Korean Street Fashion | Brands, Style and More!
If you have ever visited Korea and walked the streets of the university districts – Hongdae, Ehwa, Sinchon – you might have thought “wow, everyone here is dressed so incredibly hip!” We could not agree more. The style seen in these university districts is completely different from the Korean fashion style in the rest of Seoul and Korea. In Yeouido, the financial district, you might see more office wear and in Gangnam – yes, from Gangnam style – you will see a lot of designer clothes. But the streets around universities are well-known for their Korean streetwear and Korean street fashion.
Korea has had its own street fashion culture for years, but now Korean street fashion is becoming more popular internationally as well. What is amazing about Korean streetwear is that there are so many different kinds and styles. Let’s dive into Korean streetwear, where to buy it, and some of my favorite clothes.
- What Is Korean Street Fashion?
- Where to buy Korean Street Fashion
- Korean Street Fashion
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Korean Street Fashion?
It is impossible to characterize Korean street fashion in just a few words, but generally speaking, most streetwear is chunky, comfortable, and often contains large logos or sayings. Sometimes it combines streetwear-style clothing – like sweaters, hoodies, and sneakers – with traditional Korean imagery.
It is also important to understand that street fashion differs per neighborhood. Most often, three distinct types of Korean street fashion are named: Hongdae street fashion, Ewha Street Fashion, and Retro Street Fashion.
1. Hongdae Street Fashion
Hongdae University district is the place-to-be for the best nightlife in Seoul. No wonder it has some of the most vibrant street fashion vibes as well. Hongdae University is well-known for its great cultural and art programs, so a lot of artists and designers have come from this area. Combine this artsy side with the university-inspired nightlife, and you get Hongdae Street Fashion.
Streetwear in Hongdae can best be described as oversized, unisex, and chunky. Big hoodies and t-shirts, one-size-fits-all (boys and girls!), huge logos, and a lot of black characterize this style. Think of little fisherman beanies, big sneakers, and tight pants. Hongdae Street Fashion is also very popular among K-pop stars, such as Lisa from Black Pink, Jessi from JYP, and Hwasa from Mamamoo.
2. Ewha Street Fashion
Ewha Women’s University is an all-girls university and thus Ewha street fashion is a lot more soft and girly than Hongdae Street Fashion. The streets around Ewha University are lined with little shops where you can find the characteristic “schoolgirl” look.
Ewha Street Fashion is characterized by soft, comfy, but elegant clothing. It is perfect for attending classes, but could even be worn as a casual office outfit. It is less “tough”-looking than Hongdae Street Fashion, and has softer lines and more form-fitting clothes. Think of dresses combined with oversized Korean sweaters. This style was made famous by Girls’ Generation and Twice.
3. Retro Street Fashion
Retro fashion is popular all over the globe these days and Korea is no exception. Retro street fashion borrows a lot of patterns and styles from the 80s and 90s in Korea. This means bold colors, simple t-shirts without too many logos, and sometimes even shoulder pads. This kind of street style is often combined with Hongdae Street Fashion or Ewha Street Fashion.
Where to buy Korean Street Fashion
Of course, you can buy Korean street fashion on the streets! Just take a stroll through the Hongdae or Ewha neighborhoods and you can find a clothing store every 5 meters (no joke). You can buy everything, ranging from sweaters and pants to accessories and shoes. But, beware, most of these street fashion shops are one size fits all. This means that taller or larger people might have a hard time finding clothes that fit their frame.
Luckily, you can also buy Korean Street fashion online! Lianox is an online store that sells street fashion from Korea – and even Japan and China – to almost everywhere in the world. Lianox was founded in 2017 because they wanted to provide wider access to the cool street styles of East Asia. Their main offices are located in Germany but they have a warehouse in China, so you can be sure the clothes arrive fast.
Lianox sells a whole range of street clothes: different types of shirts, hoodies, pants, skirts, dresses, and even whole outfits. They also sell jewellery and accessories, so your Korean street outfit will want for nothing. Good to know: we tried out some items from Lianox and we loved them all. Their quality is amazing – way better than what you expect from street fashion – and they fit well.
Korean Street Fashion
Let’s have a look at some typical Korean streetwear.
1. Denim Jackets
Retro and comfortable: the denim jacket is back! Already the rage in the 90s, denim jackets have been making a comeback lately. And I could not be happier. Denim jackets are perfect for fall or spring, when the evenings and mornings are chilly but you do not want to wear a coat just yet. Besides, they are very durable and can be worn for many years on end.
