Wondering what type of clothes to put together to make you look like you know the basics of Korean women’s fashion? Or maybe you already know the basics but don’t know where to shop for these clothes.
Well, you came to the right place!
Those living outside of South Korea might be more familiar with cosmetics when it comes to Korean merchandise. Although Seoul Fashion Week may be a relatively new thing for non-Koreans, don’t be fooled, Korea has had a pretty big fashion scene for a long time. Fashion has steadily been gaining prominence in Korean culture and Korean women’s fashion is thriving here.
These days, more and more Korean fashion brands and shopping malls are offering to ship worldwide. Thus, the worldwide Korean fashion craze has begun. Maybe you too are curious about how to dress if you were a Korean woman.
To help you get started on the basics of Korean women’s fashion, we got you a list of what you can typically see being worn on the streets of Seoul. You might be surprised to find out it’s quite different from what you see in music videos; though you’ve likely seen glimpses of fashion trends in various Korean dramas.
Who doesn’t love to put on a dress especially when you don’t want to think too much about what pairs with what when coming up with an outfit idea? Korean women get creative when it comes to dresses because they never just wear a dress– there’s always something extra that goes with it.
Tops and Dresses
This Korean fashion style is both effortless and versatile. All you need is a top and a dress to put over it! The only “no no” usually is having both items be patterned, as it will easily clash. Many street shops, and online malls as well, sell readily made sets that come with both the top and the dress.
But you’re entirely free to mix and match however you please! Maybe today you feel like having a basic white long-sleeved tee under a basic black tank dress? Maybe tomorrow you want to wear a ruffled flower blouse under your dress?
Knits Over Dresses
Another popular way to incorporate dresses in Korean fashion is by wearing it under a knit or a sweater. There are multiple ways to achieve this look as well. Either a regular length knit or a sweater, with the dress showing as a skirt. Or, alternatively, a knee-length knit with a deep side slit under which the dress will show.
One particular trend is also combining the knit look with a transparent dress, sometimes made of lace, with pants under the dress. Now if this isn’t mastering layering, then what is!?
All about Bottoms
When we think about what bottom to pair with our top, we usually just think that as long as the color goes with the top, that’s it! We’re already good to go. Not with Korean fashion, though. Even with basic closet staples such as jeans or skirts, they still manage to think of ways to make it not look so simple. Let’s see some ways they make these bottoms fashionable.
High-Waisted Bottoms With Tops Tucked In
This is something you will see on the streets of Seoul a lot. With very few exceptions, girls usually tuck their tops and blouses in the waistline of their skirts, shorts, and pants.
Also, low waist bottoms are not popular in Korean fashion. Instead, the bottoms will typically reach all the way to the naval button, or even all the way up to the natural waistline.
Although showing any cleavage is considered a big “no-no” in Korea, and off-shoulder tops and crop tops are a very recent addition to Korean women’s wardrobe, there’s one type of style that has never gone out of Korean fashion: mini bottoms.
Even if it is the coldest day of winter, you’ll still see girls on the streets dressed in mini dresses and mini skirts, not afraid to show off their legs. It’s like they can’t feel the weather at all! And though it may sound odd to a Westerner, showing as much leg as possible is perfectly fine in Korea, especially in Seoul.
If there has ever been a nation of women that will stick to wearing heels through thick and thin, that would be Korean women. Of course, shoes of all types and colors are made, on sale, and used, but chances are that if you ever see a woman conquering a mountain in heels, she would be Korean.
Whether they are stilettos, slingbacks, wedges, or chunky boots, Korean women sure love the added height. And why wouldn’t they? Their petiteness makes for the perfect company for heels, especially with the right outfit.
But just because Korean women love their heels and mini skirts don’t mean there isn’t an equal amount of them that prefer a more relaxed, even tomboy-ish look. To every skinny jean-loving girl, there is one that loves loose pants.
For every form-hugging dress, there is an outfit consisting of a loose top with a loose bottom. And Korean women know exactly how to make this look work. Even the girly girls are typically very into shirts, blouses and tees that are at least two sizes oversized, combining them beautifully with a tighter bottom.
Now that we have a few of the key Korean fashion looks down, it’s time to figure out how to actually achieve them. Where is it that Korean women shop aside from the well-loved street shops?
As far as affordable but famous and respected brands go, Stylenanda is at the very top. Though, it is not the cheapest brand around you also won’t have to pay yourself sick to dress in their clothes. Stylenanda offers fashion in all shapes and colors, with their style typically being of the more modern street fashion variety.
This popular brand offers classic and timeless Korean fashion styles in earthy tones. It is a great place to shop for fashionable clothes that are wearable for any occasion. While feminine with a touch of ease and comfort, they’re trendy from season to season.
Ribbontie is the edgier version of Cherrykoko. Though not as quirky as Stylenanda, their clothes are fun, chill, and perfect for your everyday street style look. This brand was formed as a merge of three smaller brands into one.
For those girls who prefer a more cutesy look, Icecream12 is a great choice. Their collection is cute and colorful, and they also have a range of tennis skirts, a clothing item that can be found in every Korean girl’s closet, for sale.
Now that you have the basics of Korean women’s fashion down, share your stylist creations with us in the comments below!
Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto
2 thoughts on “Korean Women’s Fashion – A guide on the best outfits & brands”
This was a great help! Very interesting read.
Great, thanks for your comment, Krystal! I’m glad that our article has been helpful to you. ^^ If you want to have more Korean lessons, you can also check our blog and visit our YouTube channel for articles and videos with great Korean content.