Author: kezari

Multilingual Maven: Alyssa Kuwana [Kezari Girl Spotlight #3]

Learning new languages has been a constant theme throughout Alyssa Kuwana’s life and travels. On this Kezari Girl Spotlight, we find out why languages and a local perspective are so important to Alyssa’s travel philosophy. Read on for her advice on becoming multilingual, even if it’s just to a beginner level, during your travels!

Beach or mountains?


Favorite & least favorite travel destination?

Favorite: anywhere that has culture, sun, & both the ocean and mountains (the most recent place that checks off all of these is in northern Spain like San Sebastian and Güemes)
Least favorite: Anywhere that’s very touristy and lacks culture.

Aisle, middle or window seat?

Def aisle. I need to use the bathroom all the time!

Greatest travel hack?

Getting over jet lag quickly by:

  1. Staying hydrated on the plane.
  2. Setting your watches and clocks to your destination time before taking off.
  3. Sleeping on the plane at the right time so you will be able to sleep at a normal time when you arrive.

Favorite travel snack?

Peanut butter cups (both salty and savory hehe) or eating local foods on the plane back to savor every last bit of the cuisine.

What 3 items do you always have in your luggage?

  1. Charger and phone.
  2. Noise reducing earphones (a must on planes with lots of white noise and babies).
  3. Notebook and pen to write down any musts for the destination, scheduling/planning, and any cool thoughts or ideas I have while traveling.

Do you travel for business, leisure or both?

Leisure. I wish I got paid to travel!

What do you usually wear while traveling and what do you like/dislike about it?

On the plane or any mode of transport, I like to wear leggings or comfy pants such as the Kezari pants (which fits my phone, earphones, and passport perfectly in one pocket so I can never lose them!) and a tank top or a tee shirt with a sweatshirt. I like that it’s very comfy, which is a must for long travel days. But, I don’t like that it lacks style. If I walk around the city once I get off the plane, I feel like I look like I had just gotten off the plane and stick out.

How do you choose your travel destination?

Wherever life leads me to, honestly. I like to travel to places where I know people so I have a local tour guide, or somewhere where I can speak the language (or travel with a friend who speaks the local language) as it can drastically change my experience there. I also like to look for places that have interesting history, lots of culture, good food, and nice people.

How do you plan your trips? Itinerary or spontaneity?

It really depends. I like to ask locals what they recommend doing, whether it be before I head off or when I’m there. I tend to shy away from very touristy places or chain locations (such as hotels, restaurants, etc) to help support the local economy. I do like to plan out some things I would like to do and pin them on Google Maps so that I can go to them if I wish, but I try not to be so strict on when and where I should be. Traveling should be fun and relaxing. It shouldn’t feel like work or school where you have one appointment to the next. I do, however, like to research some restaurants to visit. Food is a door to local culture, and you can learn so much just by visiting local restaurants.

One thing you wish you could change about traveling?

I wish I could absorb the local language like a sponge. I know that lots of people, myself included, can assume that everyone speaks English and that they don’t need to learn the local language if they speak English. However, that really creates a divide within who one interacts with. I think even learning just a few key phrases such as what is your favorite thing to do, where is your favorite place around here, etc. can drastically change one’s experience while traveling.

Seems like languages are a large part of your travel. How many languages do you speak (& plan to speak)?

I speak English and Japanese fluency, and Italian and Chinese proficiently (ie if you dropped me off in the middle of nowhere Italy or China, I will know how to navigate and make my way out), and I know basic Spanish (I can get around the cities of Spain without a problem and communicate basic ideas). I would love to become more fluent in Spanish and Chinese though and am hoping to learn more languages!

How do you maintain your level of all these languages?

Ooo, good question. Well, I have my phone in Italian to keep up with that and message my host family in Italian as well. In addition, I speak Japanese to my family and text in Japanese to keep up with my reading and writing skills. In addition I love listening to international music and reading and translating the lyrics. That really helps with learning new vocabulary and is a fun way to learn.

What’s your advice for learning the basics of a language before traveling to a country?

I suggest listening to songs or getting apps that have the pronunciation too. I also like asking locals how do you saying xxx. I think the most useful phrase is “how do you say” and then you can point to something and learn a new word!

Funniest travel story?

One time I was at a club in Thailand, and there was a private event going on in one of the back rooms. I noticed really tall people going in and out of there with food in their hands. I wanted some free food, so I decided to take a peek and hoped to blend in with the rest of the crowd. Turns out it was a modeling event, and I stood out so much!

