It’s no secret that South Korea is one of the places to go when it comes to fashion. With its long history of cultural innovation, it has influenced trends in Asia and abroad. And when you think about South Korean street fashion, it’s easy to picture the stylish people of Seoul. They look effortlessly chic with their seemingly tailored pants, oversized cardigans, and fierce high-rise boots.

But it’s not just the city that’s making waves with its fashion scene. The suburbs are also experiencing a huge trend in streetwear fashion, which has become the main source of inspiration for K-pop stars and fashion designers alike.

Street fashion is a dynamic, ever-changing industry. If you’re looking to stay on top of your fashion game, then you’ll want to follow what’s trending in South Korean street fashion. And you can count on us to help you with that!

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c. Alex Finch

The rise of street style

South Korean street fashion has come a long way from its origins. In the ’90s, as the country rebuilt itself after the end of the Cold War and wars with North Korea, trends were heavily influenced by Western brands. Fashion was expensive, and it took time for local designers to rise up. However, in recent years a different kind of style has become prevalent – one that embraces K-pop culture and draws on traditional designs at once.

c. Alex Finch

c. Alex Finch

This street fashion scene has taken the world by storm as more and more people are recognizing the influence it has on modern style. It’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone dressed in the latest trends, and it’s even harder to pinpoint exactly what makes this style so unique. But what sets South Korean street fashion apart from others has got to be its edgy elegance, which so strongly contrasts with the more mainstream notions of urban wear, its bright patterns, and odes to vintage Americana.

 

Kpop and street fashion

Kpop has gained tremendous popularity worldwide in the last few years, and this includes fashion as well. Idols have been known to wear a mix of styles, which often include Korean and Western streetwear brands. Because streetwear is typically made from materials like cotton and polyester blends, they are very comfortable and breathable, making them perfect for performing in.

@miyayeah

The trend can be seen on runway shows during Seoul Fashion Week. But Kpop has done wonders to help showcase the Korean street fashion scene. It is not only Korean hip hop groups that help push forward these trends, but Kpop idols themselves.

@cube_ptg

In addition to street fashion being trendy for idols and hip hop groups in Korea, it is also popular among K-pop fans all over the world. Mostly among people in their twenties to thirties, but it’s gaining traction with teens as well. In fact, teenagers have begun to wear street fashion in an effort to look more mature and trendy, as opposed to peers who stick to school uniforms.

 

What’s trending in South Korean street fashion?

It’s no surprise that Korea is home to some of the most stylish people in the world. And one of the most popular hotspots for fashion is Seoul’s Gangnam District, full of sleek high-rises and expensive cafes across a hilly landscape.

Today’s South Korean street fashion trends can be summed up with one word: classic. In recent years, street fashion has been shifting from more vibrant and experimental styles to a more traditional sense of dress that values simplicity and minimalism over glitz and glamour. In this sense, monochromatic looks and neutral color palettes have replaced loud neons and extravagant patterns.

@itzy.all.in.us

The focus on simplicity over extravagance lends itself to an anti-materialistic message and reinforces that clothes should be valued for what they can do rather than how expensive they are. South Korean street fashion today is best described as classic and unassuming, while still maintaining some of its original ‘edginess’.

Below are a few of our favorite streetwear trends:

1. All-Black Outfits

Monochrome looks aren’t necessarily a novelty. However, in the Korean street fashion scene, it is customary to mix textiles when dressing in all black. Leather jackets or shoes, blazer dresses, ripped jeans, cargo pants, and bomber jackets.

@lafilledhiver_

@ateez_official_

2. Pants Tucked Into Socks

Tucking your pajama pants into fuzzy socks may be a great way to keep warm in the winter. But in Korea, the baggy sweatpant funneling into a skinny ankle is a big trend. Bonus points if you leave your socks on display.

@bts.bighitofficial

@lalalalisa_m

3. Oversized Coats Over Tight Fits

You’ll surely notice that many Korean styles look perfectly tailored. And you’d be surprised to learn that the vast majority actually isn’t. The way clothes fit matters, and when it comes to street style, there is a big tendency to balance oversized pieces with tighter fits.

@hyojong_1994

@miyayeah

4. Fisherman Beanies & Bucket Hats

The latest trends for street-style headwear are fisherman beanies and bucket hats. The first is particularly favored by men with buzzed or tapered hair. The second is worn by both men and women, in plain or stamped styles, but almost always in black.

@jacksonwang852g7

@kimjuncotton

5. Chunky Shoes

Chunky sneakers and boots are the go-to footwear options for any Korean fan of street fashion. These pay homage to original trends of the 90s, but are often incorporated into more modern styles.

@somsomi0309

@hyunah_aa

6. Thrifted Finds

Many style moguls in Korea love to dabble in some good old thrift shopping. Besides searching for unique pieces, many have started to salvage retro clothes to merge with the new chic definition of street fashion.

@jennierubyjane

@realstraykids

7. Belts & Buckles

Bottoms with built-in industrial belts and buckles are one of the biggest trends in Korean streetwear. The more, the merrier!

@txt_bighit

@twicetagram

As the seasons change, so does fashion. Keeping up with what’s trending in street fashion can be hard, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. And what better way to do that than keeping your eyes peeled for our latest seasonal trends posts.

If you would like to learn more about Korean fashion, you’re more than welcome to also check out our style guide or fashion history timeline

Until next time and happy shopping!