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Are coffin shaped nails still in style?

Nail trends come and go, but coffin shaped nails have remained a staple in the nail art world for years. This elongated, square shape is a dramatic look that turns heads. But is this style still fashionable today? Let’s take a look at the history of coffin nails, their popularity over time, how to wear them, and whether they are still considered stylish in 2023.

The History of Coffin Nails

Coffin shaped nails, also known as ballerina or square nails, first became popular in the 1980s. They got their morbid name from their resemblance to a coffin shape. While square fingernails had been seen before, this was when embellished and excessively long coffin nails became a bold fashion statement.

In the 1990s, hip hop stars like Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliott wore fabulously long and lavishly decorated coffin nails. This brought coffin nails into the mainstream music scene. The style was associated with being fashion forward, luxurious, and sexy.

While coffin nails went out of favor in the early 2000s, they made a comeback around 2010, when celebrities like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry wore increasingly elaborate coffin shaped nails. This ushered in a new era of coffin nails that continues to this day.

The Popularity of Coffin Nails Over Time

Let’s look at how interest in coffin shaped nails has risen and fallen over the decades:

Era Popularity
1980s Gained popularity
1990s Peak mainstream popularity
Early 2000s Decline in popularity
2010s Resurgence in popularity

As we can see, coffin nails first became trendy in the 80s, peaked in the 90s, went out of style in the early 2000s before coming back even stronger in the 2010s. This perfectly timed resurgence just a decade ago has led to coffin nails still being a sought after look today.

How to Wear Coffin Nails

Here are some tips for wearing coffin nails:

  • Go for an elongated, square shape that extends just over the tips of the fingers for the classic coffin look.
  • Lighter nude and pink colors elongate the fingers.
  • Dark colors like black, purple, or red make a bold statement.
  • Glittery chromes and metallics add flair.
  • Stick on rhinestones and charms on one or two nails for added drama.
  • Paint various shapes, lines, and designs for interest.
  • Maintain the square edge for a clean finish.
  • Keep nails at a reasonable length for wearability. Too long and they become impractical.

Coffin nails look best when they are meticulously manicured. The squared off tips show every flaw, so be sure cuticles and edges are immaculate.

Are Coffin Nails Still in Style in 2023?

Now let’s get into the question at hand – are coffin shaped nails still stylish in 2023? The answer is a resounding yes!

Here are some reasons why coffin nails are here to stay:

  • They are edgier and more eye-catching than typical round or square nails.
  • The variety of colors, designs, and embellishments allow for self-expression.
  • Their retro yet modern look strikes the perfect balance between nostalgia and being on-trend.
  • Coffin nails flatter nearly all nail lengths and shapes.
  • Celebrities like Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, and Hailey Bieber still wear coffin nails.
  • Coffin shaped nails dominated 2022 nail trends and continue to be extremely popular on social media.

Coffin nails have not gone out of favor with nail art aficionados. And it doesn’t seem like they will any time soon. The unique elongated yet squared off shape allows for endless creativity. As long as nail enthusiasts are looking for a bold, head-turning look, coffin shaped nails will remain highly stylish.

Coffin Nails on Social Media

Coffin shaped nails continue to have a huge presence on social media. Let’s look at how many posts some popular hashtags for coffin nails have on Instagram and TikTok:

Hashtag Instagram Posts TikTok Views
#coffinnails 2.2 million 585.4 million
#coffinshape 336k 20.3 million
#ballerinanails 233k 13.8 million

As we can see, coffin shaped nails are still immensely popular on social media with millions of posts and views. The #coffinnails hashtag alone has over 2 million Instagram posts showcasing trendy coffin nail designs.

Coffin Nail Designs and Embellishments

One reason that coffin nails remain in vogue is the variety of embellishments and designs that can be done on them. Here are some popular coffin nail design ideas:

  • Ombre colors
  • Marble or stone effects
  • Chrome or mirrored nails
  • Abstract art and paintings
  • Geometric shapes
  • Animal prints
  • Encapsulated glitter
  • Rhinestone and charm accents
  • Gold, silver, or jewel toned foils
  • Striped or checkered nails
  • Florals and nature motifs

The long, flat surface of coffin nails provides the perfect artistic canvas. Even shorter coffin nails can be embellished with dazzling designs. The variety of options allows for personalized expression of each person’s unique style.

How Long Should Coffin Nails Be?

When it comes to coffin nails, length can range from short to dangerously long. So what’s the optimal length for fashion and function?

For the average person, coffin nails between 3⁄4 inch to 1 1⁄2 inches long are ideal. Here are some pros for different coffin nail lengths:

Length Pros
Short – 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch – More natural looking
– Easier to function
– Reduced risk of breakage
Medium – 1⁄2 to 1 inch – Allows for some embellishment
– Elegant, elongating look
Long – 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches – Makes a bold fashion statement
– Eye-catching drama
– Lots of design real estate
Extra long – 1 1⁄2 to 2+ inches – Avant garde editorial style
– Striking and memorable

The longest coffin nails are usually reserved for photoshoots, red carpets, and stage performances. For everyday wear, keep coffin shaped nails at a moderate length to balance style with practicality.

Caring for Long Coffin Nails

Coffin nails, especially long ones, require some extra care. Here are tips for looking after long coffin shaped nails:

  • Use nail glue and/or tips to help strengthen and reinforce nails.
  • Avoid using nails for utility purposes to reduce breakage.
  • File nails into a sturdy square or coffin shape.
  • Apply regular nail oil to condition nails and cuticles.
  • Get refills every 2-3 weeks to maintain length and shape.
  • Consider taking biotin supplements to promote nail growth.
  • Use a protective clear topcoat to shield designs and prevent chipping.
  • Carry nail glue and an emery board in case of cracks or breaks.

With proper care and shaping, long coffin nails can last several weeks. But be prepared to adapt daily activities to avoid excessive pressure on fragile nail tips.

Coffin vs. Ballerina Nails

Coffin and ballerina nails are very similar square shaped styles. But there are some small differences:

Coffin Nails Ballerina Nails
Shape Square with straight sides Slightly tapered sides
Length Medium to long Medium
Tip Flatter More rounded

While ballerina nails are daintier, coffin nails make more of a dramatic style statement with their blunt edges and greater length. Both shapes allow for creative embellishments.

Acrylic vs. Gel Coffin Nails

When getting coffin shaped nails professionally done, customers can choose between acrylics or gel:

Acrylic Gel
Formula Powder and liquid Gel polish
Curing method Air dry LED or UV light
Durability 2 to 3 weeks Up to 4 weeks
Removal File off Soak off

Gels tend to have more longevity and shine. But properly done acrylics can last long too. Gels also require a lengthy removal process. Overall, either acrylics or gels can beautifully achieve the coveted coffin nail look.

Coffin Nails VS Other Nail Shapes

Coffin shaped nails create a much different look than other popular nail shapes:

Nail Shape Characteristics
Round – Softer, more understated appearance
Square – Sleek, retro vibe
Coffin Bold, edgy, dramatic elongated look
Almond – Classic, elegant, versatile
Stiletto – Sexy, punk-rock sharp point

No other nail shape makes quite the same visual statement as the coffin shape. It’s angular, structured, and demanding of attention – which is exactly what makes it so fashionable.


Coffin shaped nails have come a long way from their punk rock origins to being a top nail trend. While interest has waxed and waned over the decades, coffin nails are still going strong in 2023 thanks to their retro yet modern vibe, endless design possibilities, and edgy style impact.

With proper shaping and care, anyone can rock fashionable coffin nails for a bold look. For those wanting to make a statement with their nail art, coffin nails are set to remain popular for years to come.