To keep up with Alyssa’s adventures around the world, check her out on Instagram @alyssakuwana

Check out our other Kezari Girl Spotlights on bleisure travelers:

For more travel hacks across continents, check out:

We surveyed Forever21 to see how many pants with pockets they sold.

There she is, staring at you from the clothes rack centerstage in all her glory. You grab her and rush to the changing room, dropping the other hangers in hand to slip into her soft fabric. Glancing at the mirror is just another affirmation – these are the perfect pants. Slim, but not too tight; flared, but not too baggy. The waist fits perfectly around the smallest part of your waist, flattering the figure. The color will make you pop out of the monochromatic New York crowds. You slip your hands into your pockets and– wait… why do your hands feel like… oh no! These pants don’t have pockets! Why is it so hard to design pants with pockets?

We all know that feeling. But this shouldn’t be a ‘thing’.

If men’s pants have pockets (and big ones!) then why don’t women’s? Some chalk it up to history, some chalk it up to men designing women’s pants. We think it’s the former, but first, let’s take a look at the (interesting, but sad) history of women’s pants with pockets.

A brief history of pants with (or without) pockets

Centuries ago, all clothing was created sans pockets. Men and women carried their belongings in small pouches tied around the waist. Then, some 400 years ago, pockets were sewn into men’s clothing, but this same feature was omitted from female garments. In the early 1800s, slimmer silhouettes came into style, so women no longer could wear pockets under clothes but had to wear them over clothes — and their pockets got much smaller. Some say it was a way to keep women powerless. If they had no way to secretly carry items around, it would be harder for them to travel independently or conduct clandestine affairs.

The push for pocket equity began in the late 1800s. The Rational Dress Society, founded in 1891, rallied women to dress for comfort and health by ditching constrictive corsets and donning comfy, useful clothing such as trousers — which, of course, featured pockets. Then, in the 1920s, fashion designer Coco Chanel began sewing them into her women’s jackets. But it wasn’t until the 1970s, when women regularly wore pants, and especially blue jeans, that females moved a step closer to pocket parity.

Yet, even with pockets in jeans, women’s fashion has never truly embraced functionality. Back pockets are great until your large phone falls out when racing through the narrow streets of Tokyo to catch your train or a pickpocket slips it out of your pocket when you’re busy hunting for the best vintage pieces at a flea market in Paris. Plus, jeans don’t work for every occasion. Worse yet, the tiny pockets in the front of your jeans that fit a lip balm if you’re lucky. And don’t get me started on fake pockets!

So, I was curious to see if women could find pants with pockets in 2019 and surveyed the pants at Forever21. The results?

Out of 12 regular styled pants (not including jeans)…

  • 8 had pockets
  • 6 had pockets that could fit an iPhone 8+ without it falling out
  • 1 had fake pockets
  • 0 had pockets with zippers to keep your essentials from falling out
Pants with fake pockets
Someone, please explain why it’s so hard to design pants with pockets

Were those results surprising to you? While the results were better than what you could expect 400 years ago, this still means a sacrifice between form + function. And in the age of female empowerment, why is this the last industry to hop on the bandwagon?

At Kezari, we surveyed 100+ female travelers and tested our pants on real female travelers to decide what the right pocket size was, zipper positioning, and more. The result? Pants with pockets so big you can fit a phone, wallet, credit cards, passport, medication, phone charger, snacks, sanitary napkins… ladies, your pockets are your oyster!

Not convinced? Read what female travelers around the world had to say about our travel pants with zippered pockets in their reviews.

That’s all for now ladies. What else upsets you about women’s fashion and travel solutions? Let us know.

Bleisure Traveler & Startup Founder: Neha Husein [Kezari Girl Spotlight #2]

After being rear-ended by a driver distracted by texting, startup founder and bleisure (business + leisure) traveler Neha Husein started her mission to end distracted driving accidents through her app Just Drive. Beyond running her company, Neha is a champion for human rights, TEDx speaker and a Her Campus 22 Under 22 Most Inspiring College Women honoree. Read on to hear about her take on travel and entrepreneurship.

First up, rapid fire questions.

Beach or mountains?

Mountains! I was born by the Rockies⛰

Favorite & least favorite travel destination?

South Africa is definitely my favorite. 🇿🇦 Least favorite is anywhere too cold. 

Aisle, middle or window seat?

