15 Neutral Nail Polish Shades To Wear At The Office This Fall

Feel powerful and professional with these neutral nail colors from mainstream and independent nail polish brands.

Many of us are headed back into physical offices, and as you trade in your cozy sweatpants for more office-appropriate attire and dust off your makeup bag, you may want to consider making a fresh manicure part of your professional wardrobe (if it isn’t already). And a great way to look professional is with neutral nail polish shades.

We had our fun wearing neon nail polishes this summer, but as we head back to the office we have our eye on more muted neutral shades. This isn’t to say you need to stop wearing blue or green nail polish. On the contrary, there are plenty of new neutrals that are perfectly suitable for an office setting. “Neutral shades can definitely go beyond basic and I am really loving neutral blues, which are absolutely perfect to wear all year round,” nail influencer Lauren Phelps told HuffPost.

Nail influencer Kelli Marissa is into taupes and gray neutrals. “Light gray is such an overlooked color but it works really well on the nails, and it pairs nicely with almost any color,” she said. “For people who are hesitant to jump straight into gray, taupe nail polishes have a nice balance of nude and gray.”

Here are our top picks for classic and new neutrals to wear at the office this fall and beyond.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

1. Time for a Bond Fire by Ella+Mila (left)
Described as a “neutral warm pinky mauve,” this lovely shade comes in Ella+Mila’s 17-free (which means it’s formulated without 17 of the potentially harmful chemicals commonly found in nail polish), vegan formula that’s PETA-certified. The company claims that their USA-made formula is also quick drying and chip resistant.

Get Time for a Bond Fire by Ella+Mila for $10.49.

2. CEO by ILNP (middle)
They say you should dress for the job you want, so why shouldn’t it extend to nail polish? Part of ILNP’s Nine to Five Collection, this dusty pink nude shade contains a smattering of holographic micro-flakes in a buttery smooth base for just a hint of sparkle.

Get CEO by ILNP for $10.

3. Stoneware by Cirque Colors (right)
This unique shade has a white nail polish base with fine copper specks dispersed throughout. The irregular-shaped flakes give it a spotted finish that’s reminiscent of, well, a beautiful stone. It may look like a simple neutral shade from far away, but from your vantage point you’ll get to enjoy its nuanced finish.

Get Stoneware by Cirque Colors for $14.
4. BP by Olive & June (left)
This pastel icy blue was part of Olive & June’s first polish collection (Spring 2019) and continues to be a fan favorite. Think blue isn’t a neutral polish shade? Think again.

Get BP by Olive & June for $8.

5. Basic by Loud Lacquer (middle)
A nail polish collection isn’t complete without a pure white polish, and this one is non-streaky and easy to apply (thanks to the brand’s flat paddle brush). The formula is seriously smooth and painted much more easily than other white nail polishes we’ve tried. Wear Basic on its own or put a dot over any color for some minimalist nail art.

Get Basic by Loud Lacquer for $12.50.

6. Staycation by Orly (right)
Part of Orly’s Breathable line (which the company claims prevents chipping and peeling), this taupe gray polish can be applied without a base or top coat. Described as a “greige nude créme,” it’s an office appropriate shade that can be worn any time of year and complements pretty much any outfit.

Get Staycation by Orly for $9.99.
7. Bowery by Cirque Colors (left)
This burnt orange créme is oh-so-chic and gives us all the warm, cozy fall vibes. Wear this color while sipping a PSL during a meeting that could have been an email. If you accidentally end up staring at your nails instead of taking notes, we won’t tell.

Get Bowery by Cirque Colors for $12.50.

8. Kristen by Zoya (middle)
Described as a “gull gray nail polish with a mild bluish hue,” Kristen is a cool neutral shade that’s opaque in two easy coats. We recommend picking up Zoya’s Z-wide brush (which has 60% more bristles than their standard brushes) for a smoother, easier application.

Get Kristen by Zoya for $10.

9. On the Runway by Ella+Mila (right)
This soft dark gray has a moody vibe, and since the brand’s logo is an elephant, we love how it looks in the bottle (and on our nails, of course). It’s also made with Ella+Mila’s 17-free formula and looks great with a glossy or matte top coat.

Get On the Runway by Ella+Mila for $10.49.
10. Ballet Slippers by Essie (left)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this bestselling pale pink sheer shade from Essie. It’s perfect for wearing on its own for a subtle pop of color or as the base for a French manicure. If you think of créme polishes as lipstick, sheer polishes are like lip gloss––sheer enough that you’ll still see the whites of your nails, but with enough pigment to give them a glossy look.

Get Ballet Slippers by Essie for $8.99.

11. Kateri by Zoya (middle)
This almost-black, midnight brown is the deep dark shade of our dreams and matches the multiple cups of coffee consumed during a typical work day. If you love black nail polish, this is a slightly softer, more neutral option.

Get Kateri by Zoya for $10.

12. De-Stressed Denim by Orly (right)
Like a favorite pair of jeans, this dusty denim blue never goes out of style. It’s also part of Orly’s Breathable line and infused with argan oil, pro vitamin B5 and vitamin C.

Get De-Stressed Denim by Orly for $9.99.
13. Portfolio by ILNP (left)
Also part of ILNP’s Nine to Five Collection, this soft camel polish has a subtle holographic sparkle. If you love sparkly nail polish, this toned down version is perfect for wearing to the office. Plus, you’ll get the maximum effect of the holographic flakes when you step out into the sunlight during your lunch break.

Get Portfolio by ILNP for $10.

14. Angora Cardi by Essie (middle)
This deep dusty rose shade is a fall staple and looks great paired with a cozy sweater or blazer. It’s a nude take on a classic power red that’s flattering on a wide range of skin tones. This shade is also available in Essie’s gel formula, which is cured by UV light. The company claims it lasts for 14 days.

Get Angora Cardi by Essie for $8.99.

15. KMC by Olive & June (right)
This new neutral is described as a “sage green straight out of a garden party.” It’s named after Kristen Caissie, the founder of LA-based florist Moon Canyon, and paints like a dream thanks to Olive & June’s signature wide fan-shaped brush.

Get KMC by Olive & June for $8.

Before You Go

Neon Nail Polish For Summer