip flops. Before then I would always have socks on.

Also I am not judging the men who do choose to wear polish. I think it is awesome that they are confident enough to do so. I also see sporting polish as a type of self expression, and who I am to judge how someone chooses to express themselves. I personally don't like it, but that's just me.


Kristy said...

I think everyone should have the freedom to do with their nails as they wish, and without judgement - assuming it's not harming or negatively affecting anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be honest, if we're going to say it's ok for us chicas to wear green and yellow and blue, very NOT traditional colors, then we can't really judge men for their color choices either.

Half A Person said...

I don't like seeing men in nail polish. Honestly, it just looks really, really weird to me. It's like seeing a man in a dress! IMO, nail polish is for women.

But again, that is only my opinion and if men want to wear nail polish, they by all means should!

Anonymous said...

I love men in nail polish! The idea that someone would judge a man for wearing polish is like saying you'd judge women for wearing pants.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI-
Manglaze only looks glittery with a glossy topcoat.

The rest of the time it is matte and not glittery at all.

Dami said...

wixbetty - i have both ManGlaze polishes and they look glittery to me. i didn't use a top coat. maybe they look matte from afar but not up close.

Anonymous said...

I've seen male theater students wearing black nail polish. They looked sexy, but, of course, I might not think the same if I saw them wearing bright green or some other color.

Unknown said...

I've seen this topic in a few nail polish blogs now, and among many thought on the subject, my first reaction to both the posts and the comments is "why are (North American?) girls possessive about their nail treatment, why don't they want men to use nail polish?". Why are women afraid of this? Wouldn't it be a lot better if we shared our hobbies and gained understanding for eachother? For the sake of equality and fairness, gender differences should be erased, not promoted. The way I see it painting your nails should be completely optional (and by completely I mean it should not affect the way you are treated by others at all). If a woman decides to not wear it whether she is an executive or pop icon - fine! And if a man decides to have pink nails whether he's an artist or a cashier - great! The reason why nail polish on women is accepted is because we're used to seeing it, sooner or later we'll all be used to men wearing it too.
Of course, this is MY opinion. But if there's any men reading this post I want them to know they have at least my support.
Thank you!

Jake said...

Dami, thank you for addressing this subject, it demonstrates that you are very open-minded, even if it's not something you particuarly like.

I can speak from my experience with nail polish. it was not something I expected I would get into, but once I was introduced to it by my wife, I fell headfirst!

I guess I like it for many of the same reasons a lot of women do. It is interesting, it looks good and it is definitely fun to experiement with! I feel excited when a new color comes out and I also feel that I have to try them all!

Okay, realistically, I wear the colors that I feel look more masculine like some blues, greens, silver, black and darker grays. i also like dark marroon for some reason too.

For me, it's not realted at all to gender. I just like the way it looks on my feet. My wife is quite a fan as well, considering she is the one who originally suggested that I try it. She will even reccommend colors that she feels look good on a guy.

Anyway, thank you for the great post, and I hope this subject of men wearing nail polish is considered here again!

And Kristy, Felis and Marie, thank you for your positive and supportive attitudes on men wearing polish!! : )

Michelle said...

I vote "OK" on this one. I've seen a few men with nail polish and I think it can certainly work.
I guess I don't see an issue with it. Nail polish is just another form of self-adornment, and is really not gender-specific in my mind. Why should this be any different than a guy with a tattoo or wearing any kind of jewelry, or maybe even some form of wild clothing?
I think I'd like to see more men try it.

Jake K said...

I think men should wear their nails polished if they want to. I do!
We are living in an age where men and women still can enjoy their differences, and they can also share common interests that can help to build the bonds between them. Women like some of the freedoms that men have had for many years like short hair, jeans, suits and even traditionally rough sports.
And even though they seem to be behind the curve, men are also beginning to explore some of the pleasures that women have known about for generations like maincures, pedicures, wearing silk and taking care of oneself.
Nail polish is after all, simply paint. But it's fun and a great way to express one's creativity.
I recognize that it is becoming much more common for men to wear polish on their nails, just like more men are wearing earrings and other jewelry.
I really like the way my nails look when they are polished!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a married , straight male who also likes his nails polished. I usually wear polish 24/7. I've had problems with some nails splitting and flaking so I need to take really good care of them and wear treatments and/or polishes to keep them looking good. I too enjoy the way they look when they have this smooth, shiny/glossy texture and colour. I tend to wear lighter colours though. Personally, I don't like the way black looks. I use the more natural and sheer colours, although usually with a shimmer. I like OPI: Hearts & Tarts, Room Service, Rosy Future and for parties, I'm A Princess You're Not, and silver sparkle/glitter polishes. I already have about 60 OPI & China Glaze polishes in my collection that I've tried, but usually only wear the lighter and sheer shades on my hands. Wife okay with it, but prefers clear or the sheerest of polishes on me. She, of course, is allowed to wear any colour she likes ;( Why can't I wear a polish to match my tie? In all the years I've worn polish (mostly clear though until recently) I've never had any comments from anyone, except my dear old Mom who said my nails looked great, my barber's wife, who also said they looked great and from my wife, who said they looked "okay" when coloured but great when clear. huh. Oh well. Can't win them all. Now she's trying out polishes from my stash!

Michelle said...

I LOVE that you posted this subject! I was just having a 'discussion' with my husband aobut the heinous condition of his feet. I suggested that he try a pedicure to help 'fix' them.

Well, he surprised me the other day when he came home with sandals on and his feet looked fatanstic! He had not only gotten a pedicure, he got polish too! it looked great on his feet and a 200% improvement!

Your post is awesome - please keep posting these interesting subjects!

Anonymous said...

I'm a man and I love to wear nail polish. I use the feminine colors, bright red is my favorite. I have got a lot of compliments from women. Other men that are reading this that wants to try nail polish I encourage you to go for it, you will love it.

Bob said...

This looks like an old post, but it seemed appropriate to comment anyway.
I have well-developed admiration for well cared-for and polished nails. My dear wife has kept her nails looking impeccable for the 28 years we have been married. When she was pregnant with each of our sons, I would help he rout by painting her toenails for her. I didn't do the neatest job at first, but she was gracious and appreciated the help, and thus I got better at it.
It was about three years ago when she and I were traveling, walking past a nail salon that had a sign in the window "2 for 1 special" so we decided to egt pedicures together. She encouraged me to try polish since I always liked the way it looked on her nails and she chose a deep maroon for me. I loved it! It made my feet look so much more 'finished' and it really looked good.
Since then, we have tried many other colors and I like the darker shades for me, brighter colors for her.
I really don't think there is anything wrong with a guy taking care of his feet and nails, and wearing them polished really makes them look great too!

I am glad that my wife and I began sharing this interest together and hope that by writing this, more of you might encourage your husbands to try it too. Once you (or he) get past the initial feeling that it's okay for men to be confident and try it, you may wonder why you didn't try it sooner!

steve said...

As a guy I love the look of having my toenails painted.I have only gone out in public a few times and have had pedicures done about three times and I loved it.I cant wait for it to become more mainstream.