Study in Style: A Guide to Korean College Fashion


Study in Style: A Guide to Korean College Fashion

Who said that college is purely about acing your classes? Whether you are pursuing academics or extracurricular activities, dressing up and fashionably strutting through campus is an opportunity worth taking. Truly, the university is the best place to rebrand yourself and reinvent your wardrobe through Korean college fashion!

If you already watched campus-inspired Korean dramas, then you are right on track to substantiating those Korean drama scenes. However, putting together stylish outfits with limited closet space, especially if you are living in a dorm, takes some trial and error. Luckily, we have got you covered to ensure that you are always on top of your fashion game.

After doing extensive research on Korean college fashion, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the fundamental and versatile pieces to embody such style. Live out the romanticized college life with these Korean college fashion essentials and get ready to study in style!

Table of Contents

Looking for office outfits for your post-graduation life? We recommend that you check out our previous article about Korean Office Fashion & Getting Inspired For The Work Place.

Chiffon Bow Blouse

When transitioning from high school to college life, you might be missing those uniform bows already. Luckily, several chiffon blouses come with thick, adorable bows! Given that most chiffon blouses are made of thin silk, they are perfect for layering with cardigans or blazers. In addition, they are incredibly airy and typically have flounce trims around the neckline.

Take a look at Lee Naeun who starred in the Korean drama series “A-Teen.” With the collar and bow of her blouse peeking out of her cardigan, she seems to be channeling her inner Kim Hana. As for Moon Gayoung who played Lim Jugyeong in “True Beauty,” she chose to match her white blouse with a tailored, houndstooth-patterned blazer. Both stars, with their ethereal beauty and complementing outfit, definitely look like they just came straight out of a webtoon.

Pleated Mini Skirt

Just because you are now in college does not mean that you have to bid pleated skirts goodbye already. You can still enjoy the classic schoolgirl look by pairing pleated mini skirts with any top of your choice. Garments with vertical creases are incredibly popular among young girls given their femininity and attractiveness. They are also freeing when worn as they do not limit leg movement—perfect when you are running late to class!

Similar to (G)I-DLE’s Minnie, solid color mini skirts can be worn with a leather belt for a stylistic touch. However, if you are leaning towards plaid just like SOMI, they are best when worn alone to not overkill the pattern.

Button-Down Shirt

As the crowd favorite, button-down shirts are versatile and effortlessly stylish since they can be worn as outerwear or as it is. It is a staple in every college student’s wardrobe because it perfectly treads the line between formal and casual wear. In addition, they can be layered with sweater vests to make a subtle statement.

As seen on MAMAMOO’s Solar and Moonbyul, button-down shirts can be styled in various ways, depending on cut and color. White button-down shirts can be paired with almost any inner shirt or pants since they reflect all the shades on the color wheel. On the other hand, blue ones pair well with neutral tones like beige and gray. For a more sporty look, they can be paired with snap-back hats, which we’ll dive into later.

Overall Dress

Overall dresses are one way to be stylish without having to break the university dress code. They look effortlessly chic given that they are very lightweight and comfortable to slip into. To not reveal too much skin, you can wear them over a white inner shirt or pants that complement the dress’ color.

Indeed, TWICE’s Dahyun and BLACKPINK’s Rose understood the assignment as they dominate the stage with their unconventional ways of wearing overall dresses. Dahyun chose to pair her deer-patterned cowl neck dress with a fitted white shirt and dainty jewelry to elevate her look. On the other hand, Rose paired her accordion dress with a plain tee and light-washed jeans for a casual look.

Varsity Jacket

Calling all student-athletes! You are in luck because varsity jackets became a fashion staple quite recently as they are comfortable and a vintage classic. Most varsity jackets come in two tones, making them versatile for accessorizing. If you’re in an air-conditioned room during class or simply feeling sporty, they might just be your go-to!

