23 Autumnal Mod Designs Are The Trending Nail Look For Fall 2023 – Here Are Our Favorites

Mod manicures are a fun trend for fall that you might not have seen coming. The mods were a group that rose to notoriety in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Great Britain. Like many in the postwar era, they sought ways to express and reinvent themselves, and distance their style from that of their parents’ generation (via John Smedley). Naturally, one of the most memorable aspects of the group was its aesthetic. The subculture embraced sharply dressed, tailored clothes with a mix of primary colors and sometimes vibrant pink, orange, and yellow hues, making its style coincidently perfect for autumn.

This fashion led to a global trend that favored choosing bold geometrics such as bright polka dots, stripes, and block colors. And as you’ll see, the mod influences evolved during the age of pop art, jazz, and ska, which no doubt fuelled a lot of the group’s style inspiration. Here, we’re trying to capture some of these infamous looks by combining them with various seasonal colors and nail designs.

Modern monochrome mani

This manicure demonstrates that monochrome doesn’t have to be black and white. The two-tone burgundy and pink is a classy and minimalist take for this autumn. It’ll work well for an olive complexion and looks particularly glamorous with some gold jewelry. Just remember, the simple choice of design and color is key to making this a mod look.

Fall check nails

If you were a fan of Dua Lipa’s fun red carpet nails for the 2020 Grammys, you’re not the only one. Checkered nails can bring a hint of fun while still bringing the geometric style of the 1950s to the spotlight. Here, the mix of yellow and beige contrasts exceptionally well with the bold black crossover.

Geometric pink and calico nails

Calico prints have an interesting history. Originally from 11th-century India, they were adapted for foreign taste, bringing simpler geometric designs like these (via Britannica). The patterns derived from these historical prints soon became synonymous with the tricolor browns we might spot on our furry feline friends. Here, the calico coloring is brought together with a fun and bright pink. And it’s this mix of modern color blocking that captures the playful precision of the mods.

Checkered bare beige

Here, we have another checkered number. It’s more subtle this time, as they’ve gone for a nude base. But they’ve made it attractive by mixing the bare beige base with tips and some full patterned nail art. Like our other checkered take, it’s got the sharp geometrics but is actually more faithful to the modernist form with the choice of the natural harvest palettes.

Bright vinyl nails

During the Beatles era, when mod was at its high point, vinyl records were in. These were shipped across the world packed in colorful jackets with the unique artwork of the time. They were a mixture of bold and sharp pop prints that captured the modernist scene. And these nails are a fun blast to the past that captures that age of rebellion and musical freedom.

Sleek, bold brown

Who says short nails can’t be chic and glamorous? This opulent and refined interpretation of modernism is the perfect way to elevate your short-nail game and make a statement. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the stunning combination of the decadent hot choc color and the touch of glitter. It perfectly reflects the whimsy and beauty of the fall season.

Minimalist autumnal mani

Are you a fan of the color-blocking and gradient nails trend that’s been taking over this year? Well, here’s a playful twist on it just in time for fall! This minimalist chic design incorporates the polka dot geometrics of the mod aesthetic. And, to add a pop of color to your autumnal look, there’s a stunning combination of orange and white shades.

Halloween mod rock rebel

While the rebellious spirit of the mods defined the group, its bitter rivalry with the Rockers often made front-page news. The message here is not to fight but to acknowledge our flaws. The mods, of course, were style icons but were far from perfect. With this mani, you can still be a rebel with Halloween block colors, but the message is real.

Abstract olive florals

This short-nailed manicure features an intriguing blend of olive and abstract designs. The statement piece is an impressionistic floral motif, adding a touch of whimsical autumnal colors while still maintaining a modern look. The simplicity of this mani is highlighted by the addition of gold rings that perfectly complement the olive base.

Eclectic meets modern points

You can’t miss these fabulous almond-shaped nails featuring an exciting blend of modernist prints. The color-blocked hues, coupled with the eclectic checkers and florals, create a daring and unconventional look that is sure to turn heads. And this is precisely what the mods were all about: pushing the boundaries and embracing the unexpected.

