Summer has almost returned in South Korea and as always, we also can’t wait to transform our wardrobe into something that beats the heat in style. We may have brought to 2022 a number of summer pieces from the previous year. However, South Korean summer fashion is still steadily moving forward with interesting trends that give us a peek at their traditionally conservative taste.
Apart from swimwear fashion, let’s know more about how Koreans generally dress for the outdoors during the summer season! These Korean idols and celebrities will show us how exactly they serve as the trendsetters of some versatile pieces for the season. To copy the hottest pieces popular this year, below are the 10 Korean summer fashion trends for 2022.
(If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and transitioning to winter, you can get some outfit inspiration from our previous Korean Winter Fashion Trends 2022.)
1. Floral Dresses
2. Oversized Button-Down Shirts
3. Denim Bottoms & Overalls
4. Cropped Knit Cardigan
5. Puff-Sleeved Tops & Dresses
6. Colorful Crop Tops
7. Canvas Bags
8. Sleeveless Dresses
9. Linen Pants
10. White Flats, Sandals, or Sneakers
Depending on your location, spring might be almost over already or hasn’t started yet, but who says you can’t display yourself in blooming florals? A loose A-line dress in a floral print would make a highly feminine and refreshing look that’s fit for the summer heat.
Unlike what some might think, florals are not old-fashioned and are definitely still trendy even in 2022. The common types of florals are the ditsy ones, just like what BLACKPINK’s Rosé and Girls’ Generation Sooyoung displayed. However, you can definitely go bold and opt for larger floral patterns. Either way, a floral print on a simple dress lifts the mood!
South Koreans will always have a penchant for long-sleeved button-down shirts, even if they’re walking under the summer heat. Despite the extensive covers, this garment is often oversized or loose and uses a thin material so Koreans can still feel fresh during the summer without exposing much of their skin.
An oversized button-down shirt is often worn plainly as shown by actress Shin Min Ah, but it has become a trend to use it as a cover for an ensemble to look more conservative. For example, Red Velvet’s Joy uses this piece over her ribbed crop top. While she might have used it for stylistic purposes alone, we can’t deny that it’s often practiced by girls in a modest country despite the hot weather.
Denim will never go out of style even at this time of the year. As a classic piece of clothing, ripped denim shorts are often a part of South Koreans’ fool-proof summer outfits. But do you know that you can also rock a pair of straight-leg denim pants on a hot summer day? Red Velvet’s Yeri makes a casual summer outfit easy but still stylish with faded denim jeans and a simple top.
If you want to show some skin, though, you can copy BLACKPINK’s Lisa’s youthful ensemble with denim overall shorts and a sleeveless top. Being versatile as it is, you can match denim pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, or jumpsuits with almost any top for your summer outfit.
Knit cardigans are in for the summer to channel a cozy and modest look. Although some may argue that these clothing pieces may be too hot for the season’s temperature and would not shield their skin from sun rays, they serve as an excellent complement to a dainty summer dress like TWICE’s Dahyun’s. Knit cardigans are also ideal for layering clothing pieces during the season as well as serving as a loose cover-up for semi-revealing outfits.
This type of cardigan becomes more fitting for the summer heat especially when cropped. To enliven her overall ensemble, Red Velvet’s Yeri paired this piece with a plain white top. The thin material also makes it more convenient and chic to wear during summertime.
Puff sleeves are one of the most popular Korean summer fashion trends with their presence on almost any feminine outfit. From the square neck top of Wendy from Red Velvet and the sweetheart neck dress of BLACKPINK’s Lisa, puff sleeves add a certain amount of volume to anyone’s outfit of the day. They also give a cute yet versatile spin to any plain clothing piece.
This type of sleeves often matches form-fitting tops or dresses with delicate features like ruffles, florals, and light hues. It is also most commonly seen among baby doll dresses, poplin blouses, and button-down shirts, which means that you can also incorporate these dynamic pieces in your summer closet.
Colorful crop tops are a fool-proof summer staple for every country, and South Korea is no exception. While exposed midriffs might not be the most common sight in a conservative country, it’s safe to say that many Korean idols like BLACKPINK’s Jennie and Red Velvet’s Yeri have already started to advance the crop top trend in South Korea.
Crop tops are ideal to show more skin and feel fresher during the summer season. You can incorporate vivid summer colors like green, blue, yellow or even statement hues like hot pink to add a twist to your ensemble. If your crop top already screams summer, you can simply pair them with plain bottoms like denim shorts or a drapey skirt for the right amount of chic.
Canvas tote bags are an all-season staple for those in the east, making them a recognizable Korean summer fashion trend. Apart from their simplicity and functionality, these bags are commonly seen among daily commuters for their timeless style. For casual summer looks, you can count on this type of bag to house all of your everyday travel essentials.
Canvas tote bags often come in a plain beige or off-white color that’s fit for any outfit, but they can also feature minimalistic designs or appear in a bolder color like black or brown. Despite being highly durable and roomy, this everyday tote is also lightweight, making it suitable for summer when you’re probably already displeased enough by the scorching heat. Comfort and style come in one through these canvas tote bags.
Your summer looks will never go wrong with a sleeveless dress, which you can wear as it is as TWICE’s Momo did or use for layering like BLACKPINK’s Rosé. For a hot season, you may opt for a drapey camisole dress with a thin material so you can match it with a plain white t-shirt to transform your look into a more conservative yet fresh one. If you don’t prefer to wear a top underneath, you can instead wear a linen or denim sleeveless dress with a square neck. You can also pair it with a light cardigan for a modest finish.
In traditionally conservative countries like South Korea, it is more fitting to wear short skirts and mini dresses than to wear clothes with plunging necklines. With that said, if you want to blend into the crowd, make sure that you have a shirt underneath or a cardigan with you whenever you’re wearing a sleeveless dress that exposes your chest. Of course, you can be bold like some Korean idols and style your sleeveless dress however you please.
9 – Linen Pants
Linen pants are the perfect wardrobe staple that you can also use even during the summer. With the way BLACKPINK’s Rosé styled a pair of beige baggy linen pants, we can’t get enough of styling this piece with different kinds of statement tops that beat the summer heat. Aside from being effortlessly stylish, linen pants are lightweight and effective in shielding your legs from harmful sun rays.
If you want the versatility of linen pants for a day out, stock on basic colors like brown, beige, white, grey, and black so you can easily pair them with any garment. A more comfortable fit would be loose or wide-leg pants, but even linen pants with a straight or skinny fit will be highly coveted for the season.
10 – White Flats, Sandals, or Sneakers
To complete your summer look, you will definitely need a versatile pair of shoes that are comfortable for walking. Luckily, white flats, sandals, or sneakers will be suitable for any refreshing summer ensemble. While there are also other neutral hues like cream or black, white is an unbeatable color when it comes to styling casually, as shown by BLACKPINK’s Rosé. Since it is light, it perfectly matches any bright and lively summer color among outfits. Simple but stylish!
And speaking of white, you can also delve into off-white footwear for that faded look, similar to 2NE1’s Dara. Whether you’re wearing a feminine mini dress or a comfortable shirt and a pair of pants, you can rely on plain white shoes for an easy-peasy summer getup.
Whether for a casual summer day out or for a plush beach party, we hope you got all the wardrobe inspiration you need to spend a ‘hot’ summer! Which one of these Korean summer fashion trends is in your closet already? Let us know your summer staples by commenting below!
If you want to know more about Korean fashion all year round, you can check out our posts on spring, winter, and autumn fashion trends from South Korea. Curious about the differences between Korean and Japanese fashion? Hop on to our detailed review of Korean vs Japanese styles!
As always, thanks for reading and happy shopping!