If you are looking for a Korea-inspired denim jacket, take a look at this model from Lianox (Use BEMARIEKOREA discount code for an additional 10% off at checkout). It is embroidered with a crane and some cherry blossom-like flowers – an image often seen in Korean traditional art. The quality of the embroidery is very high and the jacket itself is comfortable.
2. Crop Tops
A good, oversized crop top always matches oversized pants or high-waisted skirts. Crop tops are often part of Korean street fashion. Unlike many countries in Europe or the US, crop tops in Korea usually do not show off your stomach that much, as they are often combined with high-waisted pants or skirts.
We love this cropped sweater from Lianox: it is perfect for when you want to wear a crop top in the winter (Use BEMARIEKOREA discount code for an additional 10% off at checkout). It is almost like a zip-up hoodie (without the hood), but short enough to combine with a high-waist skirt. It says “VALUE” in large print on the front and comes in 4 colors: navy blue, orange, yellow, and white. Currently, only sizes M, L, and XL are available.
3. Oversized Korean Shirts
Oversized shirts are the basis of Hongdae Street Fashion. They are so easy to combine with comfortable pants, or even skinny jeans or a short skirt if you want a more girly look. We personally love this oversized shirt – almost a sweatshirt – from Lianox (Use BEMARIEKOREA discount code for an additional 10% off at checkout). It has a cute print of a cat playing with a ball of wool, which turns into a drawing of a mountain landscape. I find this print quite Korean – perhaps because of the big red moon and the mountains. The shirt comes in sizes S through XXL and is available in black or white.
4. Fleece Sweaters
Another retro look: fleece sweaters. We used to wear them as kids, until they suddenly became very “uncool”. Lucky for us, they are back in style, and why should they not! They are warm, comfortable, and look great. Fleece sweaters are a common staple in Korean street fashion. They are often worn with oversized trousers and a little bucket hat, especially in winter.
5. Chunky Shoes
Shows are maybe the most important part of Korean street fashion and currently, fashion dictates the shoes should be chunky! Think about large sneakers with thick soles, or big combat-style boots. The sneakers go great with the comfortable sweatshirt-and-oversized-trousers look. The boots also look very cute when combined with short skirts.
6. High Waist Trousers
Currently, Korean street fashion combines oversized tops and sweaters with high waist trousers. Often, the tops are tucked in at the front and are hanging loose at the back. The high-waisted trousers (or skirts!) create a nice silhouette. The trousers are often a little wider, but it is also common – for guys and girls – to wear high waist skinny jeans and an oversized sweater.
7. Knitted Sweaters
Knitted sweaters are more Ewha-style street fashion. They are very soft and comfortable and perfect for when you are studying for the entire day. The soft, knitted sweaters are often combined with cute mini skirts, and are worn over dresses for warmth.
8. Mini Skirts
Mini skirts are an integral part of Ewha street fashion, although you also see them in Hongdae street fashion. On the streets around Ewha, mini skirts are often sold in girly colors and combined with soft sweaters or tops and cute shoes. In Hongdae, mini skirts are often offset against chunky, oversized sweaters and boots.
If you think socks are supposed to be worn inside your shoes, only for you to see, think again. Socks are a huge part of Korean street fashion. Koreans often pull their socks up high and combine it with a short skirt or cropped pants, to show off the socks. Lianox also sells these cool tennis socks. They are very simple but spice up every outfit. I like to wear them under ankle-length jeans for a little color pop. They come in 6 colors – green, grey, white, red, yellow, and black – and are one size fits all.
There are so many more Korean street fashion items out there. Accessories are important, so do not forget to take a look at bucket hats and sunglasses. You can browse Lianox for a huge selection of everything available for Korean streetwear.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no specific name for Korean street fashion, but often people describe two distinct styles: Hongdae street fashion and Ewha street fashion. Hongdae street fashion is a bit chunkier, tougher, and oversized. You could almost compare it with skater-style fashion. Ewha street fashion is a little more girly, soft, and comfortable, perfect for school days or casual office days. There is also retro street fashion, which uses items from the past – like denim jackets and fleece shirts.
Korean street fashion has become so popular because it is stylish whilst being super comfortable as well. Also, Korean street fashion is usually unisex and the styles are worn by guys and girls alike. It also helps that many K-pop artists have adopted Korean street fashion!
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Do you have a favourite Korean street style? Where do you like to buy your Korean street fashion clothes? Let us know in the comment section below.
This is a sponsored post by Lianox. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experience and view.