Glam geometric gels

This off-kilter circular composition is absolutely stunning! The autumnal colors are layered playfully with some eye-catching mod blues and a touch of glitter, giving off a trendy and chic vibe. Plus, if you’re a fan of nude colors, the design also features a subtle base that creates a perfect contrast to work from.

Beetlejuice Halloween checkers

It’s got bold black and white checkers, vintage colors, and ghouls — did someone say “Beetlejuice?” What’s more, this look is a striking combo for darker skin tones that is modern and glam. Add some whacky and bulky jewelry, and it’s an entertaining look for the Halloween season.

Sweet graphic gels

This design may appear simplistic at first, but it offers an array of delightful features. The designers have blended a monochrome combination of bright blue and contrasted it with a playful autumnal orange. The sharp lines bring in a modern vibe balanced out by the charming fruity pattern that serves as the centerpiece.

Lineart neon nails

These glamorous nails featuring a groovy graphic art style are surprisingly chic. We’re unsure whether it’s the subtle combination of the pink base or the creative take on French tips extending from the main designs, but it’s undoubtedly an excellent addition to our list for the autumn season. Moreover, with modern stripes and colors, there’s definitely a rebellious vibe here.

Sunshine semicircle nail art

Who wouldn’t want to have a bit of sunshine on their nails? This short-nailed manicure is just that. The combination of autumn yellows, reds, and oranges is wonderful, but what makes it modern are the block-color semi-circles and the distinct white used. Plus, the mischievous chunky ring is just perfection.

Tortoiseshell French tips

Fun fact — did you know the tortoiseshell pattern has been around since the 18th century (via Cutler and Gross)? It was used to line cabinets for kings as a sign of luxury and style, and that’s certainly the case here as well. Again, we’ve got a brilliantly creative twist on French nails with this modern twist. It’s a simple but glam take with fall shades.

Mod meets hippie nails

A slightly overlapping aspect of mod history was the emerging hippie culture of the ’60s and ’70s (via Britannica). Like the mods, this group rejected the mainstream in favor of a colorful psychedelic aesthetic. While the groups aren’t typically linked, we do see some shared style influences, particularly in the choice of eccentric oranges and blues. But instead of sharp lines, the hippies were all about swirls. Here, the block-coloring and intertwining shades combo is a fun take that might fit somewhere in the middle.

Patchwork fall geometrics

These nails boast a nude base with sections blocked out in bold rectangular white, gold, and yellow segments. There’s something quite contemporary with this one, but it still keeps many of the fundamentals. What’s more, some of the details even feature intricate patterns or text, adding a playful twist to this mod-inspired look.

Spaceage sage chrome mani

Elevate your nails to a cosmic level of chic with this chrome design. These pointed almond-shaped nails are coated in a sleek sage green metallic shade, perhaps giving a little nod to the space race that followed the mod decades. It’s undoubtedly modern — that’s for sure — but with a certain elegance and minimalism that is on trend right now.

Minimalist see-through tips

It mightn’t be a surprise that it was one of the original modernists, architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who tooted the motto “less is more,” and his words have echoed throughout various movements ever since, per System of Motion. One example is this manicure, featuring a see-through design with long tips that showcase the enchanting glass nails trend. A delicate glassy butterfly is added to one nail to complete the look, creating a whimsical touch to this modern and stylish design.

Vintage cherry reds

Were you considering a timeless look with a vintage twist for this fall? You could start here with a classic coat of cherry red, but the design leaves the half-moons of the nails exposed in a stylish semi-circle pattern. A clear finish brings the whole look together, combining nostalgia with modern elegance.

Gold eggshell nails

These nails just exude elegance. Following the latest hype with this exquisite milky coconut manicure, they’ve embellished the style here with delicate flecks of gold. The result? A stunning manicure that resembles ethereal eggshells, combining sophistication with a touch of luxury. They’re minimalist, but the shades are neutral enough to pull off in any season. We’d like to think, though, that the flecks of gold are great for capturing an autumn vibe.

Retro marmalade mani

And if you haven’t had enough yet of this whirlwind 1960s tour, transport back for one last time with this swirly line art design. It features shades of reddish-orange and brown over a pink nude base, complete with charming floral accents. It’s a nod to the past with a refreshing twist, capturing the essence of the autumnal mod aesthetic.

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