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Sumita considers herself as a writer for all reasons. She has written most of her adult life starting with a book of stories at the age of eleven. After an unsuccessful attempt to get into journalism school Sumita fell head first, into advertising copywriting and that started an affair of a lifetime (at the risk of sounding a tad cheesy). Today Sumita is a not so lean and mean writing machine displaying capabilities in many styles. Check out the offerings on display and do get back to her with your feedback and requests for writing work - sumita@sumitachakrabarty.com

The jewelry conundrum

Imagine seeing the world one charm at a time? Each city seen and experienced represented by a charm on a bracelet. The story goes that Wallis Simpson who later became the Duchess of Windsor had a special charm made for each place she had visited.

No occasion is complete without the right jewelry and accessories and the same holds true for travel. As the Duchess herself exemplified, a woman’s allure lies as much in her wit as in her taste in jewelry. So, whether your choice is a beach holiday or one where there is casual and semi-formal in equal measure, carry the right bling.

The most important tip is, carry your most expensive pieces in your carry-on bag. The ones you don’t mind losing or secretly want to replace can go into your checked in luggage. Now, close your eyes and do an imaginary recce of your holiday landscape. What do you see? Endless sand, blue skies, fat white clouds and the gentle rolling of ocean waves? Well then, your wardrobe would probably be mainly shorts, swimsuits, the occasional cotton skirt or dress (could be long or short depending on how self-conscious you are about your thighs and calves). Throw in an expensive trinket in your suitcase in case your special someone suddenly decides to woo you over an expensive dinner. Modular jewelry and back to front earrings would be smart thinking. I’m told that a sliver of silver around one ankle adds a sexy touch of feminity when your legs are bare.

Time for another in-your-head recce if you’re not going azure sky-wards. If you see mountain roads, hikes through forested areas, fireplaces and scrabble in the after-hours then the options can be semi-precious stones like amber, amethyst, jade and peridot. The deep, almost wickedly magical glow of an amber pendant can be almost aphrodisiacal. One piece of chunky jewelry, either a bracelet or a neck piece can dress up the simplest of outfits so that’s a thumb rule to keep in mind when you’re packing. Cocktail and two-finger rings are the toast of the season and they do make for great eye contact at a bar when you’re holding up your glass of wine.

Then of course there are trips like visiting aunts and uncles and grandparents for special occasions. Or a quick getaway to a friend’s. Or those not-quite-trip trips where you spend a day traveling to a ‘cool’ destination and just spend a night there because that’s all the time you had. For such occasions keep one special jewelry set that will be equally at ease with a formal or casual evening. If you’re single and looking to mingle then throw in a couple of other accessories like a jeweled belt or a dressy scarf, because who knows what the evening may spring on you!

The Holy Grail of travel jewelry is the business trip. Because that’s when they have to be well-coordinated not just with outfits but also with the kind of colleagues you’re traveling with (boss and super boss) and the reason (the big presentation). A charm bracelet peeking out from under the cuff of your jacket looks delectably feminine but not overtly. A tiny diamond or ruby or sapphire pendant could set off the crispness of your linen shirt while small, intricate ear studs or barely visible drop down earrings can make that victory smile look even lovelier. Jewelry accessorizes everything around it.

Some simple tips on packing – put your jewelry in small ziplock or tiny cloth pouches. Then put all these into a big ziplock bag. For small earrings, put them into pillbox containers. That way they don’t get entangled with the chains and you can find them easily. There are high-end travel jewelry boxes/cases available as well for those of you who like the elegant, super model look as you get off your flight carrying a single jewelry case. A friend told me that she slipped her chains into individual drinking straws and then closed the clasps. That way the chain didn’t slide off or get knotted up.

Go on, pack your bags and get set to adventure. And yes, carry enough jewelry so that you’re always accessorized.

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