Korean Fashion – K-style clothing to suit your taste

Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
Two women shopping

Do you know about Korean fashion? Milan, Paris, New York, London, and Tokyo are among the leading cities when it comes to fashion. But these days, Korean fashion has also become a rising trend all over the world, challenging those cities. 

Korean Fashion

Shall we take a closer look at what Korean fashion is like?

South Korean Fashion

South Korea’s capital, Seoul, hosts the wildly popular Seoul Fashion Week twice a year which is a fashion lover’s dream to be part of. Fashion has always been a part of Korean culture, but it’s never been as big (or popular) as it is now. After all, as Korea’s popularity rose with K-pop, and Korean dramas and movies so does its fashion.  Elegant Young Handsome Asian Man

Its designers are gaining more and more worldwide exposure. And as for the general public in Seoul and elsewhere in Korea? They are known for their impeccable fashion sense in everyday life, both men and women.

Harmony and a sense of community are important traditional values in South Korea, and you can see the crossing of that even in Korean fashion.

Different styles of clothing in Korea

There are hundreds of thousands of stores all over Korea, either physical shops or Korean online clothing stores. Many of them sell the same style of clothing items. At the very least, very similar ones anyway. That is also because many clothing stores, especially the smaller ones, use local manufacturers, which may limit the variety of shops to choose from.

However, don’t take that to mean that everyone on the streets of South Korea wears the same outfit. While many do share the same sense of style, there are also distinct differences between these styles, apart from the Korean clothing brands they belong to. Let’s explore the different types of Korean fashion styles out there.

South Korean Street Fashion (Hongdae)

This is the most common fashion style in Korea and is often associated with Hongdae Street Style. This particular style isn’t limited to those hanging out in the Hongdae area. However, Hongdae is known to be one of the most fashionable areas in Seoul, which greatly influenced the fashion style in Korea.

In general, it’s more common among young people, usually those in their early twenties. It is a sort of relaxed street fashion or Korean street wear, mixing together the aesthetics of rock and hip hop into street fashion pieces. Especially the top part is often oversized or baggy, though men also like relaxed fit pants and shorts to go with it.

While it’s a very unisex look, girls do wear dresses and skirts that go well with the look, as well. Girls also typically like to mix more colors into their outfits instead of sticking to predominantly black each and every time.

Otherwise, this look is popular among both men and women. You can easily shop for the look in many of the stores in Hongdae’s streets, order online through a Korean fashion online store or shopping site, or from one of the many small online malls operated by Koreans.

Cover Your Shoulders and Chest…

Although Koreans are not deeply religious, their values are rooted in conservatism. Thus, to a certain extent, it is expected of women to act and look pure, or at least classy. What this entails is that it is frowned upon for Korean women to dress too revealing, especially in the top part. In other words: cover your shoulders, chest, and stomach. Better yet, don’t wear backless clothes, either.

Group of Girls

Of course, the rules on this are getting more lax as Korean fashion trends and the style for Korean women evolve.

Though you still won’t see many women wearing backless tops or tank tops, many are in love with off-shoulder and cold shoulder tops these days. And while the chest area remains covered, crop tops have become a big trend. They’re especially popular to mix with high-waisted pants, shorts, and skirts.

…But Reveal Your Legs!

On the other hand, going mini in the lower body has absolutely been one of the most common Korean fashion trends for many years. And there doesn’t seem to be a change happening any time soon! Mini skirts, short shorts, and mini dresses are definitely in.

Unfortunately, it poses a problem for those girls with slightly wider hips or bigger butts, as the hem cuts might be even too short for them to wear.

But while Korean women love to show their legs, they do usually wear undershorts (or the skirts come equipped with it), to protect themselves from showing a little too much. The skirts are typically either tennis skirts or bodycon skirts, in both cases, they are usually high-waisted. For shorts, jean shorts are especially popular.

 Oversized Korean Fashion

From tops to coats, and pants to dresses, Korean women love wearing clothes oversized enough to hide their forms which are typical in Korean-style clothing. They are especially a popular casual attire, existing even in the form of sweater dresses, and focused on utmost comfort. It also offers a cute but effortless look.

Many women love to combine an oversized item with a tighter one, usually a loose t-shirt, blouse, or sweater, with skinny jeans or a skirt. Others may wear an oversized top together with a loose bottom, which is another popular type of style gaining popularity amongst Koreans. 

Korean Style Mix and Match

Following the idea that one shouldn’t bear their shoulders or show too much chest, layers were born. And by layers, we mean wearing a simple t-shirt or a long-sleeved top under a spaghetti strap dress

Man And Woman Asian Appearance Winter Clothing Blue Background

The girls either mix and match it however they please, or they can also find ready-made sets on sale at any boutique, usually for a low cost. And this is by no means the only way they do layers – you can do it in any creative way you could think of! Even lace dresses over pants are a thing! There are definitely plenty of fashion discoveries that you’ll come across in Korea!

Korean Outfits for School

In schools in South Korea, you wear a uniform throughout all of your school years. But that school uniform look has also become a part of general everyday Korean fashion, especially for the ladies.

The integral part of this look is the a-line skirt, which may be one color or patterned with plaid. Options for what to pair up with it are nearly limitless, from simple tees to vests over shirts.

Korean Clothing Style for Couples

And of course, it’s its own type of fashion statement when a couple in South Korea wears matching clothes. It is completely normal in Korea for couples to purchase Korean clothing with not only one matching item with each other but full outfits, from backpacks to shoes! So if you ever happen to get yourself a Korean bae, perhaps it’s a trend you’ll become a part of as well?

Have you gotten an idea of the Korean fashion scene? So what’s your favorite Korean fashion style, and who is the most stylish Korean you know of? Perhaps you’ll get inspiration from your favorite Korean actor or actress, and K-pop idols!  Let us know your picks in the comments below! You might find yourself checking other Korean clothing websites soon!

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

    6 replies to "Korean Fashion – K-style clothing to suit your taste"

    • Avatar for Alysa Alysa

      Hello,

      First of all I wish to express that I am a great admirer of Korean Fashion and lately I am wearing it myself, I found it very beautiful and love to be clothed like that, however I am almost in my fifties and watched very much tv when I was a very young child and also in my teens, even now I watch tv often and what I am constatating is that the Korean Styled blazers, suits and other more or less official and ‘casual’ clothing in Korean Style looks a lot like people in and from communist regimes were clothed, you can watch photo’s and/or films for example of people from/or in the GDR and other communist countries, for example: Erich Honecker and his wife Margot Honecker, Gustav Husak, Leonid Brezhnev, Erich Mielke, Nicolae Ceausescu, Horst Sindermann, Willi Stoph, Walter Ulbricht and the contemporary president of Vietnam, for me, the result is very much striking!

      Greetings!

    • Avatar for Namelessitta Namelessitta

      Interesting article and well written article! I only miss a photo with each style..

    • Avatar for Nak Nak

      It was a really great writing. I see your efforts! Thank you so much

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