Have you ever wondered how idols manage to stay so impeccably dressed? Even when off the stage, we see Kpop idols get snapped wearing designer clothes and accessories, matching sets, and enviable pieces from head to toe.

It would be too naive to assume that they all have an incredible fashion sense. Although some are known for pulling controversial looks and defying fashion conventions, we can’t possibly believe that along with their performative talents, they’re also gifted in the style department.

Every question you’ve ever had about how they show up wearing the things they do will be answered in this post. Where idols shop; if they pay for the clothes; whether they wear their picks or are given what to wear.
We would all love to look like them, but we should learn what really goes on backstage before they step into the spotlight.

Without further ado, let’s get right to it!

1. Where do KPop idols get their clothes?
2. Do Kpop idols rent their clothes?
3. When do Kpop idols wear their own clothes?
4. How do Kpop idols afford expensive clothes?
5. Where do Kpop idols buy their clothes?
6. What brands do Kpop idols wear?

@txt_bighit

1. Where do Kpop idols get their clothes?

Now, this question has many layers… Which clothes are we talking about exactly? Stage outfits? Music video looks? Runway photo-ops? Variety shows? Or the clothes Kpop idols wear on the street when they’re minding their own business?

@dlwlrma

There are a few practices that seem to be quite universal. For instance, the company will usually buy everything you see on stage. The idols will wear the clothes but these do not belong to them. As a matter of fact, the companies tend to keep the clothes even after they’ve been worn. These are later displayed or restyled on another idol.

@twicetagram

What you will see on red carpets and award shows, much like with Western celebrities, tends to be gifted or borrowed by major designer brands. These brands will take advantage of the stars’ popularity to showcase their newest collections, often driving fans to purchase the items.

@redvelvet.smtown

Even when off the carpet, Kpop idols might get access to designer or large brand items without having to drop a penny. It’s not entirely unusual for fans to gift expensive clothes and accessories. Idols may even get sponsored by a brand that will give them clothes to wear and be photographed in.

@marktuan

As a rule of thumb, the bigger their following is, the longer they’ve been in the business, and the more relevant they are, the more brand deals they should be able to receive. You’ve certainly seen videos and pictures on social media in which they have a not-so-subtle brand display. And if they have people willing to gift them their wardrobe, why would they spend their hard-earned money?

2. Do Kpop idols rent their clothes?

Here’s a good question: if we know that Kpop idols (especially from smaller companies) tend to struggle in the beginning, how could they afford so many expensive pieces? And of course, not every company will be able to dress multiple groups in thousands-of-dollars-worth ensembles.

@shinee

Bigger companies like SM or YG are said to have fully stocked wardrobes where idols can get borrow their looks from. However, smaller companies don’t even get to keep pieces that were worn once, unless it was for a music video.

Stylists and companies’ wardrobe departments are usually the ones handling the sourcing of clothes. More often than rented, clothes are borrowed from sponsors who negotiate the exposure. Regardless, some stylists will still buy or rent pieces. But they tend to be well-connected people who can get their hands on items that the average person likely could not.

3. When do Kpop idols wear their own clothes?

On their downtime, Kpop idols are mostly free to wear whatever they wish. Usually, only during promotions their outfits will be more thoughtfully put together. But then again, would you consider ‘their own clothes‘ to be more casual pieces or things that they bought themselves? After all, even if they do own a piece, it doesn’t mean they spent money on it.

@miyayeah

When it comes to promoting new music, attending shows, or holding concerts, they will hardly ever have a say in what they wear. This is why we end up seeing whole Kpop groups matching their outfits or idols looking uncomfortable in their clothes.

In some very special cases, bigger stars might end up choosing pieces to be worn on stage or during public appearances. Still, these will all be subject to the approval of the stylists.

@hyunah_aa

And if you seem to notice that an idol tends to dress in similar pieces throughout multiple comebacks, that isn’t necessarily indicative of their fashion sense. Stylists tend to dress some members in familiar pieces, which why you can see a girl group member always sporting over-the-shoulder garments, or a guy wearing leather harnesses despite the comeback concept not calling for it.

4. How do Kpop idols afford expensive clothes?

If we’re talking about bigger names like BTS, Blackpink, EXO, or Twice, you can rest assured that they make more than enough to afford it.

There are several ways for Kpop idols to wear expensive items, the most common being sponsorships or gifts.

@lalalalisa_m

Scrolling through a Kpop idols’ Instagram page is learning how many brands have them on their paycheck. From occasional gifts to ambassadorship deals and even dedicated lines, there are multiple ways to be sponsored. Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Celine, Bvlgari, MAC Cosmetics,… And these are only those represented by the Blackpink girls!

And if fans are willing to buy multiple copies of albums or deck their bedrooms in merchandise, what makes you think that won’t go as far as purchasing expensive souvenirs for their favorites? We’ve all seen the Times Square billboards and the illuminated Burj Khalifa, which were most definitely not cheap.

@jparkitrighthere

Some idols no longer accept gifts (such as Twice), but back in their earlier days, they would get luxury items that would rack up a pretty hefty bill. Amongst some of the craziest gifts, we have EXO’s Baekhyun’s $10,000 Rolex, TWICE Sana’s $10,000-worth of designer brand accessories, and IU’s $61,000 forest (and no, that’s not a typo).

5. Where do Kpop idols buy their clothes?

If Kpop idols would be buying their clothes, it’s safe to say that they would avoid large crowds and shop online. They do seem to favor house names like Off White, Tommy Hilfiger, and Burberry. There are a few smaller Korean brands that tend to show up quite regularly, such as beyondcloset, Stylenanda, and Charm’s.

@whee_inthemood

But let’s look in detail into what brands Kpop idols are sporting nowadays.

6. What brands do Kpop idols wear?

A quick Instagram scroll will show which house brands are more actively sponsoring big names in Kpop. And so many stars decided to not be monogamous with their fashion brands, often taking up partnerships with multiple brands.

For example, over the last couple of months, we’ve seen MAMAMOO’s Hwasa showcase Versace, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, and many more.

@_mariahwasa

@_mariahwasa

@_mariahwasa

But we’ve also seen a great deal of celebrities stick to a single or only very few brands.

Here’s Somi, rocking Louis Vuitton almost exclusively over the past few months.

@somsomi0309

 

@somsomi0309

@somsomi0309

Or EXO’s Kai, the authentic poster boy for Gucci.

@zkdlin

@zkdlin

@zkdlin

Some stars will wear brands they admire. Like BTS’ J-hope or Red Velvet’s Wendy, sporting styles from Irene Kim’s clothing label.

@ireneisgoodlabel

@ireneisgoodlabel

And sometimes, Kpop idols will even make their own clothes. There are a few big starlets that have launched clothing labels of their own. here are a few examples:

SuperJunior’s Donghae – Tempus Studio

@tempusstudio

@tempusstudio

KARD’s BM – StaydiumLA

@staydiumla

@staydiumla

GOT7’s Jackson – Team Wang Design

@teamwangdesign

@jacksonwang852g7

EXO’s Baekhyun – Privé Alliance

@privenewyork

@privenewyork

G Dragon – Peaceminusone

@peaceminusonedotcom

@peaceminusonedotcom

It’s fair to say that it’s quite unrealistic to aspire dressing like our Kpop idols. You either afford to or you don’t. But if your case is the latter, we might be able to help you replicate Kpop fashion.

And in case you don’t know where to start, we’ve put together a list of fresh new spring fashion trends to help you get inspired. Also, if you want to learn more about Kpop style and fashion, we’ve also covered the essentials that Kpop idols swear by.

You’ve got everything you need to start renovating your closet right here. Have fun and until next time!