Step aside as (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon is coming with her fiery red varsity jacket. By making a bold statement with her color of choice, her jacket would definitely be a head-turner. For those who want to keep it chill and lowkey, BLACKPINK’s Lisa is serving looks with her green and beige letterman jacket. As seen above, varsity jackets go well as streetwear or simply casual wear.

Snap Back Hats

Every college student is bound to have that flat brim cap with an adjustable strap in the back that snaps. Typically having a university name imprinted on them, snap-back hats are an indispensable need for all students who are always walking under the sun, going from building to building.

Steal Red Velvet’s Seulgi’s look by getting a navy blue snap-back hat to pair with the same colored bottoms. However, if you are familiar with Lee Suho’s iconic baseball cap, show your love for “True Beauty” like (G)I-DLE’s Shuhua by wearing it with a trench coat or a varsity jacket for the full-on sporty look.

Puffer Jacket

It is undeniable that it may get cold at times on campus, especially in South Korea. Keep yourself warm this winter season with an oversized puffer jacket. This quilted coat is longpadded and filled with synthetic fibers to provide a high level of warmth wherever you go. In fact, they got popular due to the streetwear obsession of Koreans.

This clothing piece is evidently a personal favorite of both TWICE’s Nayeon and the solo singer IU. If your overall outfit leans toward the warm side of the color wheel, it is best to pair it with a cool-colored puffer jacket similar to Nayeon. The opposite goes if your outfit leans toward the cool side just like IU’s.

Pullover Sweater

It is undeniable that pullover sweaters are a staple for students. Other than the fact that they are incredibly easy to wear (as the term suggests, they are “pulled over” your head), pullover sweaters are perfect when you are going for a preppy look or simply a lazy day outfit. No matter how you style your sweater, it will never fail to provide you utmost comfort. In addition, it is the most versatile in any style of neckline. Thus, we highly recommend stockpiling a couple of pullover sweaters, especially if you are into layering.

Emulate Red Velvet’s Yeri’s look by matching a neutral-colored sweater with a pleated mini skirt and knee-high socks of the same shades. For a pop of color, take BLACKPINK’s Jennie as an inspiration as she layered her pink sweater over a classic white top.

Square Neck Top

Although you can never go wrong with a classic crew neck shirt, tops with a square neckline are a flattering option for most body types. Given that collarbones are one of the most attractive features among women, square neck tops display them and make your neck look longer and slimmer. It provides a stylish frame without having to reveal too much skin.

The fun thing about square neck tops is that they can exhibit different vibes depending on how they are styled. For instance, a casual look similar to that of (G)I-DLE’s Minnie can be accomplished by pairing a white cap-sleeve top with neutral bottoms and dainty jewelry. If you wish to recreate SOMI’s elegant look, throw on a black puff-sleeve square neck top with bright-colored bottoms for contrast as well as a matching baguette handbag.

Boot Cut Jeans

Lastly, the trend of the 90s is back in style this decade and is not going anywhere anytime soon. Bootcut jeans are currently one of the most popular pant silhouettes as they are straight-cut through the legs and slightly flared from knee to hem. Such cut balances broad shoulders, which is a feature that most Korean idols have.

Given its flattering style, most Korean idols are caught wearing bootcut jeans whenever they are strolling down the streets of Korea. Take BLACKPINK’s Jennie as an example as she wears her bootcut jeans with an open-front knit vest. Red Velvet’s Joy took a different direction by pairing her own with a body-fit long-sleeve top, which is another returning trend from the 90s.


Now that you have reached the end of the article, go on and pick out an outfit for your next class. We hope that dressing up in college would motivate you to keep pushing with your studies and attain your goals and dreams. Let us know any college fashion staples and other outfit ideas we missed in the comment section below!

If you and your partner wish to showcase your love through coordinated couple outfits, make sure to check out our article on Aesthetic Korean Couple Outfits. Take a look at our A Guide to Kpop Halloween Outfits to Replicate if you need more spooky costume ideas for October 31st!

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

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