While nail polishes and varnishes have been in use across different cultures for centuries, what we think of as “nail polish” wasn’t invented in the United States until 1917. For ages since, red became the classic color for nail polish, a trend that became accessible to most women in the 1930s, but surged in not only popularity, but essentiality in the 1940s and 50s. Truthfully, for many years, red and pink nail polish were really the only colors a woman could purchase! So many iconic starlets from the golden era of Hollywood–Marilyn Monroe (above), Rita Hayworth (below), Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and more, were rarely seen without a flirty red manicure.

Source: Getty

Nowadays, we’re lucky enough that the choices of nail color are endless. While reds and pinks are always great for a nail look, greens, blues, and glitter are all easily obtainable. Plus. the rise of nail art gives women other options they never would have had in the 1950s!

Source: Getty/Twitter (@ritaora)

We like this dress-matching lacy nail art on Rita Ora. The classic color, paired with a crazy pattern, give this modern look a fabulously-retro touch! it’s old Hollywood glamour, meets the new red carpet!

Are you a fan of old-fashioned nail polish colors?