Aisle. I hate bothering people when I need to get up and stretch my legs!

Do you travel for business, leisure or both?

Definitely both. 

As a bleisure traveler, what do you usually wear while traveling and what do you like/dislike about it? 

I try to maximize the number of pockets I have so everything is on me and accessible, but I love the comfort of leggings which usually have no pockets so I really struggled finding a happy medium. 

Greatest travel hack?

Bring an empty reusable water bottle that you can fill up after you’ve made it through security to avoid buying one/wasting plastic!

Favorite travel snack?

Kind bars! 

What 3 items do you always have in your luggage?

1. Hand sanitizer 

2. Lip balm 

3. Headphones

How do you choose your travel destination?

Recommendations from friends or cheap flights! ✈️

And how do you plan your trips? Itinerary or spontaneity?

A little bit of both. I like to have a general idea of things to do, but I go with the flow during the trip.

What’s one thing you wish you could change about traveling?

Being able to travel the world comes with a certain level of privilege. I wish traveling could be more accessible to people regardless of socio-economic status.

Let’s dive in to your journey as an entrepreneur. What was the biggest challenge with creating the Just Drive app?

Self-doubt. I never saw myself as an entrepreneur so that coupled with the steep learning curve caused me to limit my own potential. 

So what gets you up in the morning?

An oat milk latte and knowing that I have the ability to make a difference in the world. 

What’s your dream career/life?

My dream life would be owning and operating a vegan bakery/coffee shop that doubles as a co-working space. But that’s after I feel like distracted driving is no longer an issue and people feel safe on the road. 

How would you describe your fashion? What are its greatest influences?

I would describe it as functional and warm. My greatest influences are probably my friends. I’m always borrowing things from their closets 🙈

Last but not least, funniest travel story? 

I had a meeting in Austin and wore shorts for the 45 minute flight. The morning of the meeting I realized I forgot to pack pants. 

To keep up with Neha’s journey as a bleisure traveler, founder of Just Drive, and human rights activist, check her out on Instagram @neha1216 & @justdriveapp

Check out our other Kezari Girl Spotlights on bleisure travelers:

For more travel hacks across continents, check out:

Across Continents: Regine Anastacio [Kezari Girl Spotlight #1]

Born in the Philippines, but raised in Thailand and Singapore, Regine Anastacio lived across the continent before heading to NYC for university. A communications & fashion studies student at Fordham, Regine has already been making waves with her content creation and strategy for sustainable fashion platform Relovv and through her personal channel. We jumped into her shoes for a day to understand this Filipino beauty’s travel, fashion & content hacks & stories across continents.

Beach or mountains?

I have always been a tropical gal, so I would definitely have to say the beach! There’s just something so calming about the sound of the ocean and the feeling of sand underneath your feet.

Favorite & least favorite travel destination?

My favourite travel destination would definitely have to be somewhere warm in beachy like Phuket or Bali. I don’t have “a least favourite” travel destination, every place I’ve gone to I’ve enjoyed a lot!

Aisle, middle or window seat?

I’m definitely a window seat kind of person, I need my views!

Do you travel for business, leisure or both?

Travel for leisure, leave the work at home!

Next, what do you usually wear while traveling and what do you like/dislike about it?

I usually like to wear very comfortable clothes, especially since I fly long haul a lot of the time. But of course, I still like to look stylish just in case! Which is why I love wearing Kezari pants so much because it brings style AND comfort together, I can dress it up or dress it down!

*Editor’s note: we didn’t ask her to say that 🤪*

Greatest travel hack?

My greatest travel hack is PACKING CUBES, it makes your packing organized and you can compress a lot of things into a small cube, saving you a lot of space in your suitcase.

Favorite travel snack?

Granola bars are definitely my favorite travel snack, they’re tiny but they carry a lot of energy.

And what 3 items do you always have in your luggage?

An extra phone charger, my pencil case and my glasses.

How do you choose your travel destination?

I choose it based off what I can afford that year and also what kind of food I’ll be eating there because the easiest way to immerse yourself in a country or destination’s culture is through their cuisine.

How do you plan your trips? Itinerary or spontaneity?

I’m a very organized person so I do like to plan my trips with an itinerary but of course, you need to expect a little spontaneity because plans don’t always go accordingly!

One thing you wish you could change about traveling?

I wish that security wasn’t always a hassle. The lines can get really long sometimes.

Funniest travel story?

The funniest travel story I have was when I was flying from London to Singapore. I like sleeping on moving vehicles so the second I sit in a plane or car, I’m knocked out. It didn’t help that I was feeling so jetlagged as well so the second I sit down on my seat, I passed out. I wake up and I thought we had already landed and I wake up and people are gone. But apparently there was something wrong with the plane and people had to go out and we were still in London. Big whoops on my part, I felt like I was asleep for hours.

How would you describe your fashion? What are your greatest fashion influences?

I would describe my fashion sense as stylish but comfy and functional. I don’t like dressing over the top but I also don’t like not looking my best. My greatest influences are definitely New York as a whole city, everyone there has their own sense of style, I love it so much. But if we’re talking people, I would definitely say Kendall Jenner and Zendaya for sure because they can go from runway to girl next door real quick!

Lastly – favorite thing about content creation?

My favorite thing about content creation is that there are no rules and it works as my outlet, I love being able to take people’s ideas and bringing them to life with my own little twist!

To keep up with Regine’s travel, fashion & content across continents, check her out on Instagram @regineanastacio

For more travel hacks across continents, check out:

10 Long-Haul Flight Essentials [Kezari Picks]

  • Water bottle: our first travel essential is to fight dehydration, which is very common on long-haul flights. We like reusable water bottles to refill at airports post-security and onboard. Plus, it reduces plastic waste from all the cups served on the flight. Go eco!
Double-insulated walls maintain the ideal temperature
  • Lip balm: Another flight essential… lip balm keeps your lips from chapping on the flight with lip balm. Plus it doubles as a moisturizing ointment for dry spots on your body. 
  • Facial moisturizer: something about airplane air just sucks all the moisture out of your skin. Moisturizer is perfect to apply after washing your face on board so it doesn’t dry up uncomfortably. 
  • Bluetooth earphones: earphones are essential when traveling, to make long waits past by faster with podcasts or audiobooks and to provide background music on long journeys. We love the convenience of Bluetooth earphones because it means one less set of wires getting tangled up in your travel bag. 
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste: there’s nothing like stepping off a plane with airplane breath. Keep a travel sized set handy to freshen up before meeting people at your destination. A clean freak’s (*raises hand*) travel essential.
  • Face wash: if you’re like me and have oily skin, then face wash is a must to keep personal hygiene up on long-haul flights. 
  • Witch hazel wipes: I’m a huge fan of witch hazel for reducing redness, wiping away airplane food crumbs and just freshening up when my face wash is too dry on a flight. 
  • Neck pillow: when your airplane seat doesn’t stretch all the way back, neck pillows come in clutch. They give your head a place to rest. Plus, it keeps you from accidentally sleeping on the shoulder of a fellow passenger.
This changed my flying sleep habits.
  • Eye mask: as someone who struggles to fall asleep easily, an eye mask is a must-have to shut out any light and cozy up. Airplanes don’t always dim the lights according to your sleep schedule, so a memory foam, eye socket eye mask is a must have.
No more funky sleep lines on your face
  • Protein bars: not only do budget airlines charge for food on-board, but many regular airlines are starting to charge for extra snacks. Plus, if airplane food isn’t always your cup of tea, protein bars keep you going until you land. Not to mention, having food to eat during your flight at the right time helps you fight jet lag and prepare your body for a new time zone. 
Guilty pleasure… the only protein bars that taste like dessert

Bonus: 001 New York City Travel Pants! 😉

Let us know what your must-haves are for long haul flights!

To see more travel content, follow IG @kezaritravels & FB @kezariglobal

5 Easy Steps Towards a Minimalist Wardrobe [Women’s Edition]

We live in an age of surplus, not minimalism. We have too much food, too many products, and too many distractions. The last thing we need -– too many clothes. First off, it makes it impossible to find your favorite dress before date night. Secondly, it makes laundry annoying. Lastly, it makes packing for a trip way harder when you have five variations of the same T-shirt to choose from. Plus, minimalism is timeless and the best fashion trend in our opinion.

To minimize the amount of clutter in your wardrobe, we’ve come up with a 5 part criteria to make your minimalist wardrobe.

Minimalism In 5 Steps:

  1. The 10 per 1 test: have I worn this item of clothing at least 10 times in the past year? If no, it doesn’t belong in your wardrobe.
  2. Do I have a “heavy” representation of a certain color or style? If I have over 7 days of summer dress wardrobe changes, I’m getting rid of the extras.
  3. Is this COMFORTABLE? If it’s scratchy, irritates your skin, cuts off circulation, feels like a corset, then what is it even doing there in the first place? If you even have to question its comfort, it’s sucking energy from you and needs to be banished from the closet.
  4. Would I pack this on a trip? PJs and your best suit aside, if it’s not something that makes you feel 110% and you love to show off, it’s never going to be used. Bye-bye.
  5. Is this part of the 10% of my wardrobe I wear 90% of the time? If it’s not, then it’s time to donate it.
This is you, very soon!

Wait, before you throw out all those extra clothes, try sending them to one of these three places.

3 New Homes For Your Clothes:

  1. Re-sell clothes at second-hand sites like Relovv and ThredUp.
  2. Donate to places such as Good Will or Salvation Army.
  3. Recycle!

Let us know if there are any other criteria you use to make your wardrobe minimalist! We’d love to hear from you.

Shop our minimalist styles

Minimalist Packing Guide [Women’s Edition]

We all dream of minimalist packing: without baggage – physical or emotional. Who doesn’t want to stroll up to the airport with just a carry-on bag, no wasted time or money on that oversized suitcase, and trust your back won’t snap lifting a bag heavier than you? Good news, that can be you.

The holy grail of minimalist packing.

I just spent the last month traveling across the US & Europe with nothing more than a carry-on luggage. Now how’s that for minimalist packing?! Let me explain – that’s coming from someone who used to lug a 30-inch, 60-pound luggage around the world, relying on the kindness of strangers to help me lift that beast onto the weighing platform.

Here’s how I started minimalist packing:

#1: Pack for what you’ll be doing

Seems obvious, but it’s crucial if you want to pack minimalist. We’re all guilty of packing our favourite clothes, even if we don’t plan to wear them. Don’t let that beautiful new bikini you just bought inch its way into your suitcase if you’re headed to Canada for the winter.

#2: Keep quantities low

And manipulate the following numbers accordingly. (This doesn’t mean you should have 2 sets of each!) I like to keep maximum 5-7 changes of clothes handy.

Pants: 0-2 (over here at Kezari, we made Tencel pants for this very reason. So you have 1 pair you can wear with any top, any time.)

Shorts: 0-2

Skirts: 0-2

Plan to re-wear a lot of bottoms. Unlike tops that retain more sweat and smell, bottoms can be worn so many times before washing, and no-one will notice – especially those made of Tencel!

Dresses: 0-2

Casual tops: 0-2

Formal tops: 0-2

Underwear: 5- 7 sets (unless you don’t mind going commando or want to #freethenipple, in which case, props.)

Outerwear: 0-1 (one dressy looking raincoat doubles well as a jacket for a night out and wind/rain protection ie. the UNIQLO block tech parka).

Note: To be ultra minimal, these clothes need to be as thin as possible so they can be compressed in your bag.

Shoes are the biggest culprits of draining your luggage space. Ladies, don’t bring heels. Unless you absolutely need them, they take up way too much space. Stick with:

Closed-toe pair of shoes: 1 (a nice pair of trainers or fashionable sneakers that work for long days of walking, working out and travelling.)

Open-toe shoes: 1 (flats or nice sandals work well for fancy events and water activities.)

#3: Choose Classic Colors

Choose a few colours that all match each other, and only pack those. Opt for solids over prints when you travel. This makes outfit matching easy because no matter what you choose, it will match. Plus, solids are perfect for minimalist fashion.

#4: Compress!

It’s not just what you pack, but how you pack. When packing, I like to sort my clothes into pre-planned outfits and roll them up tightly like crepes. This way, all I have to do is grab a bundle each day. Another way is to use packing cubes to keep everything tight. The secret to a small luggage is to compress, compress, compress!

#5: Packing Hacks:

  • Bikinis can double as underwear
  • If you’re packing another pair of shoes or a purse, stuff it with more items before fitting it into your bag
  • Eye shades and ear plugs will save you if you have trouble sleeping/adjusting to timezones
  • Stick to a small toiletry bag that fits the travel-sized essentials. Grab extra free samples from hotel rooms and use those when you travel. Don’t bring more than a few essential makeup items.

And that’s it! It is possible to travel with a luggage small enough it fits in the toilet stall with you. If you have any other secrets to traveling minimalist, we’d love to hear them below! Until next time.

Shop our minimalist clothing, perfect for minimalist packing!

Want more minimalist content? Check out: Minimalist Phone Usage in 5 Steps