It’s Okay Not To Be Okay is probably one of the best and most critically-acclaimed dramas we’ve seen come from Korea in recent years. The romantic drama follows the entanglement of a psych ward caretaker and a mysterious children’s book writer. But what sets it apart from others of the genre is the portrayal of mental health, particularly childhood trauma. And just how art often imitates life, you’ll find that the It’s Okay Not To Be Okay fashion depicts the innermost essence of its protagonists.
This is a show that will truly tug at your heartstrings. But it will also help you understand that everyone goes through hardships, and struggles through understanding their thoughts, feelings, emotions. Ultimately, the most basic notion of the human condition is that everyone feels pain. But it’s also important to learn that it’s okay not to be okay.
On a lighter note, today we will be diving into the It’s Okay Not To Be Okay fashion. The main three characters have a story of their own, although their lives are closely intertwined. This dark fairytale-like drama gifted us some of the most iconic fashion moments in modern Korean television. And you’ll see exactly what we mean with our It’s Okay Not To Be Okay fashion review…
Ko Moon-Young: the untouchable, haunted writer
When we first meet Ko Moon-Young, we might mistake her for the antagonist of the series. Her cold, arrogant demeanor intimidates even the most self-assured person, and it’s hard to believe that she’s a successful children’s book writer. In fact, she doesn’t seem to change her attitude even for her tiny fans.
In those first few episodes, we see Moon-Young wear mostly black and white ensembles. She wears long, sophisticated tailored dresses and skirt sets almost exclusively. And naturally, these are all designer pieces with commanding silhouettes and intricate ruffles along the chest, shoulders, or arms.
As the show progresses, and so does her relationship with the Moon brothers, she invites more color into her life and wardrobe. Now, we see her sport dainty florals, calming pastels, and innocent white dresses. As she works towards overcoming her childhood trauma and letting down her guard, her style truly blossomed and we loved to see it.
Moon Gang-Tae: his brother’s keeper
The character of Moon Gang-Tae leaves no room for wrongful interpretations. Although he has struggles and secrets of his own, his empathetic nature shines through right from the very first time we see him. He puts his autistic brother’s needs before his own, and goes to extreme lengths only to ensure that he’s kept safe.
As he’s lived a very nomadic lifestyle since a young age and due to his work in mental institutions, his style is quite simple and understated. Whenever he doesn’t have to wear his psych ward slacks, he’ll make do with basic tees, collared shirts, and denim jackets.
His involvement with Ko Moon-Young allowed us to glimpse at a more polished version of himself. The suit he wore in the finale and his blue shirt date look are some of our favorites in the season. Perhaps because we knew that at this point, he had finally let someone else in and was ready to truly start living his life.
Moon Sang-Tae: lovable childhood innocence
As far as It’s Okay Not To Be Okay outfits go, Moon Sang-Tae had the most recognizable wardrobe of all. He was an autistic person who never quite outgrew his childhood innocence and sunny disposition. Sang-Tae had the most adorable collection of striped t-shirts, that he almost always wore over long-sleeves.
Although his style was very much reminiscent of that of a young boy’s, he did step up his game with fancy a button-down, and checkered blazer to meet his idol Ko Moon-Young. We do see him sport equally stylish outfits once he begins working with her drawing children’s book illustrations.
In a show mostly set in psych wards, it was refreshing to see just how much thought the stylists put into the remaining It’s Okay Not To Be Okay outfits. Were you biased towards the female lead’s classy picks? Make sure to let us know in the comments.
And, of course, you can grab your favorite pieces of It’s Okay Not To Be Okay fashion in our dedicated shop. While you’re at it, check out our list of Korean dramas with the best outfits so you can step into the clothes of your favorite characters any time you’d like.
As always, happy shopping!