K Fashion

K-Fashion: Korean Fashion Trends

If you're a fashion enthusiast , I'm sure along the way you've heard of the ' Big 4 ', the fashion capitals of the world, which means these big cities have a significant influence on international trends. of fashion. Apart from that, they are also the places where design, production, retail, events and shows, all related to fashion, generate and contribute to the growth of their economy.

Today, traditionally, these four major fashion capitals are Milan, Paris, London and New York .

But I bet that in the next few years there will be changes in this range. Currently, fashion hubs are forming all over the world with the potential, ability and influence to challenge these fashion big four. Among them are Tokyo, Rome, Buenos Aires and, among the stars of this article, Seoul , South Korea.

But before we dive into what it is now, let's go back to the very beginning.

Korean fashion history

korean hanbok

Going back to the Joseon period, between 1392 and 1897, hanboks were the general fashion trend. To simply describe the hanbok , it basically consists of a blouse and loose fitting stockings. Pants for men and skirts for women. At this time, there are not many clothing choices and the hanbok is the main piece. Although it is the only choice, the hanbok has different variations, with elite families and wealthy people wearing a more expensive version and its contrast with the lower class is obvious.

The years 1910 to 1945 were difficult for South Korea as they were the years of Japanese occupation when they were stripped of their culture . With the control of outside forces, the hanbok was banned as a means of subjugating South Koreans to their culture. And under the influence of the Japanese and their fashion trends, Korean men had to wear suits and women slacks. Accessories also became commonplace as men began to wear hats and women, on occasion, carried a handbag. Makeup was also a show for women, with red lipstick being the most influential.

After the Korean War, between 1945 and 1950, South Korea experienced extreme poverty. As the consequences of the war left the nation with little or no resources, South Koreans had to adapt and use KJP fashion or 구제품 (ku-je-pum), which in English means "relief supply" as their style of dress. As this was a consequence of the war, military uniforms were also in abundance, so they were also a source of clothing and style.

It was also during this time that the traditional hanbok made a comeback since it was banned during the Japanese occupation. With the end of the war, South Koreans regained their freedom to wear their traditional clothing.

At present, despite the evolution and innovations in fashion over the past few years, the hanbok can still be seen. Koreans still wear it at holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Lunar New Year, and at major events like weddings. And although it is a traditional garment, the hanbok enjoys international fame and is absolutely adored by foreigners due to the Hallyu wave and famous Korean historical dramas that have attracted this attention.

From 1950 to the present, the fashion and style of hanbok has seen a brighter future.

Although still struggling with poverty in the 1950s, fashion designers began to make a name for themselves and the first South Korean fashion show was held in 1956 at the Bando Hotel by the designer of fashion Nora Noh, who is currently one of the named founders of Korean fashion.

With the awakening of their hearts for fashion and design came the rise of fashion designers . With this development, one of Seoul's most well-known areas, Myeongdong , has become the epicenter of fashion, trends , and styles . Soon after, Myeongdong gradually filled with designers and their vision of fashion.

The 60s were the real reshaping of South Korean fashion and the start of trends. With the workforce slowly getting down to business, designers began to produce clothes that put more emphasis on mobility and comfort. For women, thanks to singer Yoon Bok Hee, miniskirts have become very popular. With it comes make-up , and women are showing off more than ever.

1970 and later years for South Korean fashion progressed much the same way as others. They also saw the glory of sheer bottom pants with hoop earrings and chunky sunglasses in the 70s. They also used fashion to creatively rebel against the traditional, strict upbringing of government by using more daring clothes.

South Korea also had the phase of baggy pants and chain fashion in the 80s, due to the influence of disco that was popping up all over the country. We also witness the birth of bright colors and make-up , with women dressing more casually in jeans and t-shirts.

korean fashion

The 1990s and 2000s were the take-off period for South Korean fashion due to the influence of the Hallyu Wave . Korean celebrities and idols are highly regarded and favored by their fans worldwide and, in turn, have been heavily influenced by their fashion. With the rule of supply and demand, brands all over the world have started paying attention to the trends and sense of Korean style . Until the year 2020, the dominant fashion of South Korea can still be seen in recent trends in makeup and dress styles . This is what is known today as " K-Fashion ".

K-Fashion: Korean Style

If we're going to talk about Korean fashion , I think it's only fair that we start with the basics, everyday wear and casual trends. Korean idols and groups, bearing increasing influence, are the center of attention when it comes to fashion styles and, although they are dressed in what could be the next big thing or the current trend piece, it is still quite common to see them in casual street clothes .

Of course, fashion styles and trends are not set in stone. They are constantly evolving and changing every moment all over the world. But with South Korea, some things never change. And even though some parts of the population don't have the need and feeling to follow, these are still the commonly accepted guidelines for leisure wear in South Korea.

Top and bottom bare conservatives

korean skirt

Exposing your shoulders, part of your chest or your stomach is not as controversial as it was a few decades ago, mainly due to the mixed influence of the West. Today, South Korean women are in love with crop tops and tank tops.

korean skirt

But generally speaking, South Korean values ​​stem from their conservative nature . What if a woman were to dress elegantly and classily even with basic everyday outfits and this mandate for clothes that don't reveal too much than is necessary is a common and attractive look for them . But as I mentioned, clothes that reveal the shoulders and midriff are now healthy accepted, but there is still a bit of trepidation when it comes to pieces that expose a woman's cleavage.

However, lows are in a whole other part of the scale. Shorts and skirts are an absolute trend in South Korea and season permitting, they are an everyday staple. And if you wear shorts or skirts yourself, you know that underwear is a must to avoid revealing too much.

All oversized

South Koreans, men and women, from head to toe, love to dress in oversized pieces. Whether it's an oversized shirt with skinny jeans or a sweater a few sizes larger paired with jeans or a skirt.

It's a common trend in Korean Style , where the clothes hide the silhouettes. It is adorable on women and gives men a no-nonsense look. Overall, it is a comfortable fashion style.

korean tshirt

The "We Are In Love" Look

I'm not too sure what happens anywhere else in the world, but in South Korea it's quite common to see a pair or two of matching outfits. This does not necessarily mean that they are the exact same pieces, but rather that they are the same color or aesthetic.

Seoul Fashion Week


Now that we've laid the foundation for K Fashion , it's high time to step up to the next pedestal. Seoul Fashion Week is a fashion show that takes place twice a year, during the spring/summer and fall/winter seasons. It is organized and sponsored by the City of Seoul and run by Inotion World Wide.

Seoul Fashion Week is usually divided into three parts. The first is the Seoul Collection , considered the high-end event in Korean fashion . The second is " Generation Next ", a fashion design program for designers with less than five years of experience. And the third and final part is " The Seoul Fashion Fair ", an exhibition showcasing Korean fashion companies with a mission to help these companies build partnerships and become globally competitive.

Now that we know what Seoul Fashion Week is all about, let's take a look at the hottest trends that will shape South Korean fashion in the coming months of 2021.

Korean Neon Outfit

neon korean

Everyone is into bright, neon colors these days. It's a little hard to wear, but with the right amount of blending, you'll be more than just a shiny person walking around, you'll be an icon.

Korean outfit all in white

White garment

White outfits really offer such a pure and clean look and that is why they are so simple and yet so loved by many.

Korean Baggy Jeans - Pants

korean jeans

Baggy jeans are making a comeback in modern times. It’s a relaxing but definitely stylish look.

korean pants

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