Korean fashion trends have become more popular than ever in recent years. This is likely due to the rise of the Korean fashion industry in the global market and the raging success of Kpop idols on an international scale. But what’s most intriguing is how these trends and styles differ from those of the West. And how everyone in South Korea seems to dress impeccably. So, it’s only natural we decided to share the ultimate Korean Fashion Style Guide.
With this guide, we aim to explore the hype surrounding Korean fashion trends and understand what these are. We’ll be giving you insight into some of the most popular styles and how to achieve them.
Make sure to keep reading until the end, where you’ll find the answer to some of your burning questions surrounding Korean fashion and the most up-to-date trends.
What fashion is trending in Korea?
Korean fashion trends are largely influenced by Kpop and Kdramas. Most of the time, what you see in Korean dramas will be replicated directly into real-life within weeks or even days after airing on TV.
Right now, what we’ve been seeing most are head-to-toe street style looks, styled in a way that looks expensive yet effortlessly cool. Kpop stars, especially, tend to go for more upscale ensembles consisting mainly of sleek tailoring pieces, which are then contrasted with fun accessories and casual shoes.
(To make sure you know what Koreans have been wearing this season, check out our piece on the latest fall trends.)
As of lately, Korean fashion has become an undeniable phenomenon— while some styles are created by famous brands and celebrities, others are born out of creative minds who aren’t afraid to experiment. But we’ll let you know more about street fashion, along with four other popular styles in just a bit.
Korean Fashion Style Guide
There are so many Korean fashion styles to choose from, it may be difficult to pick the right one. To make things easier for you, we’ll break down Korean Fashion into five popular styles: street fashion, smart casual, classic feminine, edgy alternative, and comfy athletic. This way choosing your favorite look will be as easy as ABC!
1 – Street Fashion
Street fashion is a major favorite. It consists mainly of basics such as simple tees, plain sweatshirts, and jeans which are then paired with chunky sneakers or other eye-catching accessories for a trendy touch.
Korean girls love being on top of the latest trends, and this is reflected in their street fashion as well. If you want to be a trendsetter yourself, try incorporating some Korean fashion essentials into your ensemble— for example, wear oversized sweaters (when it starts to get chilly) or checkered shirts (while it’s not cold enough for a coat yet!).
But don’t forget to let your individuality show by adding a Korean twist— wear an item you wouldn’t normally see on yourself or mix prints in unexpected ways, and be sure to have fun while doing so!
2 – Smart Casual
Smart casual fashion is classy yet cozy. When it comes to this look, comfort should always prevail over everything else— but that doesn’t mean you have to look sloppy either. Choose pieces that fit well, coordinate with each other, and flatter your figure (after all, there’s no confidence when wearing clothes that make you feel uncomfortable).
Your best bet when it comes to smart-casual fashion is investing in quality basics such as elegant sweaters, tailored blazers, and dressy pants. In order to elevate your look without having to put in too much effort, choose a couple of statement pieces such as tasteful bracelets or elegant earrings. Keep the rest simple so that the focus stays on the accessories.
Lastly, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes (heels are usually out of the question in this case) and layer up when it gets cold.
3 – Classic Feminine
Classic Korean feminine fashion is all about looking demure and sweet. Think flowy skirts, dainty dresses, and pretty blouses— pair these with some light-colored pumps or heeled sandals for a lovely finish.
You’ll notice that a lot of pieces may be inspired by traditional Korean clothing. For this reason, lace and other delicate fabrics can be very useful when trying to achieve a classy feminine look.
Make sure your makeup is simple with subtle accents (bright lipstick and rosy cheeks), and wear your hair down, looking soft and shiny with loose curls. When it comes to Korean classic feminine fashion, the overall goal is to look ladylike all throughout the day— whether you’re going for a casual brunch or meeting up with friends at night!
4 – Edgy Alternative
If you’re going for an edgy Korean style, leather jackets and boots will never fail you. This trend is all about looking tough yet chic at the same time— perfect for those who aren’t afraid of standing out from the crowd.
Try going with buckled boots for an interesting twist— they’ll add the perfect rugged touch to any ensemble! When it comes to accessories, think about adding some silver jewelry or dangly earrings in order to emphasize that effortlessly cool factor. You can also put on a hat and sunglasses when going out.
If you feel like wearing preppy jeans instead of ripped ones— go for it! Or if you want to add some color to your ensemble— feel free to do so. You definitely don’t have to wear black all the time. Korean fashion isn’t about following the rules, it’s about being yourself while having fun with clothes!
5 – Comfy Athletic
If Korean street fashion is all about looking trendy and chic, then Korean comfy athletic style is the complete opposite. This look consists of sweatshirts, track pants (the Korean version of leggings), and sneakers. And the best part is that it’s super easy to achieve! Just add a pair of casual canvas shoes or running shoes to complete the look.
Don’t be afraid to have fun with bright colors and snazzy prints— anything goes as long as it’s comfortable! If you want, you could even play around with layers by adding a stylish windbreaker or puffer jacket on top of your sweatshirt. You’ll surely look stylish yet practical at the same time, perfect for any occasion in which comfort isn’t sacrificed.
Korean fashion trends are usually inspired by Kdrama and K-pop stars. If you want to achieve the Korean look, dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable while paying attention to what’s trendy at the moment. Just make sure to follow our Korean Fashion Style Guide and shop at Fashion Chingu, of course!