Maybe it’s the Queen’s Gambit effect or the long-awaited segue into picnic season, but we’ve seen the checkerboard print popping up in fashion trend reports like never before.
Like preppy gingham’s cooler sister (and maybe a second cousin to plaid), the squared checkerboard print is a little edgier, hearkening back to the Vans you wore in the early ’00s. Plus, it takes on a racing-flag sporty kind of vibe when styled into the current accessory de jour: a manicure.
Heading into pre-spring, we’ve noticed so many nail artists have pulled inspiration from the checkerboard print. Whether it’s classic black and white or a bright and springy colourway, scroll through to see our favourite takes on the trend.
Real talk: Checkerboard is not an easy print to DIY. Luckily, for those who aren’t able to make a salon appointment, many brands have created press-on nail wraps to deliver the classic checkerboard manicure at home, no matter how steady your hands are.
Be prepared to see a lot of colourful checkerboard French manicures this spring. As NYC-based artist Asami I proves, the aesthetic is fresh.
The fun thing about a simple print like checkerboard is that you can elevate the design with extras. Here, North Carolina-based artist Lora Luna worked in neon stripes and crystal appliqués.
Nail artist Nova proves that more is more when it comes to checkerboard. Go bright with your polish, extra-long with your acrylics, and add nail stickers for fun.
For a muted play, take a cue from content creator Melanie Graves of Overglow Edit and make your checkerboard an accent — maybe even pair it with a brown cowhide design and a retro ’70s swirl for dimension.