Ladies, when we go shopping, will browse hats, shoes, clothes, accessories, and jewellery, in much the same ways. We’ll be looking for items that will go with what we already own, or suit a special occasion we’re planning, or just something that catches our eye. Often jewellery is an impulse purchase, something that we spot in the midst of other things – after all, you can buy necklaces in Tesco’s now! These are usually ‘everyday’ items, what’s sometimes called ‘costume jewellery’. Inexpensive, fun pieces that we wear without developing much of an emotional connection to them. A statement piece, an item that has an emotional significance, is usually something that we don’t buy for ourselves. ‘Special’ jewellery is often given to us as a gift, by someone of importance in our lives, most often a husband, partner, or boyfriend. And men buy jewellery differently to women…
SO WHY DO MEN BUY US WOMEN JEWELLERY?
Guys, you won’t usually pick up a pair of earrings if you happen to spot them while in your local supermarket for milk, will you. Your brain isn’t wired like that. You simply won’t see the earrings – you’re hunting milk – duh!
You tend to need a reason to be looking for jewellery before you purchase it, and research has shown the typical reasons why men purchase jewellery for the women in their lives – whether wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, sisters, or work colleagues. Retail guru Paco Underhill categorises them in his book Call of the Mall as follows: keys to the front door, keys to the back door, and keys out of the dog house!
Keys to the front door
This means the big occasions in the woman’s life – birthdays, engagement, wedding, anniversaries. The meaning behind the gift is to show affection, love, and intention. You want to be part of this woman’s world. You are engaged with what she’s doing. You’ll probably put some thought into choosing the item, because you have an idea of what she will like, and what will suit her style. You know this woman well (or you’d like to).
Gifts for the birth of a child, or for achievements like graduation, promotion or receiving a commendation of some kind, come under this category. From a man to celebrate a woman he loves and is committed to.
Keys to the back door
This means presents for mistresses and girlfriends, creating a favourable impression without any big promises. You’re probably thinking ‘what girl isn’t going to be impressed by something sparkly?’ even if there’s not a great deal of solid emotional connection behind it. Chances are, you’re not especially committed to this woman, nor ever intending to be. So gifts in this category are more generic, because you’re not as familiar with the woman’s style. Your budget may not be as high as if you were purchasing a Front Door gift, although the sparkle-factor might be greater!
Keys out of the doghouse
Most men, at some point in the course of a relationship, find themselves in the doghouse. You may not have a clear understanding of why you’re there, but you want to be involved with this woman, and somehow you’ve upset her. You do know, however, that you need to ‘buy’ your way out. Jewellery is good for this too!
Depending on the size of the transgression (or more importantly, your partner’s perception of your transgression) you need something that says you’ve made a sacrifice to give this gift to her. You’re really sorry. You’ll need to give her something that uses the money you were saving for (that treat you were planning for yourself?) and spend it on making your woman, your friend again.
An important point here – it’s probably not sensible to try and double up on the front door and the doghouse! If you’re apologising, don’t do it with an engagement ring. Dig deep into your wallet, and make it two occasions, with a little time between them!
We will be following this with another blog about why do women want jewellery, in case you need a hand working out what to get your other half. However, if you’re in the market for engagement rings, we have a couple of pages about those from earlier in the year:
Here at Ethica Diamonds, we’re launching new ranges soon, including more necklaces, earrings and bracelets, across a wider range of styles, though still with our signature Ethica Diamonds.