Every year after Christmas an onslaught of pink and red jewelry starts to appear at retail stores everywhere. This can mean only one thing: Valentine’s Day is coming! Also every year around January-February anyone who has a significant other in their lives runs out to buy pink teddy bears, heart shaped jewelry and boxes of chocolates. The thought is always what counts! However, Valentine’s Day has become a holiday run by bad taste. What exactly will a grown man or woman do with a pink teddy bear, anyway? Let’s change it up this year by taking a look at popular trends from Valentine’s Days past and see how they can be updated to fit the taste of the modern, successful, loving woman that is your special someone. Oh, and Gents, don’t forget, this isn’t just for our benefit *wink*!

Buy This, Not That: Heart Shaped Jewelry

Heart shaped jewelry doesn’t have to be bad. But, let’s face it — it pretty often is. When you’re shopping for heart shaped jewelry, look for sophistication with a twist or an edge depending on the recipient’s taste. Below are two heart pendants. This is a quiz: One we’d suggest you buy, the other you should not!

On the left – Buy This:

This is a classic piece of heart jewelry that doesn’t say “I’m a twelve year old girl” or  “I’m your Great Aunt Matilda”. Its sophisticated, fun and versatile. This pendant is available at Tiffany’s, who offers many versions of this necklace. Whether you’re looking for silver, gold or diamonds, they have it!

On the right – Not That:

This piece is a no-no. Its a style that should have never happened, yet its readily available all over the place and thus is given as a gift year after year on Valentine’s Day. Its old fashioned and a little gaudy. Pass on by, shopper.

Buy This, Not That: Pink Jewelry

Pink is a fantastic color. Even guys like it. However, its often done wrong and looks very juvenile. But don’t fret! There are lots of great shades of pink that any woman can rock at any age. The key here is finding the right pink. For example, Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid, which is a little pink and purple with just the right dash of fuchsia!

On the left – Buy This:

These earrings by Marco Bicego are the perfect pink. They feature the color with undertones of red, purple and tan. They’re classy as heck yet still have an easy feel to them thanks to the textured gold and “natural” look of the sapphires. We would also bet they are extremely complimentary against any skin tone. It all says win-win to us!

On the right – Not That:

This pair of earrings is trying way to hard to be classy. Not happening. While its absolutely fantastic to have a big pop of color, the look is dated and simply not stylish. When choosing a gift, lots of men tend to gravitate towards a look they think is safe. Trust us: this is not one of those looks you want to choose.

Buy This, Not That: Silver Jewelry

Silver is everyone’s favorite. It can be any style, is great for any budget and simply looks fantastic. On Valentine’s Day a lot of guys are shopping for silver and a lot of women would love to get it as a gift. Here are two looks that will help guide you in the right direction.

On the left – Buy This:

This bangle bracelet by Elle would make just about any woman happy. It’s classic enough to please the Tiffany’s lover yet unique enough to please the girl who’s always browsing Etsy. What makes it even better? Its a present you can build on! Bangle bracelets are perfect for mixing, matching and stacking with one another. So buy one for Valentine’s and stash one away for her birthday!

On the right – Not That:

Cutesy link bracelets, similar to the one above, are a favorite among inexperienced gift buyers. While there is nothing inherently unattractive about bracelets like this one, there is nothing very special about it either. Its neither classic nor unique and will end up in the bottom of a jewelry box rather than on her wrist.

Buy This, Not That: Personalized Jewelry

Take it from someone who has seen it all, the cursive name plate pendant is one of the worse jewelry trends to ever come into existence. Please don’t buy your special someone a pendant with their name written in cheap lettering on paper thin gold. There are so many ways to personalize jewelry that are much, much better.

On the left – Buy This:

When looking for personalized jewelry, customization is the key! This necklace can say anything you’d like – a date, a name, initials, a place – perfect for creating a meaningful gift. Adding in a the gem and pearl makes it fun and whimsical. It might not be the pendant that’s worn on a fancy night out, but it will be the piece she wears every single day. And just like the silver “Buy This” bracelet, you can add to this look in the future with more charms, gems or tags!

On the right – Not That:

Well, as promised… the name plate cursive pendant. To be honest, there is no telling why it has stuck around as long as it has, but this style is in serious need of an update. Its not the 80’s anymore, and we’ll take a guess that the woman you’re buying for isn’t the star of a certain reality show from the Jersey Shore! There is no need to force that upon anyone. Choose another direction.   We hope we’ve helped guide this year Valentine’s Day shoppers in the right direction! However, if you’re still unsure of what to buy, check out this post for a few more helpful hints: Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: 10 Tips for Buying a Woman Jewelry Happy Valentine’s Day! Cheers, Jess the Jeweler