In South Korea, fashion beautifully melds the old with the new. When traveling to this dynamic nation and aiming to fit in, it’s crucial to be aware of certain style cues. Whether it’s choosing understated hues or incorporating vibrant accessories, there are various methods to achieve a local look. Here’s how to dress in Korea while respecting cultural sensibilities and staying stylish.
Top Style Tips: How to Dress in Korea
The Dos: What to wear in South Korea
1. Adjust to the weather
Be it a breezy summer or a frosty winter, dress for the season. Ensure you pack the right attire: lightweight materials for the summer, insulating layers for winter, and remember to include a durable raincoat or umbrella for the monsoon period.
2. Incorporate some trendy K-fashion elements
To seamlessly fit in with the distinct Korean fashion aesthetic, think about adding popular K-fashion pieces to your collection, such as oversized tops, broad-legged trousers, and charming adornments.
3. Wear a comfy pair of footwears
You’ll find yourself walking extensively, from the lively streets of Seoul to the scenic trails of national parks. Consider investing in chic yet comfortable sneakers or flats. Please keep in mind that you might need to leave your shoes at the door when visiting traditional Korean restaurants. So, easy-off shoes are a better choice.
4. Bring lightweight sweater or cardigan everywhere
Even in the summer, many indoor areas use powerful air conditioning. Having a light sweater or cardigan on hand can ensure your comfort.
5. Accessories, accessories!
Koreans love accessories! Add elements such as bold earrings, scarves, hats, or even a stylish mask to enhance your attire.
6. Jeans, a great choice
Jeans are a reliable and adaptable option for embracing Korean fashion. Match them with a chic shirt, and you’re set for many relaxed occasions.
7. Dress up
In Korea, dressing up for an evening out is valued. If you’re thinking of visiting upscale restaurants or clubs, pack a trendy dress or a stylish top to pair with fashionable pants.
8. Match up!
In South Korea, it’s common for couples to don matching attire, signaling their bond and unity. This trend, particularly popular among the younger generation, is evident on Seoul’s bustling streets. Whether it’s identical jackets or harmonious color schemes, twinning outfits are a testament to Korea’s value of harmony and unity. When in Korea, immerse yourself in this fashion culture by coordinating with your loved one. And for that authentic touch, capture countless moments with photos, showcasing how to dress in Korea.
9. Rent hanbok
When you tour historical landmarks such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, consider renting a Hanbok, the traditional Korean attire. It enhances your photo opportunities and even grants you complimentary admission to the palace!
The Don’ts: What NOT to wear in South Korea
1. Show too much skin
In South Korea, despite its modernity, displaying excessive skin, especially around the shoulders and chest, is deemed unsuitable. It’s best to refrain from wearing overly exposed attire, especially in traditional or religious environments.
2. Uncomfortable heels
Koreans have a fondness for heels, but traversing the streets and subway steps in them can be tricky. Consider choosing comfortable shoes if you anticipate a lot of walking.
3. Excessively flashy jewelry
Although South Korea is a secure place, displaying ostentatious jewelry might draw undue attention and highlight you as a visitor.
4. Slogans or graphics
Avoid wearing shirts with potentially offensive or inappropriate slogans or graphics. Remember, even if English isn’t their primary language, many Koreans comprehend it.
If you’re considering a trip to the beach or a public pool, choose swimwear that’s more conservative. Bikinis are less frequently seen and might attract undue attention. Moreover, on the beach, Korean women wear shorts and t-shirts rather than swimwear. So, blend in!
6. Excessive makeup
When figuring out how to dress in Korea, consider that locals typically prefer sleek and coordinated appearances, encompassing both hairstyle and makeup. Korean beauty trends highlight radiant skin, and the use of Korean cosmetics, which are characterized by subtle and neutral makeup, is popular among all genders.
Safe travels and stylish adventures await!
Navigating the vibrant fashion landscape of South Korea requires a blend of modern style and cultural respect. By adhering to the above essential dos and don’ts, you can confidently embrace the local fashion while honoring traditional sensibilities. Dressing appropriately not only enhances your travel experience but also fosters deeper connections with the Korean culture.
More Korean fashion recommendation:
- 20+ Best Korean Street Fashion Trends to Try in 2023
- The Evolution and Influence of Korean Fashion Culture
- A Beginner’s Guide to Cute Korean Fashion – Trends for All Season
- Korean Fashion & Makeup: Evolution, Influence, and Global Dominance
- Top 2023 Korean Spring Fashion Trends: Elevate Your Style with the Latest Looks