Understanding a wife or girlfriend’s personal tastes for fashion and jewelry can be a complex task. Many men discover a high-stakes example of this when they decide to buy their loved one a jewelry gift. Any man who has given a special lady a not-quite-right trinket has probably experienced at least one of these uncomfortable emotions:

  • An awkward moment as one person or the other realizes the gift is just not her style
  • A disappointment in the money invested in jewelry that will likely never be worn
  • Embarrassment over appearing to not understand her tastes

Fear of these kinds of responses, though, should not stop guys from choosing a special piece of jewelry as a gift. If you want to find the right necklace or bracelet that captures her style, follow these tips.

Tips for buying jewelry for a woman

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“Jewelry is personal, reflecting a woman’s tastes and the image she wishes to portray,” says Stew Krell, president of F. Silverman Jewelers. “Contrary to how it may at first seem, figuring out her style is actually not like throwing darts at a target while blindfolded. Instead, look for clues. If her jewelry is a symbol of her unique flair, then other things she chooses will also reflect that style.”

Need some more clues that speak to her personal taste? Look for hints here:

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  • Wardrobe – What colors does she wear the most? Do her clothes gravitate toward elegant, casual hippie, or something else entirely?
  • Current jewelry – Does she wear any particular type regularly? Does she tend to wear stand-alone pieces or only matching sets? Do they tend toward the flashy or the subdued?
  • Social media sites – Has she pinned favorite styles on Pinterest? Follow any designers on Facebook? These can be a clue as to more adventurous styles she might really like but not have the courage to buy herself.
  • Family and friends – If she has someone she likes to shop with, do not be shy asking for advice.
  • Professionals – A professional jeweler can ask types of questions to help you understand her style.

Sometimes finding that perfect gem requires a big-picture approach. By taking a look at her style as a whole, you’re sure to find a piece that she’ll love to add to her jewelry